This year’s edition of The Game Awards ran really long — combined with the half-hour pre-show, the whole thing lasted more than three hours. But between rambling developer interviews and some unforgettable teasers, the live show ended up being a riveting watch.
Missed it? Want to relive it? Here are the moments we’ll still be thinking about this time next year, when we’re gearing up for The Game Awards 2018. You can also check out the full list of winners and all the world premiere trailers.
A developer goes totally off the rails
This is the definition of “memorable moment.” Josef Fares, the director of Electronic Arts’ co-op action game A Way Out, went on an uncensored tirade about awards shows after host Geoff Keighley brought him out to talk a bit more about his project. His ranting about how the much higher profile Academy Awards are garbage eventually evolved into a misguided attempt at defending his publisher’s tough couple of weeks.
When that defense includes the admission that EA “fucked up,” though, you have to wonder if Fares leaned a little too hard into the act. And I’ll be honest here: I am fully convinced that permitting a purportedly controversial figure to address a live audience was a very, very calculated move on EA’s part. Whether his statements were as off-the-cuff as they seem isn’t the question here — let’s just not lose sight of the fact that we might not be talking or thinking about A Way Out as much as we are without Fares’ “fuck you” speech.
Also, please watch this very good joke in the tweet below, courtesy of our video producer Patrick Gill.
Link! Rides! A! Motorcycle!
I don’t have enough exclamation points to convey the excitement here. The new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s downloadable content, “The Champions’ Ballad?” Gorgeous. The reveal that it would be available the same night as that trailer dropped? Perfect.
And that stinger where Link is riding a motorcycle that looks a lot like the horse we saw him on earlier in the footage? I always thought my favorite Hylian was a baller, but that took him to another level.
But not before Aonuma wields the Master Sword
Eiji Aonuma is extremely game, as are many of Nintendo’s best known visionaries. The director of Breath of the Wild appeared on the stage just before the trailer for The Champions Ballad rolled, giving us his version of some classic Link action. Aonuma swung that sword like he owned the place. In that moment, he did.
FromSoftware causes us immeasurable pain
Yeah, maybe that teaser is for Bloodborne 2. (“Shadows die twice,” after all.) But maybe it’s not! Who knows! The issue is that we have absolutely zero clue as to what the video FromSoftware brought to The Game Awards’ pre-show means. For fans of the Souls games, it was as life-affirming as it was soul-crushing.
Death Stranding makes our heads hurt
I love that Geoff Keighley makes sure to give his bestie Hideo Kojima the floor on an annual basis, because he knows what Kojima is a genius at: capturing everyone’s attention with something so absurd, it leaves us speechless.
We had a hunch that a new Death Stranding trailer would be this year’s Kojima surprise, particularly since co-stars Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus were announced as presenters ahead of time. That trailer was as unpredictable as any we’ve seen yet for this extremely inscrutable game.
2017’s look at Death Stranding was long, full of babies and totally nonsensical. But you better believe I’m still thinking about it. Who isn’t?
The year’s best music gets the floor
The Game Awards devoted time to some musical performances, and that’s normally a pain point when the ceremony is already going to run later than expected. But it’s nice to be reminded of just how crucial the soundtrack is to many of our favorite games, so the opening orchestral medley was a nice treat.
The best musical moment, though? A full performance of “Jump Up, Super Star,” the amazing theme song to Super Mario Odyssey.
Reggie Fils-Aime pulls a “one more thing”
This is a card that Nintendo likes to pull as much as possible, because it always elicits some kind of strong response. This time around, after announcing that Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 would be heading to Nintendo Switch next February, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime appeared next to Geoff Keighley.
“But there’s just one more thing,” he said, after their brief interview. This year’s “thing” was the reveal of Bayonetta 3, which is in development as a Switch exclusive. Maybe it’s not the Super Smash Bros. or Metroid Prime 4 news we might have wanted, but a strong Nintendo reveal is always a welcome event.
The Game Awards 2017: a decent time overall
I’m not in the business of grading awards shows — that’s not really my style, nor is it Polygon’s. But I can say that watching The Game Awards 2017 wasn’t a painful experience. Actually? It was a lot of fun, thanks to these moments in particular. (And if you’re more in it for the actual awards than the fun stuff, we’ve got the full list for you. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won Game of the Year, if you’re wondering.)