Was it too soon to have Gamescom just two months after E3 ended? Probably not. Having another gaming convention a few months later provides game developers and publishers with a chance to showcase games later in their development cycle.
For the attendees, they’re given the opportunity to actually play segments of the game that could only be talked about before. While E3’s a treasure trove of information on the latest games, Gamescom’s definitely the place to play them.
With that, here are 10 games from Gamescom 2019 you need to check out.
1. Borderlands 3
Since it was announced in April, Borderland’s publisher Gearbox’s been leaving breadcrumbs of info but finally, we have the entire picture, just a few weeks shy to release. The third sequel of the iconic comic book art style shoot-and-loot game is back with four new vault hunters and of course, its ridiculous weapons. It’s been confirmed that there’ll be a billion guns — a conservative approximate at that.
On the multiplayer front, the series traditional split-screen coop will still be around, albeit only on consoles. As for the rumoured cross-platform multiplayer, nothing’s been confirmed, but there could be a chance it could happen. CEO of Gearbox Randy Pitchford tweeted that there’ll be no cross-play functionality at launch but will be available “as soon as practicable”.
Borderlands 3 releases on 13 Sept, 2019, on PS4, Xbox and PC (Epic Games Store 6-month exclusive) from $82 onwards. For pre-orders and more information, click here.
2. Call of Duty Modern Warfare
The Call of Duty franchise has always been a fan favourite but in recent years, it seems to have lost its shine, even jumping on the battle royale bandwagon to entice people to purchase the game. But could the return to its roots amidst a declining interest in battle royale spark a resurgence of sorts?
A new 2v2 game mode (Gunfight) has been revealed where the first team to ten rounds wins. Maps are small and gunfights are frantic and fast-paced. The return to modern weapons (like the FAMAS, FAL, MP7) is somewhat of a relief. After all, declining Battlefield 1 and 5 sales seem to indicate a preference for modern weapons in first-person shooters.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare releases on 25 Oct 2019, on PS4, Xbox and PC from $79 onwards. For pre-orders and more information, click here.
3. John Wick Hex
John Wick Hex is a combination of the tactical elements of XCOM, the frenetic decision-making of Superhot and what game developer Mike Bithell calls it, “John Wick Chess”. Heck, even the colour palette matches Parabellum’s.
Game mechanics intentionally mirrors that of how Wick is in the films. You’re put in an alleyway with a gun and a couple of baddies and you really have to think like Keanu. You have to become… The Baba Yaga. Double-tap an enemy with the pistol here, choke another out with a book there, stab one more with a pen. You know, the usual John Wick fare.
John Wick Hex release date TBA. Available on Mac and PC for $19.50. For pre-orders and more information, click here.
4. Minecraft RTX
This is more of a graphical update than a release of a new version of Minecraft. With the release of Nvidia GTX 20 series graphics cards that comes with raytracing technology (RTX), a lot of games have benefitted from it graphically and Minecraft (even with its pixelated blocks) happens to be one of them.
With RTX activated, it looks like an entirely new game. You can actually see beautiful shafts of light falling through the jungle canopy, or the shadows cast by the glow of lava as you mine underground. The last words I’ll ever use to describe Minecraft is detailed and realistic, but that’s exactly what it is now. It’s honestly difficult to explain, so you’ll just have to watch the video to find out.
Minecraft RTX update TBA. Minecraft is available on Mac and PC for $26.95. For pre-orders and more information, click here.
5. Death Stranding
When the first trailer for Death Stranding came out, no one could understand the gameplay, it was all a big guessing game. Some called it “the most elaborate walking/sitting simulator hybrid you’ll ever experience”. Others think it’s all an elaborate scheme Hideo Kojima cooked up so he can work with filmmakers and big-name actors. After all, there’s Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Doctor Strange), Troy Baker (The Last of Us), Margaret Qualley (Death Note, IO) and Guillermo del Toro just to name a few. Maybe he really is just a film director trapped in a game director’s body.
At Gamescom though, at least more light was shed on exactly what the heck this game is about. But it probably raised more questions than answers. Why did the game have Norman Reedus peeing? And why did a mushroom magically sprout at the spot where he peed?? So many questions.
Death Stranding releases exclusively on PS4 on 8 Nov, 2019 from $79.90. For pre-orders and more information, click here.
6. Gears 5
The fifth iteration of Microsoft’s third-person shooter will be releasing in a few weeks. They revealed a new Horde and Escape co-op game mode and with character packs, you’ll be able to play cross-over characters like Emile and Kat from Halo: Reach and even Sarah Connor from Terminator Dark Fate.
Gears 5 releases on Xbox One and PC on 10 Sept, 2019 from $74.90. For pre-orders and more information, click here.
7. Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
Probably the most anticipated aspect of Breakpoint is its 4v4 player-versus-player (PVP) game mode. While it definitely is a classic PVP shooter, it borrows elements from the battle royale genre to shake things up a bit.
The map shrinks over time, forcing both teams to engage even closer — making matches more frantic and exciting. Throw in a dynamic weather system and you’ll never get the same match experience twice. There’re four classes to select, from medics to snipers and a plethora of advanced weaponry to play with. Gameplay-wise, it is different from the likes of bigger titles like Call of Duty and Battlefield, so here’s hoping it could be one of the better shooters of 2019.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint releases on 4 Oct on PS4, Xbox One and PC from $70. For pre-orders and more information, click here.
8. Need For Speed: Heat
29. That’s how many games there are now in the Need for Speed franchise. The upcoming title has a night/day system. Races during the day are legal and as long as you don’t do anything illegal, cops will leave you alone. At night, races become illegal and you’ll be dealing with the cops, who’ll have spike strips, armoured vehicles, roadblocks and helicopters at their disposal.
As the game runs on the Frostbite engine (Battlefield, Mass Effect), environmental and dynamic car destruction are a thing. Cause too much damage to your car before you finish your race and you’ll lose some Rep and heat multiplier. There are even more ways to customise your vehicles as well, including tuning your car’s exhaust sound.
Need For Speed: Heat releases on 8 Nov, 2019 on PS4, Xbox One and PC from $79. For pre-orders and more information, click here.
9. Luigi’s Mansion
Our favourite vacuum-wielding green plumber is back after six years, with its third instalment in the series. The new title sees Luigi invited by Mario and friends to stay in a hotel that turns out to be haunted. Playable online or couch co-op, there’ll be a greenhouse, theatre stage and film studio for you and your friends to clear of ghosts.
Luigi’s been given new power-ups as well. He’s got the ability to spirit out of his body to slip through obstacles, a slam move that lets you slam ghosts, a plunger you can fire to destroy or pull items and burst, an air pressure attack. Not only that, he’s armed with a brand new vacuum — the Poltergust G-00 that’ll surely make for some ghost busting fun!
10. Dragon Ball Z Kakarot
If there’s any faithful game recreation of the Dragonball Z story, this is most likely it. The single-player action RPG closely focuses on the story of Goku (aka Kakarot) and just like how he’ll lose some fights in the anime, you’ll have trouble against some opponents in the game as well. This isn’t a fighting game where characters are balanced. “A lot of the recent Dragon Ball games have put the focus really heavily on the player-vs-player aspect, where both characters are somewhat on equal footing,” explained game director Hara Ryosuke in an interview with Kotaku. Instead in this game, “the footing won’t be equal” for both player and Goku.
Fans of the anime will be happy to know you’ll be able to play as other characters as well like Gohan, Trunks and Vegeta. Not only that, the creative team looked to use the same voice actors from the anime as well. While DBZ Kakarot might not be a DBZ game-defining title, fans will surely appreciate the faithful recreation of memorable fights and its retelling of Goku’s journey.
Dragonball Z Kakarot releases early 2020 on PS4, Xbox One and PC, price TBC. For more information, click here.
Games in banner (L-R): Borderlands 3, Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Death Stranding. Image credit to Cnet, Playstation and Inverse respectively.