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Spike’s VGX Awards Recap: Surprising New Game Announcements, Award Winners, & More

There were some expectations coming to Spike's VGX Awards yesterday with the change in tone and atmosphere. The typical award show spectacle gets ditched for a more chill, laid back vibe with more time spent on developer interviews about their latest game reveals, demos of upcoming titles, and less shenanigans we use to see on past years. In addition, this show was a three hour stream on Twitch, Gametrailers, Xbox Live, PSN, and more as Spike will televise a shorter version with highlights. This change did not get the reception it wanted to the point that even I want the spectacle back next year. Host Joel McHale looked like he didn't want to be there and Geoff Keighley was just there for the ride. With all that said, the VGX awards still had a slew of new game announcements and winners.
To no surprise, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V won game of the year over BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, and Super Mario 3D World. Naughty Dog won studio of the year for their work on The Last of Us, the Lutece Twins from BioShock Infinite surprisingly won character of the year, and while GTA V was also nominated for best action adventure game, the winner of that one was shockingly Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Most of the other award winners are not what you expect, but once again the awards themselves are still pushed off to the side for the main reason people wanted to the see the VGX for, which are the new trailers and game announcements.

The first new game announcement from the show yesterday is another new episodic adventure game series by TellTale Games. They are teaming up with Gearbox for Tales from the Borderlands. The episodes will take place at Pandora and will star different and likely new characters from the Borderlands franchise while keeping the visual style from the second game intact. While some of the TellTale guys and Gearbox's Randy Pitchford were being interviewed by Joel and Geoff, they didn't say too much about gameplay about whether it will be reminiscent of TellTale's adventure games or a little more Borderlands thrown into the formula. Tales from the Borderlands comes out sometime next year with no official platform announcements, but you can take a good guess that the episodes are coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PS3.
Next up is one of many rumors finally being official with Crystal Dynamics confirming the existence of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. For those that haven't played Lara's rebooted adventure on 360 and PS3 (like me), the next-gen versions are your next best bet to play it. The trailer is here showcasing the graphical improvements, but other than that, the new versions are shaping up to be same content-wise as they will be released on January 28th.

Nintendo's debut at these awards was a bit disappointing as Reggie Fils-Aime and one of the guys from Retro Studios showed off a gameplay demo of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U. Confirming another rumor that has been on the internet for weeks, Cranky Kong is the fourth playable character in the game alongside DK himself, Diddy, and Dixie. Cranky's signature ability is straight up ripped from Capcom's DuckTales game as he can pogo Scrooge McDuck style to defeat enemies and transverse through spikes. Geoff did try to his best to get another announcement out of Reggie, but he didn't budge.

Remedy's Xbox One exclusive, Quantum Break, was also at the show with new gameplay footage. The game in it's current state looks to have time-based mechanics with a mix of cover-based shooting, but at least it is looking sharp. The trailer above also reveals some story and character information, but not a lot about they are going to balance out gameplay and TV-show style custscnes. Quantum Break will be released sometime next year only for the Xbox One and I expect Remedy to deliver once again with a great storyline. New trailers for South Park: The Stick of Truth, Destiny, and Tom Clancy's The Division were also present on the stream as well.
Double Fine's Tim Schafer had a gameplay demo of Broken Age to present along with the reveal of another main character. His name is Shay and will be voiced by Elijah Wood (Frodo from The Lord of the Rings movies). The first main character, Vella, has her own storyline and setting, but Double Fine plans to converge the two. The game that was Kickstarter-backed is now slated for a release next month on PC.

Another new game announcement that has been rumored for a while finally became today. Yes, TellTale Games are also working on a Game of Thrones adventure game series slated for next year. They have said in the interview after the trailer premiered that the episodes and storyline are in the early stages, but with this announcement, TellTale is now working on four episodic adventure games with this, Tales from the Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us, and The Walking Dead. A little much overkill for the next year TellTale?

The last new game announcement is arguably the best reveal of the show and surprisingly it is from an indie developer. Hello Games, the folks that made the Joe Danger games, are back with a a completely new game called No Man's Sky. Even from the trailer above, the game seems so mysterious yet looks beautiful at the same time. Glimpses of exploration from land, air, and space were shown along with spaceship battles. No platforms have been announced yet, but No Man's Sky looks to be set in one big open world for all players to explore at once.
More new trailers for games slated for next year such as Thief and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt were revealed at the last hour of the show. The VGX winner for most anticipated game, Titanfall, was saved for last. Vince Zampella from Respawn was there to announce two new titan classes for the game. The Ogre is considered to be the "heavy" archetype class and the Stryder fills the "speed" archetype being fast and nimble. The Stryder trailer can be seen here while the trailer for the Ogre is available to watch below.

That is all from the VGX Awards. While the structure and tone of the show is disappointing to the point Spike needs to go back to the drawing board, the reveals did live up to expectations. Any of the new game announcements you're excited for the most?


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