Gamescom is quickly becoming one of the biggest gaming events of the year. Developers and Publishers around the globe are flocking to the event in order to show off more in-depth post-E3 demos and content, as well as holding some stuff back to blow everyone’s socks off.
Bandai Namco is no exception, showing off some of their newest titles to a great extent. We got invited to a post-Gamescom demo event to go hands-on with some of the demos available at the event.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Kicking off the day with Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown was probably not the best move when nursing a horrendous hangover. Complex aerobatics are not the best thing on an unsettled stomach, but that didn’t distract from the game… too much.
As with all flight simulator games I took my time familiarising myself with the controls, there was more than one crash and mission failure. Flight controls being a little tricky to grasp at first but quickly became easier to handle as the demo went on, sadly though it was over pretty swiftly and not being much of a fan I moved on to SoulCalibur 6.
It looks pretty enough and the weather effects are amazing. Once you get to grips with the flight controls I have no doubt it turns into a very enjoyable title.
Soul Calibur 6 was next on the rotation, however, as it was the same build as the one available at E3 in June there’s little to nothing to say. Getting to play a little longer was great. Made sense to pick Geralt and put him through his paces. The White Wolf from Rivia is a perfect fit for the series, it’s surprising he hasn’t been added in before now!
Geralt’s combos are as fluid as you would expect, combining Signs and swordplay seamlessly to bring down opponents. SoulCalibur 6 looks to be another fantastic addition to the franchise with plenty of opportunities to expand the roster. I find it even more surprising that Dante from Devil May Cry hasn’t been added to the lineup but with Devil May Cry 5 in development, who knows what might happen!
My Hero One’s Justice
From SoulCalibur 6 I moved to another fighter title, My Hero One’s Justice. A fighting game from the hit anime My Hero Academia. Having never watched the show I had absolutely no idea who any of the characters were or what they did. Despite that, the game is a helluvalot of fun!
Not being much of a fighting game fan, My Hero Ones Justice seems to offer a more simplified experience, with there being fewer base combos and less complex inputs. It’s plausible that this was just because of the demo build, but it didn’t feel that way. The visuals are great and the particle effects are cool when it comes to the destructible environments and throwing opponents through buildings. A lot of fun, easy to pick up and play while undoubtedly allowing highly skilled players to make ridiculously complex combos.
After My Hero One’s Justice, it was time to hop on one of the Jump Force machines and find out what all the fuss is about. There’s been plenty of “Most ambitious crossover events in history” memes, and Jump Force is no exception.
The character roster available in the demo build available was extensive to say the least, and that was only the demo build! We were given the chance to play the E3 demo build as player feedback from Gamescom complained about the AI being quite unbalanced and made the demo quite challenging to play. That said it’s easy to see why everyone lost their shit at the reveal.
Fighting games rely on fast paced action and fluid combos, something Jump Force does exceptionally well. It was plain to see it was an early build as there were a few hiccups throughout the demo and some characters badly need balancing. Naruto‘s ultimate attack is ludicrously powerful, understandably so but it had no business being as over powered as it is, dealing an excessive amount of damage around 3-quarters of an opponents health!
Despite the teething problems, Jump Force is going to be huge! I mentioned to the team that Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (the good FMA) would be a perfect addition to the game, and they responded with no comment. So if that happens, I called it!
One Piece World Seeker
Once I got done demoing most of the Jump Force demo roster it was time to test out One Piece Worldseeker. Sadly I haven’t watched enough of the anime to offer much of a comment on the characters but the whole adventure RPG genre is something I can massively support.
The combat seemed a little tricky at first until I noticed that Luffy has two combat stances, one focusing on ranged attacks utilising his unnaturally elasticated limbs and the other focusing on close combat. The gameplay is pretty good fun but keeping track of your enemies, especially bosses, can be quite tricky when in the middle of a heated battle.
One Piece Worldseeker could definitely use a lock-on feature but otherwise, it was a very promising little demo! Unfortunately, it was despairingly short.
The Dark Pictures: Mad of Medan
Up next was The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, the much anticipated title from the team behind Until Dawn. Again another short but very interesting and enjoyable demo. Building on the framework from the previous title, The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan maintains the same atmosphere of terror and isolation but in a vastly different environment.
Zombies are kind of a staple nowadays and had lost a lot of their impact, but Man of Medan manages to rekindle that fear in just a few short moments and encounters.
Annoyingly for me, it’s full of QTEs which I’ve never been a fan of but the story looks interesting and the gameplay is solid. Man of Medan is definitely worth keeping an eye on if you were a fan of Until Dawn and enjoy shitting yourself.
Twin Mirror was up next and despite being quite a short tutorial style demo it was pretty interesting. Our main character Sam wakes up one morning with no memory of the night before and a shirt covered in blood. Our task was to figure out what happened when Sam returned to his hotel room the night before using his “mind palace” to piece things together.
While investigating the Mind Palace you’ll encounter some pretty impressive visual effects. As part of the tutorial, we could only collect one clue at a time before re-entering the mind palace to alter the simulation of the night before, making things a little awkward but thoroughly explaining the mechanics.
The demo did serve its purpose perfectly however, I finished the short demo scene itching to learn more about Sam’s story. The team assured us that in the full game players would be able to collect more than one clue at a time!
11-11: Memories Retold
Last but not least it was time for 11-11: Memories Retold. This was probably my favourite title of the event, as the game featured a very unique and interesting art style. The demo featured two main characters, one intent on finding his son and the other dragged to the frontline as a Major’s press photographer.
The characters are on opposite sides in the war and get thrown together by events outside of their control. Elijah Wood provides the voice for the quiet photographer, his soothing tones making him seem mild mannered and completely out of place in the middle of a battlefield. The story is certain to hit hard and contain more than one emotional moment!
The event all told was pretty enlightening, giving a good opportunity to explore the newest titles, brief though they may have been! 11-11 and One Piece Worldseeker were definitely the highlights and certainly worth looking out for in future.
Not to say the other titles aren’t great, but when it comes to fighters I’ve never been the biggest fan.