Call of Duty: Black Ops II
We'd be lying if we said we weren't still sceptical about Black Ops II, but Treyarch's multiplayer reveal showed off a promising side to this year's Call of Duty. These are systematic updates instead of wholesale innovations, but things like the 10-point loadout system might be just enough to whet the appetite of those left sour by Modern Warfare 3. Let's just hope the maps are good!
Assassin's Creed III
I'm the only one in the office that's getting particularly excited for Assassin's Creed III, but thankfully there's enough anticipation in me to count for five people. Ubisoft chose gamescom 2012 to show off another naval battle, which nicely fits the historical context of the game even if I am slightly upset that we're not seeing the really good stuff. I've got some very high hopes for this, so fingers crossed Ubisoft don't let me down when it's finally released in October.
DmC: Devil May Cry
Capcom's press conference featured Resident Evil 6 and finished with the debut of its new title Remember Me, but it was Ninja Theory's DmC that impressed us the most with a boss fight clearly (but not officially) inspired by right-wing US news network Fox News. Dante's reboot is certainly controversial, with many of the series' most die-hard fans still refusing to accept the changes, but the more we see of this the more we're anticipating it.
Maxis might have caused a certain amount of worry when it announced that SimCity would require an always-on Internet connection, but if the developer can actually manage to foster and sustain this neighbourhood of linked cities then it might be something really special when it's released next year. It certainly helps that the game looks and feels delightful to play, though.
Bethesda's stealthy, atmospheric adventure might be one of the only games coming out this Christmas that's not a sequel or a reboot. This is a game of incredibly lofty ambition, promising to give players multiple, yet equally satisfying, ways through each encounter of this quasi-Victorian sci-fi world. Will it work? We really hope so.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
2K's attempt to bring XCOM back as an FPS might have taken a prolonged backseat in the publisher's line-up, but Civilization developer Firaxis' effort in reviving the top-down strategy series is only a few months away from release. Will it actually be able to rekindle the same feelings of dread and terror that the original managed a decade ago? Neon seems hopeful.
Far Cry 3
I don't know who came up with the current theory kicking around the office, but here it is; Far Cry 3's twist will basically be Fight Club's. Ubisoft's enigmatic and destructive open-world shooter has managed to capture the attention of Neon, who pretty much can't wait to roam around on this morally suspect island in November.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Easily Dave and Tom's choice for the best game on show, Criterion's high-speed racer managed to impress us yet again with another satisfying hands-on of the game's multiplayer modes. Fingers crossed Most Wanted manages to capture the magic of Burnout Paradise when it's released in November.
After a disappointing showing for the PS Vita at this year's E3, Sony once again failed to capitalise on the machine at gamescom. Incentives like the new CrossBuy promotions will help prop the handheld up, but it was Media Molecule's first new IP since LittleBigPlanet that made the machine feel like it had enough oomph to make it past Christmas. Charming and inventive, we hope that the final version of Tearaway will prove as entertaining a game as it does a concept.