Another year, another Gamescom has come and gone, and gaming fans across the world are left to wait in eager anticipation for the next batch of ideas to test the limits of potential for technology and new video games. With the Xbox One X announced earlier on in the summer at E3, Microsoft fans were keen to see more footage of the games announced there, and the potential for 4K Ultra-HD gaming to take the helm. Major games companies such Bethesda, Ubisoft, EA, and Blizzard were all in attendance, with a wealth of content to share with fans who had flocked to Cologne, Germany. Despite not having the mega-reveals or flagship status of E3, which happened earlier on in the summer, Gamescom always has plenty to show off from the latest major game developers and creators. Where E3 succeeds in hardware reveals, Gamescom, their European cousin, is the more consumer-friendly, software-revealing games show for fans worldwide.
“Despite no massive and ground-breaking announcements, there were plenty of small announcements for fans to sink their teeth into”
Microsoft’s press conference drew special excitement after the bombshell announcement of the Xbox One X at E3. Exciting prospects such as the latest Assassins Creed instalment, Assassins Creed: Origins, previewed at E3, but much more information and hands-on gameplay was revealed throughout Gamescom. Taking AC fans back to the ancient country of Egypt, Microsoft debuted a new cinematic trailer that chose to focus on the historical figures who will play key roles throughout the game’s story, including Cleopatra, Ptolemy, and Julius Caesar. Whether these figures will help or hinder Bayek, the game’s protagonist, remains to be seen. Assassin’s Creed: Origins, arrives on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 on October 27th.
Microsoft also gave fans another glimpse at the upcoming Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, continuing Talion and Celebrimbor’s journey together as they seek to forge a new Ring of Power with which they can face off against Sauron and his Nazgul forces. Trailers have featured teasing looks at massive creatures, including drakes, trolls, balrogs and other demons, and the game itself looks to build on everything that made the first such a success, going bigger and better in terms of both scale and visuals. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War arrives on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC on October 10th.
“Where E3 succeeds in hardware reveals, Gamescom, their European cousin, is the more consumer-friendly, software-revealing games show for fans worldwide.”
EA’s press conference at Gamescom 2017 was a short, but overall sweet, affair for fans to attend. Despite no massive and ground-breaking announcements, there were plenty of small announcements for fans to sink their teeth into. FIFA 18 got a new trailer, alongside new looks at the Starfighter Assault mode coming to Star Wars Battlefront II, and a new 5v5 Incursion mode coming to Battlefield 1. The conference leaned on the pillars of major games already established or on the immediate horizon by offering tantalising morsels of information, but no new major announcements.
Sony didn’t hold a press conference, or a livestream like Microsoft and EA, but that didn’t mean they were taking a back seat. With new trailers dropping for the massively-anticipated Destiny 2, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Shenmue 3, Sony fans weren’t left disappointed, despite the lack of presence at Gamescom itself. Once again, short but sweet from Sony this year.
Throughout the event, it wasn’t just the major players that were on show. Gamescom 2017 boasted one of its biggest indie developer areas ever, playing host to countless independent games developers and creators. Microsoft’s latest and hotly anticipated indie game, Cuphead, showed more footage and gameplay during Gamescom. Independent games have become much more prominent in recent times, with the massive success that is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds leading the way in what can be achieved. PUBG’s rise to success has been so meteoric that it was recently confirmed at E3 and Gamescom that it would soon be making the jump to Xbox One in the near future. Indie games have always provided either fun or story over gameplay visuals and quality. But the depth that they can bring to players once the fancy technology is left out can be unrivalled.
“The conference leaned on the pillars of major games already established or on the immediate horizon by offering tantalising morsels of information, but no new major announcements.”
Whilst watching Gamescom 2017 this year, I felt like there is a lot to be excited about moving forward. The Xbox One X continues to test the limits of what is possible for gaming consoles in the future as technology advances even further beyond what is currently available. The cinematic trailers seem to become more and more visually outstanding every year, and it only serves to empty my wallet quicker than the year before. Whilst I was excited about Destiny 2, Assassins Creed: Origins, and Star Wars Battlefront II, I am now the most excited for Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. Having seen the new trailers which revealed slightly more of the story within the game, as well as new Orc tribes, development of the Nemesis system, and fan-favourite creatures from Tolkien’s legendarium that is Middle-Earth, I can’t wait to get my hands on it and wreak havoc across the plains of Mordor once again.
There you have it: some of the major reveals from Gamescom 2017, and some games to look forward to over the next few months. No doubt there’ll be plenty to keep gamers occupied for the months to come until the next big gaming expo hits the airwaves and we get a whole new batch of good news to tide us over for another year.