Autumn is a weird season, isn’t it? It’s a devious little bastard that, thanks to global warming, presents itself as such a polar opposite to summer that it frequently gets away with crimes that are almost automatically attributed to winter. Firstly, as soon as the clocks go back – you know, they FALL back – and it gets dark early, people start chiming in about how, “Winter is definitely here,” despite the fact it’s still only October at the time. The weather this year (yes, I’m British so I’m talking about weather) has turned especially cold especially quickly, and yet again people start blaming winter. Lastly, and the basis for this entire digression from video games, people are getting sick and blaming poor, old winter.
This week, I have been a veritable zombie – downed by the scientifically real man flu – and thus I’ve not really had much time to react to gaming news by myself. I’ve picked up on things I find interesting and included them here, and you’re going to get pretty much my hot take (and not just because I have a fever) on it all. Worse still than the sickness, I finally bought a 4K TV in a Black Friday sale, but its feet are too wide for my current setup, meaning I can’t test it out before I move to my new house at the end of the month. Seriously, autumn is an underrated prick.
E3 2019 Will Be Sony-Free
Earlier on in the year, when Sony announced there would be no PSX event, we all assumed that they were biding their time to build up some more significant announcements for next year’s E3 event. How wrong we were, as it turns out the company can’t be bothered with that either.
Sony’s official statement (from BBC) reads:
“We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019.”
It’s obvious that Sony aren’t going to have no announcements whatsoever next year, so there are several schools of thought coming out of this news. Firstly, that Sony will hold its own event, or multiple events, next year and may even hold an event down the road during E3 week itself. The second prediction is that PlayStation 5 will, indeed, arrive in 2020 and Sony will blow the world’s socks off in 19 months rather than 7.
Honestly, I can’t conceivably have a problem with this. Some people are saying it’ll be a blow to the E3 event itself, and my question is: who cares? Through pretty much every logical viewpoint, E3 is total shit. Journalists seemingly hate going to it because there’s tons of queueing, they have to go to LA, and it’s hot and sweaty and long. I’ve been to games events before and they are not a fun time. You spend hours and hours queueing for a 15-minute go on a game you’ll not be playing again for ages; all the while your backlog of full games you actually own sits waiting for you in your comfortable house away from smelly, sweaty people.
Even if you don’t go to E3, you likely still don’t enjoy it either. What benefit to video game fans does the event even serve any more? You watch the press conferences and they’re unquestionably horrible, and there is no scenario that doesn’t end in someone being disappointed.
May I present the evidence to the court:
- If developers talk too much, it’s boring.
- If a company instead just shows a bunch of videos then it’s not a proper conference and people complain that it could have happened anywhere other than E3.
- If a company puts on an actual show for the crowd it’s usually misguided, cheesy and boring for those at home who just want to see games.
- If games aren’t announced that people want, then hate spills forth and surrounds the event in negativity.
- Even if companies say or show things that are impressive, there’s nothing tangible for you to experience now, and when the games come out they are oppressively scrutinized if they aren’t exactly like the trailer we saw at E3.
Sony aren’t stupid, and there’s no question they can probably feel the growing discontent for the whole thing. Their E3 presentation last year was confusing, barebones and more than a little bit mental. The only thing E3 really has going for it any more is that it still captures the attention of gamers for a week, and there’s a guaranteed audience. Even then, that audience will likely have seen several leaks weeks before, and will spend the days afterwards compiling ‘OMG Top 10 E3 Cringe Moments LMFAO’ videos anyway.
E3 is a bastion of the grandiose self-importance that games companies place on themselves because they know that their target market are an obsessive and loyal bunch. It’s boring, it’s always disappointing and it’s almost totally pointless. Here’s hoping Sony will find something better next year and save us all from E3 apathy.
Microsoft Ain’t Got No Disc
Strong rumors surfaced this week via tech website Thurrott that Microsoft is looking to finally go ahead with a disc-free Xbox One. Cast your minds way back to the pre-release talk around the Xbox One and a digital-only Xbox is very much old news to Microsoft, and through sheer bloody-mindedness, they’re going to make it happen.
According to the site, Microsoft will even be offering a “discs to digital” scheme, where existing Xbox One users can “take [their] disc to a participating retailer (like the Microsoft store) and trade in [their] disc for a digital download.” To be fair, that actually sounds pretty awesome, provided it’s free – and that feels like a rather significant caveat we’re yet to glean.
Thurrott went on to explain that “The goal with the new console is to lower the price point for the hardware… the new console price point is expected to be $200 or less.” I actually deleted a rant I was about to run headlong into about the fact that digital games are still inexplicably overpriced compared to physical ones, and therefore the overall price point would not be lowered, but then I remembered that Xbox Game Pass is a thing.
While Sony are scrambling to keep up – and are therefore still charging £60 for a game I can physically own, play and then sell on for £40 up front – Microsoft’s service potentially sets this new console up as being a cheap streaming machine that basically offers all new exclusive releases for a much lower fee. So, a revised, rant-free attitude from me, and here’s hoping this whole rumor is true.
‘Cause I’ve Got a Golden Joystick
The annual Golden Joystick Awards happened this week, and with them came some recognition for 2018’s gaming elite, some new trailers (more on that later), and yet more praise for bloody Fortnite. Probably the biggest news coming out of the event was the Lifetime Achievement Award for the legend that is FromSoftware’s Hidetaka Miyazaki – an even more impressive feat considering the dude is only in his early 40s.
God of War (remember that?) was the biggest winner this year, as it picked up four awards – Best Storytelling, Best Visual Design, Best Audio and PlayStation Game of the Year – and a fifth for developer SIE Santa Monica, who won Best Studio.
Forza Horizon 4 won the Xbox Game of the Year, Dead Cells won Indie Game of the Year and, perhaps only because Smash Ultimate isn’t out yet, the still-lovely Octopath Traveller won Nintendo Game of the Year. The other awards of note were the Most Wanted, which went to CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 and a Critics’ Choice win for Red Dead Redemption 2.
If You Need Me, I’ll be in My Trailer
I promised, and now I deliver. The Golden Joystick Awards showcased a couple of new trailers for upcoming games, and I present them thusly to you. First up is a new release trailer from Devolver Digital for the absolutely stunning platformer Gris, coming to Nintendo Switch and PC next month. It has a massive Journey vibe to it for me, which is one of my all-time favorite games, so you can color me very excited.
According to Devolver’s site, “Gris is a hopeful young girl lost in her own world, dealing with a painful experience in her life. Her journey through sorrow is manifested in her dress, which grants new abilities to better navigate her faded reality.” Sounds pretentious as hell, right? But then, anything that can truly be considered art pretty much has to be. Hopefully there’s enough clever puzzles and platforming challenge to make the game more than style over substance.
The second trailer shown at the GJAs was for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. You might remember in the Gamescom episode of Goombastomp’s Not Red E Podcast (returning this week, we promise), we weren’t that bowled over by the gameplay of Namco’s latest, and this trailer only features a smattering of in-game footage, but it certainly does its best to make everything look exhilarating.
Project Judge Will be The Greatest Game Ever
Son of a gun, this game looks magnificent and I bloody well want it now. Damn you, Father Time, just hurry up already! DualShockers unveiled a sizeable dump of new screenshots they were sent by SEGA this week, and they show off an array of glory that soothed my aching joints and cleared my bunged-up sinuses. I will never make any apologies for being a big Yakuza series fan, and as an adaptation of the formula, Project Judge looks phenomenal.
A lot of the screenshots shown on the site are of people’s faces looking intense, but pictures of the mini and arcade games are what really get my juices flowing. There’s “Kamuro of the Dead,” which is basically House of the Dead, Puyo Puyo and even a playable version of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown that can all be played when you’re wasting time in the game world.
There’s pinball, there’s batting practice, there’s Mahjong, there’s Blackjack and Poker. Additionally, we’ve got drone racing and some batshit giant cuboid cat…thing. It all looks as ridiculous as I’d want, and that’s disregarding what we’ve already seen of the game’s combat and how it will feature a lot of new detective mechanics into the inevitably brilliant writing and story pacing that Ry? ga Gotoku Studio is known for. Most shocking of all is that a demo is coming to the Japanese PSN store this month, with the game coming out in December. We’ve got to wait until 2019 for a western release, so maybe I’ll ramp up the frequency of my Japanese lessons if the wait gets too much.
Right, my palms have sweated long enough. I’m going for a nap. See you in seven when I’m hopefully feeling better. Please pity me.
Five Best and Five Worst Moments of The Game Awards 2019
The Game Awards 2019 revealed a fair amount of new and exciting projects as well as offering up awards to some of the best achievements in all aspects of gaming this year. There were certainly some disappointments in the show as well as some great moments. There are plenty of points to delve into so I’m going to be counting down the five best and the five worst moments from the Game Awards 2019.
Let’s start with a few honourable mentions first.
Best: The Game Awards Orchestra
This incredibly talented orchestra knock it out of the park every year with their performances and 2019 was no different. Their medley of the best game nominees was fantastic, with each entry seamlessly blending together to create one awesomely diverse piece. They also performed some music from the upcoming Ghost of Tsushima which was just sublime. I wish they had been able to perform a medley of the best soundtrack nominations too.
Worst: My own personal disappointment!
Okay so this isn’t really a valid point which is why I’m just mentioning it in case anyone else feels the same. I felt a little disappointed by the show due to certain games that I really wanted a trailer or some new info for. Dragon Age 4 was the main one for me but I was also a little surprised that we didn’t get a fighter announcement for Super Smash or any news on Breath of the Wild 2.
Now onto the actual list!
5.Worst: General cringe and awkwardness
It happens during any live ceremonies but it still makes them hard for me to watch. Here it was mostly Vin Diesel and awkward interviews but thankfully there was nothing too terrible this year.
5. Best: Xbox Series X Reveal
In the first console announcement at the awards show, the next Xbox was finally unveiled. After being teased under the codename “Project Scarlett”, it was revealed that the successor to the Xbox One will be known as the “Xbox Series X”. It’s pretty simple in design, looking like a black rectangular box. It can be used on its side or vertically, one of multiple cool features surrounding the console. It will also have backwards compatibility, being able to support Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox games. The Xbox Series X will be released during the holiday season 2020, putting it in direct competition with the PlayStation 5.
4. Worst: Games for Impact and Muppets
The Muppet skit from the ceremony was one of the best parts of the show (more on that later) but the category that they choose to associate it with made absolutely no sense to me. The Muppets appeared before the Game for Impact category. This category is meant to celebrate games that provoke thought, highlight important social issues or provide the player with a message. So why would you choose the Muppets to introduce it? Their opening was hilarious but I felt that the combination of this with the Games for Impact category was very odd. Games for Impact is probably the only category that doesn’t work with a skit, so this choice just made no sense whatsoever.
4. Best: Reggie’s Speech
Nintendo legend and ex Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime attended the Game Awards this year- as he has done every year since its conception- and presented the award for Fresh Indie Game. He gave a speech highlighting the importance of indie games and their creators, noting that every game that was nominated was created by someone who started off in the indie scene. It is easy to forget that everyone has to start somewhere but Reggie’s speech reiterated the importance of supporting those who represent the future of the gaming industry. He also paid tribute to Satoru Iwata, ex CEO of Nintendo who passed away at age 55. Iwata was an incredible influence on some of the most popular games today such as Pokémon and Super Smash Brothers. He also had a direct contribution to franchises like Earthbound and Kirby. It is brilliant to see that Reggie wants people to remember Iwata’s legacy. He truly is one of the good guys in gaming even when he isn’t in gaming anymore. Reggie’s charisma and natural likeability made this speech good but his earnest commitment to supporting upcoming game developers and his heart felt tribute to Satoru Iwata made it great.
3. Worst: Awkward Samsung and Stadia Ads
It is understandable that the Game Awards would need advertisements. I have nothing against that. Ads are a necessity for promotional and financial purposes. But the adverts that we got during the Game Awards were repetitive, irritating and damn right cringey. Adverts for Google Stadia were repeated often. In the wake of the criticisms surrounding the platform, it came off as more than a little desperate. Samsung also kept popping up. By the end of the night, I was ready to burn any and all Samsung products I could come across. Like I said, there is nothing wrong with advertising in general as it is a necessity for businesses and companies. However, what I do have a problem with is the way that they chose to advertise these products. Annoying and awkward, the Samsung and Stadia plugs were a bit of a fail.
3. Best: Surprise Sequels
There were a few surprises at the awards show but some of the sequels that were showcased were some of the better game announcements. A sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice– Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga– was shown to be coming to the Xbox Series X in a creepy and atmospheric trailer featuring a lot of eerie chanting. The No More Heroes series of games was also shown to be getting a sequel, No More Heroes III as well as a new Bravely Default game, Bravely Default 2 (though it will technically be the third game in the series). The stand out sequel to me was the announcement-or re announcement-of The Wolf Among Us 2. After Telltale’s collapse in late 2018, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Wolf Among Us game was left in the dark. Now we have confirmation that the sequel is indeed still alive and it has been confirmed that some Telltale veterans are returning to work on it. It is not particularly clear what the situation is with Telltale Games as a studio, but clearly there is some life coming back to the company in some way. The Wolf Among Us 2 was definitely the announcement of the night for me.
2. Worst: Fast and Furious Game Closes the Night
One of the weirdest moments of the night for me was the ending. Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez took to the stage to show off a new Fast and Furious game that is coming next year called Fast and Furious Crossroads. The game looked like a PlayStation 2 title in terms of graphics, quality and gameplay. Compare it to the Hellblade 2 trailer which was done entirely in the game engine (I had to look that up to make sure as I was initially certain that it was real), Fast and Furious Crossroads looks laughably bad. There is a certain standard to video games now as the bar is constantly being raised so I’m shocked that this sort of game would even get a proper look in at the awards ceremony, let alone be the game to finish on. There was also a weird Hollywood vibe to it. It felt like the whole thing was more of a Fast and Furious 9 promo (Vin Diesel even threw in a not so subtle reference to a Fast 9 trailer). The whole Fast and Furious element of the show felt weirdly jarring and a tad contrived.
2. Best: Untitled Beaker Game
I already briefly mentioned the Muppet skit in the show and whilst I think having it before Game for Impact award undercuts the theme of the category, it was still the funniest part of the awards. I’ve been a big fan of the Muppets for as long as I can remember so this bit was always going to go down well with me but adding the Goose from Untitled Goose Game was a stroke of genius. Dr Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker demonstrate a new VR experience: Untitled Beaker game. We are then shown Beaker in the Untitled Goose Game world, waddling around and being shooed away until he is confronted by the honking menace himself. The Goose then comes into our world in Muppet form, honking incessantly before stealing the results card. I must admit, I laughed out loud a few times in this skit. I would seriously watch a whole show dedicated to Beaker and the Goose. Unfortunately, Untitled Beaker Game isn’t a real thing. If it had been, this moment would have taken the number one spot.
1. Worst: Glossing Over Most Awards
Whilst watching The Game Awards, it became clear that not all of the awards were being treated as important. In the pre-show alone, several award categories were skimmed over as the presenter rattled off the names of the nominees and the winners before moving on. Some of the awards that didn’t even make it to the full show were Best Fighting Game and Best Score/Soundtrack (there wasn’t even a mention of the composers or artists). Other awards were briefly mentioned in the show- such as Best RPG, Best Performance or Best Action/Adventure Game- but only the winners were mentioned so the other nominees didn’t even get a nod. There weren’t even any examples shown like game clips or the acting performances that were nominated. It felt like certain aspects of games were favoured over others and it was such an insult to those who have worked so hard on some of these titles. It felt very disrespectful to gloss over so many amazing games and it was the worst part of the ceremony.
1. Best: Acknowledgement of original games and single player titles.
What I was impressed with during The Game Awards was that there was a lot of new content on display. Whilst I did mention the exciting sequels earlier, a good deal of the announcements where surrounding original games. The PlayStation 5 confirmed a title in a new Gearbox game called Godfall. A rather vague teaser for a game called Prologue was seen. Not much is known but it is being developed by the team behind Player Unknown Battlegrounds. Sucker Punch Productions released a new trailer for Ghost of Tsushima, a single player PlayStation 4 exclusive. These were just a few of the original game announcements and it is great to see originality being encouraged. The Game of the Year Award winner also demonstrated this. Despite being up against really strong competition such as the Resident Evil 2 remake and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, the winner was Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Again, this is a great achievement for original IP’s in gaming but also for single player games. This encouraging support of original games and single player narratives was one of the best parts of The Game Awards 2019.
Game Awards 2019: The Ten Best Moments
The fifth installment of the Geoff Keighley’s annual awards show has come and gone and as usual, we got to see new game reveals, new trailers, special guest appearances, musical performances, and more celebrities pretending they play video games. And in between all that, some awards were given out. Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodrigues made a surprise appearance, Reggie Fils-Amie kept up his perfect attendance record and the Game Awards Orchestra led by Lorne Balfe took to the stage to perform some of the biggest songs from some of the best video game soundtracks. All in all, the awards show was quite good— well as good as any awards show could be.
Let’s be honest, awards shows are usually too long, and most awards shows don’t do a good job of balancing entertainment with giving out awards. I mean what good is an award show if no one is receiving any awards but nobody wants to watch four straight hours of people giving speeches. This year, however, the Game Awards featured great performance including the opening by Chvrches and another by Green Day, who surprisingly still sound great when performing live. And unlike most awards shows, Keighley’s annual event didn’t try to stuff the evening full of lame jokes. More importantly, unlike other awards shows, the Game Awards also moved at a brisk pace— starting at 9:00 PM EST (not counting the 30-minute pre-show) and ending by 11:45. That’s less than three hours which is way shorter than say, the Academy Awards, Grammys, Emmys or Golden Globes which all average about four and a half hours in running-time. That’s not to say that the Game Awards is must-see TV but give credit where credit is due— Geoff Keighley did a standup job coordinating the event— and while it didn’t feature as many big surprises as we hoped, it still offered plenty to look forward to.
Here are the best moments of the 2019 Game Awards.
While Playstation didn’t have a big presence this year, Counterplay Games and Gearbox Publishing did unveil Godfall, the first official game announced for the Playstation 5. Pitched as a fantasy action RPG, “Godfall utilizes high-impact third-person melee combat to engage players as they hunt for loot, don legendary armor sets, and defeat vicious enemies. As players face challenging missions in the world of Godfall, enemies and bosses will reward fans with head-turning loot as they are vanquished”. While it isn’t as exciting as Sony debuting a trailer for a sequel to an already established IP like The Last of Us or Bloodborne, it’s at least a step closer to us learning more about Sony’s next console. I’ll take it!
9) No More Heroes 3
While No More Heroes 3 was first announced during E3’s Nintendo Direct in June, there wasn’t much to see other than a very short tease. Thankfully the Game Awards gave us a colorful new trailer featuring anime-style cutscenes and a mysterious new character — “a goddamn superhero”. After a ten-year hiatus, the action game is back featuring the all-American No. 1 ranked assassin, Travis Touchdown only this time, the otaku assassin must face off against some super hardcore enemies from space with his beloved Beam Katana in hand. Additionally, the trailer unveiled that the new project from Grasshopper Manufacture is launching for Nintendo Switch in 2020.
8) Ghost of Tsushima
We knew that PlayStation was going to debut a new Ghost of Tsushima trailer at The Game Awards since they teased its appearance during its State of Play presentation on Dec. 10— yet I didn’t anticipate just how gorgeous the game would look. And not only did developer Sucker Punch showcase both gameplay and cinematic footage, but the trailer was also followed by a live orchestra playing music from the game. It’s a big departure for Sucker Punch, a studio best-known for the Sly Cooper series and Infamous games but Ghost of Tsushima is easily one of our most anticipated games of 2020 and this trailer made us even more excited to get our hands on the game!
7) Fast & Furious Crossroads
The biggest surprise of the night was how excited I was when I saw the reveal of Fast & Furious Crossroads. Pitched as an immersive new team-based, vehicular-heist action game, the new project from Bandai Namco features voiceover performances from Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson—and, it promises an authentic storyline, packed with heroes, gadgets, cars and non-stop cinematic-style action. If that’s not enough, Fast & Furious Crossroads will deliver pulse-pounding gameplay both in single-player story mode and a soon-to-be-revealed multiplayer mode. According to the press release, players will travel from the streets of exotic locales to the murky world of international espionage, pulling off high-speed heists and stunts as they battle to take down a new threat. There’s going to be Easter eggs throughout for fans of the franchise to enjoy and joining the cast are Sonequa Martin-Green (Star Trek: Discovery, The Walking Dead) and Asia Kate Dillon (John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum). Sign me up!
6) FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE
SQUARE ENIX gave gamers across the globe a holiday surprise when the company showcased the latest trailer for the highly-anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake. The action-packed video explores the backstory of the game’s hero, Cloud, and his connection to the underground resistance group, Avalanche, and their struggle to save the planet from the shadowy Shinra Electric Company. It’s not the first trailer for Final Fantasy VII but damn is it great!
5) Xbox Series X
With the Game Awards, Microsoft unveiled the name of their next-gen console courtesy of a clever trailer featuring footage of some of their biggest games mixed with the sounds of “The Dream of Life” by Alan Watts.
Initially revealed at the E3 2019 press conference as Project Scarlett, the trailer for the Xbox Series X is perhaps the second-best trailer of the night and it reminded me a lot of Frank Budgen’s insanely brilliant Playstation commercials. While the trailer didn’t give us any concrete details to focus on, it did include its release window and it gave us a good look at what Microsoft’s fourth-generation console looks like. And while looks aren’t everything, I must admit the Series X is a gorgeous looking machine! I can’t wait to learn more.
4) Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
While we didn’t get a whole lot of details about Series X, the reveal did transition into the World Premiere of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, the follow-up to Ninja Theory’s critically acclaimed Senua’s Sacrifice. The team at Ninja Theory is doing some amazing things and this in-engine trailer was by far the best trailer of the night. Seriously, just watch the trailer— and tell me if it doesn’t seem like the game was directed by cinema auteur Robert Eggers. I love the pulse-pounding soundtrack featuring heavy percussions and devilish chants, not to mention the gorgeous art direction. It’s safe to say that Hellblade 2 just shot up to the top of my list of most anticipated games of 2020.
Released in 2017, the original Hellblade was created by a team of just 20 developers led by writer and director Tameem Antoniades. Inspired by Norse mythology and Celtic culture, the game follows Senua, a Pict warrior who must make her way to Helheim by defeating otherworldly entities and facing their challenges, in order to rescue the soul of her dead lover from the goddess Hela. The game blends several genres, including hack and slash, puzzle-solving, and psychological horror and was praised for how it portrayed mental health struggles in a sensitive and effective manner. While Hellblade wasn’t a hit when first released, it has since gained a huge cult following worldwide.
3) Untitled Beaker Game
Several Hollywood stars attended the Video Game Awards tonight but the biggest highlight came during a Muppets-themed segment when the renowned Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker took to the stage to present the Games for Impact award to the makers of Gris. Before they announced the winner, however, Beaker was given a stylish VR set so he could play Untitled Beaker Game, a game featuring both Beaker and the now-iconic goose from the smash-hit Untitled Goose Game. Of course, this isn’t a real game, but the segment was hilarious, and it did give us a good idea of what the indie darling from House House Studios would look like if it featured Muppets.
2) The Game Awards Orchestra
As they do every year, the Game Awards Orchestra led by Lorne Balfe put together another incredible performance as they composed some of the most iconic music from video game soundtracks released over the past year. While watching their performance I couldn’t help but wonder why Geoff Keighley felt the need to invite Green Day when all that fans really want to hear is the music from their favourite video games and not tracks from a rock band that doesn’t even work in the gaming industry. Hopefully, next year, we will get more of the Game Awards Orchestra.
1) Reggie Fils-Aimé
Former president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé (who really needs no introduction), marched on-stage at the Game Awards and resurrected one of his most famous ‘characters’ for a brief moment before delivering the most passionate speech of the entire night. Despite no longer working in the video game industry, Fils-Aime who is an industry favorite did not want to break his streak of presenting an award every year and this year, he pretty much stole the show as he reminded the world why indie game developers are so important to the industry— and why the award for best indie game is by far the most important award of the night. Explaining why, Reggie spoke about the importance of indie development, comparing Shigeru Miyamoto and the late Satoru Iwata to the pioneering indie game developers of today. It’s moments like these that fans across the globe want more of— passionate people who work in the business delivering heartwarming speeches about why video games are so important.
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Trailer: A Shot-by-Shot Analysis
It seems like superheroes are out in full force at the moment, as just a week after the Black Widow trailer was released, we have a new trailer for the upcoming Wonder Woman sequel, titledWonder Woman 1984. Let’s break this one down to see what we can uncover…
Warning:I’m going to be going through some theories that could be quite spoilerish if they turn out to be accurate, so keep that in mind before reading.
The Wonder Woman 1984 trailer starts off as we hear Diana (Gal Gadot) saying that her life hasn’t been what is probably expected since we’ve seen her last. We see that a picture of her taken at a place named “Trevor Ranch” — could this be where the family of her love interest, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), resided, or was it named after him following his heroic sacrifice from the first film? We also see that she still has Steve’s watch, which is clearly an important token for her to remember him by. A remix of “Blue Monday” by New Order is used throughout the trailer. Good luck getting it out of your head.
Diana is next shown talking to a character called Barbara Ann Minerva (Kristen Wiig). Minerva is important, as she is far more than just a random friend. In the comics, she is one of the women who takes the mantle of Cheetah, a super villainess and one of Wonder Woman’s arch rivals. Barbara Minerva is an archaeologist who in the comics ends up undergoing a dangerous ritual in a bid to win immortality. This leads her to becoming imbued with the powers of a cheetah, and she becomes a surprisingly worthy foe for Diana.
Just a quick shot out to these awesome 80s style logos. Very cool and reminiscent of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.
Next, we hear the voice of another important figure: Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). Lord is a business man, and he seems to be taking on the role of villain here, which he has done in the comics before. Projecting a sleazy, self-help business man image, Maxwell states, “Welcome to the future. Life is good, but it can be better, and why shouldn’t it be? All you need is to want it.” We see him pop up on multiple television screens as he gives this spiel before offering an obligatory cheesy grin.
When he was first introduced in the comics he was a normal human, but later Maxwell has telepathic powers that allow him to influence the minds of those around him. It would seem apt to have someone with those abilities act as a television salesman, so it is possible that this could come into fruition in the film. It could also be an explanation for another big plot point, but more on that later.
As Maxwell gives this speech, we see Diana in a shopping mall that seems to be under attack by thugs. We see her awesomely crush the bad guys guns before whipping off her tiara and throwing it batarang style at the mall security cameras.
I think her reason for doing this might be to keep her identity secret. In the present day, she is still (somehow) operating undercover (as shown in Batman vs Superman), so it would make sense for her to try and erase any captured footage of her — which would be much easier in the 1980s.
Everything You’ve Always Wanted
Maxwell continues to narrate, “Think about having everything you’ve always wanted” as we see Diana looking up at a plane in the sky. Following the events of Wonder Woman, wherein Steve sacrificed himself and ended up dying in a fiery plane explosion, she is likely thinking of him here. Lord’s narration also suggests this, as Trevor was clearly the love of her life.
We also see Barbara Minerva here, leaving us to wonder what it is that she has always wanted. In the comics, she is a selfish character with high ambitions, which is what leads her to obtain the Cheetah powers.
Trevor’s words from the first film echo, “I can save today. But you can save the world.” We then see him personally giving his watch to Diana (as he did before his sacrifice) before he seems to appear for real and they embrace.
It seems pretty much impossible for Steve to be alive — never mind being alive and looking the same way he did during the war — but it is possible that if Lord does indeed have strong mental powers, he could be making Diana imagine him to distract or torment her. That is just a theory of course for now; it is a comic book movie, so time travel and alternate dimensions are always possible.
Big Dish You Got There
A small shot of a very large satellite dish is shown briefly. Whilst it is impossible to tell what it could be related to, I wonder as to whether it could be Lord’s way of broadcasting out his powers to control people on a much larger scale.
Maxwell Lord holds rather intense eye contact with a mystical looking stone in the next scene. It may be that Lord doesn’t have powers at first and then gains them via this artefact? If Barbara Minerva is an archaeologist in the movie — like in the comics — it could be that she obtained this for him and they are working together. Lord also narrates “Now, I take what I want in return” as he holds it. Big bad guy vibes coming from him.
Some cool fight shots of Diana in her Wonder Woman attire come next. The standout is a particularly awesome slow motion moment where she deflects a bullet with her gauntlets. She looks to be inside the White House fighting off guards here, and it is interesting to note how vibrant the colours in her costume look. The saturation looks as though it has been turned up to eleven to emphasise the colourful nature of the 80s.
The next shot shows Barbara looking a lot more glamourous, and it is possible that her transformation into Cheetah has begun. Patty Jenkins suggests that Cheetah’s look will be part practical makeup and part CGI, but we don’t get a look at it in this particular trailer.
Steve and Diana take a ride in a plane in the next shot as fireworks explode above them. This could be a look from inside the invisible jet, which is rumoured to make an appearance.
Wonder Woman and Steve look to be involved in some kind of foreign conflict, as we them looking over an unknown city as a large wall explodes. Is this an important mission for the story?
Diana seems to be even more proficient with her lasso, as she pulls off a few new tricks with it in the trailer, including this spinning whip move on a guard from that White House scene. We also see Steve punch a guy…so is he real after all???
A moment after that, we see Diana running down the street before lassoing something in the air and being propelled forward. This may well be another nod to the invisible jet, or it could just be something that has yet to be added to the scene.
Amazon Ninja Warrior
A few Themiscyra shots are shown next, as we see some horses and riders gallop down a beach. We then get this weird obstacle course thing, and see some of the Amazonians flying through it with ease. Give those ladies a medal.
Lord is then shown in a chamber with an eerie blue glow next; again, this could be something to do with his powers. Perhaps he is amplifying them or gaining them in this moment.
Kick Em Where it Hurts
More fight scenes in the White House next, as Diana manages to look fabulous whilst kicking a guard in the stomach. She then does some flippy stuff while using her lasso. She is so awesome.
Do a Superhero Landing
The next shot looks like it is back in foreign territory. As a cargo truck flips, Diana leaps from it. A CGI-heavy moment, but it still looks like this will be an exciting action sequence in the film. We also see Steve punching people again, leading to even more questions. Diana has some interesting narration here: “Nothing good is born from lies, and greatness is not what you think.”
In the coolest shot in the whole trailer, Diana uses her lasso to swing on the lightning in the sky. Her goddess nature is really emphasised here, and I cannot wait to see this on the big screen. Take that, Thor.
One of the final shots is of Diana in her full golden eagle armour from the comics. She is likely to need to something more significant if she is going up against Cheetah. Cheetah is a vicious and violent character whose scratches and bites are as powerful as an actual cheetah and then some, so it would make sense for Diana to go full body suit.
The last shot shows a bit of role reversal from the first film, with Diana having to show Steve around and get him accustomed to a new world. Again, this adds further questions to his existence. Diana shows him around, explaining that everything can be art. He then seems transfixed by a trash can, but it is just a trash can. The memes have already started with this moment, but I just wanted to take a second to appreciate Steve’s fanny pack (or bum bag as we Brits call it). Diana’s outfit is also a nice shout-out to Lynda Carter’s from the old Wonder Woman television show.
Wonder Woman 1984
Wonder Woman 1984 is looking like a decent sequel so far. The theme of surveillance is sure to be utilised, as suggested by Diana destroying the surveillance cameras and the possibility of Maxwell Lord’s powers taking advantage of surveillance tools to reach a larger audience (not to mention the not so subtle nod to George Orwell’s 1984 novel). This could be an interesting theme for this day and age, where technology and surveillance are more prevalent than ever. There are big questions to be answered in Wonder Woman 1984, and I’m looking forward to finding out the answers to them.
Wonder Woman 1984 will be released on June 5th, 2020. Check out the new character posters below.
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