Gamescom has Gamesgone and after a ferocious week of pushing through crowds, eating the cheapest food we could find and playing an unscrupulous amount of games, Sam and I sat down to shout very loudly at each other over what we thought was the dopest thing we saw all week. We took everything into account, both factoring in presentations and hands-on time with games in an attempt to agree who the deserved the coveted “Critical Hit’s Best of Show” awards.
It was an arduous process that required numerous pages of scrap paper and many games of Rocket League to be abandoned halfway but we eventually settled on what we thought should be the official list. We narrowed it down to ten games, out of the hundreds around the convention, each of whom has been crowed one of the best games on display at Gamescom. There’s no numbering; everyone is an equal winner on this list. So, without further ado a quick change of font size to properly communicate the importance of this article:
Critical Hit’s Best of Gamescom Awards go to…
It’s crazy, irreverent, frenetic and unabashedly fun in a way that few games ever really succeed at. With an overhauled animation system bringing new life and energy to the weapons and characters that are just too enjoyable to kill dozens of varkids and skags with, Borderlands 3 lives up to the quality established by the previous games in series, building upon an already solid foundation while bring enough enough changes to feel refreshing at the same time. Also, actual streamers are the villains in the game, so points for being contemporary.
While we didn’t get to go hands-on with Cyberpunk, the behind closed doors gameplay we witness was enough to sell us on the whole game. A city dripping with creative art direction, inventive world-building and countless opportunities for player expression and choice made us truly believe that Cyberpunk 2077 is the next big step in immersive RPG’s. Encounters that were dynamic and open-ended, emphasising role-playing and character-building gave us just a taste of the potential Cyberpunk has under the hood. It’s everything CDPR promised it would be and more, and despite the impossibly high bar set by The Witcher 3 it’s genuinely surprising to see the studio top their now-iconic established franchise.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
It feels like we half-heartedly say it every year, but the reboot of Modern Warfare really does feel like the game that could save Call of Duty. The twitchy gunplay has been replaced with a slower, more rhythmic style of shooter that still delivers on the speed fans of the franchise adore while also offering a fresh and more accessible place for those who might have been intimidated to go up against players with 12 different badges after their names. Satisfying and addictive, I can envision Modern Warfare being my go-to shooter for the foreseeable future.
John Wick Hex
A lot of people would give Mike Bithell and his team at Good Shepherd hell for not making the John Wick triple-A shooter that they would assume would be made. Instead, by accounts, they’re making a clever and strategic title that gets players to think about manoeuvrability, timing, and action in the face of split-second combat. Engaging, intuitive, and one of the most unique games played at Gamescom.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
It’s the follow through on an impossible promise that pushed FF7R above a beyond many of the other games on display. It was an incredibly ambitious project to undertake and despite many doubting the quality, Square Enix has seemingly succeeded in making a game that’s both faithful to the original and raised up to the standard of modernity set by contemporary RPG’s. Weighty and satisfying combat, fleshed-out characters and a world that’s begging to be explored, the remake of Final Fantasy 7 is shaping up to be everything fans wanted from it.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Let’s just say this game would be the Editor’s Choice. Luigi’s Mansion 3 continues a franchise that could’ve started out as a blatant Super Mario rework. Instead, Luigi is fun to play as takes on the role of a Ghostbuster, working his way through a hotel that yields an on-brand, yet spooky and unique atmosphere.
Children of Morta
Children of Morta takes the beauty of pixel art to a whole new level. The game is drop-dead gorgeous and boasts mechanics that are dependent on players taking a diverse approach to their gameplay. To get to the deepest of dungeons, it is preferable to play all of the available characters, picking fights using each of them for an experience that is never predictable.
A fresh, creative take on rouge-lite RPG’s, Yaga embraced its concept of folklore to a great extent, offering up a unique gameplay experience that was incredibly enjoyable to get lost in. I was genuinely sad to leave the game behind as I rushed off to my next appointment because in the short time I’d spent with the game I just wanted to keep playing, experimenting with the dialogue and crafting experience to really get the most out of the folktale I was telling myself through the game. A fantastic surprise, I can’t wait for the game’s final release.
Despite the controversial direction the dev team has taken with The Avengers, the time spent with the game still proved to be a wonderful romp through fanboy escapism. With the visible potential for exponential combat growth and playstyles to accommodate a range of playstyles, The Avengers is both a love letter to Marvel fans and smart addition to the roster of “looter-shooters”. With still a way to go before the game’s launch, we’re excited to see how Crystal Dynamics expands on the groundwork they presented at Gamescom.
It’s more of Doom 2016, but it’s also much, much MORE of Doom 2016. Taking the series’ now iconic use of “combat puzzles” and exploring the idea in every direction imaginable, Doom Eternal was perhaps the coolest a game has ever made me feel. With a big emphasis on “aggression = resources” gameplay loop, you’ll be pushed to slaughter demons in as many creative ways as possible in some of the most outlandishly fun environments yet conceived by id Software. There was no doubt in our mind that Doom Eternal would be fantastic, we just didn’t realise how fantastic it actually was.
Last Updated: September 2, 2019