The Game Awards, an event that’s exactly what it sounds like, took place shortly ago and, like any gaming event, it was shot through with trailers and announcements. What’s the biggest announcement, you ask? It’s probably a tie between the sudden release of a new expansion for Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a teaser for the next project from From Software, the creators of Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
Well, let’s be honest – a new Zelda expansion, available now, is pretty much the only thing that matters in the world. Everything else can wait.
The Champions’ Ballad appears to be a follow-up to the original story, with the four champions working to defeat “the beast” once and for all. More importantly, there’s new horse armor that lets you teleport your mount to your location instantly. New weapons and armor await, and it also looks like there are a number of new shrines and larger dungeons. Oh, and you get an “ancient” motorcycle. I’d be playing it now if I hadn’t left my Zelda cartridge in the U.S. when I crossed the pond for Disrupt Berlin. What was I thinking?!
Less immediate but perhaps ultimately more intriguing is From Software’s minimal trailer for its new game, which has no name but does have a tagline: “Shadows Die Twice.” Some speculate this is a reboot of Shadow Tower, one of From’s earliest games, but others point out that not only is this a line from venerated ninja series Tenchu, but the music and writing suggest a Japanese theme. No one is quite sure what the gruesome hardware on display is, though my guess is it’s a grapple made from a bone.
Next on the hype train is Death Stranding, the next project from Hideo Kojima, of Metal Gear fame. In the longest and most substantive look at the game so far, which really isn’t saying much, we see a space-suited-up Norman Reedus attempting in vain to hide from invisible and enigmatic pursuers that seem to be attracted to… suffering? Life? Anything but the baby in bottle that later turns up inside Reedus.
We’re really no wiser than we were before, but Kojima’s eye for the uncanny and dramatic is clear. He may be rather off the rails, but often our most interesting artists are.
Some other trailers of note: The developers of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, a creepy mystery, show off their latest project, Witchfire.
But if you were expecting another somber, slow-moving affair, the developers would like to remind you that they were also behind the excellent Painkiller and underrated Bulletstorm. It looks like a high-energy shoot-em-up in a strange, arcane world.
I’m particularly interested in Campo Santo’s In the Valley of the Gods, in which it appears you and a partner (likely computer controlled) infiltrate a tomb not to raid it, but to document it with an old-timey movie camera.
Perhaps you’re not as much of an antiquarian as I am, but this looks like it should be a very interesting little adventure.
Some other things worth noting: Bayonetta 3 was teased as a Switch exclusive, along with remasters of 1 and 2. This should please hardcore action fans who might not be satisfied with the console’s otherwise great selection of games.
And the soul still burns: Soul Calibur 6 was announced, though honestly I’m still happy to play the original on Dreamcast.