The Glorious Gamescom Highlights From This Week
By Malik Forté on August 15, 2014
The skies of Germany have been illuminated with the fireworks of Gamescom this week, and we’ve decided to collect all the residue to of the incredible stories that have exploded onto the internet in the last couple of days.
Servers went offline as folks made a mad dash to forums so that they could comment “OMFG” and “HOLY SHIT BALLZ” as fast as humanly possible. The idea of Kojima and del Toro working together seems like something out of a dream, and throwing Norman Reedus into the mix only sent the nerdy loins of the world into even more of an earthquake of excitement. To put it into context, Jessica Chobot’s reaction was a PG-rated version of my reaction upon hearing this news. On that note, I need to replace my sticky keyboard.
Without a doubt one of the more controversial news bits of Gamescom thus far, Crystal Dynamics’ next installment of their celebrated action adventure series Tomb Raider is releasing “only on Xbox” in holiday 2015. A bold move by Square Enix? Hardly. If anything this was a great move, especially with the dodgy messaging from both Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics on whether or not this is a timed exclusive, which was later confirmed to be so by Phil Spencer not too long after.
Nintendo is obviously aware that people love the 3DS and love the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Why not just merge the two together with a Super Smash Bros-themed 3DS XL to get those folks ready for the game’s release this holiday? Not much more to say about the logic behind this except: dolla dolla bills, bitch.
After The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, I doubt anyone had the desire to see a first-person shooter with the Walking Dead license anytime soon. But the fact that Overkill, the developers behind Payday, are taking charge of the series is intriguing, and all of a sudden I feel myself excited about the possibility of another go at a Walking Dead shooter. Maybe this will fill the void that Left 4 Dead 3 missed out on filling with its continued non-existence. Seriously, why can’t Valve count to 3?
Bloodborne gameplay finally gets shown to the public
I got a chance to check out a live demo of Bloodborne at E3, so I was super ecstatic when Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide pulled the curtain back on the gameplay for the public to see. The word on the streets is that the folks at From Software had to dial back the game’s difficulty for the press who got hands-on so that they wouldn’t be frustrated with its impending challenges during their short time demoing. Well played, but let’s hope this doesn’t spill over into the final game, because it can’t be a spiritual successor to the Souls series without having an insane, controller-tossing difficulty level.
New Xbox One SKUs galore:
Microsoft is bringing a couple of slick new models of the Xbox One to the market this holiday season. The first: a $500 bundle which includes a grayish Call of Duty-themed console/controller, a copy of Advanced Warfare, a headset, and an upgraded 1TB hard drive. The latter: a $400 bundle that includes a white system, white controller and a full game download of Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive. Both are pretty damn sexy, might I say, and almost as delicious looking as a full course meal from the soon-to-be-famous fast food chain from within Sunset Overdrive, Sexburger.
DayZ is heading to PS4:
Started from the Arma II, now we’re here: that was the basic message conveyed by Bohemia Interactive’s Dean Hall as he announced DayZ for the PS4. He made it a point that the game is not being just ported, but rather crafted specifically for the PS4 architecture. It looks like H1Z1 will have an interesting run for its money in the barebones MMO zombie genre.
Kano will be making a return in Mortal Kombat X, as revealed by NetherRealm Studios by way of a slick new combo reel. He isn’t quite the heart-eating murderer that you may remember from the glory days of the series, but he’s definitely a shade of his old self in the sense that he still loves to “play knife”.
Destiny announced as “the most pre-ordered game” in GameStop history
Well, if you needed anymore reason to go out and pre-order Destiny, then perhaps this will do. Everyone else is doing it, and we found out during PlayStation’s Gamescom media briefing that the game is the most pre-ordered of all time since the creation of GameStop. Pretty impressive milestone, but not as impressive as the game itself, which just got a new trailer released for it today highlighting it’s Martian territories.
PlayStation TV gets a launch date
If you’re looking for a way to play your Vita games on a television or a solution for streaming your PS4 from other rooms, then you may want to head out and pick up a PlayStation TV, which is set to hit stores on October 14 here in North America. PlayStation’s answer to the Rokus and Chromecasts of the world, PlayStation TV will be compatible with PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Mobile, and PlayStation Vita games, and will also include a slew of other apps like Hulu, Netflix, and Sony’s upcoming game streaming service PlayStation Now. The box will be available by itself for $99 and for $139 with a Dualshock 3 controller included.
Microsoft set the date for Halo 5: Guardians‘ multiplayer beta, and it looks like folks will get their first crack at 343 Industries’ next installment of the series right after Christmas. The beta will run from December 29 through January 18, further influencing fans of the series to pick up an Xbox One this holiday if they haven’t already done so.
Tearaway Unfolded brings the Tearaway experience to PlayStation 4
Fans of the critically acclaimed Media Molecule title Tearaway are probably the majority of the folks who feel the gravity in this announcement, but Tearaway Unfolded coming to the PS4 may be some of the best news to come from today’s PlayStation briefing. This game exudes charm and introduced the most unique methods of using the PlaySation Vita to date. It will definitely be interesting to see how Media Molecule utilizes the PS4 within the Tearaway universe.
Nintendo unveils Meta Knight for Super Smash Bros. Wii U/ 3DS
He’s one of the most broken characters in Super Smash Bros. history, but Nintendo is bringing him back this fall anyway. Will this be a means for redemption for Nintendo? By which I mean they’ll cut out Meta Knight’s notorious sharking abilities that were exploited in past Super Smash Bros. competitive play? Even better, is there anything more “meta” than Meta Knight being announced during Shark Week? I see what you did there Nintendo!
Play your friend’s PS4 from your own PS4
When PlayStation 4 firmware 2.0 hits, we can all look forward to a new feature called Share Play, which allows players to play locally on a friend’s PlayStation without actually being present. I’m all smiles for this– mainly because it means I can play Towerfall: Ascension with my online buddies finally! The only downside to this is a little factoid that came out of Gamescom today: the Share Play feature will only work in in hour-long increments. Isn’t that booty-sauce?
I know. I’m just as confused as you are. I thought this was some crazy BioWare/Yu-Gi-Oh! collaboration at first, but Shadow Realms appears to be a co-op RPG where four players team up against one, Evolve style. Sounds a bit convoluted, but if anyone’s an expert in the realm of taking convoluted premises and spinning them into gaming gold, it’s BioWare.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer gets revealed
Another year, another Call of Duty, right? Well, yes and no because, this time around, the franchise has actually made some significant changes to differentiate itself from previous iterations, like eliminating the camping element by introducing transversal gameplay. I’d say these changes are for the better, but I go a little more in-depth on that in this week’s episode of Nerdist: Play, so check that out if you want to hear my collection of thoughts on this matter.
We still have two more days left of Gamescom, so don’t be surprised is this list gets even bigger. We’ll file this story under our “developing” category for now, but until we do get Gamescom closure, make sure to tell us what you think has been paramount out of the announcements in the comments below.