Live: VGX 2013 Finished
Well, we now know we're not getting Fallout 4, but there's plenty more to get excited about at this year's Spike TV awards show - now snappily rebranded VGX.
So far we've been told to expect news on Titanfall, The Witcher 3, Quantum Break, The Division and Broken Age, along with an appearance from Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime, and a live performance of music from Grand Theft Auto 5. (Presumably not just Rihanna and Britney on repeat, which was my soundtrack to Rockstar's open-world opus.)
Tom Bramwell will be your host on this end as we all watch along to the live stream below, so get some coffee ready and prepare yourself for three hours (yes) of announcements, awards and hopefully not many skits. It all starts at 11pm GMT, which is 3pm PT or 6pm ET if you drive your Dodge Chevy GT Viper on the wrong side of the road.
Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...
Evening all! VGX kicks off in five hours' time, so our proper updates will start shortly before then. Let's have your predictions/hopes/dreams/ideas for drinking games in the meantime.
Oops! Leaked details of some of this evening's announcements have made it out after the stream reportedly started broadcasting rehearsals. I say reportedly because I was busy having my tea at the time. Anyway, if you want to preserve the mystery, don't read this thread on NeoGAF.
Right then, time to settle down and prepare ourselves for three hours (over three hours if you count the "pre-play show", which begins in 10 minutes) of awards, announcements and trailers.
According to the VGX website, the pre-play show will include an exclusive look at Eidos Montreal's Thief, which I went to see earlier this year. At the time the team were very open about its troubled development. Then their studio head quit. Yikes. Will be nice to get an update.
After the pre-play, "hour one" includes a few unveilings, a Tomb Raider update, a bit of Reggie, a bit of Quantum Break, and even a couple of awards.
Hour two will be South Park, Destiny, Broken Age and a bunch of other stuff. Hour three brings us Dying Light, more Thief, some more announcements and that GTA5 music performance.
The live stream is currently showing the VGX logo in the middle of a Sauron-like eye that keeps looking around the screen. I'm going to try staring it down.
OK LET'S DO THIS.
This is the pre-play show bit. They're at the Eidos Montreal office talking to Stephane Roy about developing the game. I interviewed him there - I can confirm he is a nice man and very passionate.
So far they're going over the stuff we already know about Thief. The way they keep Garrett's hands in shot to add to the sense of tactility, the play on light and shadow, etc.
They're talking about how shadows work in Thief. "If you're in the shadow, the player should feel powerful." They're demoing the light gem - the icon on-screen that shows you how covered you are.
Stephane Roy's talking up the different play styles. Lure people into the shadows and club them with your blackjack, take them out with arrows from afar, or just ghost your way through the whole game.
There was a bit about the Focus ability there too, which heightens the player's senses. (And in the game etc.)
Steven Gallagher from Eidos Montreal is now talking about the story in Thief. He looks extremely bored though and I found this so distracting I didn't really take in what he said.
I remember there's a baron though and oppression and that sort of thing. You're thrown into this setting, steal stuff and get up to high jinks.
Back with Stephane Roy, talking about a mission where you have to steal a blueprint from an architect's mission, which will give you access to another part of the city.
Ah yes, I remember - the three phases of Thief. Infiltration, theft and escape. They were very big on this when I was over there. The video showed how you could escape by firing a rope arrow up through a skylight.
The game will also be heavily customisable in terms of its difficulty settings, so if you want to be severely punished for the slightest indiscretion, Eidos Montreal has you covered, you miserable sod.
Ooh, here's a bit about the in-game shop. You can buy stuff in it with the gold you pick up while stealing things am I really typing this out I'll stop.
Stephane's been talking about the City hub, where Garrett can explore and retreat to his safehouse. Now Steven Gallagher's talking about some of the people you meet in the game, including the mysterious Queen of Beggars and the Thieftaker General. Sounds like you'll pick up the scent of people and loot by listening out for info in the pub and so on.
Stephane has some exclusive info on the companion app for Thief. The app will show your personal stats and info you've collected in-game once you're playing it, providing news, trailers and so on in the months beforehand. The game's out Feb 25th North America, Feb 28th worldwide.
There's also going to be some pre-order bonus content, including a mission called the Bank Heist.
Right, pre-play over. Here's the VGX show itself.
"Binge till you bleed" apparently.
Here's Joel McHale (Jeff Winger from Community, so I'll give him an easy ride) and Geoff Keighley (hmm, no idea) to introduce it all.
Great banter already. Joel just pointed out Geoff is wearing loads of clothes. Joel will not stop looking directly into the camera.
Joel appears to have been given the lion's share of the script. Geoff is nodding along.
"If you don't see a game at VGX, it's because, like the female orgasm, it doesn't exist." Actually, I might not give Joel an easy ride after all...
Right, first world premiere.
And Gearbox Software, apparently.
This is giving me a Borderlands 2 kinda vibe.
Tales from the Borderlands: A Telltale Games episodic series. Coming 2014.
That was that then.
Oh man, here's Joel and Geoff interviewing Randy Pitchford from Gearbox and Kevin Bruner from Telltale. Joel has already insulted the set and done a set-up that demonstrates there's no live audience.
Apparently Pitchford and Bruner met at the VGAs last year. Pitchford says that Pandora is a rich place and when Telltale said they wanted to do something with it, Gearbox was only too happy to let them have "the keys to the kingdom".
There will be lots of familiar characters from the Borderlands world, says Bruner.
Keighley asks if you'll be able to shoot people and Bruner says yes, but not in the same way as Borderlands. "Will it be available on Atari?" asks Joel McHale, who looks positively angry at this point.
Pitchford says that the story in Borderlands is pretty much bobbins (I'm paraphrasing) but Telltale has storytelling pedigree that suggests they will fill it out nicely.
Joel McHale does another joke. Pitchford responds politely. Keighley asks how the collaboration works. Pitchford says they give Telltale stuff, Telltale does stuff, then they meet up and go over it.
Pitchford is getting pissed off with Joel McHale. "You have no idea what we're talking about."
FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT
Another monologue from McHale. Blah blah adult diaper cheetos etc. (Not Doritos?) Here's a Smosh skit.
OK, that's over now.
Right, here's a trailer for something to do with Tomb Raider.
Shots of Lara walking around jungles and caves, being shot at, ziplining, etc.
"REBUILT. REMADE. REBORN. FOR THE NEXT GENERATION."
"LARA CROFT WILL STUN YOU."
Right, so this is something called Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.
So they're bringing it out on next-gen. Scot Amos and Camilla Luddington, who plays Lara Croft, are on the couch with Joel and Geoff to talk about it. Apparently the big thing next-gen brings us is upgraded hair.
And yes, Joel McHale did say "Laura Croft", which is a shame. Don't worry, though, you'll soon be able to replace that memory with another one of his adult diaper jokes.
OK, it's coming in January on next-gen, I think Keighley just said.
Amos says it'll be 1080p and "everything will look better".
Now we're getting questions from Twitter. Will the next-gen version have a 3D option like the PC version? No, says Amos, not for the, er, Definitive Edition.
Sorry for the delay in messages - I couldn't find the right words to capture the awkwardness of Joel McHale talking to Camilla Luddington.
Now they're showing a little video where Lara thanks everyone for nominating her for Character of the Year.
But... for some reason we're doing Best Action-Adventure Game first. Nominees are Grand Theft Auto 5...
As well as Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag and The Last of Us.
And the winner is Assassin's Creed 4.
Geoff Keighley sends us over to Edward Kenway and his crew for the acceptance.
They've made a jokey little cut-scene where they all talk about the fact they've won the award. I will take that over any more Joel McHale.
Right, here's Reggie Fils-Aime!
They're going to do a little demo of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze by Retro Studio.
But first they're going to stand awkwardly in this weird loft space doing banter.
Ah here we go. Donkey and Cranky Kong are on screen bouncing around. It's a beautiful-looking game if you ask me. Some nice parallax scrolling, iOS 7 fans.
Cranky can use his cane like a pogo stick to bounce around spike traps, whereas other characters would take damage. At the moment Cranky and Donkey are ascending platforms. Apparently this is co-op.
I'd be nervous too if I was standing that close to Joel McHale's sense of humour.
OK, so for co-op Cranky can leap on Donkey back. You unlock that ability when you fill up a special meter.
DKC: Tropical Freeze is out in the US on Feb 21st, says Reggie. "We've got this coming, we've got Kart coming, we've got Smash coming - it's going to be a really good year for us."
Reggie dodges a question about Metroid.
Here's another level. Lots of creepers and vines. "It's meant to feel as though the environment is alive and it's trying to get you," says the developer demoing the game. We get to see Cranky kill an angry plant with his cane - some enemies will only fall to him.
There are different planes at work, I think - the barrels fire the characters into and out of the screen a little, which is a nice little effect.
Joel McHale asks Reggie what he thinks of PS4 and Xbox One. He says they had a fantastic launch and new systems are good for the industry.
"For us, what we look to do is bring great new games, innovative gameplay... As long as we do that, we're going to drive our hardware business."
Reggie says Super Mario 3D World is selling well in the US and talks up the press coverage of Wii U that says it's the best next-gen system to buy this Christmas.
Now we're seeing a bunch of Reggie meme images. What does Reggie think of these? "It's fantastic." Fantastic.
Joel McHale seems to have wandered off.
Ah, he's back at the sofa reading out tweets.
I'm warming to Joel McHale. The gif joke wasn't that bad.
Oh, another award. Best Sports Game.
Nominees: the sports games.
SO'S YOUR MUM
Winner: NBA 2K14.
Apparently Matt Stone and Trey Parker will be here soon to present Game of the Year. In the meantime, here's a look at Quantum Break gameplay on Xbox One.
Sam Lame from Remedy's talking us through it. We're seeing some of the bits we saw at the Xbox One reveal, like the tanker crashing into the bridge.
Apparently a science experiment at a university goes wrong and manifests as time anomalies where time freezes and skips backwards and forwards. "The end of time is coming."
The main characters gain the ability to manipulate time after being exposed to this botched experiment.
Looks like a cover shooter with weird time effects creating unpredictable and dynamic elements in the environment.
It'll be the "ultimate Remedy experience", combining the best of Max Payne and Alan Wake, says Lake.
Geoff and Joel are back on the sofa with a couple of guys from Remedy.
How is this going to feel next-gen? Oskari Hakkinen mentions the stutters - "where time stutters and fails and violently skips backwards and forwards".
They can rewind and fast-forward every object in the environment, which Hakkinen reckons is pretty damn next-gen thank you very much.
Does the game link to Alan Wake at all? Hakkinen suggests there will be little nods, as there were from Alan Wake back to Max Payne.
"We have a launch date in mind but we're not communicating it right now."
Twitter question - will the game be more Heavy Rain style than standard gameplay? Hakkinen says it will be much more of an action game. They want to push in-game storytelling, but they want to do it in an action game with big effects and spectacle.
Another from Twitter - how does the TV show tie in? It does it at "junction moments" where you can play as the main bad guy, says Hakkinen. The bad guy can see glimpses of the future - different time lines - and you choose the way forward.
Apparently Remedy is working on another project as well.
It's a smaller one, says Johannes Paloheimo, the other Remedy guy on the couch. It's a tablet game called Agents of Storm (I think). He's zooming around an island of some sort.
Your mission is to build your base, build up a fleet and then go to war.
There's a sort of overworld map where you can choose destinations (by the look of it) and now we're seeing Johannes dragging and dropping his fleet into attack patterns, coming up against fortified islands.
Here's another nomination for Character of the Year, which you can vote for on the VGX website. It's the Lutece Twins!
A shoo-in, surely.
Are there seriously no ad breaks in this three-hour advert? I really need the loo.
53 minutes gone and we're into hour two, apparently! I like the sound of that. I can be asleep by 2.40 at this rate.
1.40! I can't even count!
Right, here's South Park: The Stick of Truth.
I've been looking forward to this game. Obsidian making an ARPG that looks and feels and sounds exactly like an episode of South Park could be fun.
And, er, the video shows Cartman tutoring the player in how to use a fart attack by wiggling the analogue sticks.
Also got a quick montage of snaps from the game. Now we're on to Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
"Welcome to the future of award shows," says Stone or Parker (I don't know which is which), gesturing to the empty loft. "Movies are done. Video games are the future."
They're introducing the nominees for Game of the Year. They are Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite, Super Mario 3D World, The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto 5.
I've played all of those and the correct answer is "Super Mario 3D World".
The winner is Grand Theft Auto 5.
Here are some people from Rockstar, who have just said thank you while looking a bit awkward. The crew all clap.
As someone in the comments said, this really needed at least some semblance of a studio audience.
Naiee and Nyaa from Brothers are the next nominees for Character of the Year.
Aha, here's a Mega64 skit. I'm going to the loo.
Did I miss anything?
Here comes some never-before-seen footage of Destiny.
Robots! Dropships! Hover things! Walls! Doors! Guns!
I still don't really understand what Destiny is. This trailer is pretty but it isn't helping.
Does look very nice though. Lots of cool RPG and shooter elements, good music. Fancy.
Now we're getting a five-minute film about the Donkey Kong rivalry between Hank Chien and Vincent Lemay.
Hank Chien is a plastic surgeon. He's the Donkey Kong world champion.
Vincent Lemay is a bodybuilder and third-best in the world at Donkey Kong.
They are at a Donkey Kong competition. They both want to win. They want to beat each other.
Hank won. Vincent came 10th.
Back in the loft.
Tim Schafer's joined Geoff and Joel to talk Broken Age.
We're getting a demo. Man, they really have made a classic adventure game! Picking phrases from lists, walking between clickable objects... It's all there.
The art style reminds me of Terry Gilliam stuff.
We saw a bit of Jack Black's character there. And now here's a trailer introducing one of the game's other actors... Elijah Wood!
Apparently Wood met Tim on Twitter after he saw that they were making a classic adventure game. Which is cool! That's how I met Katy Perry.
Wood plays Shay, who lives on a spaceship lifeboat.
Apparently Shay is being shielded from what's going on outside the ship by the safety-conscious computer. Shay plans to mutiny.
Now we're back with Schafer, McHale and Keighley.
Twitter questions! What are your words of encouragement for a fledgling indie developer? Schafer says that you should just put your work out there and see if people like it.
Next: what was the inspiration for Broken Age? Schafer says he had two story ideas floating around his head and realised they would gel together.
Seeing some gameplay now. Shay is on his spaceship, being woken up, washed and dressed, as we've just seen in the trailer, and wants to break free.
Schafer says you can switch between the two different characters any time. There are parallels between them both - both young kids wanting to take control of their lives, although in very different settings.
Right, another award.
Sorry, I meant award skit.
Did they just call the dog in Call of Duty Colin?
If so: my heroes.
Back with Geoff and Joel. We're halfway through, says Joel, so does that mean Geoff's going to take off a layer? Geoff looks kind of frustrated.
Here's a trailer for The Division.
Apparently the engine's called Snowdrop. "Never before has a video game reached this level of detail."
We get a decaying New York with a day/night cycle, volumetric lighting, dynamic global illumination etc etc.
You can shoot holes in billboards and light shafts go through the holes. Shooting up a car blows little holes in the windscreen and chassis that look very realistic.
Which will be handy when you're running past them being killed by a 13-year-old American kid with a lower ping.
The tech does look very nice though.
Right, onto the next thing. Nominees for Best Independent Game.
Nominees: Kentucky Route Zero; Gone Home; Papers, Please (forcing me to use semi-colons thanks to its f***ing comma); Stanley Parable.
Winner: Gone Home.
"We now take you to the only place in the world where indie games could possibly be produced: Portland, Oregon."
Eurogamer's US news editor Jeffrey Matulef lives in Portland, Oregon. Let's see if they find him.
Apparently not. But they did find the Fullbright Company, who say thanks for playing Gone Home.
Because VGX is trending worldwide - or "solar system wide" as Joel McHale puts it - we get another game announcement.
If this is Half-Life 3 then I'll forgive everything up to now.
Ah, sounds like Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series.
Cool! And here's Dan Connors and Kevin Bruner from Telltale.
It's based on the TV show rather than the books, although there's a tight relationship between author George R.R. Martin and the show, so it's all good I guess.
Sounds like they haven't worked everything out yet, but they plan to be respectful etc etc.
I would love it if someone came at it from another angle for once. "We're going to change all the characters' names, give them magic powers, all sorts of s***. You won't believe how much we're going to ruin this."
That's a tough one.
Wow, Joel McHale seems practically interested in this one.
Let's have another Character of the Year nominee, then. It's Trevor Phillips from GTA5.
Next up: Hello Games!
"A tiny, London-based studio," says Keighley, who we can forgive for not realising Guildford isn't really in London.
I've heard good things about this demo, by the way.
What follows is in-game and procedurally generated, we're told.
Starting at the bottom of the ocean,w atching fish swim through flapping reeds. The Erudo Ocean apparently.
Up onto land, where weird red grass lines the beach and space ships zoom overhead. It's all first-person.
Now we're in a ship, taking off and flying over an island into the sky. Flashes of stuff in space.
Flying up into space, out through the atmosphere...
Back on the ground, a huge crashed space ship. Back in space, blasting holes in an asteroid. On land, giant worms moving through a desert.
Lovely music too. It's called No Man's Sky.
And here's Sean Murray from Hello Games, who once brought a PC to Brighton on the train to show me Joe Danger.
It's a science-fiction game, but not post-apocalypse - it's the kind of books he grew up reading.
He thinks of the covers of those books with their desolate landscapes and spaceship crashes.
"It's a huge game. I can't really do that justice. We wanted to make a game about exploration and we wanted to make something that was real."
You can stand on a planet, see a mountain three miles away, go there and explore it.
Everything in the trailer was a real place you can go to. There's some sort of online element too.
Apparently when you see stars in the sky, you can go to those stars and visit the planets that circle them.
There's combat on land and in space.
The planets have an ecology and an ecosystem "and you're not necessarily top of that chain".
"You're all playing in the same universe and there's persistence."
As good as this sounds, Joel McHale is capturing my concern about it... which is how the hell are four guys in Guildford going to build this?
Well, we'll see! That was hugely impressive though. Judging by the comments, Hello Games is winning VGX.
Now we're outside at the Rockstar stage. God I wish we weren't.
Right, back with Geoff Keighley. Geoff emailed me the link to this stream embed, you know. That was a weird email to get. I was all like, "IT'S A TRAP!"
Right what the hell is happening now.
This is a trailer for Teen Wolf on MTV. This is not relevant to my interests.
Still to come: Titanfall, some other stuff.
Community, which is where I know him from, is *so good*. It's the best thing I've seen on TV for years. Do not be put off by the fact Joel McHale is being weird tonight.
Here's a demo of Dying Light from Techland.
We're seeing this on PS4 in 1080p.
Looks like a more detailed version of Dead Island. Jumping around sun-bleached streets hacking up zombies.
You can cut off zombie limbs and they'll still come for you.
Dead Island Riptide had a good chest kick. Dying Light has a nice jumping kick move.
Looks like you can parkour off a zombie's head to reach greater heights.
So when you break a zombie's bones with a blow from your weapon, the game shows you an x-ray view of the bone breaking.
That is certainly an advance in the field of violence against zombies.
"At night time it gets even more visceral, right?" "Yes."
Well, the world looks nice, lovely draw distance and tech.
Next up: YouTube's PewDiePie playing Dying Light.
And for some reason Windows just disabled Aero on my PC. Perhaps Aero could not take it any more.
I believe he is the most popular game broadcaster in the history of YouTube.
Joel McHale takes time off from bullying Geoff Keighley about his clothing to introduce a story trailer for Thief.
As we saw in the "pre-play" - how long ago that now seems - Thief's story is about Garrett cutting a path between the oppressors and the oppressed in The City.
Back to Geoff Keighley at the couch.
He didn't really say anything. Nor did Joel McHale on the balcony. But now we're outside with the GTA5 stage.
I can't even be bothered.
Back to Joel - something I never imagined craving.
Best Shooter award.
Nominees: the shooters.
Oh alright then: Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, Metro: Last Light, Colin of Duty: Ghosts.
Sorry, I meant Colin of Duty.
Winner: BioShock Infinite.
For the acceptance video, they have invited everyone at Irrational into a room one by one and pretended they have to do the speech, then filmed their shocked reaction. It's quite sweet!
Geoff Keighley's right arm is twitching. Maybe he's cold? Someone tell Joel.
The Lutece twins have won the Character of the Year award, apparently.
Time for a Witcher 3 trailer.
Geralt on a horse yo.
Looks very swish. Nice shots of Geralt hacking people up. Lovely aerial shots of sprawling towns. Oh it's over.
Final award of the year is Studio of the Year.
The correct answer is Mossmouth, because Spelunky PC, but I'll forgive the following incorrectness.
Nominees include Rockstar North (nope, me either)...
The Fullbright Company.
Irrational Games, which I guessed a split second beforehand but you'll never believe me.
And the winner is bound to be Rockstar North.
Oh wow, it's Naughty Dog.
And their acceptance video is a lovely shot of the whole studio cheering and clapping. Well played.
Here we go, then. It's time for Titanfall. Vince Zampella and Abbey Heppe from Respawn are here to show it off.
Vince's shirt is amazing. Joel has just noticed this as well. It has glossy wings.
We're going to see footage of a new titan, which is a robot in old money.
It's called the Ogre. It has big weapons and a face a bit like a frog.
Vince, Abbey and the guys are back on the couch talking about Titanfall. Here we learn that the Ogre has a finishing move where he pulls off someone's arm.
Your choice of mech will come down to your choice of play style, says Vince. Just to be clear: your choices will be based on your preferences.
Titanfall is due out in mid March, of course. Just over a month before my wedding anniversary, to be more specific.
Vince - why am I calling him Vince? Zampo says that the game is now "content locked", so the team is "working real hard to bring it home".
Sorry, it's Abbie Heppe, not Abbey.
And it's Zampo, not Vince Zampella.
Twitter questions! Will we see any Kinect integration? "We will not."
"Didn't fit the game."
Well done to everyone who has lasted this long. I've got a surprise for you, actually.
Forget VGX for a minute.
I've still got a few Hearthstone keys, which you can redeem on Battle.net. You just need to log in and then go to the redeem key page. So here you go:
Let me know if you get in.
Back in VGX land, it's the music of Grand Theft Auto 5.
Check your DMs.
There was a vague promise of more Titanfall after this I think, but to me it seems like the GTA5 soundtrack is playing us out.
So with that in mind, thanks to everyone who stuck with this whole thing.
Not yet, but I will continue to ask Blizzard periodically.
I don't know about you guys, but for me No Man's Sky was the highlight. Wildly ambitious to the point that even Joel McHale noticed it sounded impossible.
The rest was a predictable conveyor belt of semi-interesting. You never know with this stuff - the over-produced trailers can go both ways - but the context didn't help: VGX was much too try-hard and lacking in self-awareness, stumbling into embarrassed awkwardness whenever anything (usually Joel McHale) threatened to pierce the veneer.
On the plus side, I'm actually kind of enjoying this weirdo GTA concert.
Fingerprints / Insolentius - check DMs.
I would be wining if I said I hadn't had a couple of glasses of lie.
Cool, nice one.
The concert thing is over.
Looks like we're closing in on the end of VGX. Geoff Keighley says the show was designed as a celebration of the games industry, but he will be listening to feedback so they can tweak the show for next year.
Joel McHale says he thinks Titanfall looks most impressive on the basis Vince Zampella is standing nearby wearing a shirt that it looks like he "stole from the Kardashians" and might hit him if he doesn't submit to its quality.
Here's a bit more Titanfall so nobody has to hit Joel.
I neglected to mention this about the last trailer because I didn't care, but they're going with this "Hammond Robotics" promotional video theme where the titans are made by this company and it's in the game and I guess that means it's the opposite of meta.
"As you can see, the Strider outperforms all other titans in speed, acceleration and agility."
I miss MechAssault.
There was no reason for it not to have a space between Mech and Assault, but it did.
MORE GTA5 CONCERT
Right, I'm getting a beer out of the fridge. BRB.
Oh Christmas Troy, oh Christmas Troy...
I can confirm that there will be some No Man's Sky stuff on Eurogamer soon.
IT'S ACTUALLY OVER THEY ARE PLAYING THE CREDITS
And we're done. Thanks to everyone who stuck with us for the whole of VGX. I am going to bed now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and, if you're new to video games or the internet, don't judge us too harshly on the basis of the last three hours.