Two of our authors spend a long day at Cologne’s biggest entertainment event of the year, trying out the latest and greatest in gaming, vr, and tech.

pic-29819gamescom 2016

Europe’s biggest gaming expo has already come and gone, and all the big names in the entertainment industry show off what’s in store for the fans in the months and even years to come.
And gaming wasn’t even the biggest thing at „gamescom“ this year.

VR was certainly the focus of the show, with Sony’s Playstation VR, Ubisoft’s South Park VR demo, and a whole show floor dedicated to this evolution of gaming technology. And especially for me, this was incredibly exciting. Giving „Oculus Rift“ or „PS VR“ a try, was on my bucket list for the event as it’s extremely difficult to try the tech on other occasions. A god it’s cool!
From some really crazy stuff, like a virtual rollercoaster or paragliding to demos for SyFy’s new show „Halcyon“, for „Elite Dangerous“ and many more titles across all platforms.

From VR we went to another two-letter thing: 4K! Playable games in this ultra-high-definition aren’t present on current gen consoles, but with Microsoft’s new „play anywhere“ initiative, titles like „Gears of War 4“, „Forza Horizon 3“ and „Sea of Thieves“ are all playable on PC. We played a 4K demo of Forza (it looks absolutely incredible), a bunch of cool indie titles, and a hilarious day in the life of a pirate in Sea of Thieves where I fell of a boat (yeah, yeah, ha ha ha).
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Sony’s Playstation, on the other hand, was lacking new things aside from VR. Not that much to talk about apart from a sweet first gameplay demo for the platform’s new racing game „GT Sports“ and for „Batman VR“, though I didn’t want to stand in line for two hours. Also, I don’t plan on buying a VR headset in the near future.
EA’s stage is one thing in particular: minimalistic but huge. 6 gameplay stations, 48 players a piece, 2 each for „Fifa ’16“ (thanks, but no thanks), Titanfall 2 (alright, getting there), and Battlefield 1 (fuck yeah!) and hell, has it been fun. Titanfall’s new „Bounty Hunt“ mode provides incredible mobility for the pilots and some balancing issues with the titans, but overall it was great fun, Battlefield 1 was unfortunately closed while we were there, but it’s Battlefield. Also an open beta on PS4, X1 and PC is incoming for one of the following weekends.
Ubisoft was a bit, well, meh. Yeah, I’m excited for „For Honor“, „Ghost Recon“ and even a bit for „South Park: The Fractured But Whole“ (can I say that on here?). What a shame, that only For Honor’s Multiplayer was playable, if you were ready to wait two hours (I’m not kidding!). But like with Battlefield, there are multiplayer betas incoming for a bunch of Ubisoft’s upcoming titles.
Blizzard on the other hand was about one thing in total. Gameplay! Overwatch, Warcraft, Starcraft, Hearthstone, every Blizzard game imaginable, playable on the show floor. For me especially, a new map for Overwatch.
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But for the finale, let’s run down some quick impressions from the show:

  • Mafia III looks really good, not a playable demo but a very cool commented video
  • Bethesda was shit! Dishonored 2’s and Prey’s demos were boring and uninspired. Also the sound was headache inducing.
  • Final Fantasy XV has been delayed to November. But the video demo on the floor looked really cool!
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild still looks incredible, unfortunately the demo was only playable for selected media outlets.

Overall, it’s been a great show. Lacking a bit in terms of playable demos, but what’s been there was very cool.
VR certainly has the industry’s trust to be the future of gaming, and after trying it out for the first time, I can say that I see the potential.
In the end I can only say that, as someone who went to gamescom for the first time, I’ll be back next year. It’s just a lot of fun!

Beitragsbild: Kevin Wendlandt
Fotos: Alina Kunze, Kevin Wendlandt