This year’s Gamescom was virtual again, but there was plenty of reveals and new trailers to beat away the lockdown blues — even in this year’s preshow.
Geoff Keighley’s showcase has become a staple in the schedule for the German gaming convention, much the way The Game Awards now bookends the end of the industry’s events. And while Far Cry 6, Age of Empires 4, the launch season for Splitgate, an extended gameplay showcase for Death Stranding: Final Cut, tons of indies, and plenty more AAA games were preserved for the real show, but even the preshow had plenty to dig into.
King of Fighters 15 kicks off proceedings
It’s not due out until 2022, but King of Fighters XV began everything in the pre-show. Lots of fan favourite characters and 3v3 team battles for anyone who loved the Marvel vs Capcom days.
A new trailer for miltec shooter 9 To 5
Bus Simulator, House of Ashes and Dolmen get quick reveals
Bus Simulator isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but if you really love Euro Truck Simulator and those kinds of functional games, the roads look nice and crisp. And the latter could be said for Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes, which continues to look creepy as all hell.
Dolmen got a short 2022 release date announcement — it’s coming to last-gen consoles as well, as per the PlayStation channel.
Dream Cycle is a new adventure from the maker of Tomb Raider
This is launching in early access from September 7; more info’s available on Steam.
Saints Row gets a February 25, 2022 release date
It’s a pretty open, diverse approach for Saints Row. The city, characters and gangs have been rewritten from scratch. You play as the boss, but the party of characters and the look of the city is a lot more contemporary. It looks real good, and we should get more info about it later this week.
Firaxis’s next game: Marvel Midnight Suns
The X-COM and Civilization studio are still working on a tactics-based game in the Marvel universe, and it’s called Midnight Suns. The official gameplay won’t be revealed until September 1, but we’re told to expect plenty of narrative choices, relationship building, and a new hero designed by Marvel and Firaxis that the player will be able to fully customise. Lilith will also be the main protagonist for Midnight Suns, which makes for some cool cinematics.
We saw Call of Duty: Vanguard’s campaign for the first time
Vanguard’s approach to World War 2 is looking pretty traditional — there’s no surprise gadgets that feel out of place for the era, for instance. The gameplay footage didn’t reveal much about the characters or establish much in terms of story. It’s also worth noting the footage was simply introduced as-is, with no reference or mention of the ongoing storm of abuse, walkouts and lawsuits that has enveloped Activision Blizzard.
Halo Infinite got a flashy cinematic trailer and a new controller
It was basically a trailer for Halo Infinite‘s first free-to-play multiplayer season, with no real new details. Halo Infinite’s campaign and multiplayer will launch concurrently on December 8, which is a pretty big accomplishment given the spot Infinite was in this time last year.
The Xbox Elite 2 Wireless Controller is getting a limited edition Halo Infinite skin as well, and there’s a special edition Xbox Series X to mark
Cult of the Lamb is Devolver Digital’s next, adorable adventure
Made by Massive Monster in Melbourne, Cult of the Lamb is a roguelike adventure where you play a lamb that’s saved from the chop by a stranger. It’s launching in 2022, and there’s more info on the Steam page. Film Victoria has officially backed this game as well, which is always good to see.
Midnight Fight Express launches winter 2022, looks great
Made by a 30-year-old Polish developer, Midnight Fight Express was announced as an Xbox Game Pass title earlier this week. It isn’t launching until winter 2022 Australian time, but the footage we have already looks neat.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has some fantastic sprites
It’s a Dotemu-published game, so if you didn’t know Shredder’s Revenge was an oldschool-style beat-em-up … well, now you know! It looks fantastic though with a great, crisp retro style rather than the cleaner, smoother sprites of something like Streets of Rage 4.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is basically Super Monkey Ball x Wii Sports
Also, Persona 5‘s Morgana is in the game for some reason.
Anyway, Banana Mania actually looks like a great party game. There’s a ton of things that look real neat, like tennis, soccer, mini-golf, baseball, what looks like sci-fi bowling, rowing, 9-ball, and some more traditional Super Monkey Ball-style gameplay.
It’ll be out on October 5, although interestingly the Persona 5 music and voiceover for Morgana “are not included” in the DLC.
Splitgate launches today with a new Infection mode, new map
Splitgate’s awesome. It’s launching out of beta phase today, and the infection mode should be a neat addition into the casual playlist.
The Riders Republic beta has been extended by a couple of days
???? The Riders Republic Beta is now extended until August 28th… And is open to everyone!
Join the madness at https://t.co/MY9M2kYBPR
— Riders Republic (@RidersRepublic) August 25, 2021
This happens pretty much with every beta these days, but in Riders Republic‘s case it’s at least a fully open beta from now. It’s available here on all platforms, and the massive NDA on the beta previously has been lifted. More info’s available on the official site here.
Century: Age of Ashes is launching on November 18
Want to race and fly around on dragons? Century: Age of Ashes will let you do that. More info is available about the free-to-play game over on Steam here.
LEGO: The Skywalker Saga still has plenty of dumb LEGO gags
It’s a bit staggering just how much time you’ll be able to put into this game, with the galaxy map and the sheer amount of content from all of the Star Wars films. It won’t launch until autumn next year, though.
Synced: Off-Planet is a sci-fi shooter where you can basically summon robots
More info and gameplay from this one will be revealed tomorrow, so we didn’t get much in the way of explanation. Basically, the core conceit is that you’ll be able to reuse nanites in some fashion to spawn creatures that can fight for you.
The Outlast Trials is Outlast as a survival co-op game, out in 2022
The Outlast Trials can be played solo or with up to 4 players, according to the Steam listing. No idea on how the game changes in co-op versus if you’re playing solo, but the 2022 release date is pretty open, so plenty of time to find out more about this one.
Dokev looks like the best trailer of Gamescom so far
Apart from being one of the longest trailers by far, Dokev’s music and bright visuals absolutely slap. Definitely the energy I needed at 5:00am.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 launches November 9
Bit more footage of the dinosaurs, the building management, dinosaurs yelling at other dinosaurs, a shark being used as food, and what looks like Jurassic Park: San Diego.
Far Cry 6 follows the Far Cry trend: evil villain gonna evil
Far Cry has always had good cinematic trailers, especially as the series continues to lean on great talent for its villains. Ubisoft certainly seem like they’re getting their value out of Giancarlo Esposito, who continues to carry the series. (And as was the case with Call of Duty: Vanguard, absolutely nothing was mentioned prior to the Far Cry footage of Ubisoft’s ongoing issues.)
Vampire: The Masquerade Blood Hunt’s battle royale hits early access on September 7
Pretty straightforward, that.
The Tropico 6 developers are making a theme park sim: Park Beyond
I’m actually surprised Bandai Namco are getting behind a game like this — theme parks and management sims aren’t usually their stock in trade. The game isn’t due out until 2022, but there’s some interesting changes that Planet Coaster fans might enjoy. More info on this game later in the week.
Jett: The Far Shore launches October 5
This one’s a last-gen too, for everyone still stuck on a PS4. It seems very much in the spirit of games like Sable: lots of sweeping exploration across terrain, moody background music, long lens shots and scouring planets for what looks like certain checkpoints.
Jett: The Far Shore is launching on PC too, although it’ll only be through the Epic Games Store.
Horizon: Forbidden West launches February 18, 2022
Well, February next year is looking real busy so far. Everyone knew a delay to 2022 was coming, but it doesn’t seem like the delay will be too long, which is nice.
Also: Horizon Zero Dawn has just gotten a 60 FPS patch for the PS5. That should be live today, apparently.
New World gets more gameplay, has an open beta from September 9-12
Your GPUs should be fine this time around, too.
Marvel: Future Revolution is an open-world RPG on mobiles
What if Marvel’s Avengers, but on your phone with way more characters (including Spider-Man)? That’s basically Marvel: Future Revolution. I’ve heard it’s actually pretty decent, so keen to hear more on this one later.
The Tales series is coming to phones
It’s called Tales of Luminaria and it’s launching on iOS and Android, although Bandai simply said the project is “underway” for now. I imagine they’ll be following a similar model to the recently released Ni No Kuni mobile MMORPG, mind you, given how successful that’s been.
Jumanji is being remade as a co-op game, I think
Almost zero information about this one, with basically two seconds of actual gameplay total.
There’s more Lost Judgment, still isn’t coming to PC yet
A 7-minute trailer will be debuted later today Australian time as part of the post Opening Night Live-post show, apparently.
deadmau5 is releasing a Oberhasl1, a virtual social hub within Core
This is basically an ongoing social hub that’ll help serve as a place not just for future social hubs but also future events related to the electronic music producer. Core, if you’re unfamiliar, is a free-to-play Roblox-esque sandbox engine that leverages the Unreal Engine.
Here’s some actual Age of Empires 4 gameplay
It still looks sharp. We’ll have more info about Age of Empires 4 later this week, so stay tuned for that.
Valheim is getting Hearth & Home on September 16
It’s the first major content update for Valheim, which took off at the start of the year. It’ll focus on base building, supposedly. In an unrelated detail, the developers posted an official Valheim recipe for mince meat pies which looks pretty neat.
Genshin Impact is adding Aloy on September 1: here’s the first look
You can get early access on PS4 and PS5 to Aloy, but she’ll be added to all platforms from September 1. There’s also a Genshin concert this October for fans, if that’s your thing.
Sifu’s martial arts action launches February 22, 2022
Honestly, can we all stop launching our games in February? This is getting out of hand.
Death Stranding: Director’s Cut adds thrusters, literal catapult
Don’t want to haul literal arse for people’s random cargo? Launch it out of a cannon instead. There’s more upgrades too in the Director’s Cut. The Buddy Bot has been upgraded: the Buddy Bot will even carry Sam, too.
There’s a new training course and leaderboard system for Death Stranding‘s weapons. One new weapon is the Maser Gun, a lightning type weapon. You can also revisit and redo boss fights as much as you want via Sam’s private room, and your performance will be uploaded to a shared leaderboard.
8 new songs have been added to Death Stranding, and there’s new missions to work through. The missions have a heavy Metal Gear Solid feel to them, even down to the music.
A new racetrack has been added if you want to mess around further, and you’ll square off against other online ghosts. Jump ramps have also been added, if you feel like spending resources on building those up. I imagine it’s something you won’t see until the end of the game, because holy shit those would be useful within the first 20 hours from what I remember.
Death Stranding: Director’s Cut launches on September 24, 2021.
This post is being updated live.