Gamescom 2014 is now in the books and as we saw there was plenty to get excited for as this fall plans to be the first major release window for next-gen consoles. I was able to watch the entire Microsoft Media event that ended up running around 90 minutes, and was focus almost exclusively on games again.
The first thing they show – Assassin’s Creed – Why!?
Alright, I know that this has been a very successful series and I guess that alone provides enough reason to have it show first. However, they didn’t even highlight the one major gameplay change in the fact that their is now multiplayer co-op. Also it was only a video, which seems backwards considering that E3 had playable demo! Just seemed really odd to me.
Next after the introduction of Phil Spencer was bringing up the EA Sports team and showing off Fifa 15 to the European Crowd. They will be offering a Xbox One Bundle exclusive to EU customers that will be packaged with Fifa this fall. Also, the Fifa Ultimate Team in this edition will feature the ability to use legends.
After we saw the multitude of games coming to Xbox through the ID@Xbox program. This looks like a really exciting program that I hope we finally start to get to see some of these games this fall. Many cool looking games and lots of unique art styles and gameplay. One game of note that I caught is that the surprising Steam hit Goat Simulator will be coming to Xbox One.
They also showed off the game Smite, which is visually stunning MOBA that will use mythological gods and heroes will also becoming through this program.
Next we saw a gameplay preview of the campaign for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The demo featured the use of the Exo Suit which is how they are changing up movement. I like that they stated that they are trying to change up the gameplay in all of their game modes. Also I really like the smart grenades, which I believe I mention when I recapped the E3 event.
They also announced that they will be offering a Call of Duty Bundle which will feature a 1 TB Hard drive.
Next was Evolve which somehow won best at E3. I still have no idea how this is possible. They previewed a new map entitle Distillery and were able to show some active gameplay. They brought out two shout casters, which was completely unnecessary and actually quite obnoxious. I am going to make a prediction on this game right now – their will be an open beta in january, once everyone gets their hands on this game, they will enjoy playing it but it will also see how little their is to do in this game and once the game is out in February it will flop. Moving on…
The second half of the event we had Phil Harrison come out and talk about exclusives.
Starting with Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is slated for a Holiday 2015 release. The rumors are already going about when this will “eventually” come to PS4 and PC, but at the moment it is an exclusive release.
Then we get to Quantum Break, which was really what I was most excited about. We got to finally see a live demo of the gameplay. This will be a third person shooter with an emphasis on time manipulation. The graphics and visuals looks stunning, time manipulation and melee attacks look really satisfying and the story looks compelling. I’m really excited about this game, and if the television show is nearly as good as the game is looking, that will be an exciting series to watch. However, we go nothing in regards to release date, so I felt this was a tease from the folks at Remedy.
Next up we saw another trailer for Fable Legends featuring the playable villain role. We also got news that the beta will start on October 16th!
We also got a world premier in ScreamRide which looked like a cross between Rollercoaster Tycoon and Portal. This game will be out in Spring 2015.
It wouldn’t be a Microsoft even with out two things – Forza and Halo, next we got some updates on Forza. New cars are available now on Forza V for free, and we got to see a video on Forza Horizons 2 focusing on the social and community aspects of the game.
A surprise from the E3 event was the brief mentioning of Ori and the Bling Forest. At Gamescom we got a change to see a gameplay demo of this action platformer. The games art style looks beautiful and is slated for a Holiday 2014 release.
Then we moved on to the Halo portion of the event. They recapped everything that is coming in the Master Chief Collection, this November. We also got to see the new Halo Channel which will be an interactive Halo Experience including gaming, the Nightfall Series, and more.
They unveiled the next multiplayer map being redone for Halo 2 – Sanctuary, which we saw a gaming demo. Also we got a change to see some gameplay of the campaign from the HD remake of the Halo 2 campaign.
Finally we got some information on the Halo V beta, it will be 4v4 arena style matches on dedicated servers using small maps. The focus is to bring back that small arena style matches that made Halo so popular. Also they will be using something called Fair Start, where all players will start with the same weapons.
Following the Halo news, we got a brief recap and one last bit of news. Starting this fall we will be able to begin pre-ordering and pre-downloading games on Xbox One! This will be a welcome feature for those who don’t wish to buy from a store or want to ensure day one playability.
I found it odd that Dragon Age Inquisition was snubbed from this event. But perhaps at this point it was unnecessary considering all the PR work that team is doing for their release. Quantum Break stole the show for me, and I hope to find more information on this game soon!