They say honesty is the best policy, so here goes: after a lacklustre E3 we didn't really go into gamescom expecting too much, but overall the VideoGamer.com team was pleasantly surprised with some of the stuff on show this year in Cologne. Admittedly I did lose my mind one afternoon over one unnamed game, but on reflection if you couldn't find a handful of titles you were seriously looking forward to you probably weren't looking hard enough.

I doubt it comes as a surprise to you, however, when I say that the next 12 months aren't going to be the home of innovative new titles. That said, we did get a handful of announcements courtesy of Capcom and Sony, and while there might be nothing whizzy and new to get excited about, it looks like there's a lot of consistent and hopefully hugely entertaining games to enjoy over the coming weeks.

The industry is at an interesting place right now, and it seems like half the developers are battening down the hatches and waiting for next-gen to hit while the other half are looking into new areas such as free-to-play and mobile. Team VG obviously debated these issues after a few German beers and tasty pork knuckles, and while there's a lot of hesitation and animosity from the industry (and the gamers themselves) when it comes to new areas of development we don't think you should worry too much. There will always be enough room in the industry for your favourite types of games to survive.

But enough about all that, here's our Gamescom 2012 Game of Show and in no particular order the nine runners-up that impressed us the most. See you next year, tasty Jagerschnitzel and the massive Koelnmesse! Auf Wiedersehen!

Game of Show: League of Legends

winnerleagueoflegends -

League of Legends has been kicking around since 2009, which means it neatly bucks the typical convention of awards; usually a games website will dish out game of show to whatever unreleased game has managed to hype its staff up the most during the event in question.

But Riot Games' signature effort managed to capture our hearts and minds in a completely different and unexpected way at this year's gamescom. There's a strong sentiment around the office - and the industry - that there's a whiff of change in the air, and League of Legends went some distance to proving that by absolutely dominating the Koelnmesse's 140,000 square feet. Hundreds of people were queuing for hours for a chance to just watch other people playing the game, and Riot's comparatively modest booths served as a refreshing counterpoint to the flashing lights and nervous opulence of most other publishers.

League of Legends is an elegant showcase of all of the things that other publishers are desperately trying to cram into their games; almost every single business meeting and executive chat at the show will have been conducted with League of Legends in mind. It's an evolving game - a platform, if you want to speak in publisher jargon - with a massive emphasis on strengthening, bolstering and rewarding its community.

Granted, watching League of Legends being played doesn't conjure up the same kind of hype as a five minute showreel of a completely unknown game, but as publishers look to expand their flagship titles into continually evolving services it's nice to see an already established free-to-play game show that not all of them need to be horrible, lazy, money-grabbing exercises. And even the AAA studios could learn a thing or two from Riot's community relations as they head towards turning their cherished properties into annualised behemoths, too.

There's concerns, of course, and I imagine anyone working for Riot would be lying if they said they weren't worried about Valve's more intricate (and more technically impressive) Dota 2 looming on the horizon, but with both companies offering prize pools of over $1,000,000 this year it's clear that neither company intends to give up the MOBA genre without a fight. How Riot chooses to respond over the next few months will make for some very interesting viewing.

The new consoles might be waiting for us next year, then, but with games like League of Legends stronger than ever it's clear the present belongs to the PC.

Next page: The nine runners-up!

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User Comments

altaranga's Avatar

altaranga@ IndoorHeroes

You leave and then come back... with this?

You are dead to me.
Posted 10:07 on 22 August 2012
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ mydeaddog

I didn't see it, but I will definitely play Hawken when it comes out.
Posted 09:28 on 22 August 2012
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

Martin saw Hawken but didn't seen too fussed by it. I can't comment as I've not seen it yet, but it was certainly one of the games I heard people talking about...
Posted 09:22 on 22 August 2012
s_h_a_d_o's Avatar

s_h_a_d_o@ Catterick

Philistines!
Posted 05:18 on 22 August 2012
Catterick's Avatar

Catterick@ s_h_a_d_o

YES!!!! No one else seems to be though :(
Posted 23:46 on 21 August 2012
s_h_a_d_o's Avatar

s_h_a_d_o

Are you chaps not excited for Hawken?
Posted 22:32 on 21 August 2012
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie

Surprised there wasn't something more for Borderlands 2. You would of expected maybe some booths for people to get hands on being so close to release.
Need for Speed is the one game from the show I wanted to know more about and I'm still looking forward to it.
AC3 I wasn't to sure about, I'd loved one and two but fell out with Brotherhood and Revelations so had no hopes that 3would bring me back. Now I'm feeling it again, it looks great and the setting just seems so wonderful. Yeah this is back on my radar.
Posted 21:03 on 21 August 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ MJTH

Yeah cross buy was a good idea but not being able to play PS1 games (which the older PSP could for starters!) and not from day 1 be able to play PS3 games on the vita like the Wii-U were very costly as well in my view.
It is possible to use the Vita like the wii-u remote easilly from youtube videos I have seen who have managed to do this.

I honestly think as well as being a bad idea to release a handheld console, it's also been very badly handled with as usual, Sony adding things after the release of the product which it wasn't designed to do.

It's a shame really as Sony in terms of games have been the best in the last two years easily in my view.
Posted 18:24 on 21 August 2012
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH@ rbevanx

It's depressing seeing where the vita is going, especially seeing as a lot of people expected it to at least do comparably the same as the 3DS. But now people can only feel sorry for.

Cross buy also seems like only a short term solution as to me. It's a brilliant strategy now, considering the PS3 is out, and the Vita seems to be able to do graphic comparably as well as the PS3. But when the PS4 comes out if it is massively more powerful then the PS3 (and therefore the vita) what then. Cross buy is all well and good for the games that seem to be ports from one console to another. But that may not be possible with the PS4.
Posted 18:19 on 21 August 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ MJTH

The Vita is a sinking ship, Sony were daft to even get it past the idea stage. Too expensive and competition from phone app based gaming as well the established handheld console (Nintendo) which is cheaper.
Maybe taking Nintendo's method with relaseing very few consoles making it "sell out" all the time would have helped, never mind better choice in games but it's too late now in my view.

No wonder Sony have so much debt and I have no idea why they haven't gone bankrupt yet with how much they lose.
Posted 17:52 on 21 August 2012
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

Tear away seems like it could be the game that helps sell the vita. I like the look of the game so far. Also loving everything about Sim City so far (I don't particularly mind the always on internet thing). Can't wait till it comes out next year!
Posted 17:48 on 21 August 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

The more I see of Dishonored, the more I want it.

All Call of Dutys are pretty much the same and I think Activision should seperate the MP and single player of the COD franchise as very few people care/love the single player for it. Sort of what Sony did with Killzone 3 with being able to but the MP on PSN and have the single player as DLC or something.
Posted 17:13 on 21 August 2012
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

Exactly. I'll go on record and say that Borderlands 2 looks the business, but the behind-closed-doors demo was just a quick overview of the five classes, plus a glimpse of the uber boss who crops up after you've beaten the game.

And while the latter looks like a lot of fun, the demo wasn't as much fun or as impressive as some of the other stuff that was showing.
Posted 17:04 on 21 August 2012
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ IndoorHeroes

And also part of our judging criteria this year was each game's 'presence' at the show, which is one of the reasons LoL clinched it. Borderlands 2 just didn't have the buzz around it this year, probably because it's so close to launch. Same with Guild Wars 2.

Really, though, our runner's up section were the games that each member of staff brought to our discussion. I imagine most regulars can guess who picked what game without much difficulty!
Posted 16:46 on 21 August 2012
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ IndoorHeroes

Don't look at me - I didn't vote for it last year, I didn't vote for it this year.
Posted 16:08 on 21 August 2012

Game Stats

Release Date: 12/10/2012
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: Action
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 2,525
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