Anyone who follows the video game industry or news related to gaming will have heard about an event called Gamescom at some point and all the trailers and information that comes out of that.
For those unfamiliar with the event, Gamescom is pretty much Europe’s equivalent to the North American Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Each year, Cologne, Germany plays host to hundreds of developers, journalists and gaming enthusiasts all looking to get a peek at some of the most exciting games to come out in the next year.
This year’s event was a little lighter than previous incarnations, with Sony, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts (EA) all opting out of their traditional press conferences this year. That didn’t stop the industry titans from showing off some of their most anticipated titles, though, with both Microsoft and EA offering plenty of hands-on time with their games instead. Sony, on the other hand, had very little to offer on the show floor, deciding instead to host a media event in New York on Sept. 7. While the conference schedule was certainly smaller this year, there was still plenty of material for eager gamers to sink their teeth into. Here’s a rundown of the biggest trailers and demos to come out of this year’s Gamescom event.
While Microsoft decided not to host their usual press conference this year, they did provide attendees with a few opportunities to get some hands-on time with some of their most anticipated upcoming titles. Among these titles were ReCore, Dead Rising 4, Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, and Halo Wars 2. The software giant also touted a gameplay demo of Rare’s upcoming Sea of Thieves, a pirate-themed co-operative multiplayer game that lets players control their very own pirate ship as they conquer the high-seas with their friends.
EA also had plenty to offer attendees on the show floor, with trailers and hands-on demos of Titanfall 2, FIFA 17, and the highly anticipated Battlefield 1. One of the only first-person shooters to be set during World War I, Battlefield 1 lets players experience multiple aspects of that conflict, such as trench warfare, aerial combat with bi-planes, the world’s first tank battles, and even combat from horseback, something very few FPSs have ever offered. Battlefield 1 looks to be a lot of fun and seems to be a fresh take on a genre that’s become somewhat stale in the past few years.
Publishing giant Activision was also present at the event, with three new games and a downloadable content (DLC) pack for gamers to mull over. Attendees were able to get their hands on demos of Skylanders Imaginators, Zombies in Spaceland, and Destiny: Rise of Iron. The latest entry in the extremely popular Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, was also present, but not in playable form. Instead, Activision showed off a non-playable demo of the game, this time set on a mining asteroid that is spinning out of control. This particular setting introduces a whole new environmental danger to the already fast-paced gameplay with a reduced day/night cycle that spans about a minute and creates lethal situations when players are exposed to the day side of the asteroid.
The other publishing giant, Ubisoft, had arguably the largest presence at Gamescom of the major producers present, offering playable versions of Steep (an upcoming ski and snowboarding game) and South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Other Ubisoft titles present included the medieval combat game, For Honor, Watch Dogs 2, Star Trek Bridge Crew, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, an open-world third-person shooter that pits players against members of a ruthless drug cartel.
Of course, plenty of other publishers and development studios were present at the event with games of their own to show off including Civilization VI, Dishonored 2, Final Fantasy XV, God of War, Mafia III, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and The Last Guardian, among others. With the recent releases of No Man’s Sky and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, 2016 is turning out to be a decent year for gaming. I, for one, am quite excited to see how the rest of the year pans out once more of these titles hit their release dates in the coming months.