The 2022 Game Awards, held in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday (08.12.2022), honored the year's best video games on the market.
Taking home game of the year and best direction was "Elden Ring" (top photo).
The dark fantasy action role-playing game (RPG), developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, takes place in fictional worlds called the Lands Between where the player is one of the Tarnished, a lowly figure in a world of demigods and monsters who must gain strength and collect fragments of a ring known as the Great Runes to become Elden Lord.
It's available on PlayStation 5 (PS5), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.
The game also gained notoriety due to the involvement of George R. R. Martin, writer of the book series "A Song of Ice and Fire," which "Game of Thrones" was based on.
'God of War Ragnarök' is another big winner
Although it didn't get the top prize, "God of War Ragnarök" took home the most awards, 6 in total.
The action-adventure game, developed by Santa Monica Studios and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, is set in ancient Scandinavia and loosely based on Norse mythology. The main characters, Kratos, and his teenage son Atreus must engage in combat, solve puzzles and role play during an end-of-the-world scenario based on Norse mythology called Ragnarök. It's the follow-up to the popular game "God of War," released in 2018.
Other winners included "As Dusk Falls" (Interior Night/Xbox Game Studios) in the games for impact category and "Final Fantasy 14" for best ongoing game.
"Stray," developed by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna Interactive, won the best indie and best debut indie awards. The adventure game follows a stray cat trying to free itself from a dystopian city populated by robots, machines and mutant bacteria.
The annual gaming event also includes a number of trailers to excite gamers about what's to come.
This year's biggest announcements were "Death Stranding 2" and "Hades II." A sequel to the Greekmythology-themed superhit "Hades," "Hades II" follows the main character Melinoë as she sets out to kill wicked Chronos, who is intent on waging war on Olympus.
Actor Al Pacino made an unexpected appearance at the awards ceremony, presenting the prize for best performance to "God of War Ragnarök" voice actor Christopher Judge. The 82-year-old actor told the crowd that he himself was surprised to be there, adding: "In truth, I don't play a whole lotta video games," but has spent a lot of time watching his kids play them.
The Game Awards were established in 2014 by media entrepreneur Geoff Keighley, who remains the program's host and producer.
'Game of Thrones' creator leaves his mark on 'Elden Ring'
George R. R. Martin worked on the plot and backstory of "Elden Ring" closely with Japanese video game director Hidetaka Miyazaki. Despite a 30-year age difference and a language barrier, the pair reportedly became good friends during their collaboration.
Martin and Miyazaki are said to be wildly different in the way they write plots, with Martin preferring each plot to be meticulously detailed, while Miyazaki preferring to leave more to players' imaginations. Yet, in an article in The New Yorker, Miyazaki said he had to place specific limitations on Martin, who wrote the game's backstory, not the actual script.
Martin therefore devised the game's setting and mythology, which revolves around the destruction of the Eden Ring and its shards, which were dispersed around the Lands Between. He also wrote the story around the mysterious disappearance of Queen Marika who ruled over the lands.
Miyazaki rose to fame for creating 2011 "Dark Souls" game and its sequels, which has been named greatest game of all time at the Golden Joystick Awards in November, beating out classics like "Super Mario 64."
Edited by: Elizabeth Grenier