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.

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The Last of Us Details

The Last of Us is a third-person survival-horror adventure by Naughty Dog, set in a world where a fungus outbreak has decimated humanity.  Survivors live in quarantine zones, with anyone showing any signs of fungal infection immediately executed.  The game follows two characters, Joel and Ellie: player-character Joel is a weapons and drugs smuggler, and he rescues Ellie from camp as a favour to a dying friend.

New details about the game were published by Game Informer, who were given a short demo of the game by the developer.

Although there are infected humans in the world, the focus of the game is apparently human enemies.  Combat will be melee heavy, as ammo is limited, but guns will be more lethal.  The AI is able to react to the state of combat and the weapons you are using.. they take cover and try to flank you if you are using a gun, but rush you if they see you only have a melee weapon.  They also get angry when you kill one of their friends, and react with fear when they are losing.

While you don’t control Ellie, she takes part in combat and can warn you of dangers, and apparently gains in combat ability through the game.  The developers didn’t want to turn the game into an escort quest and so have tuned her AI so that she is able to keep up with the player without getting in the way.

The story has been designed to be self-contained, so no matter what happens with the IP, there will be no unresolved cliff-hangers here.  There will also be an online component to the game, but the details haven’t yet been decided on.

The VGAs

In the early hours of this morning, I watched the Video Game Awards, on a live stream from GINX.TV.

I’m not really stirred by awards.. if a game is good then somebody will mention it regardless of how many awards it has won.. but I was expecting to hear about some interesting new games, and really hoping to hear something about Half Life 2: Episode 3 after hearing rumours all week.

However, I thought there was too much filler.. presenters playing stupid games, celebrities I don’t have any interest in doing weird sketches and pretending to square up for a fight, and far too much being made of the fact that the VGAs were trending on Twitter.  Look, we’re popular?

I think they were trying to appeal to the masses.. but if the masses aren’t interested in games, then why would they be watching an awards programme about games in the first place?  All that time could have been used to show us something interesting.. more behind the scenes, interviews, and dare I say.. something vaguely technical, even if simplified a bit?  I don’t think I’ll watch next time.. the gaming press can filter all this stuff out for me, leaving me with a short list of new, interesting trailers to watch the following morning instead 🙂

As for the trailers.. the first to get my interest was The Last of Us, a PS3 exclusive, single-player survival horror by Naughty Dog.  Though at first glance I thought the enemies were zombies, they are actually sufferers of a plague, and the survivors have to scavenge for food and weapons, and fight to survive.

Epic Games‘ new title, Fortnite, also looked good..a combination of scavenging, base building and defense, with survival against some kind of alien force which attacks at night.  This game doesn’t yet have a publisher, and hasn’t been announced for any specific platform yet.. I’m hoping PC so I can play it with friends! 🙂

Diablo III‘s trailer was a fiery, showy affair.. this game was always going to be a must-buy for me, but the trailer was good to see anyway.  BioShock Infinite also made an appearance, though this was another game from my to-buy list after loving BioShock and BioShock 2.