Welcome to the latest Digital Foundry Direct Weekly, the regular unscripted show where the DF team sit down of a morning to discuss the latest gaming and technology news. We shot this one last Friday and obviously the big topic is The Game Awards, or ‘The Geoffs’ as they are colloquially known. Owing to timescales and time differences, we couldn’t actually watch the show (perhaps something Geoff should think about) but we did watch a compilation of all of the trailers, which included the phenomenal The Matrix Awakens. We’ve discussed this demo in depth already but couldn’t help but think that its achievements were somewhat muted when surrounded by the usual wave of impossible CG trailers. Not only that, we’d suggest that it also has a detrimental effect on ‘honest’ presentations like Forspoken – a handsome game but one that simply couldn’t have the same impact juxtaposed against fantastical presentations elsewhere.
It’s been a problematic issue for years now but over time, a solution of sorts has presented itself and it’s remarkably simple: transparency. Both Sony and Microsoft have delivered media that tells us if it’s running in real-time or if it’s ‘something else’. True, the definition of ‘in-engine’ has been pushed to extremes but it is, at least, a step in the right direction. And when a media briefing like Sony’s PlayStation 5 reveal effectively sees the entirety of the game content captured in real-time from console, it’s a genuine event. Is there a way to announce a game when there’s nothing to show? I thought that the reveal of the Wonder Woman game from Monolith managed that quite effectively.