Marvel Ultimate Alliance is back, Far Cry New Dawn is the new world that nobody wanted, and Atlas is the pirating adventure Sea Of Thieves should have been.
The Game Awards 2018 was host to a number of world premieres for video games expected to launch in 2019 and beyond. A lot of the trailers were compelling and assertive in their attempts at persuading you to betray your ethics by pre-ordering them, while two eagerly anticipated AAA titles disappointed through bizarre design choices and dodgy business practices. To further reflect on what happened at Geoff Keighley’s prestigious event, we decided to dwell on the night’s best and worst trailers.
Now this is what Sea Of Thieves should have been. In opposition to Rare’s empty Xbox One exclusive, Atlas is a pirating MMO that lets you wander the endless desert of waves and engage in warfare against other pirates and gigantic sea critters, as well as venture to land to engage in brawls with obese drunkards who are unable to see their feet, let alone their pecker.
Designed with a visual flair similar to Sea Of Thieves, Atlas’ trailer exhibited populated islands, a variety of enemies on land and at sea, along with strategic warfare and underwater diving. Oh, and it has dragons. Dragons!
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Nintendo shocked the world when they revealed at the 2018 Game Awards that Marvel Ultimate Alliance was finally coming back after a near ten-year hiatus, and that it would be exclusive to the Switch. Showing off returning favourites Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Wolverine and Spider-Man, the biggest delight was that you will now be able to play as Marvel’s ragtag family, The Guardians Of The Galaxy.
With a new top-down camera view, online and couch co-op of up to four people, and the series’ trademark beat-em-up combat, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is a cataclysmic war for the Infinity Gauntlet that will let you play as a handful of beloved Marvel icons to punch Thanos’ gigantic chin.
The Outer Worlds
With it being developed by the masters behind Fallout: New Vegas and published by the original Fallout creators, The Outer Worlds unsurprisingly looks a lot like Fallout in space. Filled with NPCs, RPG mechanics, and a host of moral choices for you to sweat over and blunder, the anti-corporate romp situated at the edge of the galaxy actually looks even better than Fallout thanks to boasting self-aware comedy that is reminiscent of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. The trailer was funny and clever, witty and intelligent, and it made everybody excited for yet another exploration of space and countless planets.
Although delayed yet again to 2019, it’s hard not to be excited for Psychonauts 2, the long-anticipated follow-up to Tim Schafer’s cult classic. Its showing at the Game Awards focused more on cutscenes rather than gameplay, but it did such a good job in introducing newcomers and fans to the game’s world, its colourful characters, and its many dangers. Promising ungodly secrets that shouldn’t be unearthed and hazardous minds that shouldn’t be read, Pyschonauts 2 looks like an unforgettable and mature spectacle beyond its cartoon surface.
Mortal Kombat 11
Nobody should be worried about Mortal Kombat 11. Like each of its predecessors, it’ll undoubtedly be another fighting classic filled with modes, complex mechanics and irresistible fatalities that make you feel uncomfortable. Still, there’s no doubt that the game’s reveal trailer was a boring and predictable display that ended with an epitome of greed. Now, while the worst part of the trailer may appear to have been the horrendous and ill-fitting rap music, it was actually the reveal that the series’ most iconic villain, Shao Kahn, is only available to those who pre-order. Costumes, weapons, and even guest characters are justifiable pre-order incentives, but recurring, trademark originals are not as it’s exploitative of the fanbase.
Mortal Kombat 11 will likely be another stellar entry in the long-running franchise, but Shao Kahn being a pre-order exclusive is an ugly example of greed that will unfortunately be successful in getting fans to prematurely buy the title without having seen any gameplay.
Far Cry New Dawn
Prior to the Game Awards, Ubisoft released a teaser for what would later be revealed as Far Cry New Dawn. This short glimpse of what was next for the Far Cry series was intriguing and exciting as the live-action image of a nuclear explosion with omniscient narration about hope, a fire and a new world promised the much needed continuation of Hope County and Joseph Seed. Although the full trailer during Geoff Keighley’s awards show confirmed that the title was indeed a post-apocalyptic endeavour involving the father in some capacity, the fact that it takes place 17-years after Far Cry 5’s divisive climax is massively disappointing. Not only does New Dawn miss out on the opportunity of putting players in a world that was recently the victim of global nuclear war, but it’s also chosen to not address its predecessor’s controversial ending and the ramifications of Joseph Seed being right as none of it will ultimately matter in a beautiful world that resembles a fairy-tale resort rather than a nuclear wasteland.
Hope County is now too much a copy of Rage 2 with it being lathered in pink, the twin villains don't possess any of the charm that made Joseph, Vaas and Pagan Min so captivating, and its world appeared to be a re-skin without any much-needed innovation. The only good part was the father seemingly showing remorse and a feeling of being betrayed by God for how the new world turned out.
The Game Awards 2018 was an excellent night that celebrated the year’s best games while also setting up the industry’s bright future. The Pathless, Stranger Things 3 The Game, and Devil May Cry 5 are just a few of the event’s better trailers we neglected to mention in favour of Psychonauts 2, The Outer Worlds, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and Atlas. All these games look amazing, and they’ll all be battling to ransack your wallet in 2019.