6 games that caught our attention at Gamescom 2022
PC Gamer’s Phil Savage and Mollie Taylor were at Gamescom in Cologne this week, and so far they’ve released previews of The Callisto Protocol, Homeworld 3, and Jagged Alliance 3. They’ve seen a lot more games than that – I’ve seen a few of the scary schedules before they left, so we’ll have to wait until they come to their senses to find out what excites them most.
The rest of us watched from home: Gamescom continues through this weekend, but its biggest reveals and announcements happened closer to the start of the week, especially when streaming in live from Tuesday, which was again hosted by the host with the most video game shows he hosts, Geoff Keighley.
You can watch the entire opening night live here (opens in a new tab) if you missed it. It’s about two hours long, and for your information, the big reveal at the end is just the release date of Dead Island 2. It’s not really a moment you need to witness in context, but there were exciting games on the show. There were other shows as well, including another edition of our publisher’s Future Games Show. After watching all the activity for the week, here are the six games we’re most interested in. (And here’s the rest of our Gamescom 2022 coverage (opens in a new tab).)
A new RTS from the studio C&C Remastered
Wes Fenlon, Real-Time Strategist: Revival of the RTS. RTS rebirth!! A few years ago EA teamed up with Petroglyph Games, a small studio founded by many of the former Westwood developers who created Command & Conquer, to work on a really good remastered collection of the original C&C and Red Alert. Building on that success, Petroglyph announced a World War I RTS called The Great War: Western Front. I have to say it’s a bit brown for my taste, but I like the sound of Petroglyph dipping its toes into a larger scale strategy in a way it never did with C&C. This quote from the Steam page sounds a lot like Total War:
“As a theater commander, experience thrilling turn-based grand strategy as you direct the deployment of forces, conduct research, and carefully consider how you will distribute your resources across the Western Front in a war won lightly.Along with this, assume the role of Field Commander in dynamic real-time battles as you lead units to defeat your opponent, build trenches and perform direct assaults by sending your infantry over the top. “
Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles looks so cool
Chris Livingston, Settlement Builder-Upper: Sometimes a trailer comes along that instantly shoves a finger on the endorphin release button in my brain. Airships? Settlements? Grand castles built on steep cliffs? Yes to all of those. I’ve never played The Falconeer dogfighting game, but the sequel, Rampart, Sounds fantastic. Build fortresses and cities atop the snow-capped mountains of an ocean planet, recruit commanders who unlock new building options, and defend against attacks from aerial enemies. My body is ready.
Pinnochio, but it’s Bloodborne
Tyler Colp, but it is blood-borne: I regularly forget that Lies of P exists and that it’s a loosely (really loosely) soulslike game based on Pinocchio. The trailer shows how absurd the premise is without breaking the fourth wall, and I respect that: a weirdly attractive Pinocchio sculpts bizarre enemies and then meets his father, Geppetto, in dark 19th-century France. It’s all so shameless in Bloodborne that I think I need to play it at this point.
Lauren Morton, but it is bloodborne: I guess I have to admit that I have not forgot that Lies of P exists and have been looking forward to it ever since it was announced. So uh, I guess the only surprise for me was that nobody stopped me from putting “Pinocchiosouls” in a title.
New Tales from the Borderlands, Ancient Telltale Stick
Jody Macgregor, New And Old Weekend/AU Editor: A sequel to Tales from the Borderlands was announced in April, but with one caveat: it’s being made in-house by Gearbox. The original was great because of how outside of Borderlands it was, with completely different gameplay and a cast of civilians to emphasize the absurdity of the sniper-looter setting when viewed from ground level. Having the people responsible for writing Borderlands 3 trying to handle this style of comedy seemed like a potential red flag. (Although to be fair, the Borderlands 3 DLC and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands were upgrades in the writing department).
However, the Gamescom trailer for New Tales from the Borderlands came with a Statement from Gearbox Founder Randy Pitchford (opens in a new tab) explaining that its creation involved “a group of original Telltale storytellers, writers and developers who worked on the original game”. Gearbox production manager James Lopez also told IGN (opens in a new tab) that the studio “partnered with key alumni from the original Tales game” to write it. So maybe it’s safe to have hope after all.
New Tales from the Borderlands will be released on October 21.
This quirky indie detective game kills
Chris Livingston, Murder Investigator: In the short demo of the indie detective game The Case of the Golden Idol, I was completely taken in. Admire bizarre pixel art paintings of murder scenes and click on clues to investigate. Solving a murder will require you to uncover the names of everyone involved and determine the nature of the crime, by dragging and dropping the words you collect into a scroll, so this is part of Return of the Obra Dinn and Mad Libs. The full game will feature a dozen murders to investigate and, oddly enough, all of these murders are somehow connected. The demo is excellent and I can’t wait to continue investigating the full game release, although that date remains a mystery.
Finally, a game where I can be a professional speaker
Tyler Wilde, Executive Speaker: We had our introduction to Where Winds Meet during Opening Night Live. This is an open-world action RPG set at the end of the Ten Kingdoms period in China, after which there are no longer ten kingdoms, so there is a lot going on. You have to be skeptical when a game promises things like authenticity and freedom, but with all the cinematic trailers we saw at Gamescom, it was nice to see authentic images of a video game in reading course. The town scene particularly impressed me – look at all those NPCs standing around in their cool period clothes – and I want to know more about the non-combat jobs we can apparently do in Where Winds Meet.
Speaker and Ferryman are my top picks: imagine transporting NPCs on a boat while talking to them for hours. That’s what I call modern video games. The publisher of Where Winds Meet is putting me in touch with its developer, a studio based in Hangzhou, China, so I should have more to say about this PC-only RPG soon.