Disclaimer: The opinions and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Neoseeker.
As Rod Stewart might say, tonight's the night, it's gonna be alright, ain't nobody gonna stop us now. Spike's annual Video Game Awards begin at 6PM PST and there's going to be some video games going on. What video games, you might ask? Well, previous years of the VGAs have had between 13 and 15 trailers or announcement teasers for new games, along with an assortment of other gaming related hi-jinx. Oh, there's some awards and celebrities too, but come on. Come oooon.
The real reason folk turn in for the Spike VGAs is for the video game reveals, and if that means putting up with a few hours of Spike's take on appealing to the average gamer and advertising then we can deal with it. And honestly the VGAs have gotten to the point where it's less a direct insult than a hilarious reminder of the dissonance between the "industry" and the games themselves. So bring on Samuel L. Jackson's face digitally imposed on a baby screaming to get that baby food "s*** outta my face." Just remember the BioShock: Infinite trailer between that and the Doritos commercial.
As of right now there are six officially announced titles debuting trailers at the VGAs and a few promising leads, but where there'd usually be some substantial rumor mongering on what else will be shown... it's abnormally quiet out there. Lucky for us, wild speculation is always great fun! Ahem, educated guesses, I mean. Anyways, here's our collection of Spike VGA reveals and rumors for 2012. Who wants to make a bingo sheet?
Spike 10 Status Official
Gears of War: Judgment - Prequel to the Gears of War trilogy that helped the Xbox 360 cement its foundation in the industry, Judgment brings back everyone's favorite COG Augustus Cole and also that one guy Baird as they're accused of treason at the start of the Locust War. Add in new multiplayer modes like Over Run and free-for-all, and really what else can you expect from a new Gears title?
Spike's teaser for Gears of War: Judgment's "World Premiere" seems to focus on a narrative, so while many fans may be wanting to see some multiplayer action we expect this trailer to be story-centric. Why are Baird, Cole and their two new squadmates accused of treason and how did the setting reach the point it was at the start of the original Gears of War? Hopefully Judgment's VGA trailer will set the stage and chop some Locust at the same time.
BioShock: Infinite - It's a good thing Irrational Games got that pesky BioShock: Infinite delay announcement out of the way this morning, because all anyone will be talking about over the weekend is how ridiculously excited they are to finally play the game. With exciting BioShock events and details coming left and right over the past week, it's easy to tell they're building up to something special at tonight's VGAs.
What Spike's teaser tells us is that we're getting a full on gameplay demo of BioShock: Infinite. If the feature is anything like what Irrational has released in the past, expect a reasonably long look at a select portion of gameplay direct from the game. Look for a showcase of the game's various mechanics, plenty of narrative and character interaction, and a dramatic cliffhanger that may very well drive you mad. It's simply the Irrational way.
The Last of Us - Naughty Dog is a supporter of big VGA reveals, with Uncharted 3 getting a big debut trailer at the event in 2010. It fits that The Last of Us, which debuted at the VGAs in 2011, would come back again with something great in 2012. The title has been shown off rather often since its announcement a year ago, but Naughty Dog has done a great job of keeping the project mysterious. We know the game's brutal, we know it's post-apocalyptic, what else can you show us this year?
Not big on gameplay trailers, expect The Last of Us' VGA premiere to be cinematic in nature and to explore the deeper themes of the game rather than shoving mechanics in your face. Look for a focus on facial gestures, body language, and excellent voice-work with plenty of great camera angles and lots of shadows. The intensity Naughty Dog creates in its trailers is always impressive, even though each trailer's scope is rather limited.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 - Not much has yet been shown of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, thought the game was officially announced at E3 earlier this year. While the teaser that Spike has released prominently displays "Gameplay Premiere" I wouldn't be surprised if the trailer makes certain to set the stage by clarifying the game's story and tone. Since the original Lords of Shadow was a popular, but not necessarily impactful title, Konami and MercurySteam are really going to have to sell this game at the VGAs.
Tomb Raider - It seems like all everyone's talking about these days is some sort of controversy surrounding Tomb Raider. It'll be good to get back to the fact that there's a game here and it looks pretty damn good. Spike's teaser sets up a gameplay focused full trailer, so look ahead to a bit of combat (with a mountain climbing pick no less), a bit of Uncharted-style traversal, and plenty of thick accents. Then tomorrow, look forward to some new silly controversy.
South Park: The Stick of Truth - The THQ published South Park title was one of the first games to be confirmed by Spike to have a trailer during the show. Despite that, we've since heard very little about the reveal. In fact, the logo has since been glaringly missing from some of the VGAs promo footage. On top of that, it remains the lone confirmed title that has yet to have an official teaser trailer on Spike's main webpage. I've probably already read farther into this than I should but hopefully THQ's financial problems haven't affected the reveal.
I wouldn't expect Matt and Tre to come out an introduce the South Park game like they did at E3 this year, though I'd love to hear their take on the VGAs. Instead, we'll probably get some gameplay like combat or dialogue -- hell, as long as the South Park kids show their faces and tell a joke in their fantasy outfits the crowd will love it.
Update: South Park Twitter has 100% confirmed the game will be shown at tonight's VGAs.
Spike 10 Status Semi-Official
Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington - Confirmed via small mention on a Spike VGA press release, the first major DLC for Assassin's Creed III will be shown off during tonight's event. That haunting image of George Washington smiling on top of a throne with a crown upon his head was certainly potent. It'll be great to see what Ubisoft has made in-motion tonight.
Halo 4: Spartan Ops - The episodic co-op campaign for Halo 4 is currently on hiatus and will return with five more episodes in January. Apparently Microsoft and 343 want to kick up some hype for the second half of the season by debuting a trailer during the VGAs. This world premiere was also mentioned as a footnote on a press release, which is why it's difficult to speculate on just what we can look forward to.
Spike 10 Status Rumor
Here we are! Everything form this point on will be hard rumors with very little grounding in anything substantial. What we can say is that we know there are bound to be more reveals during the Spike VGA event. The 8 titles above may make up the majority (10 reveals at the Spike 10) or may be less than half of what to expect considering 2011 had at least 14 big premieres.
It's worth noting that since Nintendo doesn't participate in the event and that Sony and Microsoft's next-gen consoles have yet to be announced, everything shown tonight is likely planned for release in the year 2013. This diminishes the magic a little, as the usual big debuts that have come in years past might be missing altogether. One thing's for sure, Spike hasn't been teasing any big mysteries like it usually does. They've remained focused on the above titles and nothing else. Time will tell.
THQ (Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light, Saints Row) - THQ has been a huge supporter of the VGA event over the past years, announcing titles like Darksiders 2 and the now defunct inSANE project from Guillermo Del Toro. South Park is already planned for the show, but will any of their other games currently in development debut? Company of Heroes 2, as a PC exclusive strategy title, doesn't really fit the atmosphere, but Metro: Last Light could certainly use a little daylight (ha).
What I'm thinking though, is that the VGAs would be a perfect place the next Saints Row title. We already know that a Saints Row 3 expansion was canceled and turned into a full-fledged sequel for the franchise. That can be construed as it being a current-gen project to be released in 2013. With THQ hype reaching full speed (go THQ Humble Bundle, go) the VGAs would be the absolutely perfect time and place to announced The Next Big Sequel in the Saints Row Series.
One Major Surprise, or more? - Geoff Keighley, one of the big names behind the VGAs, is a great source for rumors on the event. This year its been pretty slim pickings, but he has said there will be at least one huge announcement:
"48 hours until VGAs and by this time on Friday one major surprise will have happened!"
He has gone on to say that, "we definitely have some new games being announced." Plural.
Short Custom Films - Another tweet from Keighley references a number of short custom films being made by a number of developers, some of which might surprise you.
"This year the #VGA will feature short custom films from Telltale, 343, Treyarch, Ubisoft, Gearbox, Mojang, Arkane, BioWare, Rovio and more."
I'm not about to sort through all of the awards again, but I'm pretty sure at least Mojang and Rovio both aren't nominated for anything. So what sort of movies should we be expecting from these developers/publishers? Should be fun finding out, if nothing else.
Destiny "Well that just happened... again." - A short time ago Bungie suffered some leaks for their upcoming FPS project Destiny. Their response was pretty humorous, but it was their comment afterwards that really got our hearts all aflutter:
"Go ahead. Take a peek. It’s alright. We weren't quite ready, but we will be soon, and we can’t wait to finally show you what we've really been up to."
Can we expect a Bungie reveal tonight? I'd put this rumor near the bottom of the list, but it never hurts to hope.
Half Life 3 - Shut up. Leave me alone, okay? I'm writing this article, I can put whatever rumors I please in here. *sigh*
Spike Ten Loose Rumors
Here are a few loose rumors that have been thrown around, but aren't necessarily substantiated and are hard to really talk about.
- There's talk of Tomb Raider debuting a multiplayer mode, which I'd say would probably ape Uncharted's expansion into that area.
- Some sort of retro game debut was apparently mentioned by Geoff Keighley, but I can't find the source at the moment. A lot of talk about Microsoft potentially teasing something related to next-gen, but I have a hard time believing they'd use the VGAs as a venue for that.
- Cliffy B will be doing something at the awards this year, but after his departure from Epic he doesn't seem to be rushing back into work. Maybe he's presenting an award?
- Fortnite. I mean, where'd that game go?
- Finally, BioWare typically participates in the VGAs in some way each year, but as of right now there's no mention of their participation. Still, Keighley (that guy gets around) has talked about working with BioWare's Mike Gamble (Mass Effect producer) on something. What is it? Mass Effect 3 DLC? Dragon Age 3? A public apology? Just joking, everyone!
If any more rumors pop up, you can count on us updating the list. Drop a source in the comments and up it'll go. Make sure to tune into the Spike VGAs tonight at 6PM PST/9PM EST