gamescom 2014: Day One Round Up
For the first day of my first time at gamescom, it’s been quite a hectic one!
Today was the press day over in the Koelnmesse, with the world’s media filling the halls of the Messe to get close with some of the big games coming out in the near future.
I’ll run quickly through what I saw today. There are some interviews gradually making their way to our YouTube, so if you haven’t yet, do subscribe to the channel over at this link and you’ll get the latest videos as soon as they’re up.
Crytek – Hunt and Ryse
Hunt is a new piece of IP coming from Crytek, and is a four-person online co-operative third person shooter where bands of hunters battle it out against realisations of the world’s myths and legends on procedurally-driven scenarios.
The initial scenario shown to me was set in the Louisiana Bayou, where an evil witch is terrorising the locals. Your team is sent in to dispatch of the hordes of monsters she controls and then eventually defeat the witch herself.
Aspects like ammo conservation and teamwork are vital in this, as the AI can be quick to realise when someone gets separated and monsters are sent to pin said lone wolf down.
The witch was quite an interesting boss, she chooses one player to ‘possess’, meaning that only one person can see where she is. Her location is only revealed to teammates when said possessed player successfully lands a shot on her. Teamwork is again, vital.
Crytek intend for this to be a “Game-as-a-service”, meaning that continuous content in new locations will be developed even once the game is out. It’s still deep in development though, so look out for this in the future.
The second game was a familiar one – Ryse: Son of Rome.
The key difference is of course that recently announced PC version. The game not only comes with all the DLC that was released for the Xbox One version, but this new version has a lot of options for graphical flexibility that PC gamers can enjoy.
The headline is of course, 4K resolution.
It. Is. Pretty.
Individual lines in leather and kinks in armour are all rendered in amazing detail. Pictures couldn’t really do it justice, it needs to be seen.
Bethesda – The Evil Within
My time with The Evil Within was brief, but the time I did spend with it gave me a lot to be excited about.
I played the game in ‘survival’ mode, where the difficulty is ramped up and auto-aim is off. It’s important to point out it’s not just the combat and ammo availability that steps up in difficulty. The puzzles themselves can change too, where the clues can be more vague in the harder setting.
Random scenes of mad running ensued whenever the main antagonist, Ruvik, turned up. Seriously, you don’t want to go near the guy.
This all happened whilst sneaking around a house to try and solve a puzzle that unlocks a door. The puzzle’s mechanics is as gruesome as you’d probably expect from the game, to put it in a hopefully spoiler-free way.
GRIN – Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries
I got a little bit excited when I first discovered the game and its eventual launch on Kickstarter. My visit to the GRIN booth was also my first interview for the day, where I spoke to Wim from GRIN to find out more about the game.
The game is a 2.5D platformer with hack-n-slash and puzzle solving elements. It’s drawn in an almost steampunk-esque world where Red Hiding hood is on a quest for revenge against the evil CEO of Woolfe Industries. It’s as wacky as it sounds and it’s all the more awesome for it.
Kickstarter backers are even getting the opportunity to create enemy toy soldiers for inclusion in the game, which is pretty cool. So if you were into the likes of Alice: Madness Returns and other gritty reimagining of fairy tales, then this will be definitely up your street.
Neocore – Van Helsing III and Deathtrap
I spent a bit of time with Neocore to look into the third game in the popular Van Helsing series. The game features lots of enhancements to complete the overall Van Helsing experience with upgraded abilities and more. Lady Katerina also returns to assist Van Helsing in dishing out some damage to all manners of creatures.
What caught my attention more was a tower defence game currently in early development that ties in with the Van Helsing series. Deathtrap is a game where you plant traps on the ground to prevent hordes of enemies from reaching your main base. The gameplay is beautifully simple, and addictive enough that I found myself beating a fair few levels in my time with the game.
If you’re a fan of the series, or are looking for a different way to get involved with it, then Deathtrap could be of interest.
Bossa Studios – Surgeon Simulator PS4
Bob is back!
This latest version of Surgeon Simulator takes all of the operations from both the PC and iPad versions in a package that brings the joy of picking up surgical tools to a motion-sensing controller.
The six-axis gyroscope in the Dual Shock 4 rotates the hand, and can even overall arm movement if you have a PlayStation camera hooked up.
The big new feature though is local co-op, where each person controls an arm. Sounds simple, right?
Another neat feature for an added challenge is that with the PS camera, one person could hold two pads and attempt the surgery using two arms.
I also managed to spend some time with Henrique from Bossa to talk about the game. Here’s the interview!
RedBedlam – Bedlam
The FPS that’s been co-developed by the author that wrote the novel it’s based on is a fascinating concept to have talked about. The game plays fantastically too, with a gratefully healthy dose of comedy through voice-acting provided by Scottish actors Rab Florence and Kirsty Strain.
The game tells the tale of a female character called Heather Quinn (a.k.a. Athena) who finds herself trapped in a 90s game called Starfire, and takes her on a journey from that 90s style first-person-shooter through the graphical and gameplay changes that follow to tell a fascinating story.
I’ve got a great interview currently in the editing factory, so please do bear with me and I’ll go into Bedlam in more detail in a separate post soon.
Devolver Digital – Not A Hero and Hotline Miami 2
Devolver has a stand in the business area of gamescom where a plethora of indie devs are showing off their latest games. It was a great set-up.
The first game I played was Not A Hero, a deconstructed 2D shooter with cover-based mechanics developed by OlliOlli studio Roll7. Players can duck in and out of cover whilst attempting to ‘deal’ with mobsters that are preventing anthropomorphic/mayoral candidate ‘BunnyLord’ from winning the election.
It’s quick to pick up, and challenging to master. The physics involved when a mobster is disposed of by a shotgun leads to hilarious results too.
Hotline Miami 2 is, as you’d expect, more of the top-down run-n’-gun gorefest that we know and love. The story continues on as others attempt to replicate the ‘successes’ of the past, with the gameplay being relatively similar to those who have played the original. The sequel does feature dual-wielding (if you wear the right mask) and other new abilities besides.
The Metal Gear Solid V Gala
The day rounded off with a thousand-plus strong crowd filling Cologne’s Musical Dome to watch Hideo Kojima talk more about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
A new gameplay demo was shown, which was actually a re-hash of a mission play-through back in E3, but an entirely different plan of action was deployed to enforce the point that missions can be completed in a wide variety of ways.
One such example came from dealing with a patrol unit on a jeep. Snake instructed his trusty steed to, ahem, do a number 2 on the road. This ‘trap’ then span the jeep out of control and into a rock. Job done.
It was also revealed today that both Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain will be released for PC via Steam. No release dates for anything have been mentioned, although there’ll be a Steam cardboard box design to exploit in-game.
Finally at the gala, attention focused on that demo which was launched during yesterday’s press conference with Sony. P.T has since been revealed to be a “Playable Teaser” for a revival of the Silent Hill series in a title called Silent Hills, co-directed by Kojima-san and Guillemore Del Toro.
Discussions centred on the demo itself.as nothing can be said about the eventual title yet. Even the fake studio, 7780s, is a reference to Silent Hill for those familiar with Japanese districts.
However, on the subject of both P.T. and Silent Hills, I do have a quote from Kojima-san on his intent on making a horror game:
“We originally intended to design a game that’ll make you p*** you pants, but now we’re making a game that’ll make you s*** your pants
So yeah, prepare yourselves people.
That’s Day One!
That’s the main events that happened in my first day of gamescom 2014 Do stick around and keep an eye on our Twitter page where I’ll be continuing to tweet my progress around the show.
Amongst other appointments, there are slots with the likes of Team 17, Blizzard, Deep Silver and more. As ever, I’ll keep you updated with the latest as things happen.