The Game Awards

So the Game Awards happened again. The 2019 Game Awards. If you don’t know, the Game Awards is basically one giant advertisement for upcoming games, and they announce things like game of the year. Normally, I look forward to the Game Awards, but this year, it was kind of a mess.

First off, a few new things were announced, most notably, the Microsoft X series Xbox. The X series will launch in 2020, and features a console that is taller than it is wide. I’ve also noticed the controller looks a bit different from the current Xbox controller, and not in a good way. Before you buy it next year, make sure the grip is comfortable, ask a friend or something.

Before the game of the year was announced, Vin Diesel announced a new Fast and Furious game: Fast & Furious Crossroads. A trailer was shown, and from what I could tell at a glance, the gameplay looked good enough. I’ve never seen any of the Fast & Furious movies, but as far as I can tell it features people in cars shooting at each other. That sounds like fun, but this game has a major flaw in it.

It looks like garbage. Save for a few clips of cars in the trailer (which look like they were out of a cutscene anyways), this game is hard to look at. The character models look like bulky robots with human skin stretched over them, and then they lost half of their pixel count. Seriously, the models look like they were made at 480p when the rest of the game looks like 1080p.

Screenshot taken from: https://youtu.be/1bAtuMIIvyk

But that’s not nearly the only problem with the game in the trailer. First of all, there is lag. Take a moment to let that sink in. There is lag for the trailer to a game that the creators had time to edit and produce properly. If there is lag in the trailer, how much lag is there going to be in the actual game?

There is a bunch of other problems with the game, that just shows a lack of effort from the creators. For one, there is a scene where a car starts shooting at another car and hits it several times, but there are no bullet holes. The bullet effects themselves look more like lasers or energy than actual bullets. Also, and this part is kind of funny, there is an awkward animation of this guy jumping onto a train, and the animation is so ridiculously stupid it’s funny.

But this colossal fail of a trailer is nothing to the real problem of the Game Awards: the choice for best games of the year. Every year, the Game Awards sets up an online poll for a bunch of different awards, like the best action game of the year, or the best fighting game of the year. However, they have way to many categories, and that doesn’t work in their favor.

For the most part, I like how they have so many ways to vote. It shows appreciation to all of the genres, including indie titles, and gives all of the good games of the year a chance to win. However, this isn’t true in the slightest sense. The Game Awards are based on a vote, which means the most popular games are going to win. Nobody is going to vote for a game they haven’t even played. Also, only the pick for Game of the Year is actually said onstage, and the rest are shown online, meaning that they won’t receive any praise from a live audience.

When you break it down, the Game Awards this year were just a three hour slog of watching advertisements for video games, trailers for video games, and a disappointing game of the year announcement. In case you’re wondering, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice won, which admittedly looks like a cool game, but considering Super Smash Bros Ultimate was also in consideration, it doesn’t seem justified.

And that is the flaw with the Game Awards. Because they choose a variety of games on different consoles for game of the year, most people who vote will have only played one or two of those games. That turns voting into a popularity contest.

So does this mean that the Game Awards should pick game of the year a different way? Should they do it based on a Metacritic score, or get a group of professional reviews to voice their opinions? No, then people would feel even worse than they would when their favorite game loses. 

If you want my advice, which you do, because you are reading this article, just ignore the pick for game of the year. Hearing that Sekiro won doesn’t devalue how fun Smash is at all. If the Game Awards continue to put on an advertiser-first display every year, people will start to catch on. But until the show improves, I don’t plan on tuning in next year.