Over half a million people are in Cologne Germany this week for the world’s biggest video game conference, Gamescom. To help kick start the week long event, Canada’s very own Geoff Keighley put together and hosted an opening event. The two-hour extravaganza, Gamescom Opening Night Live, featured world premier content and announcements from some of the biggest names in the industry including Sony Interactive Entertainment, EA, and Bungie to name a few.
Let’s take a look at some of the top highlights from today’s event and see what the future holds for the gaming industry.
One of the biggest games this fall on Xbox One is without a doubt, Gears 5. To kick off the show, Rob Fergusson studio head at The Coalition took to the stage to talk about the much- anticipated Gears 5 campaign mode. Up to now, we’ve only heard tidbits about but never any gameplay—that all changed today.
We learned that Gears 5‘s story is a two sided one. War returns to the planet of Sera and where as Gears of War 4 was about finding the monsters, Gears 5 is about the arrival of some pretty ticked off monsters arriving. The second component of Gears 5‘s narrative is what is going on inside of Kait’s head and her journey. The two stories come together and make for the biggest and baddest game yet in the series. The campaign mode will run at 4k 60fps on the Xbox One X, a first for the series.
On the multiplayer side, an all-new Horde mode was announced for the game. New to this mode are unique character abilities called Ultimate Abilities. These are special abilities that can only be performed by a specific character. For example, Kait can become invisible and JD can bring down devastating airstrikes.
Another new feature in Horde mode are Power Taps. Power is the economy in Horde mode and every 10 waves a new Power Tap appears. You have to decide if you want to expand your base and capture or defend.
To make the game more accessible, there is a new character called Jack that you can play as in both multiplayer and campaign modes. With Jack, you don’t have to worry about being a pro at the game. In fact, Jack is a great way for players who have never played a game in the series to jump in. Jack’s Ultimate is called High Jack, a pun on his name, it gives you the ability to shoot a dart at an enemy and take them over.
Finally, we learned that in addition to the Terminator cross over, there is a cross over between Gears and Halo Reach. Both the original voice actors for Kat and Emile were brought back into the studio to record new dialogue.
Need for Speed Heat
Last week, the latest game in the Need for Speed series was announced—Need for Speed Heat. Riley Cooper from EA gave us a look at in game footage of Need for Speed Heat. He explained that the game focuses on the core experience of street racing with modified cars and cops. Sanctioned races are added during the day to keep the experience fresh and to help explain why all the racers are in town.
Additionally, for the first time ever in the series, you can now customize your car through a iOS and Android app. Available today, NFS Heat Studio has a full line of parts and even a wrap editor that all allow you to customize your car and import it into the game when it launches in a few months on November 8, 2019.
Predator: Hunting Grounds
Developed by IIIFonic, Predator: Hunting Grounds is a 1v4 multiplayer game made exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Working closely with 20th Century Fox, the game gets its inspiration from the 1987 movie. Today we saw the very first gameplay footage from the upcoming game, which is scheduled to launch sometime in 2020.
In each game, one person plays as the Predator and the other 4 players will be part of an elite 4-person Fire Team. Gameplay is unique in that the Fire Team has mission goals to accomplish and AI combatants to face. The game changes up when the Predator enters the game. Will the hunters become the hunted?
While the gameplay shown today was in the pre-alpha stage, it looks great. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this game in the coming months.
Gearbox Software’s upcoming action role-playing, first person shooter, Borderlands 3 made an appearance on Gamescom Opening Night Live. Paul Sage, creative director shared with us two new game modes. Although the game hasn’t launched yet, the topic of discussion was all about the end game.
The Circle of Slaughter from Borderlands is coming back. Through out your journey across the solar system, you’ll find Circle of Slaughter areas. This mode features 5 rounds with multiple waves in each. Your goal is simple, shoot any and everything that moves until it no longer does. The longer you survive, the better your rewards are.
Next, we learned about the all-new Roving Grounds mode. This mode is a race against the clock where you must make your way through three areas filled with enemies and then taking on a boss. However, all this needs to be done in 30 minutes or less. Additionally, there are optional objectives such as killing certain things and doing a certain task in a specific amount of time that when completed will give you better loot at the end of the mission. In all, there are a total of 6 Proving Grounds maps scattered throughout the game.
This Stadia exclusive was announced back in June at a Stadia Connect. Today, CEO and Creative Director Raul Rubio from Tequila Works was at Gamescom Opening Night Live to share more about the upcoming launch game.
Gylt is a horror-based action puzzle game where you play as Sally who is searching for her lost cousin. With a backpack full of items and a flashlight, Sally makes her way through haunting environments full of terrifying monsters. Not only does your flash light help you make your way in the dark, it is also your weapon to attack the monsters.
These super natural beings are sensitive to not only light, bust sound as well. Additionally, there are a variety of other weapons at your disposal that you can use to take down these baddies. At this point, there aren’t many exclusive Stadia titles announced but Gylt looks like it could be one of the standout titles for Stadia this fall.
After a 5-year hiatus, Hideo Kojima made his return to Gamescom. Although Death Stranding is only a few months away and nearing completion, Kojima was on stage to give us gameplay footage and more info on this upcoming game.
First and foremost, Kojima made it clear that Death Stranding is a totally new game. In this open world game you play as Sam who must connect fractured cities and people from east to west. There are many people you will encounter that are not part of the main story but if you connect with them, they can give you things that will help you.
We were introduced to a few new characters. One of the characters shown is called Mama. She has a baby that was born on the “other side” and hot her world. However, she is connected to her baby by umbilical cord and is unable to move to different locations because her baby is on the “other side”. Check out the video below for more information and gameplay footage shown today.
Gamescom Opening Night Live was a jam-packed event
In all, there were a total of 24 games shown at Gamescom Opening Night Live. In my opinion, it was a great success. Even though E3 2019 was just a few months ago, developers still had quite a bit to show us that we have previously not seen.
I was glad to see and learn more about Gears 5‘s campaign mode. I’m even more excited for Gears 5 than I was at E3 2019. The two new modes shown for Borderlands 3 show that the game will be filled with a ton of replayability. Gylt looks like something right out of a Pixar movie and is one of my most wanted Stadia games this Fall.
Finally, we learned more about Death Stranding and saw new in-game gameplay. While there is still much to learn about the game, I have no doubt that it will be one of the hottest titles this fall.