back to article X-wings, pirates and a generic Lara: Gamescom 2015

Missed all the news, announcements and hype that’s been pouring out of Gamescom over the last few days? Worry not, as we carve a path through the hype to bring you all the stories that matter from the Germany-based games show. Sony's absence spells trouble for Gamescom If you're the self-styled 'European E3', it's pretty …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Isn't Lara a bit young?

    From the footage shown you could have plucked Lara out of the game and replaced her with Uncharted’s Nathan Drake, The Last of Us' Joel or any of Assassin Creed's assassins, so close was the gameplay to all of the above.

    Guards were sneaked up on, glass bottles were lobbed as a means to distract and matchsticks were used to keep my eyelids open. The fault wasn’t with Lara alone either: Quantum Break, Remedy’s time-travelling, cover-based shooter, looked similarly insipid

    Face it: One's getting old. Games hold one's attention when younger but at some point one has to move to more interesting, rewarding (or not) real-world activities. Whereupon one regrets all the hours spent creating random activity in electronic hardware (but the sights seen and feels had were overwhelming, maybe more so in retrospect)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't Lara a bit young?

      Nope. Plenty of time for Minecraft and Floaty boats.

    2. Little Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Isn't Lara a bit young?

      "Games hold one's attention when younger but at some point one has to move to more interesting, rewarding (or not) real-world activities.

      The two have never been mutually exclusive, and I have fond memories of past gaming experiences, as well as the real world ones.

      The issue with getting older for me has been the massive reduction in available free time (due to being more busy, not due to being closer to dead), meaning I have to be way more selective when it comes to choosing what I do in my leisure hours.

      So yes, less gaming, but also less time doing real-world fun stuff too, mostly down to more Working and all those other Real-World responsibilities.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Games hold one's attention when younger...

        ...but at some point one has to move to more interesting, rewarding (or not) real-world activities.

        Jesus, could you patronise that up a bit for me Grandad?

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Games hold one's attention when younger...

          Jesus, could you patronise that up a bit for me Grandad?

          Listen boyo, this shotgun here has dealt with animals way cooler than you.

          Now get off my grass.

      2. goldcd

        Yep

        Words like "60 hours of gameplay!!" fill me with utter dread.

        Games I tend to play are Indy(ish), mainly as they have an interesting novel idea and don't tend to spin it out endlessly (Currently halfway through D4 and think new episode of Life is Strange).

        Nothing against the AAA's (Online Battlefield with beer is a definite favourite, and very much enjoyed pootling around in GTA).

        What I have learnt to dislike is anything that bores me. Nothing worse than "I'm not enjoying this, and I'm burning up my time". Oh and shit like Assassin's Creed 'hunt the feathers' - I know I'm not going to bother getting them all, so why put them in.

        1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

          Re: Yep

          Life is too short to play a game that isn't fulfilling.

          I'm not sure if I'll go back to Titan Quest, for instance. The same as Angry Birds - it's very addictive, and in TQ the graphics are lovely, but it's not very satisfying in the ways better plotted RPGs are.

          When I game I want to feel I've achieved something at the end of it, rather than just grinding, and TQ has a huge amount of grinding in it and not enough variation or plot..

          I still have fond memories of playing Knights of the Old Republic a couple of years ago, it's about 60 hours of gameplay and took me six months to finish in-between other life stuff and more social hobbies. Definitely worth it.

      3. Fibbles

        Re: Isn't Lara a bit young?

        The issue with getting older for me has been the massive reduction in available free time (due to being more busy, not due to being closer to dead), meaning I have to be way more selective when it comes to choosing what I do in my leisure hours.

        I know that feeling.

        I've got maybe 150+ games on Steam. Roughly only a third of those have ever been installed and maybe a tenth of them have ever been completed. I don't think I've ever gotten 100% of a game's achievements...

    3. Simon Booth

      Re: Isn't Lara a bit young?

      Last month I took a day off work simply to play Grim Fandango Remastered (second time with director commentary made me smile a lot)

      Its not that some of us are getting older, some games are simply becoming younger

      As we mature we enter that "Dad's music is rubbish" stage (our kids can't stand our tastes now we're 'Dad'). I guess that these days it goes for games as well :(

    4. Greg J Preece

      Re: Isn't Lara a bit young?

      Face it: One's getting old. Games hold one's attention when younger but at some point one has to move to more interesting, rewarding (or not) real-world activities. Whereupon one regrets all the hours spent creating random activity in electronic hardware (but the sights seen and feels had were overwhelming, maybe more so in retrospect)

      One sounds a bit pretentious, doesn't one?

      I don't regret at all spending my recreational time doing a thing I enjoy. One thing I've been learning in recent years is the importance of downtime, and if I find more fulfillment in beating a game's challenge than I do in other activities, what's wrong with that? I might become jaded with the industry sometimes (read: most of the time) but that hardly means there aren't games available to inspire me. I haven't yet found a medium more compelling or rewarding in terms of sheer escapism than the video game.

    5. NoneSuch Silver badge

      You forgot some

      The two most interesting games highlighted at Gamescom were Elite: Dangerous Horizons and EverSpace (Currently on Kickstarter).

      You missed much more but those were the obvious ones.

      You don't have to be from Microsoft to be good or successful. As a matter of fact, it often helps NOT to be associated with them.

    6. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Isn't Lara a bit young?

      Games hold one's attention when younger but at some point one has to move to more interesting, rewarding (or not) real-world activities

      I still like to play them while running on the treadmill - an activity that I reluctantly engage in for its health benefits, but find immensely boring. I find it too difficult to read while running, but I can play games if they don't demand too much coordination (RPGs, some platformers, etc).

      I rarely or never play games for their own sake anymore, though. While I wouldn't presume the same is true of everyone, I simply have higher-priority things on my list, even for leisure.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Originality ...

    "Guards were sneaked up on, glass bottles were lobbed as a means to distract and matchsticks were used to keep my eyelids open. The fault wasn’t with Lara alone either: Quantum Break, Remedy’s time-travelling, cover-based shooter, looked similarly insipid"

    I don't fully understand this complaint. Whilst I am quite aware of the implied 'lack of originality' it is clear from Hollywood sequels and long running TV shows that there is a strong market for revisiting earlier successes. Once you are bored with FPS games, they are all going to look the same, in much the same way as action movies, especially if you ignore the plot

    Sure, some players just head straight for the online multiplayer, and even some who only play the campaign have really no idea what's going on. I have lost count of the number of young acquaintances who didn't realize that Reznov isn't really there for most of Black Ops. These people are interested in entirely different game characteristics than those who experience them primarily as an interactive movie.

    The way games are rated by many reviewers ignores the narrative element, which is not only a great shame (I'm not the only one who was in tears at the CoD4 ending) but is roughly equivalent to rating the latest Bond / Mission Impossible / generic Sci Fi merely on the quality of the special effects and stunts. As games mature, reviewers will have to separate scores for online play and campaign in order to retain any meaning and, in the latter case, they will have to talk not only plot but about acting, direction, lighting, etc. There's only so many ways one can take cover, and there's only so many buttons that can sensibly be assigned to 'crouch'. Distracting guards with sounds and using suppressed firearms, knives etc. aren't just cliches but actual techniques used in stealth operations. If you find this gameplay boring, that's one thing - but it doesn't really signal a lack of originality - that's just how FPS games are supposed to be.

    1. Grikath
      Devil

      Re: Originality ...

      "Once you are bored with FPS games, they are all going to look the same, in much the same way as action movies, especially if you ignore the plot"

      Action movies have a plot? o.O

    2. Alfred

      Re: Originality ...

      "Once you are bored with FPS games, they are all going to look the same, in much the same way as action movies, especially if you ignore the plot"

      Maybe that's the mistake being made; the plot.

      I don't play much anymore, but I recall finding Medal of Honor (the 2010 one) so dull that I never went back after the first hour, but since then I have replayed HL2 at least once. Spec Ops:The Line held my interest, again because of the unfolding plot.

      The differentiator is engagement, which relies on plot and characters and making me care. I don't play FPS games because they look pretty; I play them if they're fun, and eye candy isn't actually fun. Eye candy is icing on the cake, sure, but it's certainly not enough to make up for a game simply not being engaging.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "From the footage shown you could have plucked Lara out of the game and replaced her with Uncharted’s Nathan Drake, The Last of Us' Joel or any of Assassin Creed's assassins, so close was the gameplay to all of the above."

    In fairness Tomb Raider was doing this sort of gameplay first and those games nicked it from Tomb Raider :P

    Other than the Ass Creeds assassins anyway, they normally do different things, even if it is riding on ships that emerge majestically from the sea due to bugs or simply falling through the ground :P

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "No matter what Phil Spencer might have stated at the end of Microsoft's Gamescom conference, there's no escaping the fact that next year's roster of exclusives is weaker than this year's. Quantum Break looks disappointingly like any other cover-based shooter, the dragon-heavy Scalebound looks interesting but unfocused (and more than a little bit choppy at present) and Crackdown 3 is, well, Crackdown 3."

    This really does sound a bit like something written by a reddit poster trying to downplay the conference. Quantum break does look a bit like a cover based shooter but I guess you missed the whole time powers. The whole "time stops but you still fight" bit was actually interesting, so after you break the tech on the guys that are fighting you they freeze back in place. It looks quite cool and adds a bit to take it away from a normal cover shooter scenario, its an interesting setting.

    I was thinking "oh god not again" when I saw the guy behind cover I admit, but they very quickly showed the powers and it looked quite cool and interesting, with a good setting with available experimentation.

    ScaleBound choppy at present earns a sigh from me. We finally get game devs showing actual early in game footage rather than bollocks CGI trailers and people instantly go "no buy, framerates bad" for a game not out for a year and a half :P Please define "unfocused" as well, whats unfocused about it?

    Crackdown 3 is crackdown 3 correct, but i can't remember being able to level ENTIRE BUILDINGS in previous crackdown games (Vid here shows it in action- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFWIpAPvF-Q). The mesh of gang members for the offline mode looks like they are going back to a crackdown 1 structure rather than the godawful crackdown 2 setup as well, which is good.

    I know whats good and whats not is subjective ( I think next year for gaming in general is going to be infinitely better than this year, which has been one of the worst years for all 3 consoles in a long time) , but the article seems to be snubbing it just because, can't help but think its like a reddit post from someone annoyed that the company they like wasn't there talking about games so instead goes "everything else is bad" :p

    1. noboard

      Agreed

      Some nice words there, when I read "Crackdown 3 is Crackdown 3" I wondered why they got someone to cover games who doesn't seem to like them. While Crackdown 2 is meh, the original is a great game and a repeat of that with spruced up graphics and massive destructable buildings is just what fans of the original want.

      Oh and his whole point about this year being great because we have Halo 5, Forza6 and another Tomb Raider game also confused me. I love the Forza games but didn't get on with 5, so not bothered about 6. Is Halo that big a deal since Bungie left? and yet another Tomb Raider game. If there were some original games in there I might see his point, but they're just sequels unlikely to move anything forward, verses 2 new games; that could turn out shit but we'll be positive, and a long awaited sequal with destructable buildings.

      To me next year looks a lot more intersting.

  6. MJI Silver badge

    Next few games

    Well I have been looking

    For a start until the pricing is sorted (£40 <> $40) I will be avoiding Destiny year 2 DLC The Taken King. Activision are greedy sods and should be retailing for £30 at most for the DLC.

    But look what comes out soon.

    Fallout 4, I enjoyed 3 and NV so really looking forwards to it.

    And next year Uncharted 4, my most anticipated game.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who cares

    IEM CS:Go and Starcraft 2 championships are on!

  8. eJ2095

    Now i see why

    I have been busy setting up emulation station on my pi 2, playing the old games always fun :-0

    Oh and rebuilt me an amiga 1200 for fun (CF card, accelerator card, pcmica ethernet) just to see if i can !

    1. Metrognome

      Re: Now i see why

      Good luck in the upcoming Pong! championships....

  9. Luiz Abdala

    What about Blizzard?

    You didn't even mention Blizzard announcing the next expansion for its Cash-Cow World of Warcraft, INSTEAD OF BLIZZCON, and the major cockup they are trying to cover in the process?

    If someone has 10M customers, and in the span of 2 and half months THEY LOSE 3M of those customers, (but you didn't know that), you have to ask yourself why in the heavens would they announce a new game outside of their own conference. Even the ceremony Host got her lines crossed and said BLIZZCON instead of GAMESCOM at one point.

    If they had THEIR OWN STAGE at some point power-pointing their hype for ONE AND A HALF FREAKING HOURS, the question that begs is: Why the HELL are you squelching this information? I'm at a loss of comprehension here.

    1. Rumournz

      Re: What about Blizzard?

      its actually worse than that for Blizzard - at the last earnings call (the other day, actually) WoW is down to 5.4 mill or so subs and IMHO WoW:legion looks like a Warlords 2.0

      1. Fibbles

        Re: What about Blizzard?

        Legion looks like a bit of a mish-mash. It literally has everything in it that the fans have been asking for for years. Legion, check. Demon Hunters, check. Azshara, check. More Vykrul lore, check. Return of class quests, check. Emerald Dream, check. Alleria and Turalyon, check.

        I'd have said this was a massive reactionary expansion if the dates on the concept art didn't seem to suggest development started before WoD was released. I'm guessing WoD was created by an understaffed team whilst the other half of the development team acclimatised / trained up the 'massive influx of devs' they had last year. I think more of their fanbase could have stomached a filler expansion if the price hadn't gone up and they knew at the start it'd be light on content.

  10. Gene Cash Silver badge

    "The homogenisation of triple-A games continues apace"

    Yes, it does. Emphatic agreement there.

    So don't play triple-A games.

    There's a metric assload of really good indy games out there that are a blast, even if you restrict yourself to stuff written using Unity and running on Linux.

    1. Metrognome

      Re: "The homogenisation of triple-A games continues apace"

      Pray tell which are those games of which you speak?

      The great unwashed would like to know.

      1. JonP

        Re: "The homogenisation of triple-A games continues apace"

        Pray tell which are those games of which you speak?

        OK, here are some recent ones I rate (no particular order):

        Life is Strange (interactive story)

        The Talos Principle (Portal-esque puzzle game)

        Niko Through the Dream (Surreal 3d puzzle game)

        This war of mine (side scrolling adventure game about civilians in a war zone)

        Her Story (odd video, interactive 'game' consisting of searching videoed police interviews to work out a story... better than it sounds!)

      2. 9Rune5

        Re: "The homogenisation of triple-A games continues apace"

        Some random recommendations for old-school gamers:

        * Banished (city building out in the wilderness)

        * Gunpoint (jumping, shooting and puzzles)

        * Hotline Miami (mainly shooting and less jumping around)

        * Satellite Reign (from some of the guys who worked on Syndicate Wars)

        1. Metrognome

          Re: "The homogenisation of triple-A games continues apace"

          Thank you both. I intend to check 2-3 fro, that list. Looks interesting.

        2. Metrognome

          Re: "The homogenisation of triple-A games continues apace"

          Thanks for the proposals 9/5 but I'm afraid we are after different things.

          With the exception of Satellite Reign the others had horrible graphics that make my early police quest and camelot games look positively recent.

          Those graphics are painful to look at. It's like playing the original wolfenstein all over again.

          How about something more aesthetically pleasing? I mean with graphics like that, no wonder Indie games get only the very dedicated to play them.

    2. Fibbles

      Re: "The homogenisation of triple-A games continues apace"

      even if you restrict yourself to stuff written using Unity and running on Linux.

      I can understand restricting your purchases to stuff that'll run on your OS of choice, but why restrict yourself to one game engine?

  11. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Based on real life, eh?

    the trailer ended with a character trying to "use" a balloon animal with a dead body

    So much like prom night, then?1

    1Insert your own prophylactic joke here.2

    2As I just did.

  12. Spaz

    Ugh

    Can you say Star Wars fanboy much.

    Battlefront will be broken when it comes out, mark my words. DICE did not have enough time to develop it and their BF4 is still a broken POS.

    As for all the other games, I'm so glad I sold my Xbox One and decided to exclusively stick to a PC and a 3DS. These games are boring clones.

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