Gamescom 2015 is now behind us, and honestly, it was pretty underwhelming. Besides Microsoft and a few third-party companies, there really wasn’t anything that amazing announced at the conference. I only realized a few days in, that Sony wasn’t going to be there, and Nintendo was there, but they didn’t really have much there besides playable versions of some of their released and upcoming games. Even the downloadable indie scene was very disappointing, besides one or two announcements. Luckily, I did find a few games that excited me. This will mostly be focused around Microsoft and a few third-party titles, so sorry that there wasn’t much on the Sony and Nintendo side. Let’s get started.
11. Quantum Break
I admit this is funny. Quantum Break, the newest game behind the Alan Wake developers, Remedy Entertainment, started off my Gamescom list from last year, and here it is starting off this year’s list. How does that keep happening? Maybe because, even though it is still an interesting idea and it looked pretty, the game has pretty much lost all of its hype. Sure, it might have a huge star-studded cast that includes Shawn Ashmore, Aidan Gillen, and Dominic Monaghan, but by now, I don’t really care. It’s taken so long for this game to stick out from its original style when Microsoft was pushing the whole TV and game collaboration together, that many more games have made more interesting aesthetic choices, and more interesting gameplay. Still, I can’t deny that I want to see how this game will do.
10. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Yet another game that had its hype sucked right out of it. Why? Maybe because Crystal Dynamics acted like seedy individuals, and made the game exclusively for one console for an entire year, because one company gave them a big bag of money. That one press release killed my excitement for the franchise, and that’s a dang shame since I loved the reboot and enjoy the downloadable Tomb Raider experiences. The gameplay shown off at Gamescom was also impressive, with Lara tackling a tomb in Syria. I like the look of the game, and I have been a huge fan of the newly designed Lara Croft. Hopefully, the levels have more organic designs to them where you aren’t simply going through easy, no-fail sequences. I would have liked to have seen more action, and maybe some more enemy types, but this was easily a better demo than the one shown off at E3 2015. Like I said though, the hype train that I was riding on when this game was announced, ran itself right off the tracks with Rise of the Tomb Raider being a timed exclusive, but now all I have to do is wait until the end of 2016 to play it on my PlayStation 4.
9. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Finally, a game from a big budget company that I am actually looking forward to is on this list. I remember when the first game came out, and how unique and a breath of fresh air it was. Now that we have some actual gameplay footage, staged or not, it looks good. I like how they are keeping with the minimal colors, mixed with the corporate sci-fi look. I do have some concerns with how fluid the melee combat will be, since it is in first-person, but the flow of how the character moved and fought impressed me. Sure, it is from EA, but I really hope they don’t mess this up with Dice, the developers behind the Battlefield franchise. On the bright side though, it does look promising, and I can’t wait for it in February of next year.
8. We Happy Few
I unfortunately will probably never get the interview that I wanted from the developer, but I am happy to see that this Kickstarter success story, We Happy Few, is now coming to the Xbox One, and hopefully other consoles in the future. This alternate reality that takes place after World War II has caught many gamer’s attention with its rogue-like design, and the odd setting where people wear white masks and take a happy pill. It’s creative and unsettling, and you should all be looking forward to it.
I was quite happy to see more of this game from the developers behind Enslaved and Heavenly Sword. The game looks quite fascinating, since it not only has a great visual style, but a very eerie atmosphere. Maybe it was just me, but Hellblade does a better job at making a terrifying atmosphere than most 3D horror games these days. It was unsettling, and I was pulled into the footage in the trailer while I was watching it on my phone. I can’t wait to see more of this game’s story, and world that the main character travels through. Unfortunately, I am not looking forward to that combat. It didn’t look satisfying or that fluid. It had a clunky element to it, and I hope the combat is not all like that. I hope it’s just for these horror sequences. Still, I can’t wait to see more of this game now.
6. Thimbleweed Park
Ron Gilbert, one of the great individuals alongside Tim Schafer that made LucasArts great, released a Kickstarter last year for an adventure game in the same vein as Maniac Mansion. To no surprise, it got funded and then some, by Kickstarter. Another sign of good news is that the game is coming out for the Xbox One. I hope it comes to other consoles because everyone should try out this adventure game that was inspired by one of the most infamous and legendary adventure games of all time. Add onto the fact that you get a silly “Twin Peaks/True Detective” vibe from the story, and you’ve got something quite different coming to your PC or console.
5. Mafia III
I was never a huge follower of the Mafia franchise. My first time playing the series was the second game, and I thought it was a tedious, if respectable experience. This new game has already a lot more going for it. First off, it takes place in the 60s, and you play an African- American Vietnam vet named Lincoln Clay, who wants to take out the Italian Mob that tried to take down the Black Mob, as it is called in the game. They have a lot to work with here, due to the setting in New Orleans, and the time period. I can’t wait to see what they do with the gameplay.
Man, I can’t get enough of this adorable character in what is quite possibly one of the only EA games worth giving a hoot about in years. Seeing more of the photorealistic graphics, and the puzzle platforming starring this cute little yarn-made individual, made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I feel good watching the gorgeous gameplay and hearing the developers talk about how the game was inspired by vacations that they had taken, and that all of the game’s locations are based off of those fun summertime trips. I really hope EA doesn’t do anything to screw this up, because if they do, I might have to be done with them forever.
3. Final Fantasy XV
I talked about this game in the past in an editorial, and this trailer reinforces my opinion about the emotions felt from this game. Seeing this trailer made me feel more attached to the story and characters than any of the recent Final Fantasy games (Type-0HD not included in that list of bad games) have these past five years. Seeing the dad hold the younger version of our main character with the gorgeous music in the background was rather endearing. Or you can say it’s emotionally manipulating if you want to be cynical. Sure, we only got to see a little bit of gameplay where the main characters fight a giant disgusting monster, but still, this game has me so excited. Of course, if this game ends up sucking, I will be severely disappointed due to how long it has taken for this game to come out. Hopefully, once this game comes out next year, the experience on this game’s journey will be memorable.
2. Dark Souls III
Bloodborne was one of the biggest surprises for me. I really don’t care for the action RPG games that From Software makes, since while they are good, they do have a couple of shortcomings that no one seems to want to admit they have. Still, I enjoyed my incredibly grueling time with Bloodborne (not as much as Bayonetta 2 and The Witcher III, but still), and after seeing the new footage from Dark Souls III, which is said to be the last game in the series, I am stoked. The combat has been described to be faster-paced, similar to Bloodborne, and seeing some of the giant enemies that you may have to fight is awe-inspiring. While I have my issues with the overall experience of these games, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t going to try out Dark Souls III. However, if I do have to fight the giant skeleton shown in the trailer, I don’t care if I have to break down the code to the game itself, I am making sure I can make my character run away, and get a normal job. Seriously, it’s just a whole lot of ‘nope’ in that one scene in the trailer.
I was so happy to finally see some actual gameplay footage for Platinum Games’ Xbox One exclusive. I got concerned that Microsoft was going to destroy and interfere with a company that you shouldn’t touch. Luckily, the gameplay shown off had Platinum Games written all over it. A cool action game concept where you fight alongside a dragon? Check! The ability to transform yourself and wear dragon armor? Check! Giant monster fights? Double check! My only concern is with how the four-player multiplayer aspect will turn out. I don’t have too much doubt though that Platinum Games will pull off another great game, and that it will be the one game that will make me want to get an Xbox One.