Gamescom is still rumbling on with thousands of eager fans queueing to get their hands on the latest and greatest games, with both existing and upcoming titles in attendance at this year's event in Cologne. While the masses are still shuffling through the halls and corridors of the Koelnmesse though, the Gamereactor team is back home and writing up their impressions from the event. But before we share any more previews with you, here are the 10 games that we enjoyed the most during our time in Germany.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (From Software)
During Gamescom, we not only got a detailed hands-off demo but we also got to play the game once again, and everyone who saw/played Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was pretty much blown away by From Software's next title. Souls fans nervous about what the future might hold for them now that the infamously challenging series has been put to rest needn't be concerned, as Sekiro looks to up the ante with new combat mechanics that evoke the spirit of Bloodborne, a Sengoku-inspired setting that offers a totally new aesthetic, and a range of stunning bosses for players to overcome with their deadly samurai sword and mechanical arm. It's fast, it's furious, and it's shaping up to be another stellar action game from the studio. It's also our game of the show.
Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
We're not going to deny it - we're still super excited about Cyberpunk 2077 after having seen the game again during Gamescom. We think it was a worthy winner of our Best of E3 Award despite the fact that we didn't actually play it ourselves, but alas, given the fact that the demo was hands-off once again and that it focused on similar content to what we saw last time at E3, we couldn't bring ourselves to give it top spot for the second time running (although it is worth noting that the gameplay demo was at least live this time and was, therefore, less scripted). Still, consider us hyped about CD Projekt Red's gritty sci-fi RPG.
Darksiders III (Gunfire Games)
After an extended hiatus, the apocalypse is set to return with Darksiders III. We got our hands on the game during Gamescom and came away satisfied that the series is in good hands - it still feels like a Darksiders game despite the fact that the series has had quite the journey since the second game landed under the old THQ banner. It might not be the sharpest game we saw in Cologne from a visual perspective, but the series' trademark gameplay is there in spades, only this time a bit faster and with more of a focus on dodging attacks.
Life is Strange 2 (Dontnod)
Dontnod doesn't know how to pull its punches, and the studio hit us right in the feels with the gameplay they had to share during Gamescom. Arcadia Bay offered a very special world to explore and the heartfelt episodic adventure earned the studio a legion of admiring fans, but can the sequel pick up where the first game left off and satisfy the game's growing following? Based on our time with the game in Cologne, we certainly think so.
Metro Exodus (4A Games)
The Gamescom demo of Metro Exodus showed us a different side to 4A's post-apocalyptic adventure. You see, not every dispute has to be settled via the barrel of a gun, and we got to meet some of the surface-dwelling communities waiting for Artyom to discover when he finally emerges from the darkness of the Moscavan subway in search of a new life under the sun. The new demo even showed us some new forest-filled environments, proving that there'll be real variety when we get to explore this immersive world next February.
Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games)
During this year's show we got to play the same demo that impressed us mightily at E3, but this time we also got a look under the proverbial hood at what Playground is cooking up in terms of competitive modes. Forza Horizon 4 is set to land on PC and Xbox One later this year, and when it does it'll let players tear through a world defined by ever-changing seasons, which we'll be seeing from behind the wheel of some super-powered cars. This is one drive through the English countryside that we can't wait to take.
Torchlight Frontiers (Echtra Games)
ARPG fans will already be aware of Torchlight, but the series could well tap into a whole new audience when creative lead Max Schaefer and his new team at Echtra Games takes the fantasy series online with Torchlight Frontiers. Players will be able to explore a shared, persistent, and dynamically-generated world in this ambitious online adventure, and after taking a closer look at the game in Cologne we came away mightily impressed by what they've managed to achieve so far. This is definitely one to watch.
Just Cause 4 (Avalanche Studios)
Rico Rodrigeuz doesn't understand the word "subtle" and, frankly, we wouldn't have it any other way. After gazing at it from afar in LA, at this year's Gamescom we finally got our hands on the fourth game in this endlessly explosive series, and the blend of chaotic gunplay, over-the-top traversal, and extreme weather had us hungry for more action on the troubled island of Solis. Just Cause 4 isn't launching until December, but based on our time with the game in Germany, Rico's return can't come soon enough.
Total War: Three Kingdoms (The Creative Assembly)
We were waxing lyrical about Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden when we saw it at E3, and it was nearly our strategy pick from Gamescom too, fending off competition from the newly announced return of The Settlers and the upcoming Two Point Hospital, but both games were outflanked by Total War: Three Kingdoms, which looks absolutely fantastic thanks to its painterly art style and a focus on rich and historically-inspired characters. This week we got our first look at the campaign map, but it was the nighttime ambush that we really enjoyed battling through.
The Dark Pictures - Man of Medan (Supermassive Games)
Supermassive Games really came into the spotlight with Until Dawn, the branching narrative horror game where you were tasked with trying to keep a group of teenagers alive (or not, it's your choice) in an isolated cabin. It played with horror film tropes we all love, but Supermassive isn't content with visiting just one scenario in their new project The Dark Pictures Anthology. In fact, the studio has four scenarios planned for us, each spanning 4-5 hours of gameplay and each with a handful of characters to control. The first one, Man of Medan, focuses on a group of divers who discovers horror in a sunken plane, and from what we've seen and played, there's every reason to be excited for this one, and the other stories to come.