It’s time for our annual Gamescom Awards, but we’ve been struggling a bit with how to do them; if we had our way, The Witcher 3 would win everything – even if it is devoid of multiplayer. Even if it isn’t a sports game. Even if it technically, isn’t a fighting game. So we had to do it a bit differently.
I’m not even going to dilly dally. We’ve given The Witcher 3 our best of show. The game is frankly, just amazing stuff and it would win in every category it could – but that would make the awards skewed, and boring as all hell. So by decree, we’ve decided that any game can only win once. It may not make a whole lot of sense, but they’re our awards, and that’s just the way it is. Come on CD Projekt RED…give the other guys a chance, right? Right.
We’ve also decided that for any platform specific awards, those games would have to be exclusive to that platform. We could also only award accolades to games we actually saw or played, before you even ask about Star Citizen.
So then. Let us begin.
Best of Show, The Witcher 3
Geralt’s next adventure – the titular Wild Hunt has us rather excited. What can we say about The Witcher that hasn’t been said already? It looks simply spectacular! Geralt is set to have his best adventure yet. Want to know how good it’s going to be? Matthew has never played The Witcher ever. Throughout the 45 minute presentation, he couldn’t stop saying OOOOH, AAAAAH, and WOW! He has since bought the first 2 games just to make sure he is up to speed when the 3rd entry finally lands.
Evolve – winning just about everybody else’s best of show is Evolve, the 4v1 multiplayer shooter that’s just way too fun to ignore. With an eclectic cast of hunters and big beasties, Evolve gives you the opportunity to be the end level boss.
Best multiplayer: Evolve
We’ve already raved to you enough about Evolve. It’s a ton of fun whether you’re playing in the team of hunters or as the lone-wolf of a monster. At Gamescom we were able to choose from the revealed hunters and monsters, changing up the strategies and playing with some seriously giddy smiles on our faces. The game is still so well balanced – each time we played the games were really close and tense. We have no doubt that we’ll end up playing more of Evolve than we care to admit.
Assassin’s Creed Unity – The new co-op functionality in Assassin’s Creed Unity really is a game changer (for lack of a better term). It adds much more nuance to gameplay and finally lets you feel like you’re part of a group of assassins.
Best open world: Assassin’s Creed Unity
The Assassin’s Creed franchise went through some rough times thanks to the horror that was ACIII. However, with a successful reboot last year, we’re all ready to see what Ubisoft has pulled out for this version. The gameplay is fantastic, with a detailed and vivid open world. By building for the new generation consoles, developers were able to include seamless indoor and outdoor experiences, making us want to ninja my way into every house just to see what’s inside.
The Division – Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment’s post apocalyptic New York opens up an entire city to pillage, loot and salvage in order to survive. It’s the sort of stuff survivalist fantasies are made of.
Best RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition
Bioware is known for impressive story-telling and incredible characters. Unfortunately, in previous installments in the Dragon Age franchise, exploration and combat fell rather short. This time around they have fixed that, making the game an expansive and fully immersive experience. Based on our time with it at Gamescom, Dragon Age: Inquisition will steal many hours of your time and more than tide you over until that other awesome RPG comes out next year. It is beautiful, well developed and a ton of fun.
Shadow of Mordor – This game might have flown under the radar for a some of you, but it has fully grabbed our attention. It looks innovative and is telling a unique story – it’s certainly on our list of most anticipated RPGs.
Best Fighting Game – Mortal Kombat X
Mortal Kombat is back, and without it being hyperbole, is better than ever. With a mostly all new roster of brutal pugilists, and a slick completely-not-gimmicky variations system, this smooth, fluid and sexy fighting game takes everything that was good about MK9 and makes it better.
Super Smash Bros – Nintendo’s brawler is as fun as its ever been, but don’t let its accessibility fool you. It may seem a simple game, but that aesthetic belies a depth that will take ages to master. Plus, it has Kirby in it, and Kirby wins everything.
Best Shooter – Far Cry 4
Yes, it may offer very much the same sort of experience as the last one, but there’s just something beautiful about a game that lets you fly through mountaintops, then climb aboard an elephant before riding it headfirst in to the side of an enemy vehicle. With new stealth play options, a brand new fleshed out exotic locale and an antagonist who may be more mental than the last one, Far Cry 4 looks to be a worthy successor.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – COD as a series has arguably grown quite stale over the past few years. This iteration looks to mix things up somewhat, going straight into the future which means new gadgets to play with and new weapons to shoot with. The exoskeleton is a fantastic addition, allowing for some quick dodges as well as adding a new element of vertically to the game. Maybe this is the change the series has needed.
Best Action Game – Arkham Knight
With a city five times larger, and a Batmobile now available to traverse that city, Rocksteady’s back to make the Batman game you deserve. With all new attacks, an even more refined free-flow combat system and a battle with what could potentially be the Batman’s toughest enemy yet, Arkham Knight is the inevitable winner. Did we mention it has the Batmobile?
Dying Light – How do you set a game apart in the flooded zombie apocalypse genre? You grab Left 4 Dead and organise a hot date with Mirrors Edge. Dying Light will have some neat zombie co-op, all while utilising a parkour movement system similar to that of Mirrors Edge. Go solo or team up with friends, it looks like it’s going to be great.
Best Sports game – NBA2K15
We may not be the biggest fans when it comes to sports games, but NBA 2K15 really looks good. The gameplay has been tweaked in several ways which should make it play a whole lot better. Visually, there can’t be anything better. If you don’t scrutinise the screen for tiny details, it really looks like you are watching a real life game.
FIFA 15 – Yes, it’s the same thing as it is every year with sports titles, but there are some rather interesting features coming to this year’s football game, that should make it better than last year’s. The same as every year, James.
Best PC game: Civilization: Beyond Earth
With deep strategy and tons of new features, Civilization: Beyond Earth promises to take the genre to new heights. It was by far one of our favourite experiences at Gamescom – we wish we could have taken it home right then and there. Each play through seems to offer more variety than previous Civilization games, adding even more replayability to an already massively replayable franchise.
The Sims 4, it feels like this franchise doesn’t even need an introduction. It’s weird, and now it’s moody. With a more intuitive design and way more realistic and bizarre Sims, the new iteration in the franchise will certainly make you chuckle.
Best Xbox Game: Quantum Break
If there’s any one game that’s making us reconsider not purchasing an Xbox One, it’s Quantum Break from the wizards at Remedy. Stuck in a failed experiment involving time travel, Jack Joyce now has the power to warp and bend time himself; a skill he’ll need as he quite literally has to save time, and run the hell away from the Monarch corporation. It’s visually rather incredible – one of the best looking games we saw at Gamescom – and has gameplay to match.
Sunset Overdrive – While Sunset Overdrive failed to grab awards, it does deserve an honourable mention. Realism is thrown straight out of the window in favour of pure fun and gaming bliss. The humour is crazy, the enemies crazier, and the weapons don’t even make much sense. We like it.
Best PlayStation Game – No Man’s Sky
We’re still not quite sure what exactly No Man’s Sky really is – but of the PlayStation games we saw, this is the one with the most ambition and the greatest scope – and the one that left us sitting in awe of the possibilities. It’s the sort of game anybody afflicted with that wondrous child-like sense of exploration has been waiting to play their whole lives.
Bloodborne – From Software has already garnered a bunch of hard core fans with the Souls games. Now Bloodborne promises to take players in a new and exhilarating direction, filled with all the awesome gore and destruction, but this time with a blunderbuss. Are you ready to lose your hope again?
Best Nintendo game – Super Smash Bros U
Super Smash Bros has been around for a long time. It’s a bunch of fun, and surprisingly deep for what looks like a simple arcadey fighting game. The latest iteration looks to be the best by far, and it’s highly anticipated. Don’t believe us? Out of all the games on show at Gamescom, Super Smash Bros won the consumer choice award, an award chosen by general visitors at the expo. You can’t argue with that!
Splatoon - A pewpew game where your primary weapon is… paint? Splatoon looks to paint the town more than just red, and all without actually being gory and killing people. With 4 vs 4 matches packed with mayhem, it looks to be one of the best upcoming Wii U games.
Best mobile game – Skylanders Trap Team
Skylanders Trap Team on tablets is a revelation. Instead of some pared-down experience you’ve got the the full console experience on your tablet – complete with a controller made just for the game. The new portal of power houses both the controller, and an ingenious mount for the tablet. It’s seriously clever, genuinely impressive stuff.
Witcher Battle Arena – The Witcher: Battle Arena may come across as a watered down MOBA, but it has a deeper system which allows players to customise according to their desired play style. Games are quick, lasting 5-12 minutes, making it perfect for the mobile platform.