Gamescom 2019 is now upon us. Understandably, the world's biggest stage of gaming announcements have featured a whole list of hot titles dropping gameplay teasers, trailers and glimpses among us. While the trailers are all there to see, the opening night of the conference, which was streamed for the first time across multiple online platforms to nearly 50,000 people watching live, gave a bunch of interesting talk points to discuss. From Hideo Kojima's headlining presentation to trends across both hardware and software, here's what you should know in case you've missed what's happened so far at Gamescom 2019.
Kojima's Death Stranding is very, very strange
We had to begin this one with Hideo Kojima and the glimpses of gameplay he gave us from his upcoming game, which you can probably categorise among mystery, thriller, horror, tragedy, utopia, science fiction — or maybe even all. A part of the gameplay that was shown includes the tragic story of a female protagonist who gave birth in a different world, and has a very strange connection to ghost-like babies. You then appear to have an incubator-like structure, which you carry around in order to give birth to the baby, which in turn looks grown up already. Strange, strange indeed.
That's not all — there appears to be interactive holograms, and while that might reduce some of the lone dystopian tension, it doesn't help to notice that there aren't far too many humans around, at least in the little glimpse we got. What on earth is happening? We sure cannot wait to get our hands on it.
The Nintendo Switch grows up
It's almost like Nintendo came to Gamescom with the intention of lighting up every gamer's face, but not be bothered about stealing anyone's thunder. On that note, they achieved every goal they set out for. While a part of the Switch's restricted success has been the lack of versatile games on the platform, Nitendo hit the ball out of the proverbial park by announcing a total of 29 indie titles for the Switch in one go, including some favourites such as Ori and the Blind Forest, Hotline Miami Collection, SuperHot and more.
Then, you have titles such as Eastward, Skater XL and The Touryst, all of which have already received critical acclaim, and are all expected to have their say in pushing the Nintendo Switch up the pecking order. Great one, Nintendo.
Google Stadia hits opening blows
Remember how everyone suddenly sat up and took notice the moment Stadia was announced? Turns out, that was not for nothing. While Stadia is not here to instantly wipe out the gaming world as we know it today, the baby steps are being taken. At Gamescom 2019, Stadia saw its own exclusive title being announced — a horror game Gylt that has uncanny resemblances with cult classic, Silent Hill.
However, Gylt is only the tip of the iceberg. Among other non-exclusive titles destined to arrive on Stadia are the revered Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal, Samurai Showdown, Mortal Kombat 11, Darksiders Genesis, SuperHot, GRID and Elder Scrolls Online, among others. If any gaming house wanted to wait and watch out for Google's next step ahead in gaming, the opening blows have landed.
Battle Royale is a silent inspiration
One of the biggest things that Playerunknown's Battlegrounds has done is put co-op gaming at centrestage. Right on cue, Gamescom 2019 is taking up the trend in very subtle ways. Take, for instance, the all-new Horde mode in Gears 5, which looks exactly how a team deathmatch would look like, except for in a typical Gears 5 style. You then have Call of Duty's "reimagination" of Modern Warfare, which brings to the fore 2v2 player battles in a somwhat Counterstrike-like pattern.
Given the obvious draws of Battle Royale, it isn't difficult to see why such modes are being increasingly presented. Co-op has existed forever, and what Battle Royale has done is give it a gentle nudge forward. With eSports tournaments rising in frequency and dexterity across the world, expect future conferences to contain more such updates, with Gamescom 2019 only being the start.
Successors look great (and promising)
While the likes of Disintegration (from the house of Halo) kinda challenge this trend, many others reinstate it. Take, for instance, the return of Comanche, which may not be as great a runaway hit in today's world any more, but should still draw plenty of eyeballs. You then have Everspace 2, which looks pretty swanky as well. Niche favourite Life is Strange 2 is also getting its final chapter, while Kerbal Space Program's second tryst promises just as much fun, enigma and intelligence as its predecessor. To sum up, every successor to some of the most popular or even niche games are all set for a new run, and each of them actually look quite amazing.