Another Gamescom has come and gone, and while there weren’t any big announcements for new projects, there was still way more shown than we’d ever be able to talk about all at once, with heaps of new trailers and interviews, plus a couple of fun surprises. Here’s a round-up of our favourite picks from this year’s Gamescom!
Perhaps the least surprising appearance at this year’s Gamescom was Starfield, considering it’s heading into early access this weekend, ahead its full launch next Wednesday. While there was very little new game footage shown publicly at the convention, a new live-action trailer was released online that sets Starfield’s tone (assuming you don’t choose to be a cut-throat space pirate that robs every ship you come across).
Todd Howard even stepped onto the Gamescom stage for the very first time to talk a little about the inspiration behind the game, and what players can expect during its opening moments. Bethesda set up a 300-seat theatre during Gamescom to show attendees the beginning of Starfield. While Howard didn’t go into too much depth about what the Gamescom audience saw, he did describe how players would begin as a miner who touches an artifact, allowing you to see a bit into space-time, which would set them off into Bethesda’s massive new sci-fi universe.
Reactions from those who saw the Starfield demo seemed to be extremely positive across the board. As we approach the game’s release, it seems more and more like that Starfield may manage to live up to the hype of previous Bethesda projects, and like Skyrim, become the defining RPG of its generation.
Mortal Kombat 1
The new trailer for Mortal Kombat 1 shows off Outworld’s rulers throwing people around and tearing them apart — and having the same done to them. But the highlight of the trailer is easily Sindel’s weaponised use of her hair to deliver a gory fatality in this reboot of the legendary fighting franchise.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Cyberpunk 2077 has come a long way since its rocky launch (to put lightly) — but the game found its footing after many updates to reach its potential as a modern classic in videogames. It looks to cement itself even further in Phantom Liberty, its upcoming spy-thriller expansion, where players will assist Agent Solomon Reed (played by Idris Elba) to rescue the president from Dog Town, the underbelly of Night City.
The expansion will also delve further into Johnny Silverhand’s past, with the legendary Keanu Reeves reprising his role. Don’t expect Silverhand to love having to work with Reed…
Phantom Liberty’s new Gamescom trailer shared a glimpse of the new features in the expansion, including an overhauled cyberware system, plus new weapons and vehicles (including a new system for vehicular combat).
Alan Wake 2
Another highly anticipated game that will soon see the light of day (before enveloping us completely in its darkness) is Alan Wake 2, recently delayed to October 27 (thankfully only 10 extra days from its previous date). Remedy took the opportunity at Gamescom to reveal a new trailer for the game, as well as a new gameplay demo showing Alan walking the streets and subway tunnels of New York City.
Alan Wake 2 looks like it will descend even deeper into the horror roots established in its first entry and fleshed out in Remedy’s excellent 2019 game, Control. Remedy’s creative director, Sam Lake, stepped onto the Gamescom stage to discuss Alan’s struggle to escape the Dark Place, where he’s been trapped for the past 13 years.
But the most surprising and breathtaking element of its Gamescom demo is how absolutely stunning its nightmare version of New York is. Alan Wake 2’s next-gen graphics are firing on every cylinder, and are used masterfully to establish the game’s incredible atmosphere.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III
Captain Price is back in the next instalment of the blockbuster franchise. Gamescom delivered a preview of the first campaign level in the new Modern Warfare III (not the 2011 one!). The mission seems to take cues from the 2011 game’s scuba sequence, as well as its Gulag level.
MWIII will feature ‘open combat missions’ which allow players even greater control over how they play. Like going in loud and taking out as many hostiles as possible? Then before the mission, you can equip yourself with body armour and explosives. Prefer taking a sneaky stealth approach? Feel free to attach silencers to each of your guns and quietly take out combatants only when you need to. The campaign customisation doesn’t end there though — you can even take killstreaks with you into these missions!
Little Nightmares 3
Another excellent surprise was the announcement and reveal trailer for Little Nightmares 3, plus the face it will have both online and offline coop!
Little Nightmares 3 even went on to win ‘Best Announcement’ at this year’s Gamescom Awards. The win is absolutely deserved, as the Little Nightmares series has been a standout for side-scrolling adventures since its first entry in 2017, which a gorgeous art style that’s equally terrifying as it is overwhelming.
Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon
Iconic director Zack Snyder made an appearance at Gamescom ahead of the release of Rebel Moon — his epic new space opera starring Anthony Hopkins and Sofia Boutella — to reveal a new trailer for the film and announce its tie-in videogame. While there wasn’t much details about the game, the trailer for the film looks incredible, and very much like Star Wars put through a Snyder filter. He even took a moment to mention how much he’d love to make a Gears of War or Halo movie if given the chance…
Gamescom Awards 2023
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom cleaned up at the Gamescom Awards 2023, winning ‘Best Switch Game’, ‘Best Audio’, ‘Best Gameplay’, and ‘Most Epic’. Perhaps this foreshadows who will win ‘Game of the Year’ at the Game Awards in December? Or maybe Starfield or a surprise winner will usurp Zelda’s dominance.
Of course, we can’t forget the well-deserving winners of the Gamescom Award’s 11 other categories:
Best visuals: Black Myth: Wukong
Most Entertaining: Payday 3
Most Wholesome: Pikmin 4
Games for Impact: Sky: Children of the Light
Best Microsoft Xbox Game: Mortal Kombat 1
Best PC Game: Payday 3
Best Sony PlayStation Game: Tekken 8
Best Mobile Game: Sky: Children of the Light
Best Announcement: Little Nightmares 3