The arrival of Gamescom 2023 brings with it a unique blend of experiences. Firstly, a convention center in Cologne filled with journalists navigating their way through a week sustained by granola bars, roasted pork knuckle, and more German beer than any doctor would advise. Secondly, a plethora of exhilarating new game announcements.
Indeed, there are almost too many to keep track of. Sorting through the influx of new titles and updates on upcoming releases that truly warrant your attention is akin to trying to catch an important call during a My Bloody Valentine concert or attempting to differentiate one Love Island contestant from another. To simplify matters, here are seven pivotal moments from Gamescom 2023 that should not be missed.
• Alan Wake 2
Undoubtedly set to be one of the most eccentric games of 2023, Remedy’s sequel to Alan Wake follows the absent-minded novelist’s quest to escape from an island where his own fiction has materialized into reality. This installment introduces a secondary protagonist, Saga Anderson, assigned with unraveling the mystery of his disappearance.
The most recent trailer, which concluded the opening night of Gamescom 2023, seamlessly blends live-action sequences with gameplay in an eerie and captivating manner. The game is poised to challenge your very perception of reality and will be available from October 27th for both PC and next-generation consoles. It’s an absolute must-play.
• The Crew Motorfest
The Crew series has continually fallen short of Forza Horizon’s remarkable production values, expansive car roster, and handling prowess. Nevertheless, they remain remarkably enjoyable, promise notwithstanding.
As with its predecessors, The Crew Motorfest embraces an inherent whimsy that lets players seamlessly transition between cars, planes, boats, and bikes with a simple flick of the thumbstick. Consistent with previous installments, Motorfest prides itself on populating its expansive open world with intricate details and inviting stretches of road. This time, the setting is Hawaii instead of the USA, and cooperative play is bound to provide endless entertainment.
• Expeditions: A Mudrunner Game
From the creators of Mudrunner and Snowrunner comes Expeditions, another unconventional driving game that emphasizes mastering treacherous off-road landscapes over speed.
Impressive deformable terrain technology is on display, but the true intrigue lies in the game’s secrecy. Is it centered around an epic cross-country journey through an open world? Could you be managing America’s boldest hauling company? Labeling it as the “Death Stranding” of driving might be premature, but let’s tentatively assign that moniker and observe its evolution when it debuts in 2024 on all platforms.
• Delta Force: Hawk Ops
Prior to the emergence of Call Of Duty—and for a considerable time thereafter—there was Delta Force. It was the unassuming counterpart to cinematic military shooters, immersing players in the heart of intense combat armed with assault rifles recognizable to even a reserve soldier.
The exhilarating news is that after a 14-year hiatus, Delta Force is back, and it appears promising. Questions arise: Why is it set in the future when previous entries were grounded in realism? Additionally, there’s the matter of Tencent’s involvement and the free-to-play model. However, the name alone warrants cautious optimism at this stage. This iconic milsim experience is making a return, with the release date still under wraps.
• Thank Goodness You’re Here
Amidst a conference dominated by shooters and grandeur (more to come), the sight of something resembling an interactive Penny Crayon cartoon is genuinely refreshing. Enter “Thank Goodness You’re Here,” a fitting example of nominative determinism.
Featuring charming absurdities such as a fusion of peas and beans and a theme song seemingly plucked from a child’s whimsical dream, this game cuts through the sea of stoic triple-A presentations and unquestionably deserves attention.
• Half-Life 2 RTX
Recall the awe that followed Valve’s 2004 release of Half-Life 2, leaving everyone grappling with its incomprehensible brilliance? Well, those same individuals find themselves at square one again, as a community-led project spearheaded by Nvidia appears to have essentially remastered the acclaimed game, poised to astound once more. While a release date remains elusive, brace yourself for its impact.
• Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
In a world brimming with perplexing novelties like ChatGPT and Grimace shakes, the yearly arrival of Call Of Duty provides a semblance of coherence. The outstretched arms of COD offer not only a firearm but also a weaponized canine companion and a futuristic camera drone with counter-terrorism capabilities.
Modern Warfare 3 unveiled an in-depth look at its diverse modes to Gamescom attendees, each polished to a shine. The return of Zombies is a welcomed sight as well. The game is slated for release on November 10th.