Wccftech’s Best of Gamescom Awards – 2018 Edition
There’s no doubt that 2018 has been a great year to visit Gamescom. The show, both in the private and public area, was littered with fantastic games. From the first public and private reveals of Cyberpunk to fantastic looking upcoming titles like Forza Horizon 4, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Battlefield 5 and Dying Light 2, to name just a few.
Trimming it down into a best of Gamescom list is never easy, but that’s our job and also why we drink! So, without further ado, here are Wccftech’s best games of Gamescom 2018, as chosen by yours truly and Rosh Kelly.
Best Action Game – Dying Light: Bad Blood
It might seem like every studio is rushing to release a Battle Royale game at the minute, Techland’s attempt seems to the most unique.
Bringing in their parkour mechanics from the base game means that the battles have an overall more fluid, faster and vertical feel, which is immediately refreshing. Then throwing in some old school zombies makes the map just a little bit more familiar, and dangerous, then most of what we’re used to in Battle Royale games.
Finally, Bad Blood splashes in some objectives that aren’t just straight up murdering everybody, and you’ve got something that feels truly unique in a genre of very similar games. With a heavy focus on melee combat, ambushes and speed, Bad Blood is a blood-soaked, action-packed Battle Royale. It manages to pack in all of the genre’s tension and nerve, with no downtime. – Rosh Kelly
Best Action/Adventure Game – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
After the triumphant return of Assassins Creed with Origins last year, it looked like Ubisoft had found another winning formula that could be exploited for years to come. But, having played a little under two hours of Odyssey, Ubisoft seem much keener on keeping the franchise fresh this time around.
Changing the combat felt immediately smoother and more aggressive. Like Dark Souls, the shield in Origins let players take their time and turned a lot of combat into a slog rather than a fight. But wielding two blades makes you feel much more powerful, and forces you to play more aggressively.
But it isn’t just the combat that has taken a different tone. Reaching through the annals of history, Odyssey draws as much from myth and legend than it does provable fact. Exploring fantasy, impossible areas and battling legendary monsters makes a new dimension to the Assassins Creed franchise that was only ever seen in DLC before.
Whether or not the new direction is popular with the fans is yet to be seen. But the glorious, sun-soaked Greek islands are worth exploring all on their own, as is its fabled history. – Rosh Kelly
Best Horror Game – Resident Evil 2 Remake
What can truly be said about Resident Evil 2 that hasn’t been said a myriad times before? It really is a classic of the genre. Bringing back Resident Evil 2, remaking it with all the modern trappings of games today and improving it by having it play the same as Resident Evil 7 is more than enough to excite most people, especially fans of the series.
If the two hands-on sessions we’ve had with Resident Evil 2 are anything to go by, from Kai’s time as Leon and then Chris’ time as Claire, this remake is looking like it could be Capcom’s best outing yet. The striking thing is just how fantastic the game looks, with the best character models of the series so far. Claire and Leon genuinely look like they’re swarming through sewers, tunnels and, of course, a zombie-infested Racoon City. Not that the areas themselves don’t show the same look. With areas showing the signs of people fleeing or resulting battles.
Blood, gore and detritus litter most places you have the misfortune of visiting and everything is just so dark. Your flashlight is a lifesaver and also such a fickle friend, unwilling to light it up like it’s daytime. Of course the feel of movement and combat, naturally improved from the original, bring the game forward to the modern era and play perfectly. Simply put, there isn’t a single horror fan here at the site that isn’t looking forward to getting their hands on this game. – Chris Wray
Best Shooter – Battlefield V
Once upon a time, we were all sick to death of World War 2 shooters. We’d stormed the beaches of Normandy and liberated the European continent from the grasp of fascism. Then we spend a decade toiling through the brown and grey much of military shooters and longed for a simpler time. Battlefield V takes everything we loved about World War 2 shooters and folds in some amazing graphics, combat and the incredibly satisfying detail of a Battlefield game.
Each gun has a unique character, from bolt action rifles to nippy little submachine guns. Not only do they look and play differently, changing how every soldier engages with the enemy, they also sound so incredibly diverse. It’s a lovely touch which adds to immersion greatly. The simplified class system has changed the overall dynamic of the game as well, meaning you can more easily drop into a match without needing to organise a complete strategy with your teammates. The map I played at Gamescom was wide and vibrant with plenty of detail and room for exploration, without being overly complex.
With the unmistakably fear of a rumbling tank and the dramatically shifting frontline, Battlefield V looks to stun players when it releases later this year. – Rosh Kelly
Best Strategy Game – Total War: Three Kingdoms
There isn’t much more to say about Total War: Three Kingdoms that hasn’t already been said in my early look at the game. However, I’m more than happy to give it a go. Total War: Three Kingdoms looks like it could be the most compelling Total War yet. Bringing in much more importance on character than ever before, the romance mode will have you follow the heroes forging their path through one of the most turbulent times of Chinese history.
Featuring two modes, Romance and Classic, Total War: Three Kingdoms will offer something for everybody. But, it’s the big changes that will really help drive the game forward. Characters have a lot of functionality and will genuinely feel like they are a core, and driving part of your nation. From a fantastic espionage system to boosts in combat and governance, the generals that lead your army have never felt as important.
Adding onto this is the fact that battles have been improved, from a number of new units, the use of these generals and the retinue system that greatly effects the units you bring into battle and how these units act on the battlefield. With all the planned features and what is already in place, plus the incredibly compelling setting, Total War: Three Kingdoms could easily be the best Total War yet. – Chris Wray
Best Racing Game – Forza Horizon 4
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anybody. It’s far and beyond the best racing title to have been at Gamescom this year and looks like it will be a clear winner for the best racing game of the year when released. Why? Because Forza Horizon 4 is the most ambitious outing from the series so far.
As you can read in my impressions of the game, the Horizon festival may return but the world around it changes. For the first time in Forza’s history, there is a seasons system. This will quite literally alter the way you play the game, as summer turns to winter, new routes open up but the world becomes that bit more challenging.
In addition to the changes in gameplay, it’s genuinely the best looking outing yet, made all the more impressive by the verticality offered by the British setting. But Playground Games won’t stop there, with a fantastic post-launch promise of support, including but not limited to two new cars, every week, for the first 26 weeks after launch. – Chris Wray
Best Role Playing Game – Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk 2077 has taken the world by storm and it will likely continue to do so long after release. CD Projekt Red has made a world that, even at this early stage in development (the game has only just got to the stage it can be played through from start to finish, with placeholders). Now that gameplay footage is publically available the anticipation has only grown.
It’s understandable too. Even from the little seen so far, Night City looks like one of the best-developed cities in gaming today and part of a world packed full of detail, where even the advertisements cater themselves to you. The action was quick, crisp and equally engaging just to watch. Taking out your katana, deflecting bullets to then take an enhancing drug to heighten your senses (read: Bullet time) – you slide in and slice the legs off of your enemy. It’s fantastic.
It looks simply brilliant as you do everything in the game too. Aesthetically, there’s just nothing to complain about. The city just looks cyberpunk, morbid and garish at the same time – crime surrounded by the bright neon signs for guns and prostitutes. Just how deep the world will be, we don’t know, but from what has already been shown and the calibre of CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077 is the game to watch. You can read Chris’ full impressions here. – Chris Wray & Rosh Kelly
Best Simulation Game – Farming Simulator 19
Farming Simulator isn’t necessarily one of those games that you could see surprising somebody. Going into it, you know exactly what you’re going to be doing. Naturally, you’ll be farming. Previous iterations left you quite limited in options and were always fixed with a set fanbase as a result of that. However, Farming Simulator 19 looks like it could be iteration that brings it into the mainstream.
Much like Euro Truck Simulator 2 did for the Truck Simulator games, Farming Simulator 19 brings a lot more to the table than you would first expect. In fact, you’d be surprised to hear that it doesn’t even bring a farm – at least if you don’t want it to. You can start with absolutely nothing, doing odd-jobs to earn your way to buying your first plot of land, building yourself quite literally from the ground up. That or you can start with a plot of land and cash, or start with a pre-built farm.
It’s the use of land which is much more flexible. You’re no longer tied down, as you were in previous titles. You can buy a plot of land anywhere and build on it as you please. Surprisingly, you don’t even have to be a farmer, you can raise and train horses, selling them on to make a profit. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that farming has been improved dramatically, with significantly improved visuals to boot. Look for more coverage on this later. For now, just know it was the best simulation game at Gamescom this year. – Chris Wray
Best Sports Game – FIFA 19
This was a difficult choice, though it was only between two competitors. FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer have been competing for the best football game and, traditionally, the best sports game for decades now. For a while, PES managed to find their stride, though FIFA has turned that around and are better than ever. This is certainly the case here in FIFA 19.
FIFA 19 has brought in a number of game-changing features to the fore. This in itself is unusual for a series that, for a long time, simply refined gameplay to a small level while slightly improving visuals and making the relevant transfers of players between clubs. Fortunately, EA have pushed themselves with FIFA 19’s gameplay, and done it while making the game look fantastic at the same time. Also, for the first time in ten years, FIFA has the Champions League.
Player and ball control has improved to the level where you can genuinely feel and see the struggle on players as they compete for the ball. AI players, from your team and the opposition, also react appropriately to the ball, moving as you would expect them to, as well as anticipating its movement or visibly making that extra effort to stretch and reach the ball. It’s the smaller things that actually make it feel that more realistic. In all, FIFA 19 is shaping up to be a great entry to the series. – Chris Wray
Best Indie Game – Shortest Trip to Earth
There will be more to read about Shortest Trip to Earth in the near future, but for now, we can give you a brief overview of what was the best indie game we saw at the show. Shortest Trip is a game that has been in development since 2010, or at least that’s when it was conceived. Similar to FTL, though considerably more complex. As you’re travelling the galaxy you’ll want to keep your ship in shape, feed your crew and collect as much as you can on the way.
The twist is also that you, ideally, want to be decent about it. Of the hundreds of random story events that can occur, you will get a choice what path to take. This is a roguelike and, naturally, there is something you carry over from game to game. For each good decision you make, you get fate points. These points can be used to buy boosts in the next playthrough. The decision then is fo you go for the short term or long term boost?
Detail is the key with Shortest Trip to Earth. You can place your crew in cryostasis, they don’t eat while they’re asleep. But doing this leaves less crew to man the other parts of the ship, such as the guns, and also leaves less to repair if you’re attacked. Detail also extends to the systems you encounter and the writing that has gone into them, not to mention the fantastic illustrations that show throughout the game – of which there are over 1,000 of them. – Chris Wray
Best Online Game – Breach
There is something primitively fun about working together. Humans are pack animals after all so teaming up to rid the world of monsters is just incredibly satisfying. Throw in an amazing fluid class system and some lovely stylised graphics and you have the hotly anticipated game Breach.
But humans are also terrible. And Breach knows that. So while you and your friends might think you’re having all the fun possible by simply playing as the heroes, someone can be the villain. As an action-heavy, extremely multiplayer, dungeon crawler you and your band of merry men will be pushing through horde after horde of enemies. All the while, you’ll be menaced by the invincible, marshal spirit of the Veil Demon. Or, if you prefer, you can play as it, summoning traps, enemies and challenges for the humans to overcome.
for an asymmetric game, Breach felt surprisingly well balanced with no one team feeling particularly overwhelming. It promises so much, with hundreds of abilities and strategies to experiment with as both the humans and demons, but looks on set to deliver it all. – Rosh Kelly
Best of Show – Cyberpunk 2077
There’s little doubt that we’ll be seeing Cyberpunk at Gamescom next year. It wouldn’t also be a huge shock to see other titles that have been covered, but weren’t able to make this list, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, for example. Until that time, these were the highlights of Gamescom and the best games of the show.
This doesn’t mark the end of our coverage from Gamescom, not at all. There are a number of other titles we saw and have so much to say about. Keep an eye out for more info on some of the best and brightest upcoming games.