Although there wasn't much in the way of Free-to-Play news, it's always a great experience visiting Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Like E3, this year's Gamescom, was also primarily focused on next-gen consoles and like we mentioned previously, the Playstation 4 is still poised to deliver a F2P smack down on the Xbox One.
A snowy surprise!
I'd wager to say SNOW surprised me the most at Gamescom. The open-world sports game was flying low on everyone's radars until just recently, when it exploded onto the scene with more force than an avalanche after a fresh powder. The CryEngine 3 powered MMO is the brain child of Independent developer Poppermost Productions. Once completed, SNOW will give players the chance to freely explore massive open-world mountain environments on their choice of skis or snowboard.
From what I witnessed during a play session featuring a skier, SNOW did not disappoint. Everything from the movement, to the detailed graphics, realistic physics and loads of customization options showed Poppermost Productions was indeed serious about SNOW. Other companies seem to have taken notice as well since the customizable skiing equipment are all based on real brands.
The game itself is not what you would classify an MMO, SNOW is primarily an open-world multiplayer game where players can choose to participate in solo or multilayer events and challenges. Poppermost Productions even spoke a bit about SNOW's cash shop stating that while not all items in the shop will be cosmetic, the developer is focused on delivering an overall balanced experience.
Oculus Rift, the ultimate VR experience.
I hope trying out the Oculus Rift at events like this becomes a regular thing of mine, because by far the best experience I had at Gamescom was when I climbed into the cockpit of a robot from Hawken while wearing the Rift. The level of immersion the device provides is surreal (check more about my experience here). It's so thick you can practically reach out and cut it with your virtual knife.
With games like CCP's V.R. (now renamed Valkyrie) and Hawken utilitzing the Rift to such a degree, I 'm anxious to know whether the Rift represents the first huge stepping stone in a long line of immersion improvements to come.
Tactical Intervention: Back in Action!
It was a really nice surprise to see Tactical Intervention at Gamescom returning with fewer bugs and stronger than ever. The game will see a global release on Steam in August (and an official release on September). They had some limitations and problems with past publishers but nothing stopped them from continuously working on the game, so you can also expect more maps and content coming to the game really soon.
Bless Online: A next generation MMORPG?
During my adventures at Gamescom i was extremely fortunate in also stumbling across Neowiz, the developers of Bless Online, an ambitious, open-world fantasy MMORPG game built using Unreal Engine 3. Bless looks amazing, with next-gen cutting-edge graphics and animations. I was genuinely pleased to know that Neowiz is definitely interested in launching the game in the US and European market. The game is already in beta in Asia, so keep your fingers crossed and let’s hope we get the game soon.
Updates, and more updates.
As for the rest of the F2P content shown at Gamescom, the majority of it either revolved around upcoming updates for many of the current mainstream titles or news of so-and-so game headed to the PS4. The shear amount of update news from Gamescom would be too much to share here, but no worries. We've already covered many of them over the past few weeks. There are a couple updates I do have to mention though, starting with the latest Dragon's Prophet additions.
I had the opportunity to get a first glimpse into the brand new Citadel PvP system along with more than 300 new unique dragons and epic cross-server PvP battles all set to launch on September 18th. Overall, the update will bring with it a long list of much needed bug fixes and brand new interesting features.
The other update worth mentioning has to do with War Thunder and no, it doesn't have to do with the PS4. Gaijin Entertainment finally showed off a small bit of gameplay footage from the upcoming tank update for the previously fighter plane only simulator. While we can't speak in too much detail about it, but suffice it to say the update may give World of Tanks a run for its money.
By Luis Dobreira
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