Homo ludens @Gamescom 2015 – Trade Visitors Day

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This year’s trade visitors’ day was noticeably less crowded than the years before. The convention was much stricter with admittance, hence less visitors.

Entering Gamescom 2015:
Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Ready to play?

Gamescom 2015

Farming Simulator (Landwirtschaftssimulator) is back! Has become a staple over the years.

Gamescom 2015

Microsoft booth:

Mega Bloks spire at the Halo 5 Guardians entrance

Gamescom 2015

Halo 5: Guardians and most other games at Microsoft were playable with the new Elite Controller. The 150$ price tag seems steep but I have to say I really like it. Has a nice heft and exceptional build quality. For shooters like Halo the trigger locks are really a plus. Less travel until the trigger switches act.

Gamescom 2015

You can see the small green switches for the trigger locks on the top of the backside.
The four green dots below are the switches for the paddles. Unfortunately I did not see the paddels anywhere on any of the games.

Gamescom 2015

For Forza 6 there is a special 10 year anniversary D-pad for the elite controller:

Gamescom 2015

These controllers have gorgeous Forza-esque paint jobs. Those are “classic” controllers, not elite ones, though:

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Forza 6 now has night races and rain. Played both and both really add to the experience. Car will react to puddles of water on the track. Best: everything now is 60 fps.

Gamescom 2015

Visitors playing Forza 6:

Gamescom 2015

Rise of Tomb Raider at the Microsoft booth. The game will be time exclusive on Xbox One before coming to PS4 one full year later. Usually you will then get the game with all DLC as some GotY or similar edition.

Gamescom 2015

FIFA 16 was also playable at Microsoft. usually entirely overrun on Gamescom I managed to play a match, even winning 2:1.

Gamescom 2015

Gigantic (by motiger) had a presence right in the center of the Microsoft booth. They have a marketing deal. Game will be available on Xbox One and Windows 10. Microsoft have been marketing the game as a showcase during their Windows 10 launch.
Gigantic and Fable will have cross-play and cross-buy between Xbox One and Windows 10.

Gamescom 2015

One of their ‘community coaches’ explaining the ins and outs to the players:

Gamescom 2015

Gigantic also had its own booth in Hall 8:

Gamescom 2015

The logo being too gigantic to fit the frame 😉 They used it as a projection screen. I generally liked the game design a lot and also the design of their booth.

Gamescom 2015

They have a central stage for competitive play:

Gamescom 2015

On the morning of trade visitors’ day there meren’t many visitors. That would change soon…

Gamescom 2015

Both the Xbox One and the Windows 10 version were playable.

Gamescom 2015

I had a nice talk to one of their character designers. Windows 10 and Xbox One version run off pretty much the same engine. Underneath it’s Unreal 3 with custom frameworks.

Gamescom 2015

EA have a huge presence (as usual). On the first day they will only open after lunch since they are running their press conference in the morning.

Star Wars: Battlefront was the big highlight this year. Easily recognizable by the big TIE fighter and ATAT models:

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Catalyst is a successor to a game that won over critics more so than consumers. Happy to see a sequel.

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Unravel seems promising. Some did comment it has a lot from Sonys’ Little Big Planet’s Sackboy character.

Gamescom 2015

Need for Speed. Another staple series with a new entry. Did not play it. As far as racing games go I am recently having more fun with the slightly more realistic variants, like Forza. Love to tune the car to shave off a few seconds. Maybe also getting old, easier to memorize a race track than an open world city.

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

This racing setup (PC) looked really nice. I consciously chose to NOT test drive it. I fear I might buy one if I did.

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

More racing game hardware at Logitech:

Gamescom 2015

Sony booth:

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Horizon:Zero Dawn. Unfortunately only video, nothing playable, yet. Looks promising:

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Star Wars: Battlefron was playable at the Sony booth. 2-player coop split screen single player in some kind of hoard mode. Liked the game a lot, feels like actually being in one of the movies. Stunning graphics. Controls a bit mushy, though. Hope this will be improved until release.

Gamescom 2015

A visitor testing Sony project morpheus VR experience:

Gamescom 2015

Street Fighter V on PS4:

Chun-Li watching Cammy battle a mere visitor:

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Blizzard are sharing hall 7 with Sony and have a huge booth.

Gamescom 2015

More specifically they have a whole set of booths: Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Star Craft II: Legacy of the Void, World of Warcraft: Legion and Overwatch. Hope I did not forget anything.

I liked playing Overwatch quite a bit:

Gamescom 2015

Blizzard has life-sized (more or less) figures of some of the Overwatch characters:

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Hearthstone booth:
Did not play it. i felt I could play enough Hearthstone on my phone while waiting to playtest another game.

Gamescom 2015

Some Murloc vs. play:

Gamescom 2015

Heroes of the Storm:

Learned right after taking this photo that I should not take any more photos, pity:

Gamescom 2015

So I took a few photos of some more life-sized figures:

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Hammer time!

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Between the two giants Sony and Blizzard Guitar Hero makes a comeback. Guitar Hero and Rock Band were huge for a couple of years and then more or less disappeared from the lime light. Now they are back. The crew warming up before the visitors take over:

Gamescom 2015

PES: Another come back of a great series. They were always considered the ‘realistic’ football (I’m German, I will not call it soccer) game until they were somehow overtaken in this regard by FIFA. With the transition to PS3 and Xbox 360 PES fell behind while FIFA 08 and then especially 09 and 10 made great steps forward.

Gamescom 2015

Fallout 4:

When you go to Gamescom this year you will immediately notice those who played it. They get a blue T-shirt, in exchange for having their hair spray-painted Pipboy yellow.

Gamescom 2015

Dark Souls III is hotly anticipated by many:

Gamescom 2015

I did not play it since I never got into Demons Souls, Dark Souls I/II and Bloodborne. Due to work I cannot muster the required patience. There are so many games, I want to try them all rather than master one. This is just me probably, everybody else please enjoy Dark Souls!

Another thing I did not try was Oculus rift. This was unvoluntarily, I went to the booth too late. Will try to get a slot another day and will go there first thing in the morning.

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

Nintendo:

By contrast Nintendo have a really small booth this year:

Gamescom 2015

This is basically the entire booth. To the left were a number of Wii-U available. I played Zelda Triforce Heroes which was a lot of fun. You play with 3 players and have to cooperate to solve puzzles.

Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015

All in all this years trade visitors day of Gamescom was great. Had many nice conversations and could play most games and systems with little waiting time.

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