Geoff and I are packing our bags and hopping onto a plane bound for Cologne this coming Sunday. Actually, we’re hopping onto several planes and spending about twenty-one hours in transit so that we can bring you all of the news, previews and interviews fresh out of this year’s Gamescom!
Gamescom is the industry’s biggest gaming expo; it’s physically larger than E3 and is Europe’s flagship videogame show. It probably doesn’t generate as much hype as E3 because, well, it’s not run by Americans. Regardless, there’s going to be a metric ton of new stuff shown off next week, and NAG Online will be there to snap up as much of it as two human beings are physically capable of doing so.
Until our deluge of coverage starts, I thought I’d take a look at which titles are getting me most excited. We already have a bunch of press events and hands-on demos booked for the coming week, but these six titles are the ones that have blown my skirt up so high I make Ms. Monroe look like a nun.
If you need me to justify my excitement then you need to start questioning your integrity as a gamer – seriously. The sequel to 2009’s co-op gamers’ wet dream has only just been announced, which means that there should be a bounty of information on Borderlands 2 coming out of Germany next week. So far only one character class has been revealed, the Gunzerker, but my fingers are crossed that we’ll have at least another one added to that list before Gamescom ends. Hell, maybe we’ll even know all four. Failing which I’ll at least get to revel in some Claptrap related shenanigans before the week is out. And if that doesn’t even happen then I will lose all my faith in the industry and humanity at large, and vow never to return to another Gamescom. Yeah, that last bit is probably a lie.
To be honest, Camcom’s Dragon’s Dogma just came out of nowhere for me. It caught my attention at this year’s E3 and instantly appealed with its real time battles against sizable fantasy beasties. Judging by what’s been seen so far, it looks like a mix up of God of War, Shadow of the Colossus and whatever team-based RPG floats your boat. It’ll be an open-world action game, but expect some RPG elements thrown in for good measure. I’m dead keen to see it for myself to get to grips with what the whole thing’s about.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Did you know that I, like countless South Africans in their late teens and early twenties, went to the UK to make my fortune? I didn’t so much make my fortune as I did struggle to get a job in the industry I wanted to work in. The result is I had to get whatever job I could so that I could eat. Fortunately for me, Bethesda released a little time-sink called Oblivion while I was over in the UK. This meant that I could while away the hours between shifts, rushing around the world of Tamriel eating as much digital food as I could find. So while I went hungry quite often, my Wood Elf archer was able to eat for both us. Digitally rendered cheese has never made me feel quite as hungry as it did back then.
Anyway, I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours playing Oblivion, so I am as excited as a crack-baby on Tony Montana’s desk for Skyrim. Each time the game gets shown off a few more details are revealed. With a game a massive as Skyrim is going to be, it’s likely Bethesda still has quite a few reveals up their sleeves.
Far Cry 3
By now you’ve surely seen the eyesplosioningly awesome E3 video that Ubisoft used to announce Far Cry 3 at this year’s E3. The game is confirmed for Gamescom so with any luck we’ll be bringing you some fresh information. I’m really chuffed Ubisoft has decided to return to the franchise’s routes and set it on an island once again. It also looks like we’ll get some memorable characters this time around, and not your typical FPS, mission-doling cardboard cut-outs.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has only just picked up the European publishing rights for Grasshopper Manufacture’s next title. It makes sense then that they would want to show off their new acquisition at the largest gaming expo in Europe. I’m all for that considering Lollipop Chainsaw puts you in the shoes of a zombie-slaying cheerleader. Developer Grasshopper Manufacture has a knack for creating quirky titles, but their deliberate middle finger to mainstream schlock yields some amazing results, like Shadows of the Damned and No More Heroes.
Once again, this game has only just been revealed via an article in Japanese magazine Famitsu. This means that there should hopefully be some tantalising details provided at Gamescom. All I really want to do is wrestle a developer to the floor and demand he tell me why protagonist Juliet Starling has a guy’s head chained to her skirt.
The August 2011 edition of NAG has a load of details on Rage; it’s the cover story for the month! We’ve already booked our slot to check out Rage at Gamescom, so we’ll be able to bring you updates on how id’s new baby is shaping up. As the game’s October release looms, the amount of hype-inducing coverage id is dropping is reaching critical levels. I mean, have you seen the most recent trailer for this game? Holy crap! I can’t wait to get my hands on this, and if all goes well that might be next week. If not, then at least we’ll get to see it in action.
Of course, there are dozens of other titles that are being shown off at Gamescom; these are just my personal picks. Apart from the obvious titles like Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Diablo III (wow, a lot of threes there) what else is getting you excited? Let us know in the comments bellow and maybe we’ll be extra sure to hunt them down for you. Don’t forget to keep an eye on my Twitter feed (@Mikit0707) and Geoff’s Twitter feed (@nagcoza) for snippets of awesome as we brave the masses at Gamescom. Keep checking NAG Online as we’ll post news, previews and more as often as possible.