Once there was a time when awards ceremonies were just that. A ceremony… With awards. Now, in 2022, and in the fast-moving world of digital entertainment, transmedia and cross-platform, brand-synergization it’s safe to say that they’re very much something else. For while there were awards given out at last night’s Game Awards it was the combined corporate brain-smash of game reveals and announcements that left the deepest impression.
Who are we kidding? Every award ceremony from the Grammys to the Globes is essentially a promotional opportunity for the bands, artists, actors taking part. Shortlists are presented as your next shopping list, with the winner at the top being the first thing you should put in your basket. But The Game Awards 2022 were next level with – doubtless – millions changing hands for a timely trailer spot and a carefully measured portion of seconds of eyes and attention.
For this wasn’t so much about the awards as about the reveals hidden among them. Of course there were near countless video game ads but where better to give a new sneak peek of the new Super Mario Bros. Movie too?
Meanwhile the desire to slap as many backs (and please as many sponsors and partners) was palpable at all times. Meaning that we ended up with a crowd-pleasing, predictable line of winners longer than the prize giving at a toddler’s sports day. (Full list below.)
But it was the cavalcade of reveals that were the real reason to watch.
Our pick of the pack
We loved the look of the new Hide and Seek mode for enduring favourite Among Us.
And count us in for PlayStation VR2 spin-off game Horizon: Call of the Mountain which got a new trailer. Sure the price of the combined hardware to play it will prevent you from eating and heating for a month but when it looks this good… Here’s hoping that the freshly revealed (and excellent-looking) Forbidden West DLC, Burning Shores comes in a little more affordable.
Original PlayStation ‘mascot’ Crash is back for Crash Team Rumble (ask your Dad)
And similarly old-skool Post Trauma brought every (good) Silent Hill nightmare we’ve ever had, flooding back.
PlayStation’s Viewfinder looks like a supersmart puzzle game that we can’t wait to play.
And ever wondered how Bayonetta got into that whole ‘stabbing’ lark? Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon tells her origin story with a mix of cute graphics and extreme have-your-eye-out violence.
Truly big guns were taken care of with the first reveal of the new game from Bioshock creator, Keith Levine. Judas looked just as awesome as his superlative creation though perhaps a little too similar in style?… Let’s just say that – like Rod Stewart – this man has ‘a type’.
And – zero surprise – there IS a Death Stranding 2 (or rather ‘DS2’) and – zero surprise – its trailer looked as awesome and baffling as you imagined, leaving far more questions than answers. Obviously.
The GTA Vice City vibes are veeeery strong with this one. So much so that – while you can’t trademark colourful open world games packed with actors essentially playing themselves – you can bet that Rockstar wished that they could. Welcome to 505 Games’ Crime Boss: Rockay City, a new FPS robbery game that is home to Michael Madsen, Kim Basinger, Danny Trejo, Danny Glover, Vanilla Ice, Chuck Norris and more.
Speaking of which Idris Elba pops up in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty DLC
New MMO Dune Awakening looks suitably epic and awesome, expanding on the literary world created by Frank Herbert while successfully recreating the imagery of Denis Villeneuve in-game.
And Diablo 4 looks suitably hellish and has a release date (6th of the 6th… 1666? Er no 2023. Damn.)
Armoured Core VI: Fires of Rubicon brought back the mecha memories
And the new trailer for Final Fantasy 16 similarly swept back the years and left us begging for more.
But what of the awards themselves? Well it turned out to be a very much God of War and Elden Rings focussed evening as both of which pretty much ran Elden Rings around some very stiff competition in every category they entered…
On the whole though the evening passed without too much upset in the Beyond Games camp but why bother with a Best Indie Game category AND a Best Debut Indie Game category? And if the same game wins both – deserved winner Stray – then the confusion is only doubled.
And – contentious one – is Marvel Snap REALLY the Best Mobile Game of the year? No Apex Legends? Diablo Immortal? Genshin Impact? Just sayin’…
Nice to see Bayonetta 3 scoop best action game over the likes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Though we can’t imagine that this went down well in one household.
And splitting out Best Action/Adventure game as an additional category just felt like a move to make sure that God of War didn’t get too weighed down with silverware.
And yet they mashed together Sports and Racing into a single Sports/Racing category? So FIFA goes up against Gran Turismo which goes up against OlliOlli World? Yup. That happened.
And the winner is…
The biggest winners, however – as schmaltzy as it sounds – were gamers. After two (three?) years of taking the foot off the gas and worrying about real world problems, 2023 looks like it’s going to deliver everything you could ever need.
And hats off to the TGA. The show was slick. The reveals were sick. And this whole annual new-media cavalcade all set to STICK around for years to come. Bring it on.
Here’s this year’s winners in full:
Game of the Year
Best Game Direction
Best Art Direction
Best Action/Adventure Game
God of War: Ragnarok
God of War Ragnarok
God of War: Ragnarok (awarded to Bear McCreary)
Best Audio Design
God of War: Ragnarok
God of War: Ragnarok (awarded to Christopher Judge)
Innovation in Accessibility
God of War: Ragnarok
Games for Impact
As Dusk Falls
Best Ongoing Game
Final Fantasy 14 Online
Best Indie Game
Best Debut Indie Game
Best Mobile Game
Best Community Support
Final Fantasy 14 Online
Best VR/AR Game
Moss: Book II
Best Action Game
Best Fighting Game
Best Family Game
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Best Sports/Racing Game
Gran Turismo 7
Best Sim/Strategy Game
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
Best Multiplayer Game
Best Esports Athlete
Jacob “Yay” Whiteaker of Cloud 9 & Valorant
Best Esports Coach
Matheus “bzkA” Tarasconi of Loud & Valorant
Best Esports Event
2022 League of Legends World Championship
Best Esports Game
Best Esports Team
Most Anticipated Game
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Arcane: League of Legends