Gamescom may not announce as much as E3, but there were some good morsels
Gamescom was this past week in Cologne, Germany, and along with any major event in the game industry, announcements were made throughout the week. For the sake of time and your patience, I’m making this list a little different than most. Instead of rehashing things we already knew about getting trailers or minor updates, I’ve curated a list of new things to come out of Germany, with a little bit of peppering of interesting side notes.
Microsoft started off the event with a bang, showing off two special editions of the Xbox One X. The Minecraft Edition comes with a blocky themed console and a Creeper-themed controller. The system comes with Minecraft and the “Redstone Pack” extra DLC. Additionally, the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition was announced for pre-order (and promptly sold out). It comes with a custom printed exterior to the console and “Project Scorpio” labeled controller for fans of special editions.
Aside from the special edition consoles, Microsoft also announced that there are over 100 games confirmed that will be “Xbox One X Enhanced”, including the upcoming Wolfenstein II. These titles get special graphical pushes when played on the new console and is meant to make the transition between the Xbox One to Xbox One X much more smooth.
Microsoft gave some of its old-school fans something this time around, as well. The original Age of Empires is getting a “Definitive Edition”, where Microsoft also has stated that Age of Empires II and III are both getting Definitive Editions, as well. This led to the official announcement of Age of Empires IV, which will be available on PC, which will have 4K support.
Microsoft’s final announcement was that the Xbox Games Pass is expanding to 8 new markets and adding 7 new titles this month alone. ReCore, the easily forgotten Microsoft PC and Xbox One game of 2016, is getting a “Definitive Edition”, and is being added to the Games Pass list as one of aforementioned 7 new titles. The Definitive Edition includes a brand new expansion to the original game. Those few people that bought the original, though, get the expansion for free.
Sony had two major announcements for Gamescom and a whole lot of nothing else. The centerpiece was the announcement of Shenmue III, including a trailer. In addition, GT Sport is getting a limited edition version of the PlayStation 4 console, which simply features the GT logo on the side of a gray PS4 and will include the “Day 1” edition of the game. This Day 1 edition includes $250,000 in-game credits, sticker packs, a chrome racing helmet, and 60 PS4 avatars related to GT Sport.
EA came out swinging during their presentation, but didn’t really land many punches. Aside from Star Wars Battlefront 2 getting a trailer about starfleet battles, Battlefield 1 Revolution was announced as the first major DLC for Battlefield 1. The Sims 4 is getting an expansion focusing on pets, aptly titled “Cats and Dogs”, which brings to mind earlier iterations of their “Pets” expansions for their titles.
Last year, EA showed off their “EA Originals” program, which focuses on publishing indie titles. They announced the game Fe, created by Zoink Games in Sweden. During Gamescom, Fe finally got a new trailer, but the news that it was coming to the Nintendo Switch would be the biggest news. This is in addition to the game already coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Most of Nintendo’s announcements were re-hashes of prior commitments, such as Super Mario Odyssey and Metroid. Among the stack of retreaded area, Nintendo did get a chance to announce a Super Nintendo themed New Nintendo 3DS XL to satisfy those that may or may not also be looking for a SNES Classic this holiday. The buttons are colored like the European version in the images shown, so it is unknown if the colors will match their respective regions.
Additionally, Rocket League is a game we already knew was coming to the Nintendo Switch this Holiday season. We knew there would be Nintendo themed exclusive cars for it, but we we never truly told details about them. There will be a Mario-themed “Mario NSR”, a Luigi-themed “Luigi NSR”, and one named “Samus Gunship” which takes on the look of Samus’ gunship from the Metroid games.
Secret of Mana has been a nostalgic game for anyone that owned a Super Nintendo back in the day. It’s so noteworthy that Nintendo included it in their upcoming SNES Classic console. For those that want to enjoy the game in modern beauty, Secret of Mana was announced to be getting a truly cinematic remake worthy of its former version. The game will include a mini-map in the game, which the developers thought themselves cheeky by making it look identical to the original game’s top-down pixelated look. It’s been announced for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC through Steam. No word on if it’ll be on a Nintendo console like it was so many years ago yet.
During Gamescom, Square Enix finally proved a possible future true by announcing that their beloved Final Fantasy XV would be coming to PC early 2018. This version will have mod support, to allow the community to make the kingdom how they see fit. This version will include a king’s ransom of content, including all of the free content previously made available for consoles and the entire Season Pass without need for extra downloads. Along with the content, a First-Person mode will be available on PC, breaking the usual third-person law that Final Fantasy has had for decades.
In an interesting turn of events, Ubisoft and Square Enix have teamed up for some special offerings between their flagship titles, Assassin’s Creed and Final Fantasy. In a subtle build up in old and new trailers, easter eggs have been making their way into each others’ most recent games over the past year or so.
This crossover event will include special things in both games for each franchise. The event officially started on August 30th when Final Fantasy XV players obtain a special Dream Egg from the “Moogle Chocobo Carnival” event, which rewards players an assassin outfit. Then, on the 31st, players got the Assassin’s Festival DLC, which gives another Assassin outfit and more Assassin’s Creed-like abilities. No word on what the next Assassin Creed will include for Final Fantasy.
Under The Radar
On top of the already anticipated Aquaman villain Black Manta and Mortal Kombat god Raiden character additions, fans of Injustice 2 are getting treated to a special DLC character in Fighter Pack 2. Dark Horse’s Hellboy is debuting in the DLC, which will lead to some very awesome crossover concepts and possibilities. No word yet on when it’ll be released, but they’re hinting it’ll be very soon.
Biomutant was announced from THQ Nordic, as well. It’s a third person shoot and slash that offers charming characters, beautiful environments, and evolving combat. It’s definitely a game to keep an eye out for in the future.
From the fine folks that brought us Elite Dangerous and Planet Coaster, now bring dinosaurs. Jurassic World Evolution is a full Jurassic World park builder, in light of older games they’ve worked with like Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon. Build, then manage the park. Take care of problems and maintain the island and surrounding islands for tourists and visitors to enjoy. The only thing really given so far was the trailer and minor detail in a press release, but if done right, it could bring the Jurassic video games back into the limelight.