When there’s no more room in hell the dead shall walk the Earth.
Today we learned a very valuable lesson – don’t go to Gamescom during the weekend. Today was the first day the public were allowed in and although we got a few early games in with our extra hour, as soon as they came in the place was flooded and every single queue was filled to capacity. So less games today and many weren’t hands-on but we’ll make that clear in each preview.
Titanfall is the result of two members from the Call of Duty team (Infinity Ward) leaving and starting up their own company. While there might have been hesitation having a brand new company delivering an important next-gen game, any doubts have gone out of the window, TitanFall is excellent. With campaign elements in multiplayer, fluid controls allowing you to freerun around the the environment and giant mechs that are easy to use and empowering without being too ridiculous, TitanFall blew us away on every level. Check out our full preview here!
Command and Conquer (PC)
While introducing us to Command and Conquer, the intro video mentioned wiping away the ‘stain’ of C&C4. Those are bold words for a company but Victory Worlds might be able to pull it off. Titled simply ‘Command and Conquer’ but essentially a sequel to the popular ‘Generals’ iteration, C&C sees you pick from three factions and tonnes of generals, and then engaging in a battle that is a mixture of Company of Heroes, Starcraft and classic C&C. There are fixed resource points on the map, you have powerful abilities to use as you level up your commander – just like in Company of Heroes – but then you also need to tech up, control the map and attempt to counter your opponents units (some of which are futuristic in nature) in a game that plays similar to Starcraft. It’s not as fast as SC2 and not as visceral as CoH2, but Frostbite does a lot for the game, with tank rumbling over scenery and explosions packing a real punch, C&C is making its own way and it’s at least interesting, even if the pacing leaves something to be desired currently.
The Division (Hands-off)
The line was long and we were disappointed with The Division’s Gamescom booth. There was the E3 trailer and then a very brief gameplay demo where two developers played through two firefights. The big element on show was the companion app where another developer could control a UAV in real-time, designated targets, casting heals and even launching missile strikes. The fact that it could keep up with the game (albeit with much worse graphics) was surprising and it appeared to have a significant effect on the gameplay. The game itself looks great, with crisp clear graphics and detailed environments. Graphically at least it’s the best looking next-gen game on the show floor.
The Witcher 3 (Hands-off)
Geralt is back in an open-world next-gen adventure with an environment 36 times the size of the one in Witcher 2. What we saw contained impressive weather effects, a nuanced side quest with difficult moral choices and a slightly faster combat system. Although others have been wowed by the graphics I felt the textures left a lot to be desired but then this was pre-alpha gameplay. With CD Projekt’s history it’s hard to imagine that The Witcher 3 will be anything less than amazing, and that’s what was reflected in the demo. We also got given a jigsaw which I won’t be able to fit in my luggage on the plane back tomorrow, if anyone wants it who can pick it up at Gamescom, drop me an e-mail and we’ll give it away.
An interesting PSN game, Rain follows the adventures of a young boy that is some kind of ghost and is therefore invisible. You can see his outline in the rain, and his footsteps in puddles, but that’s it. Manoeuvring through an environment where you onlu see what your character interacts with is exciting and unusual, and while there are enemies, if you stay in dry areas they have no way of seeing you. An interesting game to be sure, coming soon to PSN.
Puppeteer (PS3 Hands-off)
All the action takes place on a theatre stage and although it looks childish, it’s not one just for kids, but as the Creative Director put it – ‘a game I would want to play with my son’. In one player mode it’s challenging but in co-op more forgiving, Puppeteer takes an interesting approach to levels. With you staying in a fixed area (the stage) throughout the game, the scenes move around you. It’s a spellbinding effect and the game has so much charm and humour there’s nothing quite like it. Coming in September to retail.