E3 is considered by many to be the most noteworthy video games expo of the year for its press conference and major news announcements, but it may not remain king of the mountain forever. Gamescom has been growing year to year because, unlike E3, the Cologne, Germany-based expo is open to the public, giving the average fan their chance to experience some of the biggest releases that are on their way to market. Along with this comes a flurry of new trailers and videos to continue the hype train for many of these titles.
2016 proved to be another big year for the expo, and for a brief recap, check out the 15 Best Trailers And Demos From Gamescom 2016.
15. METAL GEAR SURVIVE – OFFICIAL TRAILER
Ok, so this may not be one of the “best” trailers from Gamescom, but it is definitely the most noteworthy. Maybe the most out-there debut during Gamescom was the debut trailer for Konami’s first Metal Gear game since Hideo Kojima’s departure. Metal Gear Survive is a new co-op survival horror game that will force players to work together and survive against an overwhelming force of zombie-like creatures, and it’s due out in 2017.
The trailer itself provides some set-up to this story, showing one of the playable soldiers during the destruction of Mother Base in Metal Gear Solid V, when a black hole opens in the sky and sucks in the soldiers and remains of MSF and Mother Base, dropping them in an alternate dimension. Players must then band together, using the remains of Mother Base to battle against crystalline zombie creatures that inhabit this world and find a way back to Earth. There are going to be huge question marks surrounding this game with no Kojima steering the ship for Metal Gear now, making this a make or break moment for a company that has slowly moved out of the console space.
Judging by the overwhelmingly negative fan response to the trailer — nearly 83% of Youtube voters have hit the ‘dislike’ option on the above video, and Konami’s official channel disabled the like/dislike option altogether — Survive has a rocky road ahead on its way to living up to the prestigious Metal Gear name.
14. BATTLEFIELD 1 – OFFICIAL GAMESCOM GAMEPLAY TRAILER
While many shooters have been pushing their settings farther and farther into the future and more sci-fi realms, DICE is taking Battlefield back in time to an era that has rarely been explored in games: World War I. After making a big splash at E3 with the trailers and gameplay released of the massive multiplayer battles set during the dawn of modern warfare, the Gamescom sneak peak provided a look at a vastly different setting to the European countryside.
The trailer showed off the chaotic destruction Battlefield is known for in Arabia, giving what maybe the best look at the collision of old and modern battle tactics with sword-wielding horseback soldiers doing battle with and against tanks, along with a train that serves as the centerpiece of the map. It also gave another look at the dynamic weather DICE has been pushing, as a sandstorm rolled in halfway through, reducing a player’s vision and culminating with one player eating the front of the train. The trailer may have also teased what could be in store with the campaign, as it ends with a tag of a German fighter dragging a soldier that may be Lawrence of Arabia, who promptly escapes captivity. Players won’t have to wait too long to be able to experience these battles, as the game’s October release date is now just weeks away.
13. INJUSTICE 2 – HARLEY QUINN AND DEADSHOT REVEAL TRAILER
Say what you will about Warner Bros. and DC’s latest big screen venture, Suicide Squad, it has been a box office success in a lackluster summer, and Netherrealm Studios definitely capitalized on it with their latest reveal for Injustice 2. Much like the previous trailers that showed off a returning character and a brand new character, the latest revealed that Harley Quinn will be returning from the first game while her big screen Squadmate, Deadshot, will be making his debut in the franchise.
The first half of the trailer focused on Joker’s number one girl, showing how Netherrealm has changed Harley from the first game. She’d kept her guns and her signature mallet, but she’s also incorporated her and the Joker’s pet hyenas, Bud and Lou, into her arsenal against heroes like Blue Beetle. It looks like her super-attack will properly incorporate the viciousness of these two animals, along with a healthy dose of dynamite and a baseball bat. Deadshot’s gameplay showed a character somewhat reminiscent of Deathstroke from the first Injustice, though there is more of a reliance on guns (which makes sense given the character), culminating in his super, which makes solid use of Deadshot’s signature wrist guns. Reveals like this just make the wait for the game’s 2017 release all the more painful.
12. DESTINY: RISE OF IRON – ‘FORGED IN FIRE’ VIDOC
While many games come and go, none have had the story both in-game and behind the scenes as Bungie’s sci-fi shooter, Destiny. From a questionable launch and two underwhelming expansions to the massive overhaul with The Taken King, it has been a long road for Bungie to really nail the formula for this game going forward. The final entry inDestiny’s first iteration is coming in September in the form of Rise of Iron, the last paid expansion that will have players join with Lord Saladin to battle an ancient tech plague and become an Iron Lord.
To help build hype for this DLC entry before Destiny 2 drops next year, Bungie released a ViDoc to show off what’s coming with the expansion. As mentioned above, it gives a better idea of the story, with guardians battling Siva, a tech plague the original Iron Lords (save for Saladin) died to seal away. It’s now free with a Fallen army, forcing players to venture back into a re-imagined Cosmodrome to push this plague back. The ViDocalso showed off new gear and weapons players will be grinding for, and a new crucible mode called supremacy, which was reminiscent of kill confirmed from the Call of Duty series. But more than anything, the ViDoc made it clear that this was not about overhauling the game, but simply supplementing the experience with new content, quests, gear and a new raid. It just goes to show how far this game has come and reinforces Bungie’s commitment to openness going forward for Destiny.
11. MAFIA III – HEIST TRAILER
The Mafia series belongs in a list of select franchises that take their time from one entry to the next, with the first game being released in 2002 and the second in 2010, both revolving around a soldier in the Italian Mob who seeks to rise through the ranks to become a made man in cities reminiscent of Chicago and New York. The third entry, on the other hand, will see players take the role of Lincoln Clay, a member of the Black Mob of New Bordeaux (this universe’s New Orleans) that is betrayed by the Italians and wiped out. The game is primed to follow Lincoln on his quest for revenge and takeover.
The trailer released at Gamescom reveals the events that led the Italians to betray and wipe out the Black Mob. It gives a taste of what will likely be the first mission of the game, which sees Lincoln and a crew made up of both mobs robbing the city’s biggest bank — and the chaos that ensues from the robbery. While it implies a clean getaway, greed seems to take hold over the Italians, with the trailer ending with one of them pulling a gun on Lincoln. This certainly helps to set up the tone and story of the game, one that will see Lincoln form his own crew on what looks to be a destructive path of vengeance.
10. FOR HONOR – FACTIONS TRAILER
One of the games that stole the show at the past two E3’s, Ubisoft’s new melee combat game For Honor will let players live out their fantasies of being knights, vikings and samurai. From the unique combat system and alternate universe earth that brings these far-removed groups of warriors together, it is shaping up to be one of the biggest games of early 2017.
The trailer from Gamescom provided the best look yet at the three factions of warriors that players will get to fight as. Each had their own narration, explaining each group’s motivations for the constant battling against each other. On top off that, it also showed all four character classes in motion for anyone who hasn’t gotten their hands on the game at these events, demonstrating just how how different each are. While each fit into certain archetypes, like tank or assassin-type characters, the gameplay in the trailer showed off just how each faction’s feature play into the archetypes, with vikings being more reliant on strength in general and samurai on movement. Barring any unforeseen delays, this is shaping up to be a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Day next year.
9. SOUTH PARK: THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE – OFFICIAL GAMEPLAY TRAILER
Matt Stone and Trey Parker have conquered television, feature films, and even Broadway. Now, they look to conquer the game space with the South Park: the Fractured But Whole, the superhero-themed sequel to the 2014 hit South Park: The Stick of Truth. The game will see players return to the role of the new kid as he interacts with the Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman, who are now playing superheroes instead of fantasy.
The latest trailer from Gamescom offered an extended look at the gameplay, which will use the turn-based system from the previous game, making it easier to use the show’s 2D animation style and tell a cohesive story. It doesn’t necessarily show anything new compared to what was shown at E3, but more South Park in any fashion, especially in the gaming, is always a good thing. It just reinforces that this is a game that nails what makes the show great, while also providing a great experience for players.
8. CALL OF DUTY: INFINITE WARFARE – ZOMBIES IN SPACELAND TRAILER
As Call of Duty has gone on, Activision has doubled down on what has become the signature co-op mode for the series, Zombies. The mode has continued to get more self-aware and over-the-top as it has evolved, with comedic undertones and B-movie sci-fi plots and set pieces. It seems this trend will continue with the new zombie mode inInfinite Warfare.
The trailer released at Gamescom revealed that this new zombie mode may be the most over-the-top iteration of the mode the series has seen. Titled ‘Zombies in Spaceland’, the trailer revealed that it will take place in the ’80s with four properly themed characters, such as a break-dancer and college fratboy/jock. Add to that the use of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s debut single “Relax”, and this trailer just oozes ’80s charm and design. On a side note, two of the decade’s biggest TV stars, Paul Reubens and David Hasselhoff, will be featured in the mode, thereby significantly adding to its awesomeness.
7. TOM CLANCY’S GHOST RECON: WILDLANDS – CHARACTER AND WEAPON CUSTOMIZATION TRAILER
The Tom Clancy brand has been making a resurgence of late at Ubisoft, with Division and Rainbow Six: Siege making a splash at their releases, with each game finding strong audiences. The next game on the docket will be Ghost Recon: Wildlands, bringing the game back to a more grounded story and environment compared to its last, underwhelming entry, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
While the trailer did show more gameplay, the crux of it was focused on the extensive customization options available to players. While previous games did have customization options for weapons and gear, the trailer makes it very clear that Wildlands will have the deepest platform to date. Players will be able to shape their character to fit their preferred play-style, whether that be one geared for a full on assault, a patient sniper, or a sneak and peek approach. Giving players these options in the massive open world that will be available and the ability to play along with other players will definitely lead to some interesting encounters.
6. RESIDENT EVIL 7 – LANTERN GAMEPLAY VIDEO
The Resident Evil series has been up and down over the last few years, with main-line entries like Resident Evil 5 and6 getting mixed receptions at best, while games like Revelations have been praised for going back to the roots of the series. All that seemed to change at E3 with the reveal that Capcom’s ‘Kitchen’ demo was actually a demo for Resident Evil 7, which felt like proper survival horror.
While E3 had a newer version of the ‘Kitchen’ demo, Gamescom revealed new gameplay from the perspective of a young woman exploring this apparent abandoned house. However, much like the previous gilmpse, you come to realize that it is definitely home to someone — or something. Add to that the fact that this game will be fully playable in Playstation VR when it’s released in January (supposedly), and this could be the horror game of the year.
5. WATCH DOGS 2 – ONLINE MULTIPLAYER TRAILER
The original Watch Dogs, while full of good ideas and moments throughout, was not the full experience that players wanted. The idea of hacking all these different parts of this fictional Chicago was cool, but a generic story and blah playable character held it back from reaching the greatness it could have. That said, Ubisoft is clearly committed to making this series work, which has been made clear with everything shown for Watch Dogs 2.
While E3 was focused on debuting the game, its West Coast setting and new character, Gamescom showed off more of whats in store for multiplayer. The trailer revealed more of the drop in/drop out multiplayer that players will be able to enjoy, turning a single-player experience into either a friendly co-op experience or an intense competitive match against a rival gamer. This will lend the game an even greater sense of unpredictability, since you’ll never know if another player wants to help you out or rob you without you even noticing.
4. PREY – GAMESCOM GAMEPLAY VIDEO
The original Prey came out nearly ten years ago, trying to establish a new sci-fi shooter franchise at the start of the previous console generation. While a sequel floated around for years, it became clear that the original vision of what it would be was dead. Things became a bit clearer at E3, with the reveal that Bethesda and Arkane studios would reboot the franchise with more of a Bioshock-like game, with a proper look at gameplay coming at Gamescom.
The gameplay video gave fans their first true look at how the new Prey would play, look, and feel. The video definitely exudes the tense situations players will find themselves in as they navigate this possibly abandoned space station while trying to fend off strange aliens that have infested it (and presumably killed the rest of the crew). As mentioned, it definitely pulls from games like Bioshock, which relied on setting and atmosphere to create the sense of tension and danger players would have if stuck in this type of situation in real life. And given Arkane’s track record, this is definitely something to look forward to.
3. DISHONORED 2 – GAMESCOM GAMEPLAY VIDEO
Speaking of Arkane Studios, they are also busy at work on the sequel to their 2012 hit, Dishonored, which will be dropping in the fall. This time around, while players will still be able to play as Corvo Attano from the first game, there is also the option to play as Empress Emily Kaldwin, Corvo’s daughter and ruler of Dunwall, on her quest to reclaim her throne.
The newest glimpse of the game at Gamescom gave two extended looks at some of Emily’s abilities. The first half showed off her new “shadow walk” ability, allowing her to become a shadowy cloud that moves faster and can strike down enemies with noticeable ease. The other ability is a type of mimic skill that will chain damage from enemy to another via a magic link made by the player. The second half showed off one of the more challenging enemies in the game, which are tall and slender robots that players will have to outmanuever and strike multiple times to defeat. This reflects previous statements by the developers about the game delivering more of a challenge than the first entry. All in all, this one is shaping up to be a must-own.
2. DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED – LAUNCH TRAILER
It usually works out when games come out right around an expo such as Gamescom, and such is the case with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the sequel to 2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The sequel picks up from the previous entry, with Adam Jensen now having to deal with repercussions of the events of Human Revolution. That means more sneaking, shooting and hacking for players to delve right into.
The launch trailer intercuts gameplay with footage from the previous cinematic trailers that have been released, really pushing the story of the game. It further reinforces that this is a world that those with true power operate behind the scenes, playing the system and events to further build up hostilities between normal humans and those with robotic augmentations (such as Adam). But while all-too-many trailers may give away the climax of their story — especially in the film world — this one manages to leave us with just as many questions, if not more, than we had going into the trailer.
1. GEARS OF WAR 4 – 4K GAMEPLAY DEBUT
Its been sometime since players got to head off to the war-torn planet of Sera in the Gears of War series and take a chainsaw bayonet to the monsters hellbent on humanity’s extinction. While the first three games told the story of Marcus Fenix and his comrades in Delta Squad, the new game will move the series forward a few years and shift the focus from Marcus — but not too far. This time, players get to see the story of JD Fenix, Marcus and Anya’s son, along with his friends and comrades as they battle a monstrous new enemy in glorious 4K.
As implied above, Gamescom was where the game had its first showing in 4k with an extended demo. JD, and his companions, Del and Kait, stumble upon a breeding ground for the new enemy they will battle against, called the Swarm. In usual Gears fashion, it only escalates from there, as more and more dangerous monsters appear to try and take out the team, and bigger, badder new weapons are required to take them down. While there was plenty of new, it was still very much that classic pop-and-shoot gameplay people relate to the Gears of War series. Trailers like these help demonstrate how far not just the series, but gaming in general, has come.