The last day – this is when you have to dive deep into your reserves, down a can of redbull, and go see sum videogames... man I wish they served a decent cup of tea here. All in all, it's been another good year at Gamescom... not as many 'Wow' games but there's been some really neat concepts, and some of the games we saw last year are looking a lot better.
Assassins Creed III – Ubisoft (Xbox 360, Playstation 3 & PC) They showed off more of the naval combat at the show, which was just more of Connor blowing up an improbable number of enemy ships and then boarding a big Man of War and taking out the entire crew. As you do. We know this game is going to be good, but to be honest we're not sold on the naval combat elements. Too arcadey and improbable, and just not what Assassin's Creed is all about. Oh well, as long as there's not too many of them it'll be fine.
ArmA III – Bohemia Interactive (PC) Following our interview with Dean Hall the previous day, it was good to see what the next iteration of the main franchise is doing. At its core, it's basically ArmA II just a lot better, both visually and in terms of the gameplay improvements they've included, from underwater combat, to lighting effects, to artillery and mines etc... a lot to be excited about here if you're an ArmA fan.
Dishonored – Bethesda Softworks (Xbox 360, Playstation 3 & PC) Everyone has been raving about this game since I saw the early footage last year, and after having had an hour long hands-on session, I'm beginning to see why. It's always odd being dumped right in the middle of a game as complex as this without any introduction, but the gameplay was good and it was helpful to fiddle around with all of the abilities etc....
Star Trek – Paramount & Namco Bandai (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC) This was the first we'd seen of the new Star Trek game, and from the off we can tell you we were pleasantly surprised. Ultimately, it may not end up being the best game in history ever, but it's going to be the best movie tie-in game in recent memory, and it's actually go some decent and relevant gameplay mechanics behind it.
Warface – Trion Worlds (PC) Another game with a decidedly odd name, Warface is none-the-less an intriguing free-to-play multiplayer military shooter, with co-op and competitive modes, classes, customizable weapons, and a smart approach to online content. Being PC only though, we'll have to see how it shapes up against the likes of say, Planetside.
Nuclear Union – 1C Sofclub (PC) The new game from the guys who made the original Men of War games (and provided the engine for the recent ones), Nuclear Union is a post-apocalyptic action adventure game that has Fallout style combat, environmental puzzles, and more.
Kings Bounty: Warriors of the North – 1C Softclub (PC) Another year, another King's Bounty it seems. There's no denying that this franchise is the company's cash cow, but the question is can they keep it fresh? Warriors of the North introduces the new Viking race and Heroes, and adds in or tweaks other aspects about the core gameplay to try and keep it relevant. Plus, a surprise addition that may interest long-term fans...
Space Ranger HD – 1C Softclub (PC) Space Ranger is an odd but simple game – it's got a real-time strategy component for lands battles, turn-based combat for space battles, and a wide sweeping economy interface for a large, and dynamically alive galaxy... and it was technically released ages ago. This 'HD-remake' of sorts polishes up the graphics and tweaks some of the gameplay.
Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm – 1C Softclub (PC) The funniest thing about Rising Storm is that it was announced before Red Orchestra 2 was even finished, and finally, two years later, we start to see some progress and footage regarding the project. It's a standalone expansion set in the Pacific theatre, and features the core RO2 multiplayer plus unique Pacific maps and gameplay features.
Highlight: Dust 514 – CCP (PlayStation 3) We've been playing the various closed betas over the past couple of weeks, but the new build available at Gamescom incorporated a lot of the feedback it had been getting, especially from the shooter community. We don't think it's going to be the most technically precise shooter of all time, but the other features and concepts that it has in the works should really help it shine.
And that's Gamescom over for another year. Some interesting games this year, a long with some disappointing ones, as well as many, many more that we just couldn't fit in. The one message we took from this year though is that PC is alive, it's kicking, and it's not to be underestimated. Keep an eye on the site this week for more hands-on previews and interviews. Until next time guys....
Until next time guys....