Well another Game Awards has come and gone. There are few dates on the calendar that get gamers as pumped as the yearly awards show. The Geoff Keighley headed and hosted event was going into its sixth year with the 2020 show, and has become a showcase that combines the trophies of the Oscars with the unbridled excitement of E3.
With COVID-19, viewers knew they were going to be getting a bit of a different product than in years past. Gone were the screaming crowds, the on-stage handshakes and the backdrop of the Microsoft Theater. In their place was a digital event, featuring virtual acceptance speeches and even a few holograms.
In case you missed it, or you just wanted to relive the fanfare, here are the seven best moments from the 2020 Game Awards.
SEPHIROTH IN SMASH
Can’t say anyone saw this one coming. With one of the first announcements of the main show, Nintendo unveiled that Final Fantasy VII’s Sephiroth would be coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and that the One Winged Angel would be available to download later this month.
After it was teased that Smash would be at The Game Awards just hours before the show started, speculation went wild. Sora, Jonesy, and Master Chief were all names thrown out, but nobody could have predicted FFVII’s main antagonist would be joining the fight.
THE INITIATIVE'S PERFECT DARK TEASED
When Xbox unveiled The Initiative as the world’s first “AAAA studio” it turned some heads. Xbox has been beefing up their first party line up in the past couple of years and the first fruits of that labor are finally here.
The Initiative teased their first game, a reboot of Perfect Dark at the event. All that was shown off was a trailer setting up the tone the team is going for with their new game, but there are a few tidbits fans can take from it. Developers used the phrase “Eco Sci-fi” to describe their take on Perfect Dark (originally a Rare franchise on the N64) and that was the perfect descriptor to use. The trailer showed off a mix of plant life and nature with drones and robotics.
The trailer highlights various shots of overgrowth and technology with the closing shot panning up and revealing the iconic series hero Agent Joanna Dark.
DRAGON AGE TRAILER DEBUTED
Yes it is finally happening! The next installment in the Dragon Age series was officially revealed at The Game Awards. While fans have gotten teases from BioWare over the past couple of years, including concept art just this week, we now have concrete details. The trailer focuses on a “new hero” and looks to possibly be of a reboot for the franchise as it is simply titled Dragon Age.
The full trailer can be seen below:
VIN DIESEL IS IN A VIDEO GAME?
Yes, Vin Diesel is in a video game and, no, it has nothing to do with the Fast and Furious franchise. Vin is actually staring in Ark 2, the sequel to hit survival game Ark: Survival Evolved from Studio Wildcard.
At first, it was a little confusing to figure what exactly this game was based on the footage shown, with prehistoric humans taking on a T-Rex then hiding away in a futuristic cave. But once the Ark logo appeared, it all made sense.
EDDIE VEDDER PERFORMS THE LAST OF US PART 2 TRIBUTE
Probably the biggest tearjerker of the night was Pearl Jam front-man Eddie Vedder performing “Future Days” as a tribute to The Last of Us Part 2. In a word, it was beautiful. The Pearl Jam tune serves as the emotional backbone of TLOU2 and hearing it performed live was chilling.
Keen eyed gamers may have noticed a change in performance strategy over the past couple of years at The Game Awards, and this was a perfect example. Gone seem to be the days of Green Day getting on stage with the Schick Hydro Man and just playing their music. In their place have come performances of actual in-game music or gaming adjacent performances, something fans have been enthusiastic about since they started happening on The Game Awards stage.
MORE MASS EFFECT TEASED
Yes, BioWare doubled up on announcements at this year’s show, but there is nothing wrong with that all. The Canadian RPG masters debuted a tease of the next entry in the Mass Effect series and it was glorious.
Based upon the trailer, this next project looks to be a straight continuation of the original trilogy, revealing a piece of Commander Shepard’s iconic N7 armor to end the trailer. Not much else is known about the game; however with the Mass Effect trilogy remaster coming early next year, EA is doing their best to prove to fans Mass Effect is not dead.
THE LAST OF US PART 2 WINS GAME OF THE YEAR
The big award of the night went to Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part 2, beating such hits as Final Fantasy VII Remake, Hades, and Ghost of Tsushima. While it was exciting to see TLOU2 get the final award, it was not hard to predict it would happen after the game was awarded a few times earlier in the evening.
The Last of Us Part 2 team was featured multiple times on the stream after winning numerous awards throughout the night like Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, and Best Audio Design. So after a few wins, it became clear that Neil Druckmann of Naughty Dog would be getting put on screen for the big award of the evening.
And that is it! Another Game Awards in the books. In a year that has been headlined by a global pandemic and being separated from one another, Geoff Keighley and team provided something that brought gamers together. Something that the world could use much more of right about now.