Gamescom 2015 is officially under our belts! Before we look ahead to PAX Prime, Tokyo Games Show, Paris Games Week, and all of the exciting news sure to come out of each of these events, I thought it would be a great idea to recap my highlights from this year’s excellent Gamescom. Here are my top five games of the show:
5) Quantum Break
Of the games announced for the Xbox One prior to launch, Quantum Break was the one that really got me interested in buying the console. Much to my delight, after Quantum Break’s Gamescom re-reveal, it appears to be not only the game I desperately want it to be, but it looks absolutely incredible to boot. If any developer can make me care about a TV show tie-in, it’s Remedy, and the show seems like it’ll be a great companion to the game. April 5th, 2016 can’t come soon enough, and you better believe I’m already reserving that week off for a “stay-cation.”
4) Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
I just didn’t care for the first Mirror’s Edge game. The controls were strange, and it felt awkward to play. DICE seems to have redefined Mirror’s Edge with the latest Catalyst gameplay trailer coming out of Gamescom. Faith flows flawlessly (say that one five times fast) from walls to pipes to jump kicking a guard through a window, and man does it look gorgeous! I can only hope the game plays as smooth as this demo suggests come February 23rd.
This game blew me away. While I have my expectations for Scalebound, the game looked even better than I was expecting at Gamescom. Combat looks to be a joy, as players take on enemies while sending their dragon companion barreling into the battlefield. The protagonist makes snarky comments while slaying his foes, and he looks like the kind of absolute badass that only Hideki Kamiya could conjure up. To add some delicious icing atop Scalebound’s tasty cake, 4-player co-op was announced as well! My only hope is that Xbox One owners give this game a chance, as many seemed rather unimpressed in the live stream chat during the reveal. Platinum Games has an excellent pedigree with these Action-RPG games and, even if they are leaning heavier on the RPG elements with Scalebound, I have no doubt they will knock it out of the park once again.
2) Blues & Bullets
No, this game wasn’t featured during any of the big Gamescom press conferences, but it was front and center leading off the obligatory — albeit stellar — ID@Xbox sizzle reel. I’ve been anticipating this game for months now, as developer A Crowd of Monsters’ take on an alternate history, episodic journey in the shoes of retired cop Elliot Ness looks and sounds all kinds of awesome. Told in a swanky black and white noir style, Blues & Bullets follows Elliot as he looks to aid the biggest mobster he’s ever brought to justice — the infamous Al Capone. The legendary gangster’s daughter has been kidnapped, and he needs Ness’ help to track her down in this crime thriller with a historical twist. We’ll be seeing Episode 1 of Blues & Bullets very soon on Xbox One, as the title will be a part of Xbox’s Summer Spotlight promotion this month.
1) Mafia 3
Those of you who listen to our podcast are probably not surprised to see this game at the top of my list. Apparently, I’m the sole Short Pausian who enjoyed Mafia 2, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating more Mafia after the ending of the last game left a number of questions unanswered, including Vito’s fate. Well, as revealed in the Gamescom debut trailer, he’s still alive and kicking as head of the Italian mob faction that’ll be working with new Mafia 3 protagonist, Lincoln Clay. Lincoln’s out for revenge against the mob responsible for killing his family (which is, you know, his own mob because it’s a Mafia game!). I will admit, I’m not blown away by the gameplay we’ve seen so far — it looks rather Grand Theft Auto-like, which really bums me out — but I have no doubt that 2K Czech will wow us all again as they strive to bring a late 1960’s New Orleans to life while delivering an excellent story.
This is only a small sampling of the things we saw at Gamescom that had me all giddy. I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention how great that Rise of the Tomb Raider demo looked, or how awesome Unravel’s puzzle-based gameplay seems to be coming along. Plus, we got the news that Nero, a favorite of mine this year, will be heading to PS4 and PC in early 2016! All in all, Gamescom featured something for everyone. What did you think of the show? What were your standout titles? Let us know in the comments.