(AP) A pair of assassins, a horde of zombies and an intergalactic commander are facing off against a scarf-clad wanderer at Friday night's Spike Video Game Awards.
Assassin's Creed III, ''Dishonored, ''The Walking Dead: The Game and Mass Effect 3 are competing to become game of the year against Journey, the artsy downloadable title that leads the game of the year contenders with seven nominations in such categories as best graphics and original score.
The Avengers star and VGAs veteran Samuel L. Jackson is serving as host of the Spike gaming extravaganza. In honor of the show's 10th anniversary, previous VGAs hosts Zachary Levi, Snoop Lion, Jack Black and Neil Patrick Harris are set to appear with Jackson, who is hosting the show for the fourth time.
Celebrity presenters include Jessica Alba, Marlon Wayans, Adam Scott of Parks and Recreation and Norman Reedus and Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead. Linkin Park, Tenacious D and composer Gustavo Santaolalla, who is creating music for the upcoming game The Last of Us, are scheduled to perform.
The popular shoot-'em-up sequels Borderlands 2 and Halo 4 are tied overall for the most VGAs nods with eight. They're up for the best shooter trophy against Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Max Payne 3.
This year's show will feature debut footage from such upcoming titles as BioShock Infinite, ''Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, ''Tomb Raider and Gears of War: Judgment.
The VGAs will air live from Sony Picture Studios on both Spike and Xbox Live, the online service for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console. It's the first time the show will be streamed to game consoles.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.