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"My Gamescom Experience"

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Sun 21/08/16 at 23:47
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Gamescom has been and gone and while this year’s event lacked any conferences or real surprises the biggest titles made an appearance and I was fortunate enough to pay a visit to Cologne and get some hands-on time with a majority of them. Was it worth the trip?

As soon as the doors opened I made the quickest of dashes for Sony’s booth to get my first hands-on (or should it be head-on) with the PlayStation VR. I was even fortunate enough to try it out twice. The first left me a little… unconvinced. Driveclub is not a good racer in my opinion and of course a VR demo based on the title was never going to convince me otherwise. While it was cool looking around the inside of the car and glancing at the passing countryside as I race along the fuzziness of it all had me second-guessing upcoming turns which in any racer is no good. Fortunately my second demo – RIGS was much more impressive. While the sport itself has that same simple pick-up and play gameplay style Rocket League excels so well at, the VR side of things really adds an interesting extra layer to the package. What really surprised me was how convincing the VR makes things – so much so my stomach turned as I leapt off a ledge and fell through the air.

So the real question is… Will I keep my pre-order? While that is certainly still up for debate, my time with RIGS has maybe pushed me toward the yes side.

Titanfall 2 really surprised me. After years and years of Call of Duty’s and Battlefields I’ve found myself getting fairly fatigued with the first person shooter genre. UAV’s, assault rifles, airstrikes, aiming down sights… it’s all started to blur together somewhat. Titanfall 2 though feels fun, plain and simple. One match of Amped Hardpoint and I was hooked. Everything from the sharp pace of the game, the slick controls and of course the titans themselves flourish. Most importantly of all however was that the game was incredibly fun. Quite simply this was the best and biggest surprise of the show and of course one game was simply not enough. Four returns and I’m still playing the beta even now!

Microsoft’s booth was surprisingly empty despite it’s strong line-up. Forza Horizon 3 looks and feels fantastic and it looks like the Australian setting has really paid off, offering a truly unique and alive playground. The Gears of War 4 demo offered a brief glimpse of the game’s campaign complete with elder Marcus Fenix. What started off like fairly standard Gears ended up taking a dramatic turn as an electric storm hit taking out anything in its path. It’s been a while since we’ve played a good Gears of War game (Judgment dropped the ball) and hopefully this will be it. Dead Rising 4 is… well just good gory fun. Frank West is back and his arsenal of deadly weapons seems even more insane. While the demo was brief it seems the game is taking a similar approach that three did with a removed time limit and more than just a single area (like the shopping mall from the first game).

I managed to sit in on a few presentations – three to be exact. The awesomely named South Park: The Fractured But Whole delivered exactly as expected. The combat system looks to have evolved nicely now taking character placement on the battlefield into consideration. Other highlights included Timmy trying to manipulate Cartman’s mind Professor X-style and an encounter between the young heroes being temporarily put on hold while a car drives by. As an added bonus we got to see the Nosulus Rift in action on some poor soul as what I can only assume judging by his face was a foul, putrid scent being pumped into his nose.

Injustice 2 looks to take the series in an interesting new direction allowing you to essentially pimp out your heroes and villains with a range of armor and weaponry. Other than that it seems the rest of the game will be pretty much business as usual with more additions to the roster, new super moves and a visual brush-up.

Mafia 3 unfortunately left me walking away slightly disappointed. What we were shown involved the lead character Lincoln Clay infiltrating some sort of enemy headquarters. The way he could do this was either guns-a-blazing through the main lobby or slow and sneaky by stealing an employee’s car. While I am a big supporter of the game’s setting (New Orleans itself offering some truly interesting and unique environments) the game itself looks a little clunky. Animations repeated, gunplay sloppy and the pace felt a little off. Of course I’ve yet to actually try the game myself so this could all change after a hands-on.

Sadly walking through Nintendo’s area felt more like a trip back through time than anything else, already released titles clearly having a far stronger presence than anything looking forward. While a few of Nintendo’s 3DS efforts made an appearance, the Wii U was left practically unsupported beside a handful of indie titles. Yes, even The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was closed off to the public with only 50 German residents willing to dress as a character from the series getting a hands on. There’s no denying the quality of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros and sitting down to a quick game of Super Mario Bros 3 on an original NES certainly has novelty, but this is Gamescom. We want to know what we have to look forward to. All I could really do to keep myself from feeling too disappointed with Nintendo’s German presence was remind myself that the NX would be unveiled soon… right?

While it’s usually the big AAA releases that share the limelight, it’s easy to forget the smaller indie experiences and Gamescom had a few gems on offer. Cuphead continues to blow me away with its fantastic hand drawn style taking inspiration from 20s cartoons. The game itself is a satisfying rock hard platformer too. I’m not afraid to admit Outlast 2 managed to make me look a fool more than a few times as I leapt out of my skin. The delay till next year for this adventures hurts all the more after playing the demo. Lastly the FAST Neo Racing downloadable content looks set to deliver more rapid-paced tracks to what was an already excellent racer.

Gamescom and Cologne delivered one hell of an experience. Yes the queues are massive, sometimes unbearable but the actual atmosphere and sheer spectacle of it all is truly something to be believed. Getting to go hands-on with unreleased games is a real benefit especially for those on a budget and need to know what’s worth your money and what isn’t. You’ll meet some great people, some who love to dress as gaming icons and some who actually work on your favourite franchises. If you ever get the chance to go, make sure you do. Not only is the show amazing but Cologne itself has something to offer too. Trust me, you won’t soon forget it.
Fri 26/08/16 at 09:36
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Ghost Killer wrote:
chasfh wrote:
[i]Ghost Killer wrote:
[i]pb wrote:
[i]EA themselves are not much of a measure of opinion though. I can remember going to conferences when I worked in games retail, and EA were very stand-offish, giving the impression that they considered it a "favour" that they even bothered to turn up. I think the "E" stands for "Elitist". Not entirely sure what the "A" stands for....
[/i][/i]

I can think of a few words that might fit that letter ;)

Anyways after how much fun I had in Microsoft's booth last week, I'm starting to get tempted to buy a Xbox One... Forza Horizon 3 was just so good! Then again would it make more sense to wait till the Scorpio?[/i]

From what I'm seeing, Scorpio would be around £500 minimum. With Forza Horizon 3 and most first party games coming to PC, I'd say a gaming PC was a better investment.

Besides, Scorpio won't have its own games, it will just play Xbox One games with better graphics and will possibly have VR support (though this isn't finalised)
Fri 26/08/16 at 00:20
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
chasfh wrote:
Ghost Killer wrote:
[i]pb wrote:
[i]EA themselves are not much of a measure of opinion though. I can remember going to conferences when I worked in games retail, and EA were very stand-offish, giving the impression that they considered it a "favour" that they even bothered to turn up. I think the "E" stands for "Elitist". Not entirely sure what the "A" stands for....
[/i][/i]

I can think of a few words that might fit that letter ;)

Anyways after how much fun I had in Microsoft's booth last week, I'm starting to get tempted to buy a Xbox One... Forza Horizon 3 was just so good! Then again would it make more sense to wait till the Scorpio?
Mon 22/08/16 at 13:38
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,474
Ghost Killer wrote:
pb wrote:
[i]I think Gamescom is more about showing already announced games these days, especially as it's just after E3 and just before TGS, where most of the big announcements get made. Plus it seems Sony and Nintendo are using their own time these days (7th September for Sony and the following week rumoured for Nintendo) to do their announcements, right before TGS.


Oh yeah I very much think that big events like Gamescom and E3 are slowly becoming less important to publishers. Just look at E3 this year and the fact EA did their own event entirely whilst Activision chose not to have a booth at all. Events like Nintendo Directs and company own streams are certainly where things look to be heading for some publishers.[/i]

Given that the potential profits for games developers on the whole are a lot tighter, perhaps big venues like this are no longer viable. Lots of developers that years ago would have cleared profit on a few hundred thousand sales are now looking at potentially 6 to 8 million sales before breaking even.

EA themselves are not much of a measure of opinion though. I can remember going to conferences when I worked in games retail, and EA were very stand-offish, giving the impression that they considered it a "favour" that they even bothered to turn up. I think the "E" stands for "Elitist". Not entirely sure what the "A" stands for....
Mon 22/08/16 at 13:22
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
pb wrote:
I think Gamescom is more about showing already announced games these days, especially as it's just after E3 and just before TGS, where most of the big announcements get made. Plus it seems Sony and Nintendo are using their own time these days (7th September for Sony and the following week rumoured for Nintendo) to do their announcements, right before TGS.

Oh yeah I very much think that big events like Gamescom and E3 are slowly becoming less important to publishers. Just look at E3 this year and the fact EA did their own event entirely whilst Activision chose not to have a booth at all. Events like Nintendo Directs and company own streams are certainly where things look to be heading for some publishers.
Mon 22/08/16 at 11:21
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,054
pb wrote:
I am looking forward to Driveclub VR as I liked the game and it's free with the game anyway.

The new tracks for the VR version are being added into the base game. That's good enough for me as I have no intention of getting the VR.
Mon 22/08/16 at 10:47
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Lucky that you got to go, I wouldn't mind going but my budget doesn't allow for it (and paying to renew my Passport).

I think Gamescom is more about showing already announced games these days, especially as it's just after E3 and just before TGS, where most of the big announcements get made. Plus it seems Sony and Nintendo are using their own time these days (7th September for Sony and the following week rumoured for Nintendo) to do their announcements, right before TGS.

I am looking forward to Driveclub VR as I liked the game and it's free with the game anyway. Seems to be a theme with PSVR; Tomb Raider, Star Wars and Driveclub VR games are all free if you own the main game.

Anyway, interesting to read your thoughts on the show.
Sun 21/08/16 at 23:47
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
Gamescom has been and gone and while this year’s event lacked any conferences or real surprises the biggest titles made an appearance and I was fortunate enough to pay a visit to Cologne and get some hands-on time with a majority of them. Was it worth the trip?

As soon as the doors opened I made the quickest of dashes for Sony’s booth to get my first hands-on (or should it be head-on) with the PlayStation VR. I was even fortunate enough to try it out twice. The first left me a little… unconvinced. Driveclub is not a good racer in my opinion and of course a VR demo based on the title was never going to convince me otherwise. While it was cool looking around the inside of the car and glancing at the passing countryside as I race along the fuzziness of it all had me second-guessing upcoming turns which in any racer is no good. Fortunately my second demo – RIGS was much more impressive. While the sport itself has that same simple pick-up and play gameplay style Rocket League excels so well at, the VR side of things really adds an interesting extra layer to the package. What really surprised me was how convincing the VR makes things – so much so my stomach turned as I leapt off a ledge and fell through the air.

So the real question is… Will I keep my pre-order? While that is certainly still up for debate, my time with RIGS has maybe pushed me toward the yes side.

Titanfall 2 really surprised me. After years and years of Call of Duty’s and Battlefields I’ve found myself getting fairly fatigued with the first person shooter genre. UAV’s, assault rifles, airstrikes, aiming down sights… it’s all started to blur together somewhat. Titanfall 2 though feels fun, plain and simple. One match of Amped Hardpoint and I was hooked. Everything from the sharp pace of the game, the slick controls and of course the titans themselves flourish. Most importantly of all however was that the game was incredibly fun. Quite simply this was the best and biggest surprise of the show and of course one game was simply not enough. Four returns and I’m still playing the beta even now!

Microsoft’s booth was surprisingly empty despite it’s strong line-up. Forza Horizon 3 looks and feels fantastic and it looks like the Australian setting has really paid off, offering a truly unique and alive playground. The Gears of War 4 demo offered a brief glimpse of the game’s campaign complete with elder Marcus Fenix. What started off like fairly standard Gears ended up taking a dramatic turn as an electric storm hit taking out anything in its path. It’s been a while since we’ve played a good Gears of War game (Judgment dropped the ball) and hopefully this will be it. Dead Rising 4 is… well just good gory fun. Frank West is back and his arsenal of deadly weapons seems even more insane. While the demo was brief it seems the game is taking a similar approach that three did with a removed time limit and more than just a single area (like the shopping mall from the first game).

I managed to sit in on a few presentations – three to be exact. The awesomely named South Park: The Fractured But Whole delivered exactly as expected. The combat system looks to have evolved nicely now taking character placement on the battlefield into consideration. Other highlights included Timmy trying to manipulate Cartman’s mind Professor X-style and an encounter between the young heroes being temporarily put on hold while a car drives by. As an added bonus we got to see the Nosulus Rift in action on some poor soul as what I can only assume judging by his face was a foul, putrid scent being pumped into his nose.

Injustice 2 looks to take the series in an interesting new direction allowing you to essentially pimp out your heroes and villains with a range of armor and weaponry. Other than that it seems the rest of the game will be pretty much business as usual with more additions to the roster, new super moves and a visual brush-up.

Mafia 3 unfortunately left me walking away slightly disappointed. What we were shown involved the lead character Lincoln Clay infiltrating some sort of enemy headquarters. The way he could do this was either guns-a-blazing through the main lobby or slow and sneaky by stealing an employee’s car. While I am a big supporter of the game’s setting (New Orleans itself offering some truly interesting and unique environments) the game itself looks a little clunky. Animations repeated, gunplay sloppy and the pace felt a little off. Of course I’ve yet to actually try the game myself so this could all change after a hands-on.

Sadly walking through Nintendo’s area felt more like a trip back through time than anything else, already released titles clearly having a far stronger presence than anything looking forward. While a few of Nintendo’s 3DS efforts made an appearance, the Wii U was left practically unsupported beside a handful of indie titles. Yes, even The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was closed off to the public with only 50 German residents willing to dress as a character from the series getting a hands on. There’s no denying the quality of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros and sitting down to a quick game of Super Mario Bros 3 on an original NES certainly has novelty, but this is Gamescom. We want to know what we have to look forward to. All I could really do to keep myself from feeling too disappointed with Nintendo’s German presence was remind myself that the NX would be unveiled soon… right?

While it’s usually the big AAA releases that share the limelight, it’s easy to forget the smaller indie experiences and Gamescom had a few gems on offer. Cuphead continues to blow me away with its fantastic hand drawn style taking inspiration from 20s cartoons. The game itself is a satisfying rock hard platformer too. I’m not afraid to admit Outlast 2 managed to make me look a fool more than a few times as I leapt out of my skin. The delay till next year for this adventures hurts all the more after playing the demo. Lastly the FAST Neo Racing downloadable content looks set to deliver more rapid-paced tracks to what was an already excellent racer.

Gamescom and Cologne delivered one hell of an experience. Yes the queues are massive, sometimes unbearable but the actual atmosphere and sheer spectacle of it all is truly something to be believed. Getting to go hands-on with unreleased games is a real benefit especially for those on a budget and need to know what’s worth your money and what isn’t. You’ll meet some great people, some who love to dress as gaming icons and some who actually work on your favourite franchises. If you ever get the chance to go, make sure you do. Not only is the show amazing but Cologne itself has something to offer too. Trust me, you won’t soon forget it.

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