Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Wins Another Game Of The Year Award

[UPDATE] The awards have now ended, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild took home the overall Game of the Year award. You can see a full rundown of categories, nominees, and winners below. In addition to the game awards, Double Fine founder Tim Schafer won the Pioneer award, holding back tears during his acceptance speech. Additionally, Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail won the Ambassador Award.

The original story is below.

It’s the middle of March, but the video game industry is still celebrating the best games of last year. The 2018 Game Developers Choice Awards, which includes the IGF Awards, takes place tonight in San Francisco. The show starts at 6:30 PM PT / 9:30 PM ET, and you can watch the entire event through the Twitch embed below.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn lead the way with six nominations each, including nods for Game of the Year. The other Game of the Year nominees are PUBG, Nier: Automata, and Super Mario Odyssey. You can see a full rundown of the categories and nominees below; we’ll put the winners in bold as the show goes on.

Robin Hunicke, a game design professor at UC Santa Cruz and also the founder of developer Funomena, is hosting the awards show tonight.

In terms of the IGF Awards, these honor independent games. The nominees for the Seamus McNally Grand Prize this year are Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy, Night in the Woods, West of Loathing, Into the Breach, Heat Signature, and Baba is You.

Game Developers Choice Awards Nominees:

GAME OF THE YEAR

  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corporation)
  • Nier: Automata (PlatinumGames / Square Enix)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

Honorable Mentions: Cuphead (StudioMDHR), What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow / Annapurna Interactive), Persona 5 (P-Studio / Atlus), Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory), Gorogoa (Jason Roberts / Buried Signal / Annapurna Interactive), Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Larian Studios), Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall / Finji)

BEST AUDIO

  • Cuphead (StudioMDHR)
  • Nier: Automata (PlatinumGames / Square Enix)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo), Star Wars: Battlefront II (EA DICE / Electronic Arts), Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom), Destiny 2 (Bungie / Activision), Persona 5 (P-Studio / Atlus), Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall / Finji)

BEST DEBUT

  • Team Cherry (Hollow Knight)
  • Sidebar Games (Golf Story)
  • StudioMDHR (Cuphead)
  • Infinite Fall (Night in the Woods)
  • Jason Roberts / Buried Signal (Gorogoa)

Honorable Mentions: Game Grumps (Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator), Terrible Toybox (Thimbleweed Park), Team Salvato (Doki Doki Literature Club!), Lizardcube (Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap)

BEST DESIGN

  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corporation)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Nier: Automata (PlatinumGames / Square Enix)

Honorable Mentions: Cuphead (StudioMDHR), Gorogoa (Jason Roberts / Buried Signal / Annapurna Interactive), What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow / Annapurna Interactive), Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Larian Studios), Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy), Prey (Arkane Studios / Bethesda Softworks)

BEST MOBILE GAME

  • Reigns: Her Majesty (Nerial / Devolver Digital)
  • Hidden Folks (Adriaan de Jongh and Sylvain Tegroeg)
  • Monument Valley 2 (ustwo games)
  • Gorogoa (Jason Roberts / Buried Signal / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Bury Me, My Love (The Pixel Hunt / Figs / ARTE France / Playdius)

Honorable Mentions: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo), Fire Emblem Heroes (Intelligent Systems and Nintendo EPD / Nintendo), Old Man’s Journey (Broken Rules), Flipflop Solitaire (Zach Gage), Gnog(KO_OP / Double Fine Productions)

INNOVATION AWARD

  • Gorogoa (Jason Roberts / Buried Signal / Annapurna Interactive)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Everything (David OReilly / Double Fine Productions)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corporation)

Honorable Mentions: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory), Cuphead (StudioMDHR), Nier: Automata (PlatinumGames / Square Enix), Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo), Tacoma (Fullbright), Pyre (Supergiant Games)

BEST NARRATIVE

  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall / Finji)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames / Bethesda Softworks)

Honorable Mentions: Nier: Automata (PlatinumGames / Square Enix), Tacoma (Fullbright), Persona 5 (P-Studio / Atlus), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo), Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Larian Studios), Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

BEST TECHNOLOGY

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie / Activision)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins (Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

Honorable Mentions: Star Wars Battlefront II (EA DICE / Electronic Arts), Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames / Bethesda Softworks), Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Nier: Automata (PlatinumGames / Square Enix), Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)

BEST VISUAL ART

  • Persona 5 (P-Studio / Atlus)
  • Cuphead (StudioMDHR)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall / Finji)

Honorable Mentions: Gorogoa (Jason Roberts / Buried Signal / Annapurna Interactive), Star Wars Battlefront II (EA DICE / Electronic Arts), Assassin’s Creed Origins (Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft), Destiny 2 (Bungie / Activision), Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory), Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

BEST VR/AR GAME

  • Superhot VR (SUPERHOT Team)
  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew (Red Storm Entertainment / Ubisoft)
  • Lone Echo (Ready at Dawn / Oculus Studios)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)

Honorable Mentions: Farpoint (Impulse Gear / Sony Interactive Entertainment), Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality (Owlchemy Labs / Adult Swim Games), Luna (Funomena), Robo Recall (Epic Games), Gnog (KO_OP/ Double Fine Productions), Doom VFR (id Software / Bethesda Softworks)

2018 INDEPENDENT GAMES FESTIVAL FINALISTS

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • West of Loathing (Asymmetric Publications)
  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments)
  • Baba is You (Hempuli)

Honorable Mentions: Tacoma (Fullbright); Rain World (VIDEOCULT); Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (Game Grumps); Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry); Cuphead (StudioMDHR); Everything Is Going to Be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)

Excellence in Visual Art

  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Cuphead (StudioMDHR)
  • Echo (ULTRA ULTRA)
  • Luna (Funomena)
  • The Gardens Between (The Voxel Agents)
  • Chuchel (Amanita Design)

Honorable Mentions: Jettomero: Hero of the Universe (Ghost Time Games); Dead Cells (Motion Twin); AER – Memories of Old (Forgotten Key); Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games); Rain World (VIDEOCULT); Shape of the World (Hollow Tree Games); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry)

Excellence in Audio

  • Tormentor X Punisher (e-studio)
  • Cuphead (StudioMDHR)
  • Vignettes (Skeleton Business)
  • Rain World (VIDEOCULT)
  • Uurnog Uurnlimited (Nifflas Games)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Honorable Mentions: Tumbleseed (Benedict Fritz, Greg Wohlwend, Joel Corelitz, David Laskey and Jenna Blazevich); Hollow Knight (Team Cherry); Tacoma (Fullbright); Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games); Million Onion Hotel (Onion Games); Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)

Excellence in Design

  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Shenzhen I/O (Zachtronics)
  • Wilmot’s Warehouse (Richard Hogg, Ricky Haggett, Eli Rainsberry)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Uurnog Uurnlimited (Nifflas Games)
  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)

Honorable Mentions: Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments); Dead Cells (Motion Twin); Factorio (Wube Software); Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions); Battle Chef Brigade (Trinket Studios)

Excellence in Narrative

  • Tacoma (Fullbright)
  • Attentat 1942 (Charles University and Czech Academy of Sciences)
  • Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Butterfly Soup (Brianna Lei)
  • Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games)

Honorable Mentions: A Mortician’s Tale (Laundry Bear Games); Lost Memories Dot Net (Star Maid Games); Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (Game Grumps); Bury me, my Love (The Pixel Hunt, Figs and ARTE France); Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm); West of Loathing (Asymmetric Publications); Rakuen (Laura Shigihara)

Nuovo Award

  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (Bennett Foddy)
  • Tarotica Voo Doo (TPM.CO SOFT WORKS)
  • 10 Mississippi (Karina Popp)
  • A Mortician’s Tale (Laundry Bear Games)
  • Cosmic Top Secret (klassefilm)
  • Everything Is Going to Be OK (Nathalie Lawhead)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Kids (Playables)

Honorable Mentions: Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Dim Bulb Games); IO Interloper (DANG!); The Norwood Suite (Cosmo D Studios); Cheap Golf (Pixeljam); Witchball (S.L.Clark); Million Onion Hotel (Onion Games)

Best Student Game

  • IO Interloper (DANG!)
  • Don’t Make Love (Maggese)
  • Penny Blue Finds a Clue (DigiPen Team Cactus Curse)
  • We Were Here (Total Mayhem Games)
  • Baba Is You (Hempuli)
  • Guardian of the Gears (DigiPen Team Studio 76)

Honorable Mentions: Crewsaders (Titan Squad); A.L.F.R.E.D. (Hugo Lefevre, Joseph Reichenbach, Romain Jaohar-Gaillard, Garance Royere Lebigre, Nicolas Tham, Marion Speiser, Delphine Migeot de Baran, Song Huang); MOLOCH (Seemingly Pointless); Kyklos Code (Cube Factory); Membrane (Perfect Hat / Seth S. Scott); That Blooming Feeling (The Tots Team); Tell Me What You See (Pesky Bees)

Fortnite Battle Royale Update Adds Shotgun Tomorrow

A new update is coming to Fortnite tomorrow, March 22, potentially shaking up the competitive scene with two weapon additions. The 3.3.1 update will add the Heavy Shotgun to Battle Royale mode, and the Flame Grill Floor Trap to the Save the World mode. Exact timing for the update is said to be coming soon.

Epic has taken a quick-response approach for Fortnite updates, issuing tweaks and additions regularly. Just yesterday it announced new changes to Blitz Mode, primarily to make building resources a little less abundant. The 3.3 update itself added remote explosives and supply llamas to the mix, and that was just released last week.

The game has enjoyed an explosion in popularity, most recently bolstered by Drake playing with popular streamer Ninja. That was followed by an announcement of a celebrity event at E3, and Ninja got his own time in the spotlight with a CNBC interview on his success.

All of that helped generate buzz for Epic’s mobile Fortnite launch, which quickly rocketed to the top of the iOS App Store despite its invitation-only status. And while it does sport a few notable changes from the PC and console versions, a comparison between it and the Xbox One X version show it’s still quite a powerhouse on phones as well.

Here’s How God Of War PS4 Learned From The Last Of Us

God of War on PlayStation 4 looks to explore more emotional depth from Kratos, after years of the character being criticized as one-note. Game director Cory Barlog opened up in the video above about where he’s failed to make the character seem relatable and human, and how he’s attempting to explore more depth from Kratos.

The roots of the series are steeped in tragedy, between Kratos’ family tragedy and the quiet moment of his suicide attempt at the beginning of the series. But after that, the character became a cipher for anger and a power fantasy. Barlog admits that attempts to get back in touch with his emotional core, as in Ghost of Sparta, fell flat.

The method of humanizing Kratos comes down to contrasts. By giving him a son, Atreus, Kratos has to balance his instincts and rage against responsibility and a need to soften his rough edges for his son. Crucially, Kratos starts this attempt at self-improvement because he sees a lot of his own personality in Atreus and wants to keep him from repeating his father’s mistakes. This gives him an arc similar to that of Joel in The Last of Us–a hard, cynical man forced to soften when he’s given the responsibility of parenthood.

Barlog does make sure to note that this is still Kratos, though. He still has a monster lurking inside him, and as much as he attempts to control it, that part of himself will come out by mistake. Coping with this common parenting failure is another piece of what makes this latest iteration of Kratos that much more human. We’ll see just how successful Barlog and developer Sony Santa Monica were when the game releases on April 20.

Hearthstone Giving Free Packs For Daily Quests

Another Hearthstone expansion is on its way next month, and Blizzard has announced a pretty big promotion to lay the groundwork for it. Starting on Monday, March 26, every daily quest you complete will grant you not just your usual gold reward, but also a card pack.

According to the official blog, you’ll get a randomized reward pack from one of four expansions: Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, Kobolds & Catacombs, or the upcoming Witchwood. The first three are all from the current season, so they won’t rotate out of Standard in a few weeks like some older sets. The Witchwood packs will sit in your collection and can’t be opened until the expansion launches.

The promotion starts on March 26 at 11:59 PM PT and lasts until April 9 at 11:59 PM PT. That’s 14 free packs in all–potentially 16, if you let a couple of daily quests stack up in your quest log first. This is on top of the launch bonus, which will give players three more packs and one random Class Legendary. Meanwhile, you’ll still be getting your normal gold rewards, which can be cashed in for packs or Arena runs on their own. One minor caveat from Blizzard is that the “Play a Friend” quest will be disabled during this period, likely since it already gives the gold reward to both participating players.

Blizzard has progressively gotten more generous with its freebies, as feedback has increasingly noted the high cost of entry for new players. The pre-order for Witchwood gives 70 packs instead of the usual 50, and the studio introduced a change last year that keeps players from opening duplicate Legendary cards. Currently it’s giving away three Kobolds & Catacombs packs as part of a StarCraft anniversary promotion.

The promotion dates may hint at a Witchwood release date on or near April 10, as Blizzard has already said the set is launching in mid-April. A Hearthstone stream is also planned for Monday at 11 AM PT, which will reveal more cards from the new set. Check out our thoughts on some of the ones that have already been revealed.

Did The X-Files Go Out on Top or as a Flop?

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

So was that it for The X-Files? With Gillian Anderson saying she’s done with the series after this season, and the fact that this finale seemed to sew a nice button on most everything, signs point to this being, possibly, Mulder and Scully’s last stand.

The Chris Carter-driven, mythology-centric “My Struggle IV” was an improvement over the season premiere, “My Struggle III” (and also Season 10’s My Struggle Part Deux), as there was no weird David Duchovny audiobook narration and even less “It was all a dream/vision”-type shenanigans, but it still struggled to fit in, tonally and pacing-wise, with most everything else this season.

Continue reading…

Battle Royale’s Players Helped Epic Find Fortnite’s Voice

Before Fortnite Battle Royale became the 40-million-plus players, live-streamed-by-Drake phenomenon it is today, Epic Games treated the competitive mode and its original with a more serious-minded tone.

But a certain player benchmark, and a realization of the excitement players had while playing Fortnite, caused a huge tonal shift in how Epic marketed its Battle Royale mode, and the game as a whole.

Speaking at GDC in a panel titled “Fortnite: An Unconventional Launch,” Ed Zobrist, head of publishing at Epic Games for Fortnite, Spyjinx, and Fortnite: Battle Royale touched on the surprising aspects of both the original and Battle Royale launches of Fortnite.

Continue reading…

New Deadpool 2 Trailer Coming Thursday

A new trailer for this year’s R-rated superhero movie Deadpool 2 is coming tomorrow, March 22, Fox has reportedly announced. We do not know exactly when it’ll hit, but ScreenRant reminds us that the first teaser and the first full trailer arrived at 6 AM PT / 9 AM ET. It’s possible Fox will stick with that schedule, though with Deadpool, nothing is certain.

There is no word yet about what the trailer will contain, but you can expect some humor, hijinks, action, and fourth wall-breaking moments. We’ll post the trailer on GameSpot as soon as it arrives.

Deadpool 2 stars Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, plus Morena Baccarin, TJ Miller, and Brianna Hildebrand. David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde) is directing, replacing Tim Miller, who reportedly clashed with Reynolds over the direction of the movie.

The marketing campaign for the movie has been as unconventional as you’d expect. The most recent promo focused on Cable, but while it started like a generic superhero trailer, it then went in a very different direction. There’s also been this Flashdance-inspired poster, heartwarming magazine covers, and bizarre painting class videos.

Earlier this month, a report claimed Deadpool 2 underwent reshoots–a normal, expected part of the filmmaking process–to add more scenes with Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazi Beetz). Deadpool 2 hits theaters on May 18.