Jumbled Gamescom Thoughts


Like everyone else not attending Gamescom, I had completely forgotten that Gamescom was on!

I was reminded of it's existence yesterday morning, on the train to work. I was skimming through my Twitter feed and noticed an unusually high amount of Death Stranding mentions. Half of my timeline was praising Kojima, while the other half was lamenting the shit we let him get away with. Something must have happened, I thought to myself.

What had happened was that the first day of Gamescom had happened. In Germany.

I have a fairly long commute and therefore had plenty of time to catch up with all the news, reveals and piss antics.

Some thoughts, then.

1. Death Stranding

I am both thoroughly sick of and extremely excited for Death Stranding.

That trailer was weird and I still have little to no idea what I'm actually going to be doing in-game. However, I 100% agree that the industry is a better place for Kojima's strangeness. In a world of sequels, ports, remasters and Just Dance 2019 (Wii), game creators with a unique vision should be treasured, especially those with the clout to make their vision reality. That being said, sometimes weird is boring and most of what I've seen of Death Stranding seems just that.

Why Death Stranding Will be Good
  • Because it's Hideo Kojima. He's made some pretty good games over the years, including the GOAT (MGS3), and he has surrounded himself with an accomplished and familiar team.
  • Although I'm not really sure what Death Stranding is, it seems fairly unique and unique is good.
  • The gameplay will be flawless. Koji Pro won't stray far from the MGSV model and nor should they. Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain played like a dream. 
  • This will be unadulterated Kojima nonsense, and that's exciting.

Why it Might Not be Good, Actually
  • It's a vanity project full of Hideo's friends, hangers-on, and Hollywood types. Has Sony over-enabled his worst impulses?
  • Geoff sodding Keighley is in it. Honestly, I'm not fond of seeing recognisable faces in games. It pulls me right out of the fiction and robs us of new and visually interesting characters.
  • The writing might be appalling. Among the confirmed cast names so far: a lady with a ghost baby, called "Mama"; Deadman and Die-Hardman (not a typo).
  • Though it pains me to write this, it has been sixteen years since Hideo Kojima's last great game. He's had some very good ones since, but they've all been flawed.
I don't fucking know, and nor do you. And that's why I'm still excited.

2. Sony Spending Money

Insomniac Games is a great get for Sony and rumours persist that Remedy might be joining the family next. If I had any money, or could remember my credit card PIN, I would absolutely have bought Insomniac. Spider Man was a monster hit and now Sony can lock-down the sequel as a console exclusive, if they so desire.

3. Game Pass Continues to be Excellent

The exceptional and barely-6-months old Devil May Cry 5 will appear on Game Pass imminently. I bought and finished it last month - terrible timing - and would highly recommend it. Things get a little repetitive over the final third, but otherwise it's really rather good. Age of Empires is coming to PC Game Pass and I remain bitterly disappointed that it's not coming to home consoles.

Blair Witch reminded me that I need to re-up my recently expired subscription.

4. Release Dates

The Witcher 3 is out on October 15th on Switch, and it looks lovely. Probably my favourite game of this gen + all the DLC + the convenience of being able to play it handheld when your daughter is watching Frozen for the 700th time on the telly and your wife has already booked the TV for evening Netflix. Typical.

Not necessarily a Gamescom announcement, but Final Fantasy VIII Remastered got a release date (September 3rd) and a new trailer that had me welling up on the aforementioned train. One of my all-time favourite games, it'll be a very welcome nostalgia trip when I get around to it. Unfortunately, the timing is awful, as I'm guaranteed to still be playing Fire Emblem Three Houses come early September, and Monster Hunter World Iceborne is also out around that time. That's a game I want to play straight away, as I'll be enjoying it with friends. This year suddenly got very busy.

5. A Synth-playing Neanderthal in Space

That Humankind trailer was alright, wasn't it.


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