Gamescom 2012 Round-Up!

Gamescom 2012 started off with Sony’s press conference, with a selection of games for the PlayStation Vita.. Little Big Planet Vita, Killzone: Mercenary, and other games previously mentioned at E3: Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified; PlayStation All-Stars; Assassin’s Creed III Liberation, featuring a new female lead, Aveline; and Need for Speed Most Wanted, a Vita game with all the same features as the PS3 version, with a huge open world to explore.

Media Molecule’s new game Tearaway was demonstrated for the first time, with a lot of use being made of the Vita’s touch features.

Sony demonstrated the “cross controller”.. the Vita being used as a controller for the PS3, with a different view available on the Vita’s screen.. all very like the Wii-U.

PS3 Move-exclusive Until Dawn was revealed; a survival horror parody where you play as seven different characters marooned in a log cabin in the forest.. players must attempt to keep them all alive until dawn, with the Move controller being used to direct your torch to find your way in the dark.

Two games from Japan were announced: rain, the story of an invisible world than can only be seen in the rain, and Puppeteer, a theatrical adventure about a child who has been kidnapped and transformed into a puppet.. with a pair of magical scissors, he must cut his way through the world to find his way home.

A new montage trailer was shown for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, with combat, sneaking and another look at the post-pandemic world..

The Last of Us is still in development, with a release date expected in 2013.

The Assassin’s Creed III naval warfare trailer gave a look at another new feature of the game: battles on the sea.  The player gets their own warship, complete with cannons and other weapons, with the ability to explore and conquer the ocean!

As mentioned at E3, Far Cry 3 has co-op for the first time in the series, with a story set six months before the events of the single-player campaign.  Players can choose one of four characters to play as in the campaign, with a choice of preset loadouts to suit different playstyles.

Ubisoft’s online game conference began with a talk about free-to-play online games and e-sports: these are two of the fastest growing games markets, with the free-to-play market expected to be worth $24.7 billion by 2014.  The Settlers Online has been deemed a great success, with a total of 17 years worth of gametime having been played this far.

Other browser-based games in development include Silent Hunter Online, based on Silent Hunter for the PC, with players commanding their own flotilla of submarines; and Anno Online, where players can build and develop big medieval cities, and work with other players to build monuments and trade with the whole world.

The co-op campaign is set on a part of the island designed specifically for the co-op mission, and not available elsewhere in the game!

Nadeo talked about making the most of two of the biggest genres, FPS and RPG, and the Maniaplanet platform, which uses the network gaming element of TrackMania to make it easy for players to get involved in competitive e-sports games.  ShootMania Storm, a fast-paced FPS, is due out this year, and an RPG QuestMania, is also in development.

Three Might & Magic games were introduced: Duel of Champions a free-to-play online collectible card game which will be cross-platform on PC and iPad; Might & Magic Raiders, an action-RPG with demons and monsters, and Might and Magic Heroes Online, a browser-based MMORPG with over 8 races, 16 classes and 9 Factions, where players complete quests, explore, build and manage cities, and raise and strengthen their legions.

Ubisoft’s conference finished with the note that Ghost Recon Online has been officially launched; the shooter is free to play and available worldwide now.

There was one more big reveal for Ubisoft this weekend though, as they announced Uplay PC, their digital distribution service, with integrated shop and social features.  This service is available now, with a selection of PC games available for £1 for a limited time.

Like Ubi, EA’s conference mentioned the free-to-play market, with the expectation that more and more games will follow with this payment method, as well as being ever more connected with others, with cross-platform games becoming more popular.

EA started with the first demo of Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, a co-op shooter with heavy weaponry and lots of explosions!

Need for Speed Most Wanted will let players drive any car in the game from the start, rather than making players unlock them first as in previous games.  Players’ best scores, speeds and times will be recorded and displayed in-game to friends to encourage competition to see who is the Most Wanted!

Need For Speed: Most Wanted will be available on November 1st.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter will be using some of the technology developed and used in Battlefield 3 to provide the best war simulation, and for the first time, gamers will be able to represent their nation in competitions around the world.  There’ll also be a web-based meta-game, with players representing their own nation via Battlelog.

The return of Sim City comes with City Specialisation, intelligent, reactive Sims and the new GlassBox Engine which allows you to see how your city responds to the changes you make in real time.  SimCity World will enable your city to interact with a larger world filled with others’ cities; challenge others or work together..

The next add-on packs were revealed for Battlefield 3: Armored Kill, Aftermath and End Game, with dates of September, December and March for players with Battlefield 3: Premium.  EA have also announced that Battlefield 3: Premium Edition will be coming in September, which includes the game, Premium membership, and a welcome pack of new weapon and gear unlocks to enable new players to catch up on those who have been playing for some time.

There was also a sneak peek at Crysis 3‘s new Hunter Mode, which pits two nanosuit-clad Hunters against CELL Troopers who are trying to survive long enough to be evacuated. Each time a CELL Trooper is taken out, they respawn as a Hunter and join the other team!

Crysis 3 will release in February 2013!

Star Wars: The Old Republic will soon receive the next update, including the new free-to-play option and the addition of Cartel Coins for purchasable content.  EA say they will be adding more content to the game at frequent intervals, starting with a new event called The Grand Acquisition, encouraging players to race across the universe with the promise of great reward.

Visceral Games showed off Dead Space 3‘s zero gravity gameplay and a demonstration of a much-requested feature: weapon crafting.  Players will need to scavenge for resources to be able to create a wide range of custom weapons.  The game will also feature drop-in, drop-out cooperative gameplay; the game is due out on the 8th February 2013.

Capcom‘s offerings included an extended demo of Remember Me, an action adventure featuring a “memory hunter” in a world where memories are commodities..

Remember Me was originally to be published by Sony under the name ‘Adrift’; development was not continued and so the studio, Dontnod Entertainment, bought back the rights to the game.

The Lost Planet 3 trailer shows combat in and out of Jim’s mech, with huge hostile enemies discovered on the frozen world the colonists had come to mine.  Meanwhile, the relaunch of Devil May Cry brought a video filled with platforming, new weapons and combo attacks.

There were two gameplay trailers for Resident Evil 6: one for Leon..

and one for Jake:

Resident Evil 6 is due on October 2nd.

Wii-U exclusive ZombiU‘s survival trailer showed some backstory about a plague turning people into zombies, and explained the rules for survival for those left alive.  It has also been revealed that players will be able to leave hidden messages for others, which they’ll be able to find using the Wii U GamePad as a bioscanner while looking for weapons, ammo and infected bodies!

Namco Bandai showed off a few games: Tekken Tag Tournament 2, One Piece: Pirate Warriors, Dark Souls: Prepare to Die , and Star Trek, based on the 2009 reboot, which is under development by Digital Extremes,

From Square Enix: Hitman: Absolution, with the developers talking about the negative response to the ‘nun’ trailer, and the need to provide more backstory to explain this; Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which has been built anew rather than simply re-released, and Tomb Raider, with a hands-on letting the media and fans try out some of the action!

Bethesda showed a demo of DOOM 3: BFG Edition, the HD revamp of the game with extra Lost missions, which will ship with copies of Doom 1 and 2, Doom 3 and Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil when it releases on 19th October!

There was also a hands-on with Dishonored, featuring Corvo’s supernatural abilities, combat and sneaking.. and an interview with Gamespot, showing off an assassination mission at a Masquerade ball:

2k Games showed tactical sci-fi game XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and Borderlands 2, with a hands-on preview introducing the Mechromancer, a mech-beastmaster of sorts, which will be a DLC class arriving shortly after the game’s release, free for those who pre-order the game!

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