- TGA 2023 is over, and although it was filled with surprising reveals and closely matched contests, certain titles managed to stay unknown.
- It’s been 4 years since Hollow Knight: Silksong was revealed, and we’re no closer to a release than we were back then.
- While Elden Ring topped all charts in 2022, it’s giving us the silent treatment regarding the DLC in 2023.
We’re fresh off TGA 2023, and it’s safe to say it was one hell of a ride. This year’s awards were unpredictable enough, but the surprising reveals and announcements stole the show even from them. Some games won, some couldn’t, and the intense event concluded. And now, it’s time to say farewell to 2023. Go on champ, you’ll be forever remembered as one of the best gaming years. Now it’s time to look ahead.
I don’t think I need to say this, but 2023 has set a pretty high standard for succeeding years. As jam-packed with quality as it was, our subconscious expectations would be just as high too now. However, I think TGA 2023 showed us a little glimpse that we might not have to worry too much, as many exciting titles await us in 2024. Still, among these splendid announcements, I couldn’t help but lament the absence of Hollow Knight Silksong and Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree.
The Awards Were Impressive, But The Announcements Took The Cake
Why do we watch The Game Awards? I think it’s three parts the contest and one part the announcements it hosts. But this time around, I think the reveals were so shocking and exciting they contributed equally if not more to the overall quality of the event. First, let’s take a brief look at the awards. For a year full of impressive games, the awards were, for the most part, pretty faithful to it, and were well-balanced, which I truly appreciate.
I know it was tough deciding the GOTY, but Baldur’s Gate 3 more than deserves the spot, as well as the other awards it scored. Alan Wake 2 is no exception. I’m a little sad for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, but the contest was tough so it’s acceptable. Anyway, the real surprise was in the announcements. Who thought God of War Ragnarok and Final Fantasy 16 would be coming in hot with their DLCs? And a new Blade game by Dishonored Devs is pretty insane.
Similarly, we finally have a look at the new Budokai Tenkaichi (officially called Sparking! Zero) and boy was it a blast. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hideo Kojima’s OD, Black Myth Wukong gameplay, Rise of the Ronin, New Monster Hunter Wilds, and Atlus’ Metaphor Re: Fantazio were just a few of the highlights. And I think the surprise of the decade was Sega’s classics: Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi. I can’t express in words my joy at this. To think we got all this, yet something was still missing.
My Fellow Silksong Fans, Still No Salvation For Us
After listing all these amazing reveals, you might think I’m being ungrateful, asking for more. No doubt we have a lot to look forward to now, but I’ll still say it, Hollow Knight Silksong should have been here. This is less me being ungrateful and more frustrated after all the wait Team Cherry has put us through. We’ve suffered enough, isn’t it about time we get rewarded? You and I might think so, but do the developers think the same?
Hollow Knight was a masterclass Metroidvania, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best of the genre. From the creative level design, unique gameplay elements featuring charms, enemy design, and difficult but satisfying encounters, it was the full package. A 2D Souls-like and a Metroidvania, I couldn’t ask for more. Many people agreed with this sentiment, too, and were overjoyed when a sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong, was announced.
Featuring the fan-favorite Hornet as the playable character and a combat system distinct from the first game, it felt like the perfect sequel. Yet, after its reveal in Feb. 2019, the game simply vanished. Not even a release date all these years later. Every time a gaming event that can potentially showcase the game appears, Hollow Knight fans start hoping this is the one. And so far, we’ve been disappointed and heartbroken every single time, no exception now either.
Each Day Brings The Risk Of Higher Expectations For Silksong
I guess the wait for Silksong continues. I firmly believe if the game is real, this was the opportunity to reveal it. TGA was an enormous event, and this year was more exciting than ever. Plus, we saw a few Metroidvania entries, like Ubisoft’s new Prince of Persia. If the much-awaited Silksong had made an appearance, the Metroidvania category would have lighted up pretty brightly.
Since the first Hollow Knight came out in February, I can understand if Silksong is aiming for the same, but four February’s have passed since its announcement. And it doesn’t look like it’ll happen in February 2024 either, or it would have been there at TGA. And the longer it takes, the more pressing my concerns become. Of course, I want Silksong as quickly as possible, but the real reason is that each passing day raises the expectations for the game and I fear for the end product.
With the amount of traction Silksong has gotten over the years, it’s no surprise the expectations for it are bound to increase with time, too. A thought might emerge in people’s minds that since the game is taking this long, it might be something insane. And if the game is even slightly less than those expectations, it can get some backlash. “They took over 5 years for this?” is what I’m scared of hearing as Silksong stays quiet.
One Poster A Year Ago And That’s It, Where’s Shadow Of The Erdtree?
This is the second thing missing from TGA 2023, and I’ll be honest with you, this was a bigger letdown than Silksong. After all these years, being a Silksong fan means you simply live with the pain, but I didn’t expect I would be carrying the Shadow of the Erdtree pain after TGA, too. I was pretty sure Elden Ring’s DLC would make an appearance. As the event went on, I grew more anxious, and in the end…..nothing.
We have reached dangerous levels of cope. Elden Ring DLC has to be at TGA tonight… Right? pic.twitter.com/qlrfher2Yo
— Ziostorm (@Ziostorm1) December 7, 2023
I don’t think there’s any need to tell you how big of a deal Elden Ring was. An open-world Souls game with FromSoftware at the helm was the stuff of dreams, and it managed to exceed all expectations upon release, its overwhelming reception is proof of this. Yet, a game of worldwide renown and legendary status that hyped us up with a DLC announcement in 2022 left us hanging? The only thing I know about this DLC is that one release poster.
And I’m not the only one, fans around the world were eagerly looking forward to an announcement. During the event, you could see people everywhere looking for that FromSoftware logo in the next reveal. There were two things on their mind: Bloodborne, or Shadow of the Erdtree. I won’t go into the Bloodborne details, I’ve practically given up at this point, but Elden Ring I was anxiously waiting for. Considering FromSoftware’s DLC mastery, I was looking forward to the epic boss fights.
Last Year’s Runner Up Made An Appearance, Why Didn’t The Winner?
I can still understand Silksong, but it was such a perfect stage for Elden Ring to present its DLC. Elden Ring was such a heavy hitter last year that it essentially dominated the charts as well as the awards alongside its fellow competitor God of War Ragnarok. It even won GOTY and the former winner coming in with a bang in the next year too would’ve been epic. Look at Elden Ring’s rival; it was thinking the same thing I was.
Although Ragnarok was a runner-up in last year’s GOTY race, it still went toe to toe with Elden Ring. And now, it took part in TGA 2023 as well with its extremely generous free Roguelite DLC I think was a superb move by Santa Monica Studios. Not only will it boost the game’s popularity, but also the respect people have for the Devs. And if Ragnarok which we didn’t even know had a project in the works stepped up, why didn’t Elden Ring?
#GodOfWarRagnarokValhalla arrives on December 12!
— Santa Monica Studio – God of War Ragnarök (@SonySantaMonica) December 8, 2023
I’m not saying Elden Ring should make its DLC free, too; No, that would be beside the point. I’d like to say that at least it should’ve used this opportunity to showcase the expansion fans have been so eagerly waiting for. Nevertheless, it’s a cruel reality that the wait continues for both Shadow of the Erdtree as well as Hollow Knight Silksong. I have plenty more to look forward to now, but it doesn’t ease the pain as much as I hoped it would.
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