Gamescom is under way in Cologne, Germany, and while this isn’t quite as big of a production as E3 or the Tokyo Game Show, Gamescom is a place where third-party devs can shine. Typical of Gamescoms past are smaller announcements – release dates and the like – and additional footage or gameplay premiers from games that were announced at E3. That’s not to say that big surprises are out of the question, of course, and companies like Blizzard have seemed to favor Gamescom in the past for their big announcements.
With this in mind, I’ll be giving you a bird’s eye view of Gamescom 2016; an at-a-glance preview of who will be there and what to expect. All we can do for now is speculate, but we do have a pretty good idea of what we might see and what we probably won’t see.
Microsoft had a pretty huge year at E3, and for the first time since 2013 it won’t be broadcasting a press conference at Gamescom. That doesn’t mean that Xbox One and Windows 10 gamers don’t have anything to look forward to, though. Microsoft will still entertain a very strong presence on the show floor, and will be showing off some of its most highly anticipated games.
Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Halo Wars 2, ReCore, and Sea of Thieves will all be on the show floor, so we’re probably in for a major flood of new gameplay videos and feature promos for all of these. Microsoft also announced on Tuesday that two new Xbox One S bundles are on the way, 500GB and 1TB models, both packaged with Fifa 17 . The Xbox Preview Program is also headed to Windows 10 later this year.
Sony is in the same boat as Microsoft. It had a huge E3 blowout, and the “PlayStation Meeting” will be held in New York next month on September 7. It’s very likely that we’ll see the PS4 Neo revealed during that event, and PlayStation VR is launching in October. Sony’s plate is full, and it won’t be broadcasting a press conference from Gamescom either. Expect Sony’s show floor presence to be all about PlayStation VR, therefore, possibly with some new Gran Turismo Sport gameplay footage or announcements.
Blizzard unveiled the first new map for Overwatch , called Eichenwalde. It’s a f#*king castle, and the payload is a battering ram that you’ll use to bust down the front gate. The castle was supposedly the site of a huge battle between human and omnic forces, and it plays a significant part in Bastion’s origin story. Bastion’s animated short, titled The Last Bastion , will premier at Gamescom on Thursday.
There are also rumors that Blizzard might announce a StarCraft HD remaster. Blizzard is already working on the remaster according to Korean outlet iNews24, but it has yet to announce anything officially. BlizzCon is in November, so it’s possible that Blizzard is saving that announcement for later.
EA has already streamed its Gamescom conference, and there were a few notable announcements. The Battlefield 1 open beta is coming later this month! It will go live via Origin on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on August 31. Battlefield Insider members will get early access to the beta as long as they’re registered by August 21. There was also a lot of talk about FIFA 17 , and it was reiterated that the Titanfall 2 open beta won’t be coming to PC. Maybe by the end of the show we’ll hear something about a new Star Wars game?
What else is going down?
Quite a lot. There are a lot of other loose ends from Bungie, Capcom, and Ubisoft, who will all have relatively smaller showings. Bungie hosted a stream hyping Rise of Iron which you can go back and watch if you’d like. Some new gameplay footage and story details were laid out. Capcom will be showing more Resident Evil 7 , and will hopefully address the mixed fan feedback.
Keep an eye out for Ubisoft, as well. Ubi has a lot of games on the horizon. South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Watch_Dogs 2, Ghost Recon Wildlands, and Steep should all make an appearance on the show floor, with new gameplay footage possibly premiering for any of these. The Assassin’s Creed movie may get a new trailer as well.
That about sums it up, but again, we’re totally hoping for a few surprises. Let us know in the comments what you’ve been looking forward to most. Is there a certain surprise announcement you’re holding your breath for? How about that Battlefield 1 open beta? It’s time to get hyped!