and I have been privileged to spend today at Gamescom 2010 in Cologne, Germany, and we wanted to tell you a bit about what we’ve been up to so far…
The event itself is enormous – 4 huge halls of wall-to-wall games with most of the world’s largest game publishers and developers present.
We are here as representatives of the site, and are lucky enough to be attending the event on the Trade day when the public masses aren’t allowed in. This has meant that we have been able to both play and see a lot of games today with only a small amount of queueing!
Here are some edited highlights of our day:Call of Duty: Black Ops
After queueing for half an hour, we watched a playthrough of the game by one of the developers in a mini cinema. In the first level we saw, the player is in a stealth fighter above the battlefield (although it didn’t appear that you were controlling the plane). The camera changed to an infra-red view of the ground, and the players task was to guide his squad to a target building avoiding enemy detection. When they reached the building, the camera changed again and you became one of the assault team. The graphics were stunning, and the way you took control of different characters throughout the level seemed very cool. As it is a Special Ops game, there is a greater level of stealth than in previous COD games, but there was still a good balance with plenty of gunfights as well.
We also saw a snow based level where your main weapon was a crossbow which allowed for silent take downs. Until that is, you load explosive rounds into it, at which point it becomes a weapon that looks a whole load of fun to use.
I’ve normally been slightly dubious of the Treyarch games in the series, however this one looks as impressive as Modern Warfare.
Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us take any pics, but here's one in the queue...
And on to another game that’s taking the leap from World War 2 to modern day battles…Medal of Honor
EA had a whole room full of hooked up PS3s running the MOH multiplayer and we got to spend some time with it. It has to be said that it felt a lot like the Modern Warfare multiplayer, graphically excellent and easy to play.
You could choose from 3 classes for your character, I plumped for the standard rifleman. I picked up quite a few kills before being sniped twice from somewhere that I couldn’t determine! Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any of the single player, but it seems safe to say that the multi-player looks decent.FIFA 11
We got to play a 15 minute game on the 360 against each other in the massive EA FIFA arena. I played as Chelsea while hankford was Barcelona. The game had a very different feel to it than FIFA 10 – players had strong individual qualities (for example, Messi had very quick feet and was tough to get the ball from). The players seemed more solid – you had to run round them rather than being able to barge through them as in previous games. I managed to put in a few crosses, but had no joy in getting on the end of them! Graphically it seemed similar to 10, the commentary was excellent as usual and it looks as though this could be worth a purchase even if you own the previous game.
(If you are interested, hankford beat me 1-0 with a very fortunate goal
In the almost deserted Microsoft compound (unfortunately they chose to exhibit in the hall furthest from the entrance), we got to play some Halo: Reach multiplayer. It looked fantastic, with a higher level of detail than ODST and played superbly as you would expect. The Warthogs and other vehicles were a lot of fun!
Again, there was no opportunity for us to see the single player campaign, however we did bump into Master Chief who punched hankford in the face!Driver: San Francisco
We had a brief play on the multiplayer of this, but to be honest I struggled to work out what was going on or what I was supposed to do. There was a very cool feature where by pressing X you could change your vehicle to any other vehicle on the map – not sure what this is for, but it meant I got to try some pretty hot wheels. The handling was great and graphically it was decent.DJ Hero 2
As a massive fan of the first game I was really looking forward to playing this. However, the single play that I had suffered from a laggy controller, and the single player game seemed almost identical to DJ Hero 1 – the main change seemed to be that there were free-style sections where you could crossfade at will, which was quite cool. Here’s hoping the full game impresses me more!Red Faction: Armageddon
We saw a playthrough of one of the levels given by one of the devs, and you can really see that they’ve put a lot of effort into improving the engine. The graphics were a giant step up from Guerilla, and some of the funky weaponry on display looked a blast! One of them allowed the player to select an object and then choose where to fire that object in a way not dissimilar to the grapple hook in Just Cause 2 – but with the power to shift enormous girders and boulders. The game looks great and I’ll definitely be picking it up. No pics allowed, but he's one of me with a mean dude from the game:Kinect
We saw several Kinect games at the show, and it has to be said that the technology is incredible. The motion capture on the Ubisoft game Your Shape Fitness Evolved was staggering and Dance Central also looked a lot of fun. However, I’m just not sure the initial investment you need to make in the hardware is justified until there are more top quality games – most of the titles we saw were very similar to games that have been out for some time on the Wii.Other notable mentions…
NBA 2K11 – possibly the best-looking sports game I’ve ever seen
F1 2011 – looked great but hard to keep the car on the road
The Michael Jackson Experience - mehRazer
PC Peripheral experts Razer had a presentation at the show for some of their new hardware, and interestingly for you guys they have just released a new Microsoft-approved pro controller. This had a few interesting features including mappable additional shoulder buttons and a backlit d-pad, as well as supposedly more responsive ABXY buttons.
So, that's it for day one, we're going again tomorrow when it will be open to all so we don't expect to play as many games.
There's some more pics on the new TrueAchievements flickr account, but be warned most of them are of me with various stunning girls - once they knew I was TA they couldn't keep their hands off me http://www.flickr.com/photos/trueachievements/sets/721576246...