The hidden champions of Gamescom 2018

With more than 370,000 visitors, Gamescom 2018 in Cologne once again set a visitor record on its tenth anniversary and attracted gamers, cosplayers and pop culture geeks to the cathedral city on the Rhine. In addition to the blockbuster titles of the major publishers, however, there were other games to see that are quite worth a look. We looked around the fair and fished out a few not so prominently advertised ocean pearls from games.

11-11: Memories Retold

1111 Memories Retold
(Image: 11-11: Memories Retold / YouTube screenshot)

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment

gameplay: Bandai Namco ventures into the realm of 11-11: Memories Retold, which are a bit off the usual lineup of Japanese beat ’em ups, RPGs or anime titles. 11-11: Memories Retold artistically and narratively narrates the story of a Canadian photographer reaching the Western Front in Europe during the First World War.

The game tells the photographer’s two-year journey, confronted with war, an increasingly divisive humanity, and the sheer will to survive, striking far gentler sounds than you would expect from a war game like Battlefield V. The focus is clearly on the relationship between the characters, the oppressive atmosphere of a flaming Europe and the story-driven gameplay. The graphics, intentionally kept in the impressionistic style, round off the game visually, and speakers like Elijah Wood audiotechnically.

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platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

release: November 9, 2018

Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2

Publisher: Techland

gameplay: One or the other will perhaps wonder why the successor of the internationally very successful title has landed in this list. Quite simply: The first part of the Open World Parkour Zombie Tracker by the Polish developer Techland had been indexed in Germany in 2015 and therefore could not be sold and advertised in this country, but still be imported. Consequently, Dying Light should not be known to many players who should keep their fingers crossed that the Federal Examination Office for youth-endangering media does not put the successor again for incomprehensible reasons on the index.

In a gameplay demo at Gamescom, Dying Light 2 made an excellent impression, tackling story-wise 15 years after the first part and not only expanding the repertoire of the game, jumping in the parkour manner through the world, climb and schnetzeln. In addition, the actions of the player, which is quite atypical for 3D shooters, have an influence on the game world and the interactions with the factions that populate them next to the undead. Countless sidequests, new ways to kill zombies and the dense atmosphere smell like a worthy successor.

Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

release: 2019

Star Renegades

Star Renegades

Publisher: Massive Damage, Inc.

gameplay: For fans of Pixelart and funky gameplay, the Indie Arena Booth once again had a number of titles this year that included more gaming studios per square foot than visitors to a single FIFA 19 stand. The genre of indie titles is more or less the alternative event to the major publishers EA, Ubisoft, Activision, Square Enix and Co., and usually relies on new types of game mechanics and special elements with less developers and budget.

One of those retro-styled titles is Star Renegades of the Canadian studio Massive Damage, who presented a lovingly and deliberately pixelated graphic “interplanetary tactical role-playing game” at Gamescom, as the developer calls the game itself. Reminiscent of Japanese RPGs graphically and playfully, the player experiences a world that mixes fantasy with technological elements, battle robots, rebel bases, and space travel. In terms of story, you can be prepared for Epic when the game comes out next year.

Platform: PC

release: 2019

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077
(Image: Cyberpunk 2077)

Publisher: CD PROJECT RED

gameplay: And another title from a Polish development studio, which the public did not get to see at this year’s E3 in the US, as well as at Gamescom. A few days ago, the developers released the initial press-designed gameplay video on YouTube (see above), but for many players, the game was probably lost in the tidal wave of the big publishers.

Cyberpunk 2077 attacks a somewhat neglected scenario in pop culture of the same name, whose best-known representatives are the pen-and-paper role-playing games Cyberpunk and Shadowrun, as well as the films Blade Runner plus successors and Ghost in the Shell and Akira. At Cyberpunk 2077, CD PROJECT RED applies the balanced and atmospherically dense playing principle of its successful role-playing series The Witcher to a dystopian future scenario. Here everything is fully networked, people are pimped with biomechanical implants and large corporations have the company in hand.

In the semi-anarchist metropolis of Night City, the player assumes the role of V, who or who fights through the story and has a variety of opportunities to do so. During the presentation of the game, one of the developers emphasized that it is a role-play from an ego perspective, so it will not be a pure 3D shooter. Friends of leveling up, entangled storylines and epic stories, as well as a future that may be ahead of us may therefore be happy to bid for 2020, when the title will be released after about seven years of development.

Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

release: expected in 2020

The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man Of Medan

The Dark Pictures Anthology
(Image: The Dark Pictures Anthology)

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment

gameplay: If you’ve always wanted to play a teen horror movie with thick clichés and popcorn entertainment yourself, you may have found your game in 2015 with Until Dawn. The same development studio is now bringing out a quasi-successor, which works like the TV series Black Mirror: Under the umbrella “The Dark Pictures” will be released in the coming years titles that bring a certain mood and game mechanics and of course in the genre horror settled are. In addition, the individual episodes have nothing to do with each other – at least as far as known.

In the first part of the anthology, Man of Medan, the player accompanies a group that discovers a ghost ship while diving and then gets into a storm. Hello cliché they are then first caught on the ship and work horror film-typically through the appropriately staged plot. As with Until Dawn, it will be possible for all characters to survive or not even one. The story goes on after the death of one of the protagonists with the others on and the often bloody staged deaths have a corresponding influence on the other characters and the story itself. As a spiritual successor to Until Dawn should thus here again a high replay value and goosebumps entertainment guaranteed ,

Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

release: 2019

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