PC Gamer’s Phil Savage and Mollie Taylor were at Gamescom in Cologne this week and have so far posted trailers for The Callisto Protocol, Homeworld 3 and Jagged Alliance 3. They’ve seen a lot more games than that – I saw some scary looking schedules before they left, so we’ll have to wait for them to regain consciousness to find out what excites them the most.
The rest of us have been watching from home: Gamescom continues through this weekend, but its biggest reveals and announcements happened closer to the start of the week, particularly during Tuesday’s live stream, which was once again hosted by the presenter with the most video game shows he’s ever hosted, Geoff Keighley.
You can see the entire Opening Night Live here (opens in a new tab) If you missed it, it’s about two hours long, and FYI, the big reveal at the end is just the Dead Island 2 release date. It’s not really a moment you need to witness in context, but there were some exciting games going on. the program. There were other shows too, including another edition of our publisher’s Future Games Show. After seeing all the activity for the week, these are the six games that intrigue us the most. (And here’s the rest of our Gamescom 2022 coverage (opens in a new tab).)
A new RTS from the C&C Remastered studio
Wes Fenlon, real-time strategist: Rebirth of real-time strategy. Real-time strategy renaissance! A couple of years ago, EA teamed up with Petroglyph Games, a small studio founded by many of the former Westwood developers who created Command & Conquer, to work on a very nice remastered collection of the original C&C and Red Alert. In the wake of that success, Petroglyph announced a World War I RTS called The Great War: Western Front. I have to say it’s a bit Brown to my liking, but I like the sound of Petroglyph dipping its toe into larger-scale strategy in a way it never did with C&C. This quote from the Steam page sounds a lot like Total War:
“As a theater commander, experience exciting turn-based grand strategy as you direct the deployment of forces, conduct investigations, and carefully consider how you allocate your resources on the Western Front in a war won by inches. On top of this, take up the mantle of Theater Commander. field in dynamic real-time battles as you lead units to defeat your opponent, build trenches and make direct attacks by sending your infantry overhead.
Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles looks great
Chris Livingston, Senior Settlement Builder: Sometimes a trailer comes along that instantly puts a finger on the endorphin release button in my brain. Airships? Settlements? High castles built on sheer cliffs? Yes to all of those. I never played The Falconeer air combat game, but the follow up, Bulwark, It looks fantastic. Build fortresses and cities on the snowy mountain tops of an ocean planet, recruit commanders who unlock new building options, and defend yourself from airborne enemy attacks. My body is ready.
Pinocchio, but it’s Bloodborne
Tyler Colp, but it is bloodborne: I routinely forget that Lies of P exists and that it is a game of souls loosely (really loosely) based on Pinocchio. The trailer plays into the absurdity of the premise without breaking the fourth wall, and I respect that: an oddly attractive Pinocchio weaves his way past strange enemies, then meets his father, Geppetto, in dark 19th-century France. It’s all so blatantly Bloodborne that I think I have to play it right now.
Lauren Morton, but she is bloodborne: I guess I have to admit that I have No I forgot that Lies of P exists and have been waiting for it without irony since it was announced. So I guess the only surprise for me was that nobody stopped me from putting “Pinocchiosouls” in a headline.
New Tales from the Borderlands, Old Telltale Staff
Jody Macgregor, editor of New And Old Weekend/AU: A sequel to Tales from the Borderlands was announced in April, albeit with a cautionary footnote: Gearbox is doing it in-house. The original was great for how out of regular Borderlands it was, with completely different gameplay and a cast of civilians to highlight the absurdity of the looter-shooter scenario seen from ground level. Having the people responsible for writing Borderlands 3 trying to handle that style of comedy seemed like a potential red flag. (Though, to be fair, both the Borderlands 3 DLC and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands were improvements in the writing department.)
However, the Gamescom trailer for New Tales from the Borderlands was accompanied by a statement from Gearbox founder Randy Pitchford (opens in a new tab) explaining that its creation involved “a group of original Telltale storytellers, writers, and developers who worked on the original game.” Gearbox production director James Lopez also told IGN (opens in a new tab) that the studio “partnered with key alumni of the original Tales game” to write it. So maybe it’s safe to get our hopes up after all.
New Tales from the Borderlands is due out on October 21.
This offbeat indie detective game kills
Chris Livingston, murder investigator: It was only in the brief demo of the indie detective game The Case of the Golden Idol that I got completely hooked. See wacky pixel art paintings of murder scenes and click on clues to investigate. To solve a murder, you’ll need to uncover the names of everyone involved and determine the nature of the crime by dragging and dropping the words you collect onto a scroll, making it part Return of the Obra Dinn and part Mad Libs. The full game will feature a dozen murders to investigate, and interestingly, all of these murders are related in some way. The demo is excellent and I can’t wait to investigate further when the full game will be released, although that date remains a mystery.
Finally a game where I can be a professional speaker
Tyler Wilde, Executive Speaker: We got our introduction to Where Winds Meet during Opening Night Live. It is an open world action RPG set at the end of the Ten Kingdoms period of China, after which there are no longer ten kingdoms, so a lot of things happen. You have to be skeptical when a game promises things like authenticity and freedom, but with all the cinematic trailers we saw at Gamescom, it was nice to see genuine video game footage at play. The city scene particularly impressed me (look at all those NPCs standing around in their period clothing) and I want to know more about the non-combat jobs we can apparently do in Where the Winds Meet.
The orator and the ferryman are my best picks – imagine transporting NPCs on a boat while you pray to them, for hours. Now that’s what I call Modern Video Games. The publisher of Where Winds Meet is putting me in touch with its developer, a studio based in Hangzhou, China, so I’ll have more to say about this PC-only RPG soon.