The year isn’t over yet, but The Game Awards showed us last night that there are some awesome games coming in 2024.
It was a successful event with a big presence from the game industry’s who’s who at the Peacock Theater at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles. It was cool to see the performance of Poets of the Fall singing a musical routine of Old Gods of Asgard with the actors from the game and creative director Sam Lake dancing away amid pyrotechnics. Geoff Keighley’s awards show lived up to the reputation of being the biggest celebration of gaming, or the Oscars of gaming.
Wizard of the Coast and Larian’s Baldur’s Gate 3 took home Game of the Year, edging out Super Mario Bros Wonder, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Alan Wake 2 (my personal favorite) and Resident Evil 4. It was an excellent year for top-rated games that sadly all could have sold better than they actually did, given the world’s economic funk.
The biggest surprise and most ambitious game of the night was Hello Games’ Light No Fire, a fantasy multiplayer game set on a virtual world the size of the Earth. Built with just a dozen people, Light No Fire has been in the works for five years. They showed how you could move through that world as if it were expansively built out, and how you could regenerate it whenever you logged into it.
CEO Sean Murray said on stage the team uses the same kind of procedural generation technology that it used in its previous game, No Man’s Sky. While players viewed No Man’s Sky’s galaxy of planets as overhyped at first, the company pour so much energy into the updates that it earned a lot of player respect.
It did so at the same time that it was creating the new Light No Fire tech, which has tons of biomes just like our planet. Murray said the project was code-named Everest, as they wanted to show what it be like to have a huge mountain in a virtual world. They wound up building something so much bigger. This kind of technology has a ton of promise, and it surprises me that such a small company came up with it. What I liked about Hello Games’ effort was what it said about using technical ingenuity to solve huge challenges. Indeed, this kind of technical feat is what will keep games from melting the polar ice caps (I hope). This is the most ambitious virtual world I’ve seen since Brendan Greene talked about Artemis and Jensen Huang of Nvidia talked about making Earth’s digital twin.
LightSpeed LA, a division of Tencent’s LightSpeed Studios, showed up with a cinematic for an ambitious game called Last Sentinel. It depicted the city of Tokyo 70 years after a catastrophic flooding event that left the city in need of a seawall to keep the floodwaters out. There is a new Blade Runner-like city above the water line and the Tokyo as we know it today below the water line. It was well done, but there was no indication how long it will be before the game is done. The team has been working on it four years already.
The Finals from Nexon showed that it was ready for prime time as it finally launched after six years of development. Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon, said at our GamesBeat at The Game Awards event that the Embark Studios team made the game with less than 100 people — an accomplishment for a title that had triple-A quality. The title is a free-to-play, team-based shooter set in a combat arena game show.
Mahoney said at our GamesBeat at The Game Awards event that this kind of development project can disrupt the teams with thousands of developers as that just isn’t sustainable.
Hideo Kojima came out on stage (arriving through a door way that rose from the floor amid a bunch of stage fog. He gave a bro hug to Geoff Keighley and showed off OD, a title with realistic human avatars and horror film director Jordan Peele as a collaborator. He also said he had a team of other collaborators he referred to as The Avengers. But he didn’t really describe what he was doing for the Xbox game. I had a good laugh at how wonderfully vague Kojima was, and how that doesn’t surprise me at all.
One of the promising trailers was the one for Jurassic Park: Survival, which is a first-person survival horror game set in the dinosaur world of Jurassic Park. More specifically, it’s set on Isla Nublar, the island off the coast of Costa Rica that has been overrun by dinosaurs. It focuses on Maya Joshi, a doctor who has to survive as she can and hide from the dinosaurs like velociraptors. It feels a lot like the terrifying Alien Isolation game, where your goal is to mostly hide and use your wits to deal with alien xenomorphs. Maya will have to deal with adaptive dinosaur behavior.
The game doesn’t have a release date, but it’s set to launch on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Saber Interactive is the developer. Survival horror is becoming a bit of a crowded market, but this franchise deserves a high-quality game and we’ll see if this is the one.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was my favorite game of 2017 as it depicted the Celtic woman warrior Senua’s quest for sanity in a nightmare world. It did such a good job of depicting her struggle with inner demons locked in a battle over her mind and showed a realistic portrayal of the mental health challenge of dealing with psychosis.
Now Microsoft, which bought developer Ninja Studio, showed a trailer that promises Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga for 2024. The combat looks bloody and fierce in the trailer, and it looks like Senua has gone off the deep end as a warrior. The realism looks amazing as the game is pushing extremely realistic human faces.
The Casting of Frank Stone didn’t show much, but it is an interesting collaboration of horror game developers Behaviour Interactive, maker of Dead by Daylight, and Supermassive Games, creator of titles like Until Dawn. It’s set to launch in 2024 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store.
The Casting of Frank Stone is a narrative horror game set in the same universe as Dead by Daylight. It follows kids who are stuck in the orbit of serial killer Frank Stone. The game will feature decisions and player-influenced outcomes.
Don’t Nod (which is spelling it’s name in a grammatically correct way now) revealed its first trailer for Lost Records: Bloom & Rage. It is the first game from Don’t Nod’s Montreal studio and it is expected to launch in late 2024 on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
It’s a story-driven adventure game about a four high school-aged friends who go they separate ways after a mysterious incident in the woods in 1997. Twenty-seven years later, they reunite as adults, and the players follow the story from both sides of the timeline.
Arkane Lyon showed off an intriguing short trailer about Marvel’s Blade. The speaker who introduced the game happened to be Dinga Bakaba, who won our “Up and Comer” award at one of our GamesBeat events for the work on Deathloop. We’re glad to see he is living up to the expectations. Blade is a half-human, half-vampire hybrid. This will be a single-player game from Arkane Lyon, part of Bethesda, which is part of Microsoft.
Exoborne was another new intellectual property coming from Level Infinite and Sharkmob. It’s a multiplayer extraction shooter which has a decent cinematic trailer. Of course, there are tons of extraction shooters. This game is in development for PC and consoles, and doesn’t currently have a release window.
Exoborne is set in the southeastern U.S. after the world has had a cataclysm. Players will have Exo-Rig power armor, and they can craft and customize on the field. In this trailer, the heroes are fighting the forces of nature as well as each other.
To wind up the show, Capcom announced Monster Hunter Wilds, a new title in the franchise that will ship in 2025 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC via Steam. This is the first new entry in Capcom’s action-RPG series since 2021’s Monster Hunter Rise, which first released in 2021 for the Switch.
As for other cool titles for 2024, Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth won the most anticipated game, beating out Hades II, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Star Wars Outlaws and Tekken 8.
With all of these cool titles coming, we can probably stop worrying about whether gaming is going to stay on its growth path. Let’s hope that most of these games ship in 2024, and they all sell well and drive the games industry to new heights before Grand Theft Auto VI comes along in 2025 and sucks all the oxygen out of the room.
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