[Originally posted on August 7, 2015]
By Michael Mendis
Gamescom, one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world, is taking place in Cologne, Germany this week, and many game developers and publishers are there to show off their upcoming games (and announce some new ones as well). Here are a few bits of news from the convention that stood out to me.
We got our first look at in-engine gameplay for Crackdown 3, the next entry in Microsoft’s open-world shooter franchise. One of the key selling points of the game is the destruction allowed by Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. Every building in the game is destructible, from bullets carving holes in walls, to entire skyscrapers collapsing into countless pieces (and damaging other nearby buildings in the process). The trailer shown at Microsoft’s press conference only gave us a taste of what was possible, but a longer demo (embedded below) was also shown afterwards, describing the game’s use of the cloud in much more detail. I was impressed by what I saw, though it was disappointing to hear that single-player would only have limited destruction; to get the full use of the cloud in the game, it seems you’ll have to team up with others for cooperative multiplayer.
Halo Wars 2
Microsoft closed their conference with a teaser trailer for Halo Wars 2, a sequel to the 2009 strategy game on Xbox 360. The new game, available for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, is being developed by Creative Assembly, a veteran strategy game developer known for making the Total War series. Interestingly, Creative Assembly is owned by Japanese publisher Sega, so it would seem Microsoft made a deal with Sega in order for this studio to work on the Halo franchise (though Sega is not referenced anywhere in the trailer).
Mirror's Edge Catalyst
Electronic Arts released a new trailer for Mirror's Edge Catalyst, which finally gives us a longer look at gameplay, as well as teasing a couple new characters. The parkour action packs a little more punch than in the first game, but on the whole it doesn't look much different, which is fine by me; I liked formula of first-person platforming established in the original 2007 release, even though I felt the execution had a few rough edges.
Star Wars Battlefront
We also got some new Star Wars Battlefront footage, showing off the game’s air combat. The dogfights between Rebel and Imperial ships is fast and hectic, and the series’ iconic red and green lasers whiz through the air in all directions. The Millennium Falcon even makes an appearance, coming to the Rebels’ aid. It was an impressive display, and looked every bit as thrilling as the famous battles in the Star Wars movies.