Things have been crazy here and I haven’t been able to post up anything about the last day of gamescom. I got back from Germany on Monday night, then was at Tennent’s Vital all day yesterday so this is the first time I’ve had to write. And I’m heading to Edinburgh tomorrow! Things really are non-stop here, aside from the 2 hours of League of Legends this morning. Watching the Intel Extreme Masters LoL matches really made me want to get into it, though the pro gamers really make it look easier than it is.
So back to the last day of gamescom 2011, Sunday. Whilst waiting in the queue for Skyrim a few days before a mysterious individual approached me. Well, I say approached but we were standing beside each other in the queue, so perhaps turned towards me is more correct. All of a sudden she was speaking to me in German, and holding something magical…a VIP fast pass for the Bethesda games. When I did get her speaking in English she explained that she only had it for one person, and it was no use to her and her boyfriend, so she gave it to me. Since I was already queuing for Skyrim with Alan there was no using it there, so I saved it for another day. Sunday was that day!
So I asked the attendant about the fast pass, and it was still valid and Rage was my chosen game. The line was huge, and it felt amazing to just walk to the front and pass everyone else. No waiting needed here. You can imagine my horror after wanting to play Rage when I walked into a Prey 2 presentation! I didn’t like the first Prey and had no intention of even looking at the second game so instantly the pass felt like a waste. I do have to admit Prey 2 looked a lot more interesting than Prey. You play a bounty hunter, of questionable backstory, though it might have been revealed if I could understand German. Anyway, the demo was showing the target hunting gameplay and the new mechanics. They have even tried to implement a choice system, allowing you to capture or kill your targets though how it will affect the story I have no idea. There also seem to be different gadgets and non-lethal weapons available to your disposal, and the gun fights looked like fun. Of all the FPS games I’ve seen, Prey 2 has by far the best sliding, even allowing you to shoot whilst sliding underneath piping and other low hanging scenery. I know this mightn’t mean much to most people, but sliding along the ground whilst firing guns is just damn awesome! Though the autoaim system is ridiculous, pulling to a target as long as it is even remotely close taking most of the skill out of shooting accurately. Overall it actually looked pretty good and I’d like to try it for myself, though I don’t get why there aren’t more playable demos available as opposed to scripted playthroughs.
Prey 2 was good, but not good enough to warrant using the fast pass. Or so I thought. The presentation finished, and we were led into another room where rows of Xbox 360s and PCs were set up with Rage to play! And not just a demo, the actual game! This was too awesome, and definitely worthwhile. So I didn’t know much about Rage, and here is what I gleamed. You play an arc survivor after what I presume was the end of the world as we know it, who awakes to a bandit ridden wasteland. The setting felt like a Borderlands/Fallout hybrid and the mission system was also similar to Borderlands. The actual gameplay was good, though the vehicle driving wasn’t too exciting like in most FPS games, though still usable. When I reached the Bandit hideout for the first mission the game really started to shine. Guns feel like they have a lot of recoil, like they are real and enemies don’t go down without a fight. There wasn’t auto aim as far as I could see which made a nice change, and really added urgency when someone comes screaming at you with a machete. Depending on where you fire, they can take up to 4 or 5 shots before they stop charging you. This was with the Settler pistol though and hopefully the fighting will remain as realistic with other weapons. I got to take my time on the mission as the playtime available was more than half an hour, so I didn’t have to rush like the other games. Rage is most certainly a game I’d want to play through, and it is worth taking a look if you are a fan of the Fallout series or Borderlands, or FPS games in general.
The rest of the day was taken up with grabbing some free Trion Worlds stuff, more lanyards and watching many ESL matches. Both the LoL and Starcraft 2 finals were on and were excellent entertainment. The final LoL game almost didn’t end either due to a server problem at the height of the game, though they managed to resolve it and resumed from the previous point. Gamescom was supposed to finish at 6, but because the Starcraft 2 final was being broadcast live it had to remain open until almost 8 o’clock when all the other developers had left. The match was definitely heated, between two Koreans who were both close friends and rivals, with a lot at stake. I’ll have to put together some sort of video of the events as I have coverage of the awards ceremony. Needless to say, they were excellent matches and very close for the most part.
Well, that pretty much sums up gamescom for me. It was a great experience and depending on the release schedule you may see us there next year! More later on how I get on with my new League of Legends obsession…