It’s that time of the year again when Gamescom becomes the biggest source of new announcements and footage in gaming. In a way, the conference in Germany is more appealing than E3 since it not only helps promote games that are on the cusp of release but is also open for attendees. This allows potential consumers to try the games out for themselves and decide whether anything will be worth purchasing when the season’s mad rush begins. And then there are the pressers to be held by some of the really big companies.
We’ve compiled some of the more interesting things to look forward to this year, along with a few educated guesses here and there. Sony may not be attending but there are still plenty of great things to look forward to at Gamescom 2015.
Crackdown, Scalebound and Quantum Break
Microsoft’s Gamescom presser has already been dictated by the presence of three major upcoming releases: Crackdown, Scalebound and Quantum Break. The first will finally see gameplay footage being revealed to the public and according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, it’s looking pretty good.
Scalebound should be interesting simply because of the pedigree behind it in Platinum Games while Quantum Break could finally nail down its vision and appeal to consumers’ wallets in the future with this showing.
Then there are all the different playable games on the showroom floor, including Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. We hope Fable Legends is finally dated but we won’t hold our breath – it’s more likely that Microsoft dates its backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games at this point.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will also likely be available to play, offering fans their first taste of what the single-player campaign holds. All in all, it’s not a bad line-up for Microsoft and attendees will have plenty to look forward to.
The EA Train
Electronic Arts will probably do what’s in its best interest and not focus entirely on sports titles. Then again, this is EA we’re talking about so expect to hear more about exclusive tie-ups with Xbox One for FIFA 16’s Ultimate Team mode, bundle deals and whatnot.
At least Star Wars Battlefront appears to be present at the conference as COO Peter Moore indicated in a recent earnings call that the gam’s showing would be vital to its success. And hey, what better for fans to know what they’re getting into then to have it playable for attendees? One can hope that people get a glimpse at each mode rather than a single experience on a single map.
As for the rest, EA seems to be quite tight-lipped on its Gamescom offerings. While we doubt there will be another instance of Shadow Realms being propped up, the atmosphere does seem ripe for an announcement of some kind. Then again, it could just be that EA will offer more information on games like Plants vs. Zombie: Garden Warfare 2, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Need for Speed and whatnot.
Is it too much to hope for Mass Effect: Andromeda receiving new information? At this point you’d think there’d be something to offer than just teases on Twitter.
Blizzard Entertainment and WoW
Make no mistake – Blizzard’s main attraction will be the next expansion for World of Warcraft. Not much is known, save for the fact that it might be called “Council of Glades” but it will be interesting. Warlords of Draenor didn’t quite smash sales records and if anything else, there was a significant loss in subscribers several months after its release. Blizzard has been doing its part to release new updates in the form of entire raids, zones, story missions and whatnot. Will that be enough for the next expansion?
StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void is also expected to appear and perhaps even receive a release date. Overwatch will probably have a more substantial presence since its beta is set to begin in the fall.
What else does Blizzard possibly need to offer other than, well, some more additions to Hearthstone? We’re not quite sure at this point but why mess with the company’s approach when it’s still doing great?
All the Rest: Horizon, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and More
Even without every single major publisher holding its own press conference, there will be plenty to look forward to at Gamescom. Square Enix will be revealing more details about Final Fantasy 15 which is expected to be a major showing to make up for its absence at E3. It’s likely that games like Hitman and Kingdom Hearts 3 also receive significant updates.
Activision will have its hands full with its shooters, particularly with Treyarch revealing details for eSports tools in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Bungie showcasing even more titbits for Destiny’s The Taken King expansion. There’s not much pressure on either to deliver – Call of Duty has always been successful for Activision and the craze for Destiny isn’t dying down any time soon either.
Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn will be one of the few upcoming PS4 exclusives to make an appearance at Gamescom and we can only hope that means more footage. Heck, we can also hope the game is closer to being done than initially thought. Now if only there was real-time gameplay footage instead of in-engine visuals.
Ubisoft will be Ubisoft. So look forward to Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, if you weren’t already. But hey, at least For Honor will be available to play. Is that alone worth getting excited about? Maybe not so expect some kind of new information on Tom Clancy’s The Division, like a beta release date or something.
What do you hope to see at Gamescom 2015? Let us know in the comments. The event will kick off on August 4th with Microsoft’s presser and ends on August 9th.