Gamescom has never really been the place for huge announcements. The games industry’s big European show often gets several decent bits and pieces of news but there will most likely be a lack of anything earth shattering.
That’s not to say that we won’t see plenty of interest though. All the major players will be there and, with the big show in Los Angeles a couple of months in the past, there should be a few more games ready for public demonstration and a bit more that can be talked about.
Microsoft don’t do press shows at Gamescom, opting instead for what they call a “Play Day”. They’ll almost certainly have Gears of War III playable and dominant. It’s due to be released in just over a month, after all. Also present, should be Forza 4, with plenty of little snippets and screens filtering out recently to whet our appetites. The HD remastering of Halo: Combat Evolved should, we would hope, make an appearance too.
Finally, Microsoft will push their big hopes for Kinect this holiday season: Kinect Star Wars and Disneyland Kinect.[drop2]Sony do stage a show for Europe and, traditionally, they try to give us something meaty to salivate over. Last year it was Move stuff, Gran Turismo 5’s release date and Killzone 3 multiplayer. This year, we expect to see Uncharted 3 feature heavily, alongside Resistance 3. We also hope to see a lot of Starhawk and Twisted Metal might come out of hiding for an early look to calm the nerves after the news of its delay. We’re hoping for an announcement of the new revision of PS3 and perhaps another price cut too, but don’t hold your breath for either.
The big focus for Sony, though, will surely be PlayStation Vita. The handheld might just get a firm European release date and we could see announcements of data plans for the 3G version, along with plenty of information about the launch line up.
Nintendo tend to be quiet at the big European show and this year is probably not going to be any different. There will be the 3DS games we’ve already seen, although perhaps we’ll see more of them. There might also be one or two new titles announced for the handheld. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has got to be there and playable, with its release not too far away.
What we won’t see from Nintendo, though, is the Wii U. The company is heavily rumoured to have pulled the device from Gamescom, perhaps to focus on perfecting a presentation for Tokyo Games Show later in the year.
What of the big third party publishers? Well, EA will be there with a conference. No doubt FIFA will get a lot of attention in Europe and expect some more of Need for Speed: The Run to be shown. We hope to see more of SSX and Star Wars: The Old Republic too as well as The Secret World and surely a bit more Mass Effect 3 footage. We’ve also heard rumours of the Syndicate reboot putting in a bit of an appearance so cross your fingers for that.[drop]Battlefield 3 is bound to be EA’s biggest showpiece though. With a strong E3 showing and so much advertising being put up for the game, it would be logical for EA and Dice to announce a beta date and perhaps show off a bit of multiplayer gameplay.
Ubisoft will be showing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations as well as Driver: San Francisco and the new Ghost Recon game. It’s also highly likely that we’ll hear something of Far Cry 3 and they will doubtless give Rayman a go under the spotlight too.
2K will be showing off Borderlands 2 in a big way and The Darkness II might also make an appearance but Bioshock: Infinite is avoiding the show all together, unfortunately.
THQ will probably have Darksiders II news to talk about and Saints Row: The Third to show off. Metro: Last Light could put in an appearance too and they might yet surprise us with something else.
Bethesda have made some of my personal favourites in recent years and Skyrim is hopefully going to be shown in great detail. We should also see plenty of RAGE and Prey 2 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the newly announced Dishonored in some small way, either.
Activision tend to stay quiet for Gamescom and this year that might be even more apparent, with their own Call of Duty XP show kicking off in Los Angeles soon. We could see a new trailer or perhaps some Prototype 2 material but other than that, Activision might take the week off.
Other big titles that should put in an appearance include Sega’s Aliens: Colonial Marines, which is edging ever closer to a release. Capcom might show a bit more of Street Fighter X Tekken and Resident Evil: Revelations and Namco Bandai are likely to get Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ridge Racer: Unbounded out of their boxes too. We also hope to see a fair bit of Batman: Arkham City from Rocksteady and Warner Bros.
Valve are hosting a DotA 2 (Defense of the Ancients) tournament and with recent rumours surrounding that title and Valve’s recent love for free-to-play games, I’ll take a punt and predict a shock Steam release for the game when the tournament winner is crowned.