Posts Tagged ‘Gamescom’

The Design And Politics Of Deus Ex Mankind Divided

At Gamescom 2015, I had the opportunity to talk to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gameplay director Patrick Fortier. We talked about feeling a sense of ownership over Deus Ex at last, expanding the language of its level design beyond vents, and the politics of a “mechanical apartheid.” Before I asked him about the game’s ceilings.

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Just Cause 3’s Challenge Mode Looks Boringly Fun

This Just Cause 3 [official site] video from IGN is titled “Just Cause 3’s Challenge Mode Looks Insanely Fun.” Insanely fun. You might like to watch the video because it has pretty explosions and scenery, but scroll down below the video and I’ll explain why the challenge modes aren’t insanely fun at all.

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Small Town Blues: Kathy Rain

I played Kathy Rain at Gamescom and now that the first trailer is here, I’m eager to share my thoughts. If I hadn’t known it wasn’t a Wadjet Eye game, I would have thought it was a Wadjet Eye game. That’s the greatest compliment I can give to a point and click adventure in this day and age, and Kathy Rain’s grounded small town setting and strongly written protagonist are splendid. Set in 1995, it’s a mystery thriller that is intended to work as a homage to the Lucasarts games of the era, as well as mid-nineties music and television.

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Skyshine’s Bedlam Blends FTL, Mad Max, 2000 AD, Chess And XCOM

That’s a headline packed with good things, isn’t it? And here’s another good thing – even if you don’t like any of the games films and comics listed in that headline, there’s still a possibility that Skyshine’s Bedlam [official site] will have something for you. Maybe you liked The Banner Saga? Bedlam is built on the engine used in that game. Maybe you really like the idea of riding around a broken world within the guts of a giant mutation? Sure. You can do that.

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Mafia 3’s Move To Sixties New Orleans Is Risky But Potentially Rewarding

The Mafia 3 [official site] presentation at Gamescom felt very much like an attempt to hammer home several important changes to the series rather than an accurate representation of the minute-by-minute experience of playing. Given that this was the first public showing of the game, which probably won’t see release until the second half of 2016, that’s to be expected. The vertical slice shown had a lot to cover: a new city, a new time period, a new protagonist, and a new take on open world criminal conquest. Perhaps it’s understandable that the “new” was hammered home with all the subtlety of a blow from Mjolnir, but it’s fair to say that the road to New Orleans looks rather treacherous.

And that brings us to item number one…

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The Final Battle Of Britain: Hearts Of Iron IV Set For 2016

“It’ll be over by Christmas,” Hearts of Iron IV [official site] thinks to itself as the engineers at Paradox fiddle with its guts. “They’ll send me home via Steam-tube, rather than back to the frontlines of testing and development.”

No such luck. The World War II grand strategy game is due to spend another Christmas in development. That’s good news for us though because it represents a commitment to the cause. Rather than dashing for release while the shells are still falling, Hearts of Iron is standing firm. The last time I played, in a huge multiplayer session, there were several interface and balance issues in need of attention. That’s exactly what they’re getting – I spoke to Paradox at Gamescom and they told me how things stand.

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Dark Souls 3’s New Combat Is Faster And More Fearsome

Dark Souls 3 [official site] is in the shadow of a giant. The giant probably has a wound for a face, not a single leg to stand on and spends his days dragging his torso around the ruins of a throne room. After one slightly uneven sequel, the Souls series has returned to the guidance of creator Hidetaka Miyazaki. Rather than replicating what worked so well four years ago, however, From Software are tweaking their design. The architecture of the world is immediately recognisable but combat is changing.

After half an hour with the game, I’m half-way convinced it might be able to step out of the shadow of its predecessors and find a new sun to praise.

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Improvisation, Experimentation And Dark Comedy: Hitman Is Coming Home

I find his trigger finger terrifying

Absolution might be a fitting tag for what looks like a return to form and a casting off of the sins of the past, but since that subtitle’s already taken, I’m hoping I’ll be able to justify referring to this one as Hitman: Redemption [official site]. So far, the signs are good. I spent some time in the company of IO Interactive’s studio head, Hannes Seifert, as he played through a mission set at a Paris fashion show. As he manipulated NPCs behaviour and demonstrated some emergent possibilities, Seifert said all the right things about recovering the best of the series’ past. The game – this portion of it at least – backs him up convincingly. It’s looking good.

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Unconventional Conventionalists: The Joy Of Gamescom

Note: this feature was written late last week, before Gamescom kicked off.

When I talk to fellow writers about the experience of Gamescom, they’re more likely to use the verb ‘survive’ than ‘enjoy’. While not considered as intimidating as E3, a show so large and unruly that Los Angeles is actually contained within its halls, Gamescom can be a difficult place to get work done but as I prepare to fly out for my fourth visit, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be.

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Paradox’s Space Strategy Game Stellaris Has Won Gamescom

Paradox’s internal development studio, responsible for Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, Victoria and Hearts of Iron, is deep into development on a space strategy game. We’ve already seen it, and picked the brains of CK II maestro and project lead Henrik Fåhraeus and EU IV designer Tomas Johansson about this giant leap for the studio. The project, which the company announced at their Gamescom fan gathering moments ago, goes by the name Stellaris and it’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting games in recent years.

Below, you’ll find everything we know, including how randomised alien species will ensure that each new galaxy is mysterious, and why the commitment to an intelligent and subversive end-game could make this one of the smartest interpretations of 4X strategy ever made.

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