The cross-over between free-to-play casual games and the high-end console market was a recurring theme at this year's Gamescom. One of the biggest titles to make the jump from free to console is Angry Birds Star Wars, a George Lucas-themed take on the popular mobile game, which hits the console market in October. Creators Rovio and publishers Activision got gamers' attention with a new multiplayer mode that will allow Angry Birds fans to cooperate or compete against one another.
Call of Duty – Ghosts
There are many pretenders to the throne but Activision's Call of Duty franchise is still the champ. Already the odds-on favorite for best-selling game of the year when it hits stores this November, the 10th entry in the CoD franchise was a Gamescom hit, with attendees falling over themselves to test the game's new multiplayer mode.
GTA 5: 'Exposed Genitalia' and 'a Bit of Necrophilia'
Rockstar Game's Grand Theft Auto 5, which bows next month, is a guaranteed blockbuster and the company had little need to further stoke GTA 5 hype at Gamescom. But the Entertainment Software Rating Board provided a sneak peak and some minor gameplay spoilers when it published details of it decision to rate the game Mature, 17+. These included, according to the ESRB website “implied fellatio and masturbation” “exposed genitalia in a non-sexual context” and, perhaps most intriguing, “a brief instance of necrophilia.”
PlayStation 4: The Smackdown
While Microsoft was trying to win back skeptical gamers, Sony played to the crowd in its Gamescom presentation, which included several reveals about the new PlayStation 4, including its launch date (Nov. 14). Sony worldwide president Andrew House couldn't resist taking a few shots at the Microsoft, noting some companies “have shifted their message and changed their story.”
SIMS 4: It's All About Emotion
Amid all the simulated gore and high octane violence at Gamescom, Electronic Arts' Sims 4 was a welcome relief. The latest entry in the company's virtual world franchise impressed with its customizing tools that allow players to adjust everything from the bushiness of their characters' eyebrows to their style of walking. EA said emotion would be at the center of the new Sims, out next year, with characters experiencing a range of emotions affected by their surroundings and actions.
Is 'Titanfall': The Next “Call of Duty”?
Arguably the hottest title to come out of the E3 conference earlier this year, Electronic Arts turned up the heat on Titanfall at Gamescom with the first gamplay trailer. Developed by Respawn Entertainment by some of the same people responsible for megahit Call of Duty, Titanfall is the prime contender to unseat CoD as the most popular first person shooter title when it hits stores in spring 2014.
Watch Dogs – The Movie
Ubisoft's new hacker-themed action title hasn't even hit stores yet and it's already signed a movie deal. Sony Pictures Entertainment announced at Gamescom that it will adapt Watch Dogs for the big screen together with Ubisoft and New Regency. Sony also confirmed it was also planning a film adaptation of the popular Gran Turismo racing game franchise to go on sale this holiday season.
XBox One: The Relaunch
After its gaff-heavy launch of XBox One in May, in which Microsoft angered the gaming community by including controversial, and since reversed, policies such as requiring players to check in online every 24 hours, Microsoft made a second attempt to win over the hard-core crowd at its Gamescom presentation. This time the focus was all on pleasing gamers with tidbits including a free copy of top-selling soccer title FIFA 14 bundled free with every XBox One pre-ordered in Europe.