The Game Awards were held last night in Los Angeles, and as usual it was a show whose primary focus seemed to be marketing. The awards themselves mostly went to reasonable recipients - it’s hard to argue with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as Game of the Year - but you got the impression that most gamers tuned in for the trailers and announcements. That’s certainly what today’s headlines focused on, and far be it from me to break that mould.
Some were for huge franchisey projects, like a video game adaptation of World War Z (the movie, not the book), a mystery title by Dark Souls developer From Software, post-apocalyptic sequel Metro Exodus, and the long-awaited actioner Bayonetta 3 (a Nintendo Switch exclusive). Others were indie or indie-style fare, like Campo Santo’s gorgeous Firewatch followup In The Valley of Gods, Owlchemy Labs’ Job Simulator semi-sequel Vacation Simulator, or Little Big Planet developer Media Molecule’s surreal and beautiful creative game Dreams. Most of these games look terrific - their marketing departments have earned their keep, at the very least. I'd play 'em.
But as per usual for any show featuring it, Death Stranding was the standout title previewed at The Game Awards. Director Hideo Kojima revealed an eight-minute clip featuring Norman Reedus, invisible monsters, robotic hazmat suits, whales, and a baby living in Reedus’ stomach, among other things. It’s nuts - and that’s not even counting the voiceover, whose ambitions encompass, oh, the entirety of the history of the Universe.
We still have no real concept of what Death Stranding actually is, beyond a PlayStation 4 exclusive action game with some sort of online component. Kojima’s work often leaves me more baffled (sometimes even bored) than enthralled, if I’m honest, but the fact that he’s been set loose with a huge budget on this game is quite the proposition. Especially since it also involves Kojima’s new best friends Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and Guillermo del Toro.
Death Stranding will be out when it’s out, I guess.