I'm a floundering writer who would love nothing more than to actually be paid one day for something I create. I know, it sounds incredibly brutal and honest, but I'm getting old and tired. I love video games and sleeping.
Sometimes I stare into the abyss of youtube videos and weep internally as a smile creeps its way into my face, a hollow mimicry of what happiness is.
The second premiere was the PC version of Tomb Raider being announced for the PS4 and Xbox One. Since the next generation of video games still needs to get its training wheels taken off, it's understandable that developers will want to smush together existing assets with a few new sparkles just to see if it smells like potpourri. Still, the length of this interview was far too generous for the magnitude of the undertaking. The result was an arduous self-congratulatory puff piece that murdered countless seconds in its greed.
The outstanding moments of this VGX morsel was Scott Amos leaking that Lara Croft had her name Americanized, and her voice actress losing her British accent halfway through a one sentence statement to help sweeten the voting pot for best character of the year. The cherry on top was Joel McHale reading out a twitter question that asked if Lara would ever graduate from being a Terminator with Tits.
Once Scott Amos and Camilla Luddington had been made humble by their folly, VGX shambled into the best adventure game nominees. While most of the candidates had greater substance outside of merciless gore-infused combat and particle spewing explosions, that was what the rapidly oscillating video decided to showcase most. To create equilibrium between what was being presented, Geoff announced the winner was Assassin's Creed IV in a ceremonious fashion befitting of a man entering an execution chamber. Zen-like balance was achieved when this was matched by a cheaply produced acceptance to that award featuring listless pirates.
Since Ubisoft wasn't able to dispatch a drone stupid enough to blunder into the maw of VGX to collect a physical reward, the show trundled on with a quick cut to Reggie Fils-Aime, standing on a hardwood floor with an aide he could devour should he require to ready his body for unexpected exertion. As though to enhance the doom and gloom, a singular VGX neon sign slowly flashed through its series of dull lighting, wishing it had been hammered into three X's and installed in a strip club, like its mother wanted.
Yet, there was a reprieve when the gorgeous colors and bright graphics of Donkey Kong filled the feed, and Reggie was able to get through his talking points with little resistance. Years of experience had instilled within his tall frame the necessary professionalism to promote his company's products with efficiency. In fact, he even brushed aside Joel's withering comments regarding the Seattle Seahawks, Downton Abbey, how much money he made, and what he thought of the Xbox One and PS4.
However, it was Geoff that snuck the dagger into the sleeping giant's chest. Mr. Keighley had committed sacrilege by using all his industry might to force a meme down everyone's throat. The Mountain Dew Wonderboy wished for Reggie to become "Cranky Reggie" and his request was politely shut down when Mr. Fils-Aime threatened to bludgeon Geoff to death. At around this point, Joel was beginning to break down. He started emanating an aura of indifference so powerful, it is now considered a form of magic and scientists are donning robes to begin their careers as wizards of apathy.
After a tepid conversation between Joel and Geoff to establish that we were still looking at two human beings interacting, the focus shifted to the nominees for best sports game.
Maxeemoom Paayyynuuh †
NBA2K14 was crowned the winner, and once again no physical reward was present. At this moment I was beginning to question the existence of an award. Was it metaphorical? Was it a twitter hashtag? Was it lost to the myths of a bygone reddit subthread, whose one true owner could unlock with the utterance of an ancient grunge-era incantation?
Regardless, the acceptance was a virtual depiction of some NBA players who were glued to a matching spot and contorted by a cruel demon into the exact same pose as they each spouted off a series of lines that were edited in less time than it takes to shit in a diaper. What followed was a deep look into Quantum Break, which should have been interesting. However, as the mighty mammoths once fell, so too must the human spirit.
I must consume more polygons!
At the start I was shocked that a young Max Payne was presenting me with an intimate look at a game I knew very little about. Then he spoke. Sam Lake's struggle stemmed from the fact that his epiglottis was holding a gun to his tongue and threatening to pull the trigger if it didn't contort into unnatural ways to approximate the English language. I understand that as a native of Finland and successful game developer, he needs to learn the English language about as urgently as a Victorian era slumlord needs to give orphans matchsticks for heat, but that was a detailed exhibition, and I don't think his tongue made it out of there alive.
Additional personnel were dispatched to Remedy the situation and create further information. Joel continued to play the Snark Shark, biting into VGX whenever opportunity arose, and triggering further episodes of awkwardness. He was sending out an SOS to anyone that could understand him. There would be no help. He would continue to ruminate on his dwindling existence.
The look of a man staring deep down into whatever remains of his humanity.
For some reason, Remedy representative Johannes decided to whip out his ipad and play an iOS game during the live broadcast. Apparently, he was very bored. The camera zoomed in to catch a few glimpses of what was happening on the screen, and I'm pretty sure it involved ships, strategy, and an ocean of desperate methodology employed to create additional revenue for Remedy using minimal effort.
Look, I'm sure whatever I was looking at might appeal to plenty of people, but VGX didn't even bother getting a live feed into "Build a fleet of boats and have epic battle" the game. At one point, Johannes asked Joel, "Have you ever seen anything like this before?" and turns the screen to the hosts. What I saw was the back of a fucking ipad. It felt like I was intruding on a private conversation.
When Finlandís invasion had subsided, VGX shifted its cracked, aged gears and waddled into the Character of the Year award. Joel segued into this by stating that he had been drinking every time he heard the words "next gen" and he was hammered. The camera lingered on his stone-faced expression for what seemed like an eternity. I was beginning to understand. The revelation was about to hit me harder than a wet kitten in a chainmail purse wielded by the finest Lady Knight.