by Matthew Thompson
After catching up on some of the news from Gamescom and watching the Sony Press Conference online yesterday, I figured I’d chime in with a few quick things that caught my eye during the show so far.
Rise of the Tomb Raider Exclusivity: I woke up yesterday morning to find my Twitter timeline very angry over the news that the next Tomb Raider would be exclusive to Xbox. All signs point to this being a timed exclusive, but it is still annoying. Not just because I’m a PS4 owner (I’d honestly be saying this if it was the other way around), but because I’m not a big fan of previously multiplatform games becoming exclusives all of the sudden. Timed exclusives are just a silly practice altogether. And I don’t like exclusive DLC while we are at it and think it is a shame more TR fans haven’t gotten the chance to play Underworld’s Beneath the Ashes because it was just on 360 as it was my favorite level in the game besides Thailand. Anyway, I’ll probably get an Xbox One eventually for some other exclusives, so even if this were to stay exclusive (Hint: It won’t), I’ll have my chance to play it. And even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the reboot, I’m still curious how they will evolve the series in the sequel. I guess for now I can look forward to Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris this Fall which I’m much more excited for and wait and see what comes of this exclusivity. It is definitely lame though and I sympathize with other TR fans who feel spurned here.
Quantum Break: I have been waiting to get a good look at some gameplay for this and I’m fairly happy with the first demo shown off today. The time manipulation looks to spice up the otherwise standard-looking third-person cover-based shooting enough to make gameplay sufficiently engaging and I can enjoy the intriguing story and presentation which I trust Remedy will deliver on as well. The visuals were definitely looking good especially as the protagonist explored the environments frozen in time. This is by no means a game that will sell me on an Xbox One, but along with some others like Sunset Overdrive and Halo it will definitely help.
Hellblade: Ninja Theory has yet to make a great game, but like a lot of developers who I feel similarly about, I am always hoping they can take that next step. Their first two games, Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, had some very memorable characters, some of my favorite from last gen. I also liked some of the ideas involved in Heavenly Sword’s combat like the different stances. That is something that they seemed to expand on in DmC which I thought was their best effort from a gameplay standpoint, but was lacking the strong narrative and characters of their previous titles (possibly hampered by trying to work within an existing IP). So I would love for Hellblade to marry both aspects to create a better overall experience. When I first saw the trailer I actually thought it might be a Heavenly Sword sequel with its very Kai-looking lead character and the Hellblade name kind of calls back to that title as well. It is a not a sequel to that game, but I love the visuals which have the expected Ninja Theory look to them complete with a fantastic female character design at the center. I’m intrigued and looking forward to seeing this one develop.
Tearaway Unfolded: I loved Tearaway. It was my handheld Game of the Year in 2013 and ranked fourth in my top ten list in what was one of gaming’s best years ever. So I’m very happy to see it getting a second life on the PS4. Media Molecule is rebuilding the game’s controls to suit the Dualshock 4 as well as adding new content to the title. I’ll definitely be grabbing the PS4 release, but even better it will give all the people who never got to try it another chance. It is my favorite game from Media Molecule and I’d love to see more of the series in the future and this rerelease seems like a helpful step towards that.
WiLD: Hard to get a vibe for what exactly this game is about (it is referred to as an online survival adventure), but I’m definitely interested. Being able to play as different animals is a cool idea and I liked what I saw in the trailer especially all the different environments and creatures. But mostly I’m excited because Michel Ancel is involved. I’m a big fan of both Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil and seeing what he does outside the confines of Ubisoft is something I am very curious to see (I do enjoy many Ubisoft titles, but they aren’t exactly keen on taking chances these days, so I think this could be good for Ancel).
A few more things:
- Far Cry 4‘s Shangri-La levels look like a great addition to an already amazing looking game.
- I’m still not too excited for The Order 1886, but the GamesCom trailer was pretty good.
- The Tomorrow Children and Volume were a couple new indie games that caught my eye. It was also nice to see Rime again.
- I’m pretty sure I’ll hate Until Dawn‘s gameplay, but a game based on cheesy slasher films is still a great idea.
- LittleBigPlanet 3 and Infamous First Light are looking good. The battle arenas seem like a good fit for Infamous to me.
- I remain hopelessly behind on the Metal Gear Solid games, but the box trailer was hilarious!
- The way the new Silent Hill was revealed was pretty wild and unexpected. Cool idea.
That will do it for now. What have been the highlights of Gamescom for you so far? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter. If I see any other big blog-worthy news from the show, I will be sure to post about it sometime this week. Thanks for reading!