Cologne in the summer is pretty hot. Cologne in the summer during a heatwave is pretty much unbearable. Cologne in the summer during a heatwave at Gamescom is living hell, especially if you’re covering the event as a member of the media and decide to dress for the occasion. No t-shirt and shorts for this writer, no sir! But the games, they are the reason I keep going back for more. Here are additional upcoming attractions that you should keep an eye on.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr (Neocore Games)
Neocore’s next big game will be an an action RPG set in Games Workshop’s dark and gritty Warhammer 40k universe. The game will be using the fourth iteration of their Van Helsing engine and consist of two main game modes. While they have been very hush-hush about any details of the single player campaign, the short gameplay demonstration more than made up for that. Choosing from three different classes, you can stomp around in your huge armor and do the thing you do best: purge the unclean and make a gory mess of the place. Enemy AI has been improved, and your foes actually seek out cover, which can also be destroyed by gunfire. I’ll be looking forward to boss fights against enemies that completely fill the screen. Aimed attacks at bosses’ limbs or weapons can help take those baddies out. The Inquisitorial Campaign, on the other hand, is going to be a huge, persistent sandbox mode that offers an infinite amount of missions, as well as the ability to raid other player’s bases. Due to its nature, it can and will be constantly expanded upon, and Neocore are promising events and other new content for years to come.
Cloud Chasers (Blindflug Studios)
Another game tackling tricky political issues, Cloud Chasers is a roguelike about immigration. This is obviously kind of a big and not at all pleasant deal at the moment, but Swiss developer Blindflug Studios are wrapping it up in a somewhat lighthearted tale about a family traversing the desert in their steampunk aircraft, searching for water. Bad things will happen when you run out of the precious resource and for the first couple of runs this seems to be inevitable, but the game has the subtitle “Journey of Hope”, so things might turn out a little better in the end. The game will be released as a mobile title first, but it was already playable on the PC at Gamescom and there will eventually be a port sometime next year.
Ironkraft – Road to Hell (Invoker Studios)
Imagine a grim alternate history where the Nazis won World War II using, of course, alien technology. The world lies in ruins, and only a few brave souls dare to traverse the roads between cities to make a living as traders. Using a souped-up customizable car, you move around the landscape, mowing down those pesky Nazis in the progress and exploiting a basic resource trading system to make some money. There’s apparently going to be story missions as well, and if the short demo I’ve played is any indication, this is going to be one wild ride that doesn’t trake itself seriously at all. This was an early alpha version of Ironkraft with a couple of issues and bugs galore, but if Invoker Studios manage to get the handling of the vehicles and the physics shenanigans right, this could turn out to be a fun little game, reminiscent of Ubisoft’s Trials franchise and Avalanche’s Renegade Ops. Ironkraft is already greenlit and will be out at the end of the year.
ELEX (Piranha Bytes / Nordic Games)
The developers of the Gothic and Risen franchises are sticking to their guns and developing ELEX, which essentially looks like Risen with some lasers and sci-fi stuff tacked on. That’s probably not the nicest way to put it, but all of the gameplay elements from previous games will make an appearance: the faction-based gameplay, classless character customization, and a grim-looking hero, who can traverse the open game world however he wants. The eponymous ELEX is an alien substance that allows you to gain strength, but lose humanity in the process. Several factions in the game world are fighting for supremacy, and it’s their relation to ELEX that sets them apart. There will also be jetpacks, which is always a good thing. The gameplay footage shown was still very early, but the game looks genuinely good, and if this particular kind of RPG is up your alley, you should be rather excited for ELEX’s release in late 2016 or 2017.