As anyone who watched Opening Night Live will attest, Gamescom 2022 showed off countless exciting games coming out in the next year or two. Three members of the Gfinity team were lucky enough to attend the show in person to check out a load of what was on show.
To talk a little more about what we saw, we've put together our choices for the five best games we played or saw more of behind closed doors.
The choices are in no particular order, they're just the five games we saw at Gamescom 222 that we're most excited to play come release.
Dead Island 2
It's been a while since the last iteration of Dead Island, but getting the opportunity to play the upcoming Dead Island 2 at Gamescom reminded me of just why this series has such a cult following. I got to play a 20-minute snippet of the game, and despite my failure to fight the spooky zombie clown at the end, I got a pretty solid idea of how things work.
It feels similar to how I remember the original Dead Island, with melee combat emphasised as you attempt to clobber, slice, or splatter your way through crowds of various types of zombies. There's a lot of detail in the goopy, bloody messes you make with your weapons - either a turn-off or a selling point - and in my short time with the game, a solid amount of variety was there.
Elemental damage and environmental hazards can combine, allowing you to craft the ultimate undead-killing machine and offering a fair few options when it comes to your approach.
Of course, once the full game is out, we'll find out just how replayable Dead Island 2 is. It won't be for everyone, but for those of you with a hankering for gratuitous violence upon the undead, there isn't much to complain about at the moment.
Pentiment is certainly something different for Obsidian. It doesn’t have the scale of a Fallout: New Vegas or the familiar setting of KOTOR. Instead, it’s a more intimate RPG set in 16th-century Bavaria. However, it still possesses much of what made the studio’s previous RPGs classics.
You play as Andreas Maler, but you can mould him into whatever character you’d like. At the start of my 30-minute demo, I was able to choose between various traits and elements of his background. Does my Andreas have a medical background, a philosophical one, or is he just a drunk on his travels? There are some really interesting options to play around with to make the most interesting character you can.
Once the quests began, it quickly became clear how smart Pentiment’s writing is. Every conversation is detailed and nuanced, with whatever dialogue option you choose impacting not only the next response but how the rest of the quest progresses. Every conversation is extremely deep, building on the world and your relationships with the characters.
Even after just one quest, I found Pentiment engrossing. I’m excited to see quite how entangled the relationships become and just how complex the story is. So far, it’s fascinating.
Goat Simulator 3
I think I played the original Goat Simulator for a couple of hours before realising it might've run its course. The sequel, Goat Simulator 3, offers the next level of ridiculousness.
I haven't played the first game since it came out, so the juxtaposition is terrifying. You have cars, minigames, quests, special powers, and the ability to turn into a giraffe (or Tall Goat) - truly Goat Simulator 3 holds nothing back. Sure, some of this was in the original after a few updates, but seeing everything packaged together in such a bizarre combination is something to behold.
I played in co-op with a couple of colleagues, and it was a harrowing delight. As a natural-born griefer, life was a joy for me in that moment, as I hit them with laserbeams, dragged them around the surprisingly sizeable open world, and covered their entire goaty bodies in slick grease.
Anyone who's played a game with me before will know that I'm one of the most annoying people around (in-game and in real life, some would argue). Thank you to Goat Simulator 3 for allowing me this gift, and bestowing upon me the ability to be the biggest thorn in all my friends' sides.
Before they lose the WRC licence, Kylotonn wanted to create its best game in the two decades the series has been running. Generations is the result of all those years of development - a WRC game that’s more complete than anything that’s come before.
With a record 165 stages across 22 different countries, WRC Generations is aiming to be the only rally game you need for years to come. While the classic cars return, Kylotonn isn’t forgetting to stay with the times. The new hybrid cars introduced in the real racing discipline this year have been included, adding vehicles that are quick off the mark but heavy. For a series that’s always been tough, asking players to learn to control cars that feel completely different is a challenge, but it ensures Generations feels fresh.
Those new cars feel great to drive too. Fighting the steering wheel as you try to get around the tightest of hairpin turns is a thrill, albeit possibly too challenging for some. WRC Generations will still be amongst the most hardcore of sim racers out there, but with more content than any previous WRC entry, it’s shaping up to be a highlight.
A Plague Tale Requiem
A Plague Tale Requiem continues the woe-filled tale of siblings Amicia and Hugo as they adventure across plague-time France, finding themselves hunted or in extreme danger at every turn.
From the roughly hour-long section I’ve played, the sequel seems to have sorted some of the few gripes I had with the first game. The stealth sections in particular are a marked improvement, especially once you’re out in the open, where the expanded mobility options at your disposal make swiftly getting from A to B without being stabbed, shot, or eaten by rats a whole lot more enjoyable.
Requiem also doubles down on Hugo’s horrific superpowers discovered near the tail-end of the original, this time allowing you to take control of hungry rat swarms and have them gobble up your very Bri’ish foes. Will these gnarly new powers and the horrific violence of the world around him corrupt poor, sweet Hugo? If the end of the demo is any indication, Amicia certainly isn’t in for an easy ride.
If you're looking for more on what we saw at Gamescom, we also have a preview of Moonbreaker, the new game from the developers of Subnautica.