Gamescom is now established as Europe’s biggest gaming event, providing those of us on this side of the Atlantic with the means to not just see the games announced or showcased at E3, but to get hands-on with titles we haven’t played before. Some will be this Christmas’s big releases, others the games we’ll be playing in early 2012 and even beyond. The following isn’t exactly a top ten – for a start, indecision means there’s eleven of them – but it’s our personal pick of the biggest, brightest stars at last week’s show.
In the red corner, Activision’s Modern Warfare 3, in the blue-corner, EA’s follow-up to both Battlefield 2 and the much-loved Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Both were playable in some form at the show, and both were looking superb, but of the two it’s Battlefield 3 that has us most excited. For a start, it features a stunning cutting-edge graphics engine, Frostbite 2, with scenery that gives Crysis 2 a run for its money and impressively realistic animation. However, it also seems to have hit the perfect balance between the orchestrated, story-driven combat of the Call of Duty series and the more free-flowing, unpredictable warfare of Battlefield. If one game could set a new benchmark for the military shooter, this is it.
Due: October, PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
It’s hard to know where to start with Naughty Dog’s cinematic blockbuster. The incredible graphics? The seamless blend of platforming and gunplay? The brilliantly written, emotionally-engaging characters? The way it nails what an interactive action movie should be? If one thing sums it up for us, it’s the way in which Uncharted 3 takes cutting-edged graphics tech and physics-based gameplay and makes it the basis of astounding set-pieces. Scenes on a sinking cruise liner, with the ocean flowing through as the ship lists from left to right, or of Drake dangling from a falling cargo plane that will absolutely blow your mind. And while you can’t exactly call Nathan Drake’s cliffhanger heroics realistic, they’re always believable, thanks to the amount of detail that goes into his interactions with the environment. Watching Uncharted 3 in action the idea hits you that we don’t need the on/off/on/off Uncharted movie – we’re already getting something no film could hope to match.
Due: November, PS3