With gaming showcases cancelled due to the coronavirus, gamescom had a big void to fill. While they usually host one of the largest games events in the world, the nationwide ban on massive gatherings forced them to find another way to present their annual showcase. Enter gamescom 2020, “100% digital – 100% free – 100% Heart of Gaming.” This four day event, running from August 27-30, kicked off with gamescom Opening Night Live, and with it came a whole lot more.
Live from Los Angeles, Geoff Keighley hosted the event as people poured in from around the world, filling their Twitch or Youtube chat with commentary, reactions, and emotes. While some spent time hating on everything released, many people went on a ride as never-before-seen titles hit viewers’ screens, exclusive gameplay showcased the future, and new information regarding previously announced games answered dire questions.
While some of the titles received little-to-no attention and even some backlash, some stood out from the rest. Here are 10 of the biggest reveals, trailers, and highlights.
CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS COLD WAR
Even though the first trailer was released before the event, Opening Night Live featured a second trailer. The first-person shooter scheduled to be released November 13 of this year will feature many of the features that have become staples in the franchise, such as classic multiplayer and zombies, while also incorporating Warzone. The single player campaign takes place during the Cold War, as the title suggests, putting the player in the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan (who is also in the game.) The player must hunt down a Soviet spy known only as “Perseus.”
STAR WARS SQUADRONS
Scheduled to release October 2 of 2020, EA’s newest title takes place after Palpatine has fallen but before the Empire has collapsed. In their new trailer, Susanne Hunka, the narrative producer for the game, gives a preview of the single player campaign. During the story, you play as two different pilots, one working for the Empire and one for the New Republic, the trailer in particular showing an early Imperial mission. Also, there is VR capability.
Annapurna Interactive’s newest indie game, 12 Minutes, is described simply as “an interactive thriller about a man stuck in a time loop,” but it is so much more. Players experience the game from an entirely top-down perspective, reliving a twelve-minute time loop over and over again. Intriguing premise and gameplay aside, the grab of this trailer was the announcement of the voice cast, which will feature James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willam Dafoe. An all star cast for what is hopefully an all star game.
FALL GUYS SEASON 2
Arguably the most anticipated announcement of the event, Fall Guys, the summer of 2020’s hottest new game, is back with Season 2! As the lead game designer known only as “Joe” in the trailer (full name Joseph Walsh) takes to the screen with his headset on and his curly hair vibing, the viewer is greeted with gameplay and footage of new challenges and costumes. Season 2’s theme? Medieval!
WORLD OF WARCRAFT: SHADOWLANDS
Blizzard’s world famous MMO is getting a new expansion, Shadowlands. Releasing October 27, this expansion of WOW finds players in a realm of infinite afterlives. “The Shadowlands, where mortal souls go to reckon with their pasts, discover new purpose . . . or suffer an eternity of torment.” This one minute trailer was preceded by a six minute one, explaining the lore behind Shadowland’s creation, focusing on Uther, the Lightbringer.
DESTINY 2: BEYOND LIGHT (STASIS CLASS)
While Destiny 2 has been out since 2017, its new expansion, Beyond Light, is scheduled for release on November 10. The fifth expansion of the game, Beyond Light has players travel to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa to confront the Darkness, which players will now be able to harness and use for power. In a first for Destiny 2, a new elemental type will be added, known as Stasis, which uses the power of the Darkness to cause ice-based damage, shown in the trailer.
MEDAL OF HONOR ABOVE AND BEYOND IN VR
A new Medal of Honor Game, titled Above and Beyond, will be heading to the Oculus Rift. While that’s innovative in itself, the developers really made sure to utilize VR for their upcoming game. As one developer says in an interview during Opening Night Live, “We don’t have cut scenes, we don’t have edits, you experience this story in first person as if you are there.”
RATCHET & CLANK: RIFT APART
Ratchet and Clank are back in a new adventure for the PS5. This extended gameplay demo showcases the first part of the game, displaying new graphics, mechanics, and actual PS5 gameplay. While there is still speculation around the exact release date of the new console, this demo gave viewers insight into what gameplay would look like on the newest piece of Sony hardware. That hardware is important, as Marcus Smith, one of the game’s developers, explained many of the game’s mechanics, such as dimensional shifting, were only possible because of the superior hardware on the PS5.
DOOM ETERNAL – THE ANCIENT GODS
Bethesda’s critically acclaimed title gets its first expansion, The Ancient Gods. This expansion is for the story campaign, and it’s only part one. As more parts of the expansion get released, more and more hype will surround it, but for now players will be able to receive part one of this expansion on October 20.
No, there was no new trailer, but this behind the scenes look at Bioware gave fans proof there is a new Dragon Age game in the works. The video features interviews with staff members, photos and concept art, potential character design, and more. While this video didn’t give fans the game they were hoping for, it was a nice update, and let people know there will be one in the future.
With night one in the books, fans everywhere patiently await the rest of the conference. If you’d like to watch the event for yourself, you can check it out here