Speculation Central: Major Announcements We Expect / Hope Come from the 2011 VGA Awards
It's that time of year again. The time for holiday shopping, decorating, hanging with friends and family, and reminiscing on the events of the year almost gone... that kind of thing. But it is also the time for the video games of the year to get some recognition, and that's where Spike TV's Video Game Awards come in. Since 2003, they have given the industry a proper years' end party, while at the same time, getting people ready for the following year with announcements and reveals of new games in the works.
This year's show (which will take place this Saturday, December 10th) will be no different. Or will it? With the show still a few days away, we can only speculate and wonder how it will turn out. We know a few things that will certainly happen, like Zachery Levi hosting, and which games have been nominated for what awards. Still, that leaves plenty of room for speculating and gossiping.
With so little time until the awards, we need to start speculating now. What shall we start with? Ah, I know. How about…
The Awards Themselves
A lot of excellent games came out in 2011. That much can be said with certainty. Across the board, gamers of all systems (minus the Wii, with one notable exception) had succulent fruit to partake of, figuratively speaking.
With so many worthy titles out right now, you can imagine that the competition throughout all 27 categories will be stiff, and for the most part, you'd be right (you can view the full list of nominees at the VGA 2011 Awards' official website).
It doesn't take long, though, to notice who the real heavyweights are, with games like Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Portal 2, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim popping up all across the awards, which vary from Studio of the Year, to Best Downloadable Game, to Best Performance by a Human Female (as opposed to, you know, an alien female); as well as the usual console and genre-specific awards. With most of these, the choices seem hard. However, for some, like Best Wii Game, the winner stands out even now. Seriously, do you expect Kirby's Return to Dreamland, Lost in Shadow, and Disney Epic Mickey to outdo The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword? Seriously.
As cool as all that sounds, the real thing the industry is keeping its eyes on is the coveted Game of the Year award, which will only be bestowed upon the most worthy game of this year. As of now, only five games - Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Portal 2, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - are worthwhile enough to be considered.
I'm sure you all know which game you want to see win (and you should comment about it at the bottom of this page), and I can imagine that some of you would go all "Dark Knight" on the guy next to you if they said Skyrim had a chance of beating Batman: Arkham City. But if you were to ask me personally, I would say that Skyward Sword should be the one to take the prize home. It could, too. Just consider all the websites (ours included) that gave it a perfect score!
Oh, and while we're on the subject of Zelda…
Legend of Zelda Inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame
Booyah! Hall of Fame, baby! Zelda rules!
Sorry about that little display of Zelda-pride, readers, but I just couldn't help it. After all, it's pretty big news, as the Zelda series will be the first to make its way into the awards' new, "Video Game Hall of Fame," which will recognize noteworthy franchises throughout the history of the industry. It'll be exciting to see what other franchises get their due in the years to come.
On a Zelda-related side-note, Bitmob's Paul Gale wrote on his webpage to keep an eye out for a special tribute to the series' 25th anniversary.
Game Geeks Will Salivate for 2012
Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Alan Wake
For some, the awards are all well and good. To them, it is the future of gaming that makes the event worthwhile. And when the awards aren't being given out, and popular bands aren't performing, that's when upcoming games are officially unveiled and announced. The trend continues in 2011, with a good amount of games destined for a release in 2012 or beyond slated to be showcased. For starters, the games that have received the most chatter across the internet, Metal Gear Solid: Rising and Remedy's follow-up to Alan Wake (which, they assure us, is not Alan Wake 2). While we know little more about Rising than we have for months now (not to mention that we know nothing, practically nothing about the next Alan Wake), signs are pointing to us knowing more soon, as evidenced by posts left on Twitter by the VGAs' organizer, Geoff Keighley, which state, "The truth about Metal Gear Solid: Rising will finally be revealed." Hopefully, the same love will extend to the next Alan Wake.
New BioWare Game (Command & Conquer?)
BioWare is also set to make a notable appearance at this year's show with the unveiling of its next big project. At the moment, the game remains a mystery, but if the buzz that has been generating across the web means anything, then there's a good chance that the game in question will be the new installment in the Command & Conquer series (it's possible the game might be titled Command & Conquer: Alliances, assuming what Fusible.com has said about those domain names EA registered is true).
New PlayStation 3 Exclusive (The Last of Us? God of War IV? New Bungie title? Heavenly Sword 2?)
But that's not all. Before the awards are over, a "PlayStation 3 exclusive you won't believe" will be presented to the audience. Again, details of what this game is are shrouded in secrecy. Some guesses suggest that a possible God of War IV might be announced, while more obscure rumors have said that it might be Bungie's first post-Halo title. Another possibility is a game that has been going the rounds through the rumor mills these last few days, The Last of Us, a title that, if the teaser trailers released have anything to say, will probably have something to do with a deteriorating human condition (oh, and brain fungus).
It could be that, or it could be the sequel to Heavenly Sword that some folks have been hoping for. Then again, maybe not.
New Epic Games IP
Looks like Cliff Bleszinsky has been keeping something under wraps and is looking to unveil it at the upcoming VGA awards. He calls it a "new IP" from Epic Games, and we know it's nothing related to Gears of War or Infinity Blade. So, what could it be?
So that about wraps up this little session of Speculation Central. I hope you found this feature a fun little romp through the world of gossip. If I, by any chance, forgot to mention a game you may have heard about, make note of it in the comments section below (you can easily login with Facebook). And remember, the 2011 Video Game Awards will take place this Saturday, December 10, and will air live on Spike TV and MTV2 at 5pm Pacific time. Maybe then we'll finally know the truth about MGS: Rising, Alan Wake, and all those other games. Am I right?
Oh, I forgot. One more thing…Go, Skyward Sword! Game of the Year! Hoo-ah!
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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