The Preemptive 2009 Game Awards

Carmack and friend’s id Tech 5 engine looks killer, which isn’t surprising – id has always been a game tech trendsetter. Rage, the engine’s first real application, looks killer too – we just hope it’s more than a tech demo (companies with snazzy new software do have a tendency to be so excited about flashing about their polygons that they forget to make great games). Initial reports, however, suggest that it’s going to be worth our time.

As for the engine, id sounds pretty confident:

“The new id rendering technology practically eliminates the texture memory constraints typically placed on artists and designers and allows for the unique customization of the entire game world at the pixel level, delivering virtually unlimited visual fidelity. Combined with a powerful new suite of tools designed specifically to facilitate and accelerate the content creation process, id Tech 5 will power games that contain vast outdoor landscapes that are completely unique to the horizon, yet have indoor environments with unprecedented artistic detail.”

Sorry, we should’ve mentioned that the preceding quote was written in “Pressreleasish.” If we stick it into Babelfish and translate it to Dutch, and then to English (the only known way to decode Pressreleasish into meaningful language), we get the gist: “identity card technology 5 games contains enormous air landscapes.”

Sounds good.

Other potential winners:
Heavy Rain
– It’s beautiful, seriously... though some of the characters we’ve seen in the tech demos look a bit…off, somehow.
MadWorld – Not on a technological level, obviously, but its unique style is enticing.
Killzone 2 – Probably the best looking PS3 game to date.
Alan Wake – It could surprise us. The renders we’ve seen of the environments are stunning.

Guesstimated Award Probability: 98%

This is less of an award than it is an inevitability. A good, new Sims game can accrue money faster than the government can print it out and give it to rich executives. The original is only outsold by Wii Sports (which doesn’t really count, since it was bundled), the combined sales of Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Pokemon Platinum could be a threat, but since there’s no major Mario game coming this year and anything on the Wii, including Wii Sports Resort, doesn’t count (we’re talking about games here, not toys), The Sims 3 has good odds.

Other potential winners:
Pokemon Platinum
– Because it’s Pokemon.

Guesstimated Award Probability: 67%

When this chuck of plastic was introduced at E3, the room collectively thought, “Hey look, it’s what the Wii was supposed to do already!” Unfortunately, half of the room then went on to think, “…And now I can get it as an add-on?! I knew the Nintendo would come through!” How sad for them.

The rest of the room (those not infected by Hepatitis Wii), correctly thought, “And now they want us to pay more for it? That’s stupid, and if it’s so great where’s our 1-to-1 action lightsaber dueling game? WiiSports Resort? Stupid. Wait, holy shit, what’s this? Wii Music? Interesting…. Interesting… oh dear god WHAT?”

So yeah, we cringe whenever anyone mentions Wii MotionPlus, which can cause headaches if it’s mentioned too many times in a short period. That why we not going proof read this entry, it hurt our face to cringe so much.

Fun Fact: Wii MotionPlus is made of people.

Other potential winners:
Nintendo DSi
– It might extend the life of the DS, but really it’s just a DS with two crappy cameras, a slightly larger screen, and no backwards compatibility or support for Guitar Hero. Wee.

Guesstimated Award Probability: 89%

Look, all we’re saying is, God of War III will probably be a really cool game. And that’s all. Just like Killzone 2. Sorry. We like the PS3, we want it to succeed, but realistically a couple of pretty good games aren’t going send it rocketing to outer space. You’d have to put one on a rocket to outer space to do that.

God of War is a great series, but remove the nice graphics and good-for-a-game-story story and it’s a fairly typical adventure game, complete with button mashing and cineractive silliness. That said, and even more neoGAF enemies made, the little we’ve seen of GOWIII suggests that we’re going to get along famously. It’s beautiful, big, and violent, which is precisely what it should be.

Other potential winners:
Killzone 2 – It’s a good shooter, but nothing revolutionary.
Heavy Rain – This one might just prove us wrong. But probably not.