A look back at the biggest announcements of gamescom 2017
Now that gamescom 2017 has come and gone in sunny Cologne, Germany, and we’ve learned that we’ve got a motherlode of fun game releases to keep us happy until Christmas and beyond. But there’s quite a lot to pick through, so let’s get down to business and take a look back to figure out which games we need to be putting on our stocking filler list.
Star Wars: Battlefront II Starfighter Assault
Gosh, it’s good to be a Star Wars fan at the moment isn’t it? All those lovely films and games getting the AAA treatment they deserve to provoke specific nostalgia glands hidden throughout your brain? Well the new Battlefront II trailer is precision crafted for some fond memory pangs, with the Starfighter Assault game mode putting you in control of ships from pretty much every era of the cinematic universe. Looks like Yoda, Darth Maul and Darth Vader will be duking it out in space, too. How does Yoda reach the pedals, though?
PUBG’s new desert map
— PLAYER @ GAMESCOM (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) 23 August 2017
As well as Microsoft’s big news that they’ll be publishing PUBG on the Xbox One X, and the surprisingly exciting PUBG Invitational tournament, Brendan Greene had one more treat for Battle Royale fans. Another quick peek at the desert map was posted by Greene, AKA PlayerUnknown, with a picture of a large city that will feature in the next map to be added to the game. The desert map will be much smaller than the current island, just 16 square kilometers, which should keep the action hot, hot, HOT!
Though some stands from the show floor were lacking new games, Biomutant surprised everyone out of the gate by showing off a vibrant open world for a new kung-fu action RPG. And that was before the conferences even started! Now we’ve got some more details about THQ Nordic’s next project, which should be ready by December 2018, we’re even more excited. Check out the gameplay trailer above for some smooth moves.
Blizzard short films
Blizzard seem to be gunning for Disney Pixar’s crown with their recent short film work, though the WarCraft movie didn’t quite make the splash they were hoping for. Two shorts out of gamescom gave everyone a lovely musical insight of how you get dragged into a world where battles are decided by card games, and also the heart-rending story of Overwatch climatologist Mei and her robotic snowball companion. Real tearjerkers for the fans.
Overwatch’s new Junkertown map
Of course, Blizzard wasn't in Cologne to announce a pivot to the film industry (at least not yet) and actually had some new game additions to show off. Treating Gamescom as its own personal EuroBlizzCon, we got a look at the new changes for Season 6 of Overwatch’s competitive matchmaking, as well as a new Escort map. We’re going to Junkrat and Roadhog’s seedy Australian haunt in Junkertown, where apparently everything’s gone a bit Mad Max.
Rainbow 6 Siege new operator
Joining Overwatch in the “old game, new tricks” announcements was Rainbow 6 Siege who detailed a new operator being added to their ever-expanding line-up and teased another. Lesion and the newly announced Ela Bosak will be joining the squad in the upcoming Operation Blood Orchid update. Both appear to have some affinity with laying traps, so they’ll fit right in with the current roster.
Shenmue III trailer
It’s still hard to believe that Shenmue III is even happening, so to keep the faith alive Ys Net and Deep Silver gave us another trailer with some familiar – if odd-looking – faces. The new trailer should soothe the soul of anyone who's been aching for more Ryo, but some weird facial animations (or complete lack of them) might sound some alarm bells. Don’t worry! We’re told those have already been fixed.
New Age of Empires
More extremely old games resurrected from the past, with Age of Empires conquering the spotlight once again! RTS games have fallen into the annals of history but now not only are the AoE games getting remastered, but a new fourth game is also on its way. For this we can thank this one dude on Reddit who asked Bill Gates about getting Age of Empires back on track during his AMA a year ago. The Great Gates said he’d look into it, and lo and behold the Dawn of War devs, Relic Entertainment, are now on the case! Wololo!
Jurassic World Evolution
Last but definitely not least was a surprise Microsoft had in store for their opening keynote: a theme park management sim with a twist. The twist is that you’re managing the best theme park ever and the other twist is that it will likely end in dinosaur-rampaging disaster. Jurassic World Evolution lets you build your own park, bioengineer new breeds, and construct attractions, containment and research facilities. Emphasis on containment is probably necessary.