This week we're looking at The Game Awards nominees, Pentiment, the Guildford.games awards and more!
The Game Awards
The Game Awards announced their nominees this week, celebrating the best (and, let's be honest: popular) games of the year.
In the coveted Game of the Year category, there are nominations for Elden Ring, God of War Ragnarök, Horizon Forbidden West, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Stray, and A Plague Tale: Requiem.
It's an exceptionally strong year for Sony, and really highlights how much their rivals Microsoft have struggled lately, failing to capitalise on their ever-growing empire of studios thus far. In late October, Phil Spencer of Xbox admitted it has been "too long" since they published a major exclusive title.
The ceremony takes place on December 8th, and will see a variety of trailers for new games unveiled as well as crowning various winners. You can vote now for your favourites.
Elsewhere, although they may not be on an award-winning streak, it has still been a fairly good week for Xbox, who released Pentiment and Somerville onto Game Pass on Tuesday. They're both interesting little projects worth spending a few hours with. Plus they've got Vampire Survivors on there, which frankly deserves to be a GOTY nominee.
Best of luck to all the Game Awards nominees, including some of our good friends, like Hello Games, Guerrilla Games, and Supermassive Games!
Guildford Game Awards
Tonight is the Guildford.games awards and I will be going along presenting one of the awards. The Guildford games industry is one of the largest and most active regional games hubs in the UK and the awards is one of the headline events for the area.
The great thing about the awards is that they focus on the people and teams who make games, as opposed to purely the titles created. This gives the event and real community feel and offers some very much deserved recognition to the people behind the games.
Modern Warfare 2
This week I'm talking about another game I cant stop playing... The new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.
It is slightly confusing they called it Modern Warfare 2, when the original was called the same. Especially as it's not a remaster, it's a whole new game. However, boy is there a tonne of WHOLE NEW stuff in this game.
It gets rids of the terrible flying, wall running and space gun malarkey that put me off Call of Duty, and brings it back to the basics. Exactly how it should be, the campaign is unreal. The gameplay, the REFLECTIONS! (on the ps5 version that it), and the haptic feedback both from the controller and the triggers really give you that medium of immersion, a step below VR. A new spin on the mission "All ghillied up" was definitely welcomed by myself and the COD community. Seeing Captain Price, Soap and Ghost all together brought a wave of nostalgia.
On to the multiplayer, wow is it as I expected. I mean nothing will replace the OG maps like Rust, Terminal, Karachi and many more, these maps don't really compare, but I also need more time to adjust to them. To top it off the weapon customization is unreal, there are so many options. There really isn't a best weapon or class, as you can even replace the weapon receivers to create your own franken-gun.
This game is definitely worth a play, if not, at least watch the gameplay on YouTube!
The game description on Steam reads "Step into a living illustrated world in a time when Europe is at a crossroads of great religious and political change. Walk in the footsteps of Andreas Maler, a master artist who finds himself in the middle of murders, scandals, and intrigue in the Bavarian Alps."
As a big fan of all things Obsidian, I was already looking forward to the game. Obsidian are excellent at building narratives, and Pentiment looks to have incredible charm and humour (obvious from just the screenshots and marketing assets!). Since it came out, I've seen many friends, colleagues and industry pals talk about how great it is, so I will not hesitate to play it this weekend and get my medieval murder mystery on.
If you also want to try Pentiment you can get it on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows. Oh, and Game Pass!
Inspiration behind Alba
I checked out Alba early last year on Apple Arcade (also available on Switch, Steam, PlayStation and Xbox), and I really enjoyed it. It was an easy going, relaxing and peaceful game where you play as Alba, a child visiting a Valencian Community on holiday, exploring the island and conserving the beautiful nature she comes across.
One of the game creators from ustwo, Emily Brown, recently spoke with GI Biz a little bit about the game and the inspiration behind it. It's a short read but still offers lots of great insights into the thinking behind the game, the decisions made, and how they were careful to create an enjoyable game with a message, rather than just preaching at consumers. You can read the full article with Emily here.
If you haven't given Alba a go yet, I'd definitely recommend it.
More Etch Play
If you enjoyed this roundup, why not check out the rest of our blog for previous editions as well as plenty of articles full of game marketing tips. If video is more your style then head over to the Etch Play YouTube channel where you'll find industry interviews, marketing discussions and good old gameplay. We even sometimes jump onto Twitch to play games and discuss everything and anything related to the wonderful world of games.