The best of Gamescom 2022

By Luke Albigés,

Gamescom 2022 let us see and play a bunch of exciting upcoming Xbox games — here are our picks of some of the best games from the Cologne show.

The Gamescom Opening Night Live show wasn't what you might call an all-timer, but it did have plenty to show us all the same, including some rather special games that our on-site team would get to see more of and play at the show itself. We've got plenty more to bring you based on everything we got to see on the show floor, but in the meantime, here's a quick rundown of some of the standout games from Gamescom 2022, three of which are coming to Xbox Game Pass in the not-too-distant future.

The Callisto Protocol

Dead Space creator Glen Schofield's new action-horror game The Callisto Protocol looked amazing in the new gameplay footage that debuted at Gamescom Opening Night Live, but the team had even more to share with press at the event itself with extended presentations behind closed doors. We'll have more to share about the game soon — including an interview about this stunning new IP — but for now, suffice to say that The Callisto Protocol this week shot from being a game we were pretty excited for to being one of our most anticipated releases of the year. Dead Space fans aren't going to want to miss this one, and it's seemingly still on track to meet its December 2nd release date.

Friends vs. Friends

The trailer for this card-based shooter didn't exactly blow us away at Opening Night Live, but it turns out it's something you really need to go hands-on with in order to appreciate its appeal. Tom and Kes both cited this small-scale (1v1 or 2v2) competitive shooter as one of the best things they played at the show, and mentioning it in the same breath as local multiplayer great TowerFall is high praise indeed. As well as an evolving deck of cards that trigger potent effects, Friends vs. Friends takes inspiration from competitive fighting games, with three lives per player and rounds resetting after one player/team wipes out the other, turning it into a chaotic best-of-five set. With full online play, a bunch of cards and characters offering plenty of build synergy, and the promise of "no microtransactions for progression," this could turn out to be a sleeper multiplayer gem. No launch date yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Atomic Heart

It's kinda crazy that one of the best trailers to come out of Gamescom 2022 was just nestled away between segments in Microsoft's extended showcase rather than being given the prime-time spot it deserved. Still, we're just glad we got to see Atomic Heart at all, and even more glad that developer Mundfish came out after it was shown to reiterate that the intense FPS is still on track for a late 2022 release. The fact that it'll be coming to Game Pass day one is just the icing on the cake. We've already lost count of how many times we've watched this ridiculous trailer now — the music, the enemies, the abilities, the sense of wonder and mystery about it all... it's just too good, so fingers crossed the full release can live up to the standards of what is not only one of the best trailers from Gamescom, but of the year so far.

The Last Case of Benedict Fox

This dark Metroidvania-style murder mystery adventure has been on our radar from the moment the first trailer dropped, and we're even more excited for it after seeing and playing more at Gamescom. There's an element of The Darkness in how Benedict's demonic patron growls insight and insults in an otherworldly voice — sadly not Mike Patton's, but we'll make do — and a wonderful Lovecraftian vibe to the whole thing... honestly, between genre, style, and vibe, The Last Case of Benedict Fox seems laser-targetted at me, although the great reaction to the game would suggest that I'm not alone. We'll have more from what we got to see and play at the show soon, but for now, you can check out what the team had to say when Heidi spoke to them last month for our The Last Case of Benedict Fox interview.

High on Life

While High on Life did feature at Opening Night Live, the boss battle gameplay shown felt a little lacklustre compared to what we'd seen previously. Fortunately, things got a lot better with an extended gameplay demo at the show proper, not only putting that boss fight into a much better context but also showing off an incredible degree of interactivity and detail in Blim City. Once again, we'll be back with more on this crazy shooter from the mind of Rick & Morty creator Justin Roiland before it hits Xbox Game Pass in December, but after checking out the demo (and learning about all of the additional content like animated shorts and full movies), High on Life is shaping up to be very special indeed.

Stay tuned for plenty more news on Gamescom's biggest and best games including interviews, impressions, and more, but how about you? What were your standout games of the show? Let us know!
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.