Our Zao, who also moderates at MMO-C and I think hangs out at pwnwear to maintain his sanity, recently attended Gamescon for the full three days, including the long two or more hour queues to get onto playing the newest games.
He’s written up a report on all the different games, which I’m posting here for your reading pleasure. To ask questions or comment, you can reply here or in the forums. He also got a very disturbing photo of a Zelda fan, which I put at the end so you can possibly avoid to save yourself psychological therapy. If you find a good one, Zao’s looking for help. I think he’s still in shock, since he hasn’t uploaded the other photos yet.
Okay, now that I slept a bit, I can tell you what I saw.
GC was awesome. although it had very little surprises.
The only real surprise for me was, that neither games for iPhone, iPad & co, nor social games were to be seen.
I simply assumed that the former didn’t have big enough producers to really have a booth there, while the latter also has a different target group. Well…actually there was one. Age of Empire Online. it sucked. Bad graphics, lagging as hell, and that god awful Browsergame playstyle.
Back to Gamescom: What also saddned me was the lack of innovation on the software side.
The first thing that struck me was the huge amount of MMORPGS. Frogster alone (Publisher of Runes of Magic) had 2 new games + an addon for RoM. All ofthose games looked pretty much identical, although they had different gameplay. All of them are Korean ports to my knowledge.
What also saddned me was the lack of innovation on the software side.
The first thing that struck me was the huge amount of MMORPGS. Frogster alone (Publisher of Runes of Magic) had 2 new games + an addon for RoM. All of those games looked pretty much identical, although they had different gameplay. All of them are Korean ports to my knowledge.
Then there were loads of smaller ones, like Rift (which I have a spare Beta key for if someone’s interested) and of course the big players: Cataclysm, ToR and LotRO.
but enough rambling for now, I’ve been quite busy, but I wasn’t able to check out all the games I wanted, due to having 2+ hours waiting times for the most interesting games.
First game I watched was
The Old Republic: After a rather underwhelming trailer show, where they also showed some (very) old footage, I was able to ask a few questions to the guy, his answer to my question on how they planned to break the trinity was:
There are smaller quests, which you’ll be able to do without a healer, but for bigger quests and “raids (he specifically used the words “raids”) you’ll need a healer
The second question was if there would be disadvantages for refusing certain quests, he simply said that there wouldn’t be on the reward side, but that a path once choosen couldn’t be reversed.
Now after the Q&A session we actually got some hands on time! I settled for the smuggler, because I wanted to check out the coversystem.
The hands on was fun, while the first 3 quests I did in the 15 min gameplay we had, were the usual “kill 10 of those, disable 3 of those”, the dialog system made it very enjoyable, and probably make rerolling a lot more interesting.
The actual gameplay however, was very similar to WoW, even witht he cover-system. Now that may be because it’s still an early stage, and I only did the beginning quests.
Basically I went into combat by shooting someone with my blaster. Afterwards I selected a cover, and ducked behind it (took me a few minutes to get used to) per hotkey. After that it was simply pressing my two special abilities and waiting for the mob to die. So pretty much the same as in every other MMO. Even more so for the Jedi classes, which basically played the same like a warrior from what I could see.
All in all: If you’re bored from MMOs in general, ToR won’t change that. The only thing really setting it apart currently is the dialog and choice system, which for me is a big enough reason to buy it, and the “half” announces stuff like housing with spaceships.
Guild Wars 2
I didn’t play it’s predecessor, so I can’t tell what has changed.
What I can tell you is that ti’s a fast paced game with good looking graphics. The guys standing around sadly only gave me some promotion speeches for my questions, which basically contained nothing but the stuff already said in the trailer.
Dragon Age 2:
For me the best game of the whole Gamescom.
I loved Dragon Age: Origins, and the second one seems to be the same in terms of the feeling.
The only real difference I could make out in the first 2 minutes was that it felt more hack & slash-y, but according to the CM standing there for questions that was because it’s not tuned correctly. The story sounds really interesting, although I’m sad that we’re not playing the character from DA:O, but at least this one has a voice <.<
I liked this one. While Dragon Age gained tempo, Fable lost some. Fable II was a pure button mash fest, with a far too easy difficulty.
Fable III now has a bit more tactic requirement, since you need to block and can execute a few (cool looking) finishing moves with the right timing.
Warhammer 40k MMO:
Sadly only gave us a trailer, but I could gather that the Adeptus Mechanicus, Space Marines and Imperial guard are flagged as “Imperium”, so they won’t be different “factions”
You just laugh. This game was actually pretty fun. I’d never buy it, but if you liked playing Little Big Planet you’ll certainly enjoy this one.
Can’t say too much about it. Instead I use the expression Benzaie from TGWTG used: It felt “consoly”. I can’t find any better expression that that. It felt like a hack&slay game for a console.
I’m also afraid the concept doesn’t quite hold up. D2 was an awesome game for it’s time and many games struggled to reach it’s height. D3 felt like one of those clones.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
I really regret not having played this, but I simply didn’t have enough time. But other have said it would simply be awesome, and since I’ll buy anything with “Zelda” written on it anyway, I’ll stick with it.
I actually only watched this because it came after the Warhammer trailer. The gameplay footing had a lot of atmosphere, kind of like the first 30 minutes of HL2. This could become a very big game.
The Witcher 2:
There wasn’t any footage in the public area, but I was lucky enough to get a hold on a reporter from a german magazine, and asked him about it. He didn’t really say much except that Role Players will be very happy during the next 6 months.
Either reply in Zao’s forum thread or comment here.
Want to be a blogger about other MMOs and games? I’m thinking about broadening pwnwear, providing free hosting like gw2.pwnwear.com or dao2.pwnwear.com, for example. Let me know over in this thread, which started when I’d had a few too many ales, but is otherwise very serious!