In particular order our biggest surprises of Gamescom 2012, Cologne, Germany. Everything from the nightlife of footballers, to undressing slutty blondes and papercrafting.
7. Lords of Football
Tired of football becoming more an exercise in balancing books than about the actual sport? Well, Lords of Football tackles this in a unique an interesting manner. The complete opposite of your cash and stats driven management sims like Football Manager, this game takes a lighter approach to managing a football side. This game seems to have more in common with The Sims, than Sports Interactive's franchise, as you will have to manage your players both on and off the pitch. If you're a football fan who leans more towards Footballer's Wives than the financial section of the paper, then perhaps this game is right up your alley. Sure, looks like fun.
6. Until Dawn
When Sony sent out invitations to come see presentations of a "new Move IP" during Gamescom, I think the were met with little genuine enthusiasm from the jaded members of the specialist press. Dancing? Sports? Perhaps it make use of the controller as a magic wand? Sigh. What we were treated to instead was Until Dawn - a video game take on the teen horror flick, complete with a seemingly slutty blonde, a douchey jock, dead animals, and well a lot of drama. If the subject matter is treated correctly and with the right amount of campyness added it could well be a reason to dust off those Move controllers in the near future.
Developers Supermassive Games has a bit of a spotty past (let's not mention the recent Doctor Who title, eh?), but they also have experience with both Sony and Move (Tumble, Start the Party) so let's hope Sony's trust is well placed with this one. And well, using the Move controller to undress a voluptuous blonde - was perhaps one of the most unexpected surprises we saw at the show.
5. Mars: War Logs
Postapocalyptic science fiction isn't exactly untread ground as far as video games goes, but Mars: War Logs from French developers Spiders Studio managed to peak our interest at Gamescom. And it was the Mars setting and the idea of advanced technology being forgotten and lost (presumably to be rediscovered), paired with the weird mutants and intriguing technomancers that really showed the potential of this science fiction universe.
Remains to be seen if Spiders have what it takes to execute on a fine idea, but Mars: War Logs certainly stood out as one of the bigger surprises of the show.
4. Rambo: The Video Game
First of all it's surprising that anyone is making this game. Period. A Rambo game in 2012? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Nonetheless Reef Entertainment chose to premiere their licensed action romp in the public halls of Gamescom with a massive Sly backdrop overlooking the sweaty showfloor. Inside the booth, gamers were treated to a brief demo of the game running on PC. Are we excited? Not really. Are we surprised to see the game? As much as we were first seeing a helicopter crash after Rambo threw a rock at it.
3. Hotline Miami
Old school? Yes. Hardcore? Oh, yes. Neon lights? Most defintely. Swedish indie title Hotline: Miami had us as excited as Tubbs when he got more than one line in any particular scene of Miami Vice. It's a top down shooter with a frustrating and addictive one hit and you're dead premise, that sees the protagonist take on targets after receiving instructions through the hotline that gives the game its title.
A delightfully brutal experience you'll be knocking down doors, smashing people with baseball bats and blasting their heads off. All because you were told to do so on the phone.
2. Alt Minds
Our Italian editor Lorenzo said it took him about 40-50 questions to grasp the concept of what Alt Minds really is. An augmented reality cross platform experience that promises to expand the definition of what a game is. An interactive thriller were you receive daily tasks, searching for clues and googling your way towards the truth. It's like the intricate web of The Secret World only even more integrated into our own world. Fascinating stuff and very ambitious. Perhaps it's best explained with a video such as the one below.
While it's no surprise that Media Molecule have been up to something wonderfully creative, it did come as a surprise that the Little Big Planet studio's next project is coming out exclusively on PS Vita and has absolutely nothing to do with sackboys or creating levels (not that we've heard at least). The idea of making a game based on papercrafting is brilliantly demented, and shows an utter disregard to outside trends that is truly inspiring.
Iota and his unlikely friend the naked elk got us in a great mood on the eve of Gamescom, and highlighted Sony's commitment to bringing fresh ideas and innovation to gamers in this age of sequels, remakes and remixes.