Gamescom is so perfectly placed in the gaming calendar. Just when you’re at the peak of your despair due to the summer gaming drought, out comes Gamescom with a weekend of big upcoming releases from Cologne.
My appetite for this winter’s most anticipated titles has been thoroughly quenched, as will yours as your scroll through the best Gamescom has had to offer over the last few days.
Star Wars Battlefront
There is only one place we can start this rundown really. My excitement levels are fit to burst with only a few months to go until the new Star Wars movie and game, and those giddy levels were sent soaring post-Gamescom. Previously, it was thought that EA’s upcoming Star Wars romp would be fought solely on the ground. How glad I was to be corrected on that assumption, as EA released gameply footage of the “Fighter Squadron” game mode, where the battle is taken to the skies.
Alongside your Star Wars vehicle stalwarts such as X-Wings and TIE Fighters, you’ll also get the chance pilot the Millennium Falcon and Boba Fett’s aerodynamic-defying ship, the Slave I.
I could hardly contain my excitement when I saw the footage below. Get your loo on standby, a little bit of wee might come out.
Video- Star Wars HQ/YouTube
The original Crackdown was one of hidden gems of the previous generation. Coming from nowhere, developers Realtime Worlds created a sort of Robocop-superhero-Grand Theft Auto mashup, and I still look back on the original fondly despite a disappointing second effort (with different developers in fairness).
Now in the hands of ReAgent, I’m going to place some faith in the Scottish developers and hope that they capture the outright carnage of the original. And with ‘100% destructible environments’ promised, they appear to be on the right track.
Just Cause 3
Speaking of games that just go straight for fun-factor, Just Cause will soon be back for a third explosion-fest. The setup seems remarkably similar to JC3’s predecessors. Featuring the same main character, Rico Rodriguez, the pint-sized Rambo this time decides to level the fictional Mediterranean island of Medici, which happens to be his homeland. Now ruled by an evil dictator, Rodriguez turns to his natural instincts of jumping out of helicopters and burning an entire country to the ground to get justice.
Not only is the setting similar then, but also the gameplay. Akin more to Saints Row’s destructive open world than that of GTA, Just Cause has always erred more on the side of sacrificing realism in order to make a game fun. Judging by the gameplay footage seen so far, fans of the series are unlikely to be disappointed.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
As usual, Konami have milked the buildup to the latest Metal Gear Solid release as long as their marketing team could stretch it, including of course a spin-off title in MGS: Ground Zeroes.
In fairness, Konami have broadened their ambition for this MGS title, and Phantom Pain looks set to be the most layered of the lot. The latest gameplay fleshed out the “Mother Base” management system being introduced for the first time in the MGS series. Building your own fortress complete with support staff and weapons stolen when on missions, the Mother Base gameplay element looks set to add a level of depth we don’t necessarily associate with MGS games.
With the promise of open-ended missions and an MMO style online mode, Phantom Pain is gearing up to be a great swansong for Hideo Kojima. And there is only a month to go until release.
No small amount of resources have been put into Microsoft’s upcoming action adventure title “Quantum Break”. Up to now, we’d seen precious little actual gameplay. New videos emerged during Gamescom, but they were of an altogether more real-life nature.
Quantum Break will now be broken into ‘episodes’, a feature we’re are seeing increasingly in the TV to game genre. Intersecting the action-based gameplay will be episodic live-action scenes, much like Alan Wake but with actual real-life actors. Amongst the cast will Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen, Lance Reddick of The Wire and Shawn Ashmore from X-Men.
It’s a bold move, but one that could prove pivotal to the future of gaming should developers Remedy manage to pull it off.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The Tomb Raider franchise got a well-deserved refresh back in 2013, with Square Enix taking on the licence and making Lara Croft into more of a gritty bow-and-arrow wielding killing machine than the caper-ish cartwheeling we’d come to associate with Tomb Raider games.
The sequel to SE’s first effort, Rise of the Tomb Raider, looks set to largely stick with the formula that worked so well for them only a couple of years ago. The surprise this time of course, is that it will be a Xbox One exclusive. If Square Enix can iron out what few creases they had in the original, they could produce one of the best Action Adventure titles of the year.
Mirrors Edge Catalyst
There was so much to like about the original Mirrors Edge. Now seven years old, the futuristic parkour gameplay Mirrors Edge pursued was remarkably streamlined and rewarding when it worked, but lacked a confident combat system to marry that.
EA have sat on the original since 2008, but will be releasing the sequel in February of next year. Gameplay videos have begun to trickle out, and the stylish skyline and bold block colours remain. Let’s hope the frustrations that hampered the first Mirrors Edge will be no more, and Catalyst can kickstart the franchise.
Rainbow Six: Siege
I was hoping to finish with Halo 5: Guardians, but given that almost half of the titles so far have been Xbox One exclusives, I decided to throw in a title I am particularly looking forward to. Rainbow Six has become a household name in the numerous years it’s spent churning out FPS titles. But with their latest, RS: Siege, the series is going in a new direction.
In Siege, you’ll do exactly what the title suggests. Team A will defend a central stronghold, fortified and ready for the upcoming assault. Team B leads that assault, laying Siege to the stronghold in the pursuit of a certain objective. Attack Vs Defence may not seem like anything new to online FPS gamers, but the level of authenticity and detail that Rainbow Six bring to their modern shooters mean RS: Siege could be a triumph of counter-terrorist gaming.
Title Image- Gamescom