Gamescom has come and gone with new games being revealed, platform exclusives being announced and a massive amount of new trailers uploaded onto YouTube. In honour of the event, we are taking a little break from the usual Our Week in Games format to share some thoughts on the events from Cologne this past week.
I was going to spend most of my time talking about the events surrounding the exclusivity deal Square-Enix signed with Microsoft for the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider and the coming launch of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and future launch of The Phantom Pain on Steam. Most of my points were made for me by Oli Welsh on Eurogamer yesterday.
Personally I was disappointed to see Tomb Raider announced as an Microsoft exclusive, though the details of the agreement are shady with rumour that a PC version will almost certainly see the light of day and that a release on Sony platforms shouldn’t be ruled out for eternity. I don’t mind seeing first-party games released exclusively onto the companies consoles, I’m thinking of titles like Halo and Driveclub here as both Sony and Microsoft need something to set their machine apart from the other. But games like Tomb Raider have long been multi-platform these days with exclusive deals relegated to pre-order bonuses and DLC. To have some exclusivity around the full game doesn’t sit right with me.
The confirmation that Metal Gear is coming to Steam is a welcome one, and shows that Konami are aware of the continued strength in the PC games market, albeit largely being driven by Steam. Further evidence of the strong position PC gaming is in was evidenced from BioWare revealing their new RPG, Shadow Realms will be a PC exclusive. That is great to see.
I will be honest, Sony really impressed me with their conference. Loads of games were on show, Little Big Planet 3 was confirmed for a November release and an awesome trailer for Bloodborne was shown off. Further Sony confirmed that the PlayStation 4 has sold through 10 million units, PlayStation Now is coming to Europe next year and an autumn firmware update to the console will introduce YouTube and SharePlay to the system. Hotness.
Microsoft underperformed in comparison once again, details for Forza Horizon 2 and Halo were the only things to get my blood racing. Standing on their own, I would consider Microsoft to be doing a good job with the Xbox One…when compared with Sony, they just aren’t cutting it. They really need to do more to convince me to invest. However, with games like Titanfall already on PC and Ryse confirmed to be arriving soon, I really am waiting to be convinced to invest in an Xbox One.
Ok. I admit it. I’m a PC elitist. I’ve got a badge and everything. It, rather unsurprisingly, says ‘glorious PC gaming master race’. This may or may not be true.
So, I have to admit that the game that most grabbed my attention at Gamescom was a console game. I feel dirty. Which, as it happens, is apt: it’s the new Silent Hill game and there’s cockroaches in it.
The gameplay footage of it is startling- the demo I’ve seen features one L-shaped corridor, and two rooms you can enter. One is basically a way back to the start of the corridor, and the other is…the bathroom.
The way the tension is ratcheted up is brilliant and the absolute maximum is wrought out from one small location and yet, you don’t feel like you’re being forced down the same route again and again, despite the fact that that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s brilliantly done and I have to admit, made me jump. Whether it’ll survive multiple play-throughs is another matter (though horror games rarely do), but as it stands, it looks gorgeous and I’m mightily tempted.
Psychological horror is always the best way to go and this seems to have it in spades. Colour me interested.