The Game Awards 2022 Reaction Review 1
Image: Push Square

For a few years now, we’ve argued The Game Awards is just about as good as it can be – after all, there’s a ceiling to how engaging an industry awards ceremony, organised by an independent third-party, can possibly be. It’s clearly an expensive production that needs funding, and so the advertisements aren’t going away. Moreover, even though host Geoff Keighley clearly has incredible industry pull, there’s not a lot he can do if platform holders and publishers don’t come out to play.

But last night’s event was an impressive realisation of what Keighley and his team have been working towards. Save for a few awkward moments – like Christopher Judge’s never-ending acceptance speech and the stage invader who was later arrested – the show went off without a hitch. The running time was cut down, and we never found ourselves clock-watching, which is something that usually happens during these events – especially seeing as it doesn’t start proper until 1AM here in the UK.

While the commercial breaks did get more frequent in volume towards the latter half of the ceremony, Keighley largely restricted the advertisements to gaming-related products; yes, it did get a bit tiresome seeing Xbox Game Pass being streamed to a Samsung television every 25 minutes, but at least it was relevant to the audience. Even the pre-show, which included a brief new look at Horizon Call of the Mountain and Castlevania crossover with Dead Cells delivered a very watchable 30 minutes.

The Game Awards 2022 Reaction Review 2

There was a good mix of announcements and awards, although we’d still question the importance of categories like Best Esports Coach if they’re going to be glossed over in seconds. We particularly enjoyed some of the guest speakers, like key cast members from HBO’s The Last of Us appearing on stage at one point – as well as Al Pacino. In fact, this was a star-studded show at times, but not toe-curlingly so; Halsey rocked up to perform a brief song prior to Diablo IV’s trailer, but this certainly didn’t drag.

And the announcements were genuinely worthwhile across the board. While it was heavily rumoured, Hideo Kojima demonstrated his directorial eye once more with an astounding Death Stranding 2 trailer, which will no doubt have PS5 owners salivating. We also got our first jaw-dropping look at Ken Levine’s new intellectual property, Judas – while Keighley proved he’s the king of shock-and-awe once more, by revealing that FromSoftware is creating a new Armored Core.

The event moved briskly with good variety, a spectrum of content both big and small, and some genuinely enjoyable “human” moments – like Judge’s aforementioned unscripted soliloquy. With no Sony press conference this year, and many of the other major shows disappointing over the past 12 months, The Game Awards is certainly in the conversation for the most worthwhile livestream of 2022. And considering the reception to the event in year’s past, that’s an extraordinary achievement for a team that clearly works tirelessly to celebrate a medium it cares deeply about.

The Game Awards 2022 Reaction Review 3

Were you impressed by this year’s The Game Awards? Did you stay up late to watch the show in full, or are you catching up with all the announcements now? Don’t invade the stage in the comments section below.

How would you rate The Game Awards 2022?