Germany’s annual gaming shindig proved to be yet another belter this year, with the industry’s most prolific companies taking to the stage, before oiling themselves up and flexing their triple-A guns for all to see. Whether you’re cocked and locked for Battlefield 3 or preparing to face the Reapers head-on in Mass Effect 3, Gamescom had something for everyone, reaffirming our belief (not that we weren’t already convinced after E3) that the rest of 2011 will unequivocally boast one of strongest line-ups in gaming history.
Sony in particular had a pretty strong showing, whetting our appetites for the impending release of PlayStation Vita, while shining the spotlight on some of the PlayStation 3’s biggest games in preparation for the holiday season. With an event of Gamescom’s magnitude however, where hype and expectation flood the system like a caffeine addict gearing up for an all-nighter, there are invariably an equal dose of both surprise and disappointment to be had. This year was no different, and as such, we’ve cobbled together our Highs and Lows for Gamescom 2011 for your viewing pleasure.
For our final article we shine the spotlight on the lowlights of Sony's presser. Be sure to let us know what your highlights (and lowlights, for that matter) were from this year’s show in the comments section below this article.
Quantic Dream, where art thou?
David Cage’s celebrated studio Quantic Dream is definitely beavering away on two new games, but so far we haven’t seen hide nor hair of them. Originally it appeared we would get a butcher’s of one of the studio’s new titles at E3 back in June, with Cage saying earlier this year that he was talking with Sony about a potential reveal. That, obviously, never materialized, though many folk immediately pointed to Gamescom as a suitable venue. Sadly, Quantic was again a no-show at the Cologne-based bash, and we’re still no closer to having the lid lifted on whatever Cage and chums are hammering away at. A missed opportunity perhaps, given that Gamescom, being an intrinsically European-based event, would have been an ideal place for Quantic to finally lift the veil on its latest endeavor(s). Looks like we’ll have to wait until next year, then.
No Vita launch details
Sony had previously super-glued an ‘early 2012’ release to PlayStation Vita for PAL territories, though a lot of us were hoping for something a little more substantial, particularly with Gamescom on the horizon. Alas, while the console maker’s presser was packed full of Vita goodness, Sony neglected to divulge any more details regarding the flashy pocket brick’s anticipated launch – a shame too, considering Gamescom would have been the ideal venue to drop the bomb. But nope, it looks like the firm is content with letting punters twiddle their thumbs for a few more months until they feel the time is ripe to announce Vita’s full launch details – possibly at the Tokyo Game Show next month – though given how brilliantly the new handheld is shaping up, I think we’re all willing to wait a little longer. Nonetheless, a missed opportunity.
Lack of any show-stopping announcements
As was the case with E3, Sony’s Gamescom’s presser was conspicuously lacking in regards to megaton announcements. Okay, the price cut was pretty meaty, but it had been rumored for months and I think everyone knew it was coming. Many of us at PSU were hoping for a few stow-stoppers, such as possible announcement of a new God of War or Metal Gear Solid title, particularly for PlayStation Vita. I personally would have expected something else from Capcom, such as the long-rumored Devil May Cry HD Collection. The bundle was leaked on a Spanish retailer a few months back, and a competition on Capcom Unity hinted that the firm was gearing up for an announcement pertaining to the series at some point. As such, I still expect to see this before the year’s out – it is the franchise’s 10th anniversary, after all.
No updates on MIA software
Outside of announcements, we were also gagging for an update on a few Vita projects, including Killzone and Call of Duty, as well as a few MIA PS3 juggernauts such as Agent and the Last Guardian—the latter especially, as it’s been in hiding for a while now. Even another gander at the elusive PlayStation Move poster boy Sorcery would have been a welcome addition to the proceedings.
Reality Fighters doesn't pack much of a punch
Most press conferences these days are no stranger to one toe curling cringer; Sony did it at E3 2006 with their smorgasbord of Giant Enemy Crabs and Ridge Racer ridiculousness, and Nintendo served up a right face-palmer with its Wii Music train wreck at E3 2008. Sure, Sony’s Gamescom presser didn’t quite deliver anything on that scale, but the live demo of Reality Fighters for PlayStation Vita was nonetheless a whopping great disappointment. I attribute a good chunk of this to the build-up, where a member of the development proceeded to talk up the handheld brawler by introducing—in exuberant form, we might add—the pair of Sony bigwigs who were about to duke it out. After such a rapturous introduction, it was difficult to muster any kind of trepidation about what we were about to be shown—however, in retrospect, assuming crash position would have been a worthwhile effort. To put it bluntly, Reality Fighters looked rubbish. The monstrosity we were shown lacked a fine coating of polish, with dodgy visuals accompanying some stiff animation and underwhelming, incoherent flash of fists and feet. Sure, the whole augmented reality aspect is intriguing, with the game utilizing Vita’s camera to map your mug to the on-screen avatar, and unsurprisingly it’s this aspect Sony was championing for much of the demo. Sadly that’s about all it has going for it, with the meat-and-potatoes brawling coming off incredibly so-so. I feel sorry for the chap who introduced the game, the audience reaction was so muted you’d swear you could hear a cricket chirping.