A pixel perfect night for gamers at the 2017 Game Awards
Fourth annual celebration honoring the best in video games also featured some tantalizing previews of titles coming next year.
The digital glitterati of The Game Awards 2017 took the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles by storm last night, honoring the best titles of the past year while simultaneously exciting the masses for those yet to come. Even before the red carpet had been rolled out, anticipation over the night's winners was high, with more than 5 million online votes tallied for the event's 22 categories.
Unlike the TV-exclusive Oscars, the two hour ceremony embraced its digital roots and was broadcast online live across 16 different content platforms.
"In 2014, some of the reaction to my first pitch was whether it was worth it, since it wasn’t on TV," Canadian host and creator Geoff Keighley told GamesBeat. "Is it even worth it? Now, four years later, it feels like we made the right choice. Now, people say it’s the new TV. You’re digital. Most of the partners feel like they don’t want to be on TV anymore. This is the way they can reach the whole world."
The evening's biggest winner was undoubtedly Japanese gaming giant Nintendo, which won not only the coveted Best Action/Adventure, Best Game Direction and Game of The Year categories for "Zelda: Breath of the Wild," but also Best Family Game for "Super Mario Odyssey." Other repeat winners included the independent smash hit "Cuphead" (Best Art Direction, Best Independent Game and Best Debut Indie Game) and the horror action-adventure video game "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" (Best Audio Design, Best Performance and Games for Impact).
While the accolades brought the industry together, the real carrot that kept gamers glued to screens big and small was the promise of sneak peaks at upcoming titles. Riding a wave of hype unlike any other game in recent memory is Naughty Dog's "The Last of Us: Part II," which earned The Game Award for "Most Anticipated Game." In a tweet last evening, Neil Druckmann, the Israeli-American creative director behind the original "Last of Us," as well as the most recent entries in the "Uncharted" franchise, thanked fans for their support.
Pressure mounting. Thanks, y’all! 😊 https://t.co/1AO82MCTdM— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) December 8, 2017
While Druckmann and Naughty Dog declined to show any new footage from the game, other developers were more than happy to pull back the curtain on some new titles. Highlights included the quirky virtual reality game "Vacation Simulator," a gorgeous first-person, narrative driven adventure called "In the Valley of Gods" and an eight-minute glimpse at celebrated Japanese developer Hideo Kojima's hynotically bizarre sci-fi thriller "Death Stranding."
Fans of the zombie genre were also treated to a game adaptation of American author Max Brooks' "World War Z" novel. The chilling game, which up to four people can play at once, will task gamers with surviving the zombie hordes in digitally-recreated cities like New York, Moscow and Jerusalem.
"I wanted to make it global. I wanted to make it about the world," Brooks told From The Grapevine in 2015. "What I was trying to say in this book is that we're all in this together. We can't wait for the 11th hour before it's too late. We need to look at global problems and global solutions and work together to solve them."
According to games developer Saber Interactive, players will have to heed Brooks' words and work together to defeat the undead.
"World War Z" is a name synonymous with heart-pounding fear and action, and we’re excited to finally capture that energy in a fast-paced and gruesome experience crafted specifically for modern consoles and PC,” said Saber Interactive CEO Matt Karch in a statement.
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