Assassin's Creed Unity
OK, so this is guaranteed to sell more copies than a special edition of Harry Potter with a £50 note signed by JK Rowling stuffed inside, but bear with us. As you probably know, Unity didn't have the best PR at E3 (and beyond), thanks to all that heinous bullshit about one of the richest companies in the game not being able to afford to put playable women into the game.
So, despite it's nailed-on sales success, Unity and Ubisoft needs to get its game together in Cologne.
Short, simple and sweet...
Already looking good, PES nethertheless needs a stellar showing to convince those that haven't played the series in years that it's worth playing again. Not that it has been terrible since the glory days of the PS2 era (PES 2013 was superb), but popular perception is against the series, and has been for some time.
With FIFA focusing on ever-more inane nonsense like goal-line technology (let that sink in), PES needs to get back to being the best game of digital football, and not the best game of digital Sky Sports-watching.
Recently Dave and Steve (along with special guests from the VideoGamer office) drove their way across The Crew's version of America. And it was OK: an interesting technical achievement, but just so, so dull. Why do you think the guys had to stop off for ice cream so much in the video? Exactly.
Anyway, The Crew needs a big Gamescom, but it's difficult to see how it will do so. It's been present at every single show we've been to for the last 30-40 years, and the whole project just seems mired in mediocrity. We'd like it to prove us wrong: after all, the idea behind it is strong. But big ideas need big execution, and so far it's nowhere near achieving its potential.
Leaked, then revealed, then put into beta, then delayed, Battlefield Hardline has had an interesting few months. Now not due until March 2015, Hardline still has to convince the sizeable number of doubters that it's not just, essentially, a mod spun off to earn a quick buck while DICE works on the nine thousand other projects it has on the go at the moment.
Conceptually, there's nothing wrong with Hardline, even if it does seem a little played out with the Payday series, and even Kane and Lynch's excellent Fragile Alliance multiplayer mode beating it to the punch. As ever, it's all in the execution, and while Visceral does have the pedigree to create superb multiplayer experiences, it's going to take something special for us to be excited by this. Let's hope it convinces at Gamescom.
The Order: 1886
Shown at Sony's E3 press conference to a series of whoops (no surprise, E3 crowds would cheer the news of their own terminal illness) and then, later, some polite coughing when it was mentioned that it might not 'Be All That', The Order needs to shine at Gamescom. The E3 demo was pretty, but utterly linear and in no way disproving of its supposed status as Gears of Victoria.
So, what can it do? Well showing off something more than a gunfight followed by a QTE would be good, and perhaps a better look at the systems beyond the usual bang-bang would also help. That is, if there are any other systems.
A good question to ask yourself in regards to Quantum Break is… what the hell is it? With all the talk initially focused on how it would tie into television, 'drawing the two mediums' together, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Remedy's next project gets a bit of a change up at this year's Gamescom. Microsoft has all but changed their approach when it comes to TV.
That's potentially no bad thing, mind. The Xbox One, more than anything, needs games, and there are few developers as unique and original as the brains behind Alan Wake. Regardless what happens, we need concrete details next week. Otherwise we may get another one of those situations where a title's development time lasts way too long.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
To date, Warner's showcasing of Shadow of Mordor has left some - or more specifically at least one member of team VideoGamer - absolutely confused as to what on earth it's all about. It certainly has a lot of potential: it looks great, there are ideas being thrown all over the place and it has a decent license propping it up. But in terms of what happens from point a to point b? No idea…
Given the location of Europe's biggest gaming convention (that would be Germany, who get very excited for this kind of RPG), we expect Mordor's core to actually be more apparent once the show wraps up. As much like Quantum Break, too many questions still need to be answered.
The Fable games seem ready to go off in a whole new direction, starting with Legends. The problem is, it didn't seem all that great after this year's E3. What's worse, the franchise has a whole has been getting a kicking for some time now.
This leaves Lionhead in a very precarious position. While there is support for its multiplayer-focused adventure, Fable games of old were unanimously anticipated and, more often than not, praised on their arrival. Microsoft can ill afford to let one of their biggest IPs fall by the wayside when its new console is in desperate need of content. It could be said that those at the helm should have stuck with the tried and test formula. As they haven't, they now have a huge task to prove it wasn't a mistake.
Where was DriveClub at this year's E3? Finally getting some momentum back with a few excellent trailers, it basically had no presence in LA whatsoever. It's not as if Sony were hurling a bunch of new games at us either. Uncharted 4 felt exciting, and it was obvious that The Last Of Us: Remastered was in for big push. But DriveClub? There was barely even a whimper.
But those days are now in the past. Done. Dusted. Dead! With the game's release slowly pounding down upon us, it's more important than ever that everyone involved with the project goes heavy, or goes home. The steps DriveClub has made over the last year are obviously huge, but unless it's thrown into people's faces, it could easily be missed by the majority. We want to leave GamesCom feeling pumped about racing again. COME ON!