lorekeeper-gamescom2016-00

Lorekeeper at Gamescom 2016

Last year, one of our biggest regrets was not being able to play For Honor. We were determined to make it not the case this year. I am happy to say that we played For Honor not once, but twice! And it was really good. I was already hyped for the game and seeing it first hand, I’m hyped even more. Controls are fluid and gameplay is fun. You can feel the hits connect with enemy and should think through your attacks with care to win a battle. So both skills and tactics come into play. We’ve played a map that you need to control points and it was great. If the rest of the game and maps are like this, this game will definitely be a hit. (It actually conquered most of the rewards for Gamescom 2016 already.)

Well, For Honor was great and fun; but Ubisoft had some other plans for me appearently. I tried South Park’s new game “The Fractured But Whole”. That much is okay, I enjoyed the first game anyway; and I was sure that I was going to like the second one as well. Actually I did like the game from what I saw. But that Nosulus Rift machine… Ugh. That was both horrible and hilarious at the same time. You put that “thing” on your nose and everytime your character “farts” in-game, it sprays a terrible odor directly in front of your nose. And you have to fart a lot -even for a South Park game. The worse thing is that the smell clings to your nose for awhile and doesn’t go anywhere. Be thankful that they are not actually planing to sell that device and it’s just for shows like Gamescom.

At least after my terribly smelling torture, I got to reward myself by playing Watch_Dogs 2. I admit that first one wasn’t near perfect, but I enjoyed it while it lasted anyway. The new one: Definitely much, much better. It seems that Ubisoft was taking lessons from past mistakes and really determined to fix them. Watch_Dogs 2 looks improved on almost every aspect. You can fly drones to scout around instead of hacking immobile cameras, set traps, quick hack… It even comes with a smooth multiplayer co-op system: If you are playing in the same area as is your friend, it will blend your games together without you even noticing it. From there on, you can join forces together if you wish so, or probably try to harass each other’s game if you want to. While I was playing, we decided to join forces with one of the developers and took on a mission. It really felt great to do it together; we covered each other’s backs, hacked the enemies together and when it came to guns blazing, we really came through together. If that formula spreads through the entirety of the game, Watch_Dogs 2 will easily do the same kind of jump from Assassin’s Creed 1 to 2.

Unaware of Can’s suffering at Ubisoft, I roamed the halls and went to check on Pokemon booth -which didn’t look like a booth at all. Nobody was there, so I asked how to get this Shiny Pokémons they were talking about. (Shiny Xerneas and Yveltal that is, if you are curious –Can) And they told me to come back in an hour, that’s when they were going to start distributing the codes. So I returned half an hour later and there was like a queue of 200 people over there. No games, no activities, nothing. Just waiting in a boring line. They should provide a real life Pikachu to convince me into joining this. 

We tried to find Larian’s booth to take a look at Divinity: Original Sin 2. It was challenging –since even the information desk didn’t knew where they were located. (Actually, they thought they did, but it was the wrong place.) So we circled the area for quite a few times and when we found them, they awarded us with the Divinity: Original Sin 2 presentation. Totally worth it. We enjoyed it a lot! (You can read more about it here!)

At this point we were already done with most of our appointments. Actually there was only one scheduled presentation I was still excited about, and that was the Civilization VI, of course. After showing a brief video about Germany’s new leader in the game, they took us into a different room and let us play the game… for a whole 15 minutes. Well, it was a bit disappointing. Not that the game isn’t great or anything; but as you can imagine, 15 minutes is nowhere near enough to test a new Civ game. Nevertheless we still tried our best. There is a new “Religious Victory” condition in the game, so we tried to establish our own pantheon. Of course, our pantheon were going to be based on our cats; so naturally, Egypt seemed to be the right choice. We weren’t able to come up with a single deity in that time, but we were able to test the new Builder mechanics (which is much more meaningful than before) and district system. Personally, I love the district system, it makes the cities look more organized and more “city-like”. Depending on how you build districts, it gives different bonuses too. Some of the press were really salty about the game’s new art style but it didn’t bother me really.

One of our favourites, Red Thread Games, announced that they would be in the Gamescom; but unlike Larian, they had no booth and appearently they just came to visit the expo in person. So, we couldn’t ask Ragnar to sign our Dreamfall Limited Edition. But Martin photoshopped himself to a photo Burcu and her friends took. So we have at least that…

Then, our ineptitude struck again. We didn’t know that they were to close up the whole business section at the weekend. So when we tried to get new interviews with some of the companies, we encountered pulled-down shutters in front of us. Despite that, we tried our hand in the Torment booth at the visitors side to see if they were still doing any presentations. They said that there were *some* developers available and asked us to wait. I had no idea I was about to have a chat with the likes of Colin McComb and George Ziets. But it happened. Mostly like:

“Hello, my name is Colin McComb.”
*still in shock* “I… I know. Planescape: Torment is my all time favourite game.”
“And I’m George Ziets. You may know me from Neverwinter Nights’s expansion: Mask of the…”
“…Betrayer. Yes! I know! That’s also in my top three!”
“Oh, thank you.”

It was unexpected, but amazing. We pulled some chairs and had a very friendly, fun conversation with them. I asked them if the recently announced console version was going to affect the PC version of the game. Colin said “Even we didn’t knew there was a console version in the works until a few weeks ago. So, no.” That was more than enough for me. We talked a bit about the Early Access and Torment. They were definitely very passionate about the game and Colin said that “they were hoping this one to be the second best RPG of all-time; first one being the original Torment.” As a boundless Torment fan, hearing that made me glad. We chatted a bit more and then they had to make another presentation. I asked if we can watch and they gladly accepted. Colin said “I hope you will enjoy the game when you buy it.” I said, “Oh, we already backed it in Kickstarter.” He told me to get up, hugged me and thanked me for helping make Torment: Tides of Numenera possible. Meanwhile I was saying “Dude, I should be the one thanking you. I was waiting to play another game like Planescape: Torment for years!” So, there it goes: Most sincere and awesome developer of the show award: Definitely InXile.

And that mostly concluded all the events we were in during this year’s Gamescom. Oh, wait. There was something outside of Gamescom we should tell you about: Legion Café. We spent most of our off-Gamescom time in the Blizzard’s thematic café. It was both good and bad at the same time. Food was great, decorations were fantastic. Most of the cosplays were really well-done. But the drinks… Oh, the drinks! They were simply some watered down, extremely sweet, near to non-alcoholic thematic drinks and they were horrible. (Don’t make me start with the drinks! If you don’t have any awesome recipes on the side, just go with the classics, right? Mojito for Legion, Sangria for the Horde… I wouldn’t complain at all. But what was that tasteless sugar bomb? The food was decent at least. -B) Internet connection was sometimes good, sometimes bad. We tried to watch Video Games Live’s first day stream but stream got frozen during the performance several times. Everyone laughed nervously… And although there were lots of great activities in the place, they were hours apart; and if you weren’t dead set on waiting for those, it was sure you would get bored during those down-times.

Speaking of Video Games Live… The last think we did in this year’s Gamescom was watching it from the first row. Despite all the technical hiccups, it was definitely otherwordly. I got goosebumps for just standing awestruck over there, listening to all those phenomenal pieces.

Well, that’s all of our adventures from Gamescom 2016. We definitely gained more experience this year; even enough to level up and prepare for next year’s expo much more better. So, see you next year in Cologne!