Flute Guy, Blade and Jordan Peele: The Blackest highlights of the Game Awards

OPINION: It was a solid Game Awards on Thursday night for what has undoubtedly been one of gaming’s strongest years in recent memory.

"Flute Guy" Pedro Eustache, far right, at the Game Awards. (Screenshot via YouTube/The Game Awards)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

The Game Awards happened on Thursday evening, and while “Baldurs Gate 3” and “Alan Wake 2” predictably swept the awards, most of us were watching for one thing only: the reveals. The show didn’t disappoint either, with new trailers for games like “Suicide Squad Kills the Justice League (still a yikes from me) and “Dragon Ball: Sparking! ZERO(they had me at the unnecessary exclamation point). From the return of Flute Guy to an exciting new collab, here are some of the best and Blackest moments from the Game Awards.

Flute Guy returns! 

For the last few years, it’s been customary for the Game Awards to have a live orchestra perform a melody of the themes from the Game of the Year nominees. While he’s been a part of the Game Awards Orchestra since 2017, Pedro Eustache captured the hearts of viewers last year by absolutely going in on the flute. He was lovingly nicknamed “Flute Guy,” and thankfully, he made his return for this year’s melody. There’s already a compilation of his best moments from last night, including a moment where Eustache is straight jamming on a contrabass flute while playing the theme from “Spider-Man 2.” Watching the passion and joy that Eustache plays with is a genuine delight and is honestly reflective of how it feels when your favorite games come through with a soundtrack that just hits. 

Marvel’s Blade is getting a game!

Listen, I was giddy simply at the fact that we were getting a new game from Arkane Lyon, the developer behind such bangers as “Dishonored,” “Deathloop” and the criminally slept on “Prey.” When the trailer revealed the fangs, the glasses, the trenchcoat, the Blade of it all, I absolutely lost it. While Arkane didn’t have a great 2023 with the abysmal “Redfall,” that was a different development team dealing with some unreasonable mandates. Not everyone can bat 100, and given how good the combat and level design have been in the vast majority of Arkane’s games over the last decade, I’m hopeful that “Blade” will be the action/horror romp the Daywalker deserves. Unfortunately, this was only an announcement trailer and we didn’t see any gameplay. Here’s hoping “Blade” is more “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” than “Marvel’s Avengers.” 

Jordan Peele and Hideo Kojima are collaborating on a game! 

Since the release of “Get Out” in 2017, Jordan Peele has rapidly established himself as one of the strongest creative voices working in film. Over the last four decades, Hideo Kojima has established himself as one of the greatest auteurs the gaming medium has ever seen. His “Metal Gear Solidseries is widely considered one of the most brilliant stories ever produced in the medium. It’s my favorite series of all time, for what it’s worth. So the announcement that these two unique, visionary minds are collaborating on a new game called “OD” obviously set the internet ablaze. 

In classic Kojima fashion, the trailer makes not a lick of sense, simply being close-ups of Sophia Lillis and Udo Kier saying words. The “Death Stranding” trailers didn’t make much sense before it came out and that wound up being a surprisingly moving banger. With a solid cast and two incredibly creative minds behind it, I cannot wait to see what scares OD has in store for us.

Nah, but reallyDragon Ball: Sparking! ZERO” looks hype!

It’s no secret that Black people love anime. Heck, Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, “Creed III” was basically the closest thing we’ve gotten to a live-action episode of “Naruto: Shippuden.” “Dragon Ball Z” was the one that largely started many Black folks’ love affair with the medium. While 2018’s “Dragonball FighterZ was a fantastic fighting game, it’s been five years since its release and there hasn’t been much in the way of good “Dragon Ball” games over that time frame. “Sparking! Zero” will hopefully change that. Originally announced as “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 4,” “Sparking! Zero” marks the first new entry in the arena fighting series in nearly 17 years. The “Budokai Tenkaichi” games are known for their robust rosters featuring even the most obscure characters from the franchise. Given that there have been four “Dragon Ball” movies and an entirely new series since the last entry, we can only expect the roster to be absolutely absurd. 

There were some other neat announcements, but the trailer for “GTA VI” releasing earlier this week somewhat overshadowed most of the reveals from last night’s event. That being said, it was a solid Game Awards for what has undoubtedly been one of gaming’s strongest years in recent memory.

 Joe Jurado is a writer, filmmaker and occasional content creator whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Root and G4. When not writing he’s either hanging out with his dog or ruining someone’s day in “Call of Duty.”

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