Gamescom 2010: Our Top 10 Games of The Show
Written Sunday, August 22, 2010 By Dan Webb & Lee Abrahams
With Gamescom now officially over, it’s time for us once again to lock ourselves in a hotel room and thrash out this year’s Top 10 Games of the Show, which incidentally is how we spent most of our day. With so much talent on offer, whittling it down to 10 was quite a challenge, but as always, copious amounts of laughing gas, a fight to the death with some oversized novelty mallets and 7 bags of Haribo, and we managed to settle on our 10.
While some of them are expected to feature, the list isn’t without its surprises and whether you like racers, shooters, action-adventure titles or even downloadable strategy games, you should add all these to your radars right now.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
We were big fans of Assassin’s Creed 2. So much so that we only went and gave it our Game of the Year award in 2009.
With Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood slipping out under a year later, there were questions whether it could build on its successful predecessor enough to warrant a purchase. While E3 was used as Ubisoft Montreal’s platform to unveil the franchise’s multiplayer debut, Gamescom 2010 looked to return to the franchise’s roots with a look at the much heralded single player.
We got a good look at Brotherhood’s new kill moves, its brotherhood recruitment and brotherhood management systems, as well as the improved Rome upgrade system. Simply put, it’s all shaping up to be rather marvellous.
If we were to rank our Top 10 Games of the Show, Irrational Games’ latest BioShock title would easily have taken home first place. BioShock Infinite - which is effectively our game of the show - wowed the press behind-closed-doors this year with the game’s debut showing.
Taking the action from the underwater fortress known as Rapture all the way to the skies, in a place Irrational Games are calling Columbia, our first look at BioShock Infinite caught us a little off guard. With it not coming out until 2012, the live demo not only looked polished and bloody gorgeous, but Irrational Games’ trademark attention to detail, as well as some highly surreal scenarios made the title one to remember.
Freaky. Dazzling. Surreal. Stunning. That is BioShock Infinite in a nutshell.
The People Can Fly developed Bulletstorm is as crazy as it sounds: an old-school shooter that places the focus on style and high scores. With it shipping out in February 2011, it would have been nice to go hands-on with a new level, you know, one we didn’t play at E3 - which incidentally we loved - but the short gameplay walkthrough - the same one that was shown at the EA press conference - was just enough to satisfy our bloodthirsty needs.
Revealing some of the game’s new pus-soaked enemies known as Burnouts, a new pulse shotgun called a Bone Duster that can reduce your foes to skeletons in a matter of seconds and with them teasing a new gigantic boss, it's safe to say that Bulletstorm took Germany by storm.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Treyarch’s Call of Duty games have always played second fiddle to Infinity Ward’s behemoth, but this year Treyarch are hoping to step out of Infinity Ward’s shadow, and for Activision, the timing couldn’t have been any better!
Admittedly, Black Ops is as Modern Warfare-esque as the franchise has ever been and from a gamer’s perspective, that’s good news. With some epic set-pieces and more explosions than a Michael Bay movie, it’s safe to say that Treyarch have opted to instil a bit of Hollywood into their latest revision.
Early signs for Black Ops is that it’s shaping up to be Treyarch’s best Call of Duty yet, and while that might not seem too hard, making this list alone is testement to its Gamescom showing.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Human Revolution rightly took home our Game of the Show award at this year’s E3 and at Gamescom 2010, Eidos Montreal came armed to the teeth with a demo to prove that choice wasn’t just a buzz word in the reboot of the popular franchise... it was an actuality.
Showing us three ways to tackle one of the game’s Detroit assignments - stealth, action and diplomatically - Eidos Montreal revealed that choice doesn’t just mean going through one of two passages, it means giving the player multiple paths to their objective that allow you to adopt many different play styles to get past the obstacles you cross.
If we’re being honest, we don’t think the recent - although rather impressive - gameplay trailer did what we saw at E3 as much justice as it maybe should have, but what they’re showing to the press certainly does its job admirably. Choice is not just a gimmick. It’s a way of life. It’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Fallout: New Vegas
When you have dropped a title like Fallout 3 on the world to almost universal acclaim, then just how do you follow it up? The answer is to hand the franchise over to sequel specialists, Obsidian, and let them do their trademark subtle reinvention. Welcome to New Vegas where, at first glance, things seem to be very familiar, and yet the unique differences soon come to the forefront.
With smoother graphics, an intriguing story and the over-the-top nature of New Vegas itself, there will be plenty to see and do, not to mention the fact that the open ended gameplay can see you carefully balance your standing with a multitude of factions throughout the wilderness. With enhancements at every turn and the same epic scope and grandeur of its predecessor, this is one game that cannot fail to draw players in.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I think in this case, the word is bound to spread.
When looking at From Dust, it is almost impossible to remember that this is going to be an Xbox Live Arcade title. The breathtaking imagination, wonderful visuals and stunning physics engine are nothing less then superb, and the game as a whole leaves many titles in its wake.
The enthusiasm of the creators was hard to suppress and, on this showing, it is easy to see why. This game was going to be an in-depth RTS, but has been transformed into a game of simplistic goals, wondrous depth and sheer joy – which is the ideal at the heart of everything From Dust has to offer.
I suppose you could write it off as “just another God game,” but you would be missing the point, and an experience that will stay with you for much longer than most retail titles could muster. Watch this space.
Bungie’s last Halo game looks like the Seattle based developer is looking to leave their trademark multi-million dollar franchise behind them and go out with a bang.
Taking a look at the game’s fourth mission, “Tip of the Spear,” Bungie’s Community Director, Brian Jarrard, walked us through the type of action we can expect next month. With armour abilities, a few modified new weapons and some fast paced first person shooter combat, Halo: Reach’s campaign is shaping up to be one of the franchise's best yet and Bungie’s aim to make the world seem more alive has been exceeded, as you can see various battles that take place on Reach’s surface for as far as the eye can see.
And this was only the campaign we’re talking about, throw in Forge World, Firefight and of course, the game’s multiplayer, and Reach could be set to excel the franchise into the stars and beyond. Colour us excited.
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
Need For Speed’s showing at E3 2010 was enough to win it our Best Racer of the Show award, but we were still eager to see more of the classic NFS races and at Gamescom 2010, Criterion delivered.
Embroiled in a 6 player face-off against fellow journalists, while at the same time, fighting off the cops, our time with Hot Pursuit was one of our show’s highlights. With more boosting than a Gears of War 2 XP weekend, fast speeds and more shortcuts than you could possibly imagine, Need For Speed seems to be back and we hope it stays that way for good.
If you’ve been away from the franchise for some time and had become disillusioned with the franchise’s direction, Hot Pursuit is shaping up to be a classic Need For Speed title to get you back on the open road.
id Software’s Rage is the only game that makes our Top 10 Games of the Show list that failed to turn up at Gamescom 2010 with any brand new content. Showing the build that we saw - and previewed - at E3, Rage didn’t fail to wow the crowds once again and while it may be disappointing to not have seen more of the title, to mark it down because of our desire to see more of the impressive shooter just seemed petty.
With stunning visuals, more mutants than X-Men ever had and a sneak peak at an all new environment, Bethesda looks to have a bit of a special title on their hands. As we head towards the September 2011 release we hope to get our hands-on with the title and see whether it can live up to its potential. id Tech 5 is the future it seems.
Stick with X360A in the coming weeks to catch a boat-load of awesome coverage, from interviews and previews, all the way through to show floor gameplay footage and some unique videos. If you miss any of it, your life won’t be complete. Trust me.