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Archonia Gamescom 2015 Highlights

Before we start this, let me tell you I did this for you guys. I braved the sweaty masses and went to Gamescom on Wednesday. Well… I did it to play Dark Souls 3 and other gems mainly, but still.
Starting in 2009, Gamescom has developed into one of the biggest videogame convention in the world! Some say it has grown even more important than E3.
BEHOLD… Archonia’s Gamescom highlights!

Dark Souls 3

dark souls 3

As a souls veteran (played all of them through New Game ++, all DLC’s and got the platinum trophy for Bloodborne) this, of course, was my first stop at Gamescom 2015!
So, how was it? It was more Dark Souls and to me that’s a good thing, but it did not blow me away like last years Bloodborne demo, which showed a whole new twist on setting and fighting- speed for the series. Maybe it is unfair to expect that from a numbered sequel to an existing franchise, while Bloodborne was more of a spiritual spin-off. Either way, DS3 did not disappoint in any meaningful way. Graphics are better than in DS2, the Bloodborne style level design has clearly an influence here, and the overall design was, in typical From Software fashion, gorgeous.
Fighting felt a little bit different from DS2… a bit more responsive and a smidge faster than what we are accustomed to, which again seems to stem from this years Bloodborne. Enemies in the demo were of the normal cursed variety and I got to see a huge dragon and fight a pretty large knight, who even managed to surprise and kill me. As I got back to him the demo was ended just before I was able to finish him off and approach the boss fight that surely was waiting for me behind him.
Overall I think there is nothing to worry about for fans of these games, as From Software clearly have this style of game down to a science now. Only thing I worry about is the quick succession they seem to release them now, which really hampers my excitement a little bit, should it go on in this speed.

Mafia III Reveal Trailer

Mafia III, the sequel to 2K’s Mafia series, has been revealed at Gamescom. Take a look at the trailer above and see what you think.
The newest sequel of the series takes a leap in time again and seems to play out in the late 60s, early 70s in the south of the US. You play a half black, half italian american, who suffered through the Vietnam war and returned home only to find his family wiped out by the mafia. With the help of some other gangs and their bosses (one of which seems to be the aged Mafia II main character Vito), you are going to take on the mob in the south and try to take over their place in the criminal hierarchy. Sounds like a great story to me, especially with a main character who doesn’t fall into mafia movie cliches. As a big fan of open world games and crime stories, this will be a must have for me.

Mad Max

mad max

People who read the Archonia blog know me to be a huge Mad Max fan. I LOVE Road Warrior and Fury Road above all other apocalyptic stories and of course I am also very excited about the upcoming Mad Max game. So much in fact, that this game’s booth was my second stop on my Gamescom visit, even with it coming out as early as this September.
WB Games really did a great job with setting up the booth with actors dressed as wastelanders and psychos, who attacked and intimidated the people waiting in line to play. Very nice touch.
When I got to play the game the first thing that hit me was how beautiful the sandy wasteland actually looks.
The demo started with me being on foot, attacking a small camp to get a new upgrade for my car (the Magnum Opus, as its called, which is your own fully customizable war rig, because some freaks stole Max’ Interceptor). The hand to hand combat is clearly inspired by fellow WB Games hit “Batman Arkham” series, just imagine not being as fast or athletic as Batman. But even without flips and kung fu Max’s fighting is a sight to behold, as I took out 5 men easily and then raided their camp for supplies. What I found interesting is that you don’t only pick up ammo and wreckage to build up your car, but water as well, which will no doubt be coming into play later in the game. I then bagged the new upgrade for my Magnum Opus and got back into the car. Max’ new friend “Scumbucket” is already waiting on the back of the mechanical monstrosity, always ready to shot and throw at enemy vehicles. He even falls down when you make a quick turn and reloads his weapons while lying on his back, or talks smooth to the car to “calm” it, as soon as you get out. A really great detail.
And let me tell you… the car combat is awesome. I am talking Fury Road levels of awesome here! As soon as you get attacked you can aim either Max’ double barreled shotgun at enemies or any of Scumbuckets weapons and take ‘em all out in spectacular fashion. Wanna rip off a front tire with a harpoon and see them tumble off a cliff? No problem. You can even use your own fuel as a weapon when you let fire shoot out of flamethrowers under the sides of the Magnum Opus, burning everything next to you… just beware that when the tank is empty you are pretty much screwed. Other than that I explored the wasteland a bit and found a lot of interesting looking camps and strongholds, just as friendly fellow wastelanders. Another thing I tried out before the demo ended was how much you can actually change the car and the amount of choice you get is amazing. You can change color, weapons, armor, tires, nearly everything about the look and it always handles like a beast. The way you create giant clouds of dust when you drive through the sand is just glorious.
All in all, this was my highlight of this years Gamescom and I cannot wait to play more in September. Until then, check out the new Gamescom trailer for Mad Max here:

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

The next Assassin’s Creed is to me the one I am the most excited about since ACII, because of two simple reasons: London and Victorianism. I always loved this city and especially this time period, so this is a dream come true for me. Ubisoft building on a lot of the new stuff they did with AC Unity and taking it into the grimy streets of London is as cool as it gets.
So how does it play? Very similar to Unity. You still have a lot of free room to decide how to handle a mission, but the newly enhanced eagle vision makes it even easier to find entrances into buildings now, which I found almost a bit too convenient. A new levelling system makes the games combat a bit harder as a level 8 Assassin has almost no chance against level 12 guards for example, which forces you to act more stealthy. The graphic is as impressive as you expect it to be and we still have the massive crowds, that Unity introduced, which move through the city.
Also new is a sort of grappling hook with which you can whiz up buildings in a Batman style fashion.
Overall it looks like another great AC game that fans will enjoy playing later this year. Let’s hope its not as unfinished as Unity was when it released last year.

Unravel

Unravel is an umpcoming 2D plattformer/puzzle game by EA. I have to admit that I feel that the 2D platformer genre is a bit played out in recent years, with a bazzillion similar games hitting the Playstation Network almost every month, but Unravel looks to be something truly special.
You play a small creature made out of wool, which has to make its way through an amazingly detailed and almost photo realistic world, using its own string of wool for all sorts of context sensitive actions. You can use it like a grappling line, or like a leash on a fish to get dragged across a pond for exmple. It was a really great breath of fresh air when I played it and you should really check out the trailer above and keep an eye on this special little gem.

Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront

This is the big one, for most people. For me, being only a moderate Star Wars and multiplayer shooter fan, this wasn’t that high on the list to be honest, which is why I made the horrible mistake to only try and get my hands on this demo before leaving Gamescom. This resulted in getting shoved and screamed at by the frantic and quite angry masses. I only got one threat of bodily harm in the line, so it could have been worse, I guess.
But on to the game. It plays really well, even if it looks nowhere near as impressive as those early trailers want you to believe. My demo had a few problems and froze up on me two times, which is a bit scary seeing that the game is coming out in a few weeks. The shooting feels good and is a bit reminiscent of Battlefield, but it was weird for a few moments to have that ego shooter field of vision in a Star wars game (I played Battefront 2 in 3rd person back in the day). It is a welcome change though and works really well. The map I was one was pretty massive and the multiplayer aspect worked really well. Online shooter fans certainly have nothing to worry about in that regard.

They also introduced a new mode which allows you to play the big x-wing and tie fighter battles, which you can check out below:

Of course there was a lot more cool stuff at Gamescom, like Quantum Break, Homefront, Uncharted 4 and the new Deus Ex, but a lot of those were just trailer shows which I did not attend. I hope you guys have gotten a few ideas about whats coming up games wise in the next couple of months and maybe we see each other next year at Gamescom. Until then, check out our gaming merch store on Archonia.com!

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