Yesterday Geoff Kieghley, hosted the second annual Opening Night Live event, a live show that kicks off Gamescom, one of the largest gaming events of the year. 2020 has provided it set of challenges when it has come to gaming events. Many big events were altogether cancelled, and some were replaced with smaller zoom style digital events. E3 was cancelled, and many of the biggest developers were going to be out of a place to have their summer news showcases. Geoff will go down in gaming history as the man who single handedly helped save what was left of the Summer 2020 Gaming news cycle. He helped organize the Summer Game Fest curating news together under one umbrella, helping bring awareness to games that may have been too small to get attention at their own stream. Geoff ended the Summer Game Fest with the start of Gamescom. Last year, Geoff hosted Opening Night Live and it was a huge bonus of game reveals and awards. I could tell Geoff desperately wanted to pull off a more traditional "live show" with ONL some how in today's world, and I think the compromise format for ONL 2020 worked really well. It was a mix of live and "social distance zoom format". They set up a room filled with screens that had Geoff out and standing in what felt more like a live show. The guests that were calling in were displayed on the walls in large images. The whole thing felt like a fun big budget way to pull off the "zoom format" in a way that feels like a normal live show. Even when they cut away to a few guest hosts, it felt more live production, than just a bunch of people hosting from their homes. I was very impressed, and I think it will work great for the Game Awards. The effort they put in did not go unnoticed here. Below is a rapid fire list of some of the game reveals, announcements, updates, etc... as this show was a big one.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart - extended gameplay
I have never played the Rachet and Clank games, but one of our Mods has it as one of their all time favs. I will admit the SSD is on full display here with the world jumping and the game does look like a load of fun. I might have to get into this franchise with next-gen.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light - Stasis Gameplay
I am super excited for Destiny 2: Beyond Light. The announcement of this and the news of Bungie's new model for an ongoing Destiny 2, both prompted me to revisit Destiny 2 after I beat the main campaign at launch. I spent some of Quarantine playing through Forsaken and Shadowkeep to prepare. ONL gave us our first look at the gameplay for the new power "Stasis". The term Stasis brings to mind certain mental imagery, and it is not the first game to have a power labeled "stasis", therefore at first I was skeptical this was going to be fun. However, this gameplay rested all fears as it looks badass. I am also excited that all of Destiny 2 is coming to GamePass, which means I might need to switch it over from my PS4.
Spellbreak - Release, Multiplatform, and free to play
Spellbreak was a game I was looking forward to. It promised a new and unique take on the Battle Royale genre with magic based combat and crazy levels of traversal. I didn't really like the strategy they took with a rather expensive founder's edition. Paid early access during alpha's and beta's is a monetization strategy that I understand. You are essentially helping the developers finishing development, and I have done it in the past. In this case I just didn't enjoy it that much. I felt the combat was too clunky. The problem is when traversal is fast and projectiles are slow, it can feel off. The problem during the beta was that characters can move around too quick and the projectiles are felt too slow. It made it feel like like chaotic blasting of area of effect weapons that were actually very difficult to land a hit, and when you did it felt like luck and spamming instead of skill. Image a game of speedsters running around with slow moving rocket launchers that take several seconds too long to hit their target. I also felt that the graphics on the pre-release version was sub-par. The game's resolution was poor on the PS4 Pro, closer to early PUBG graphics when I was expecting closer to Fortnite or Apex. These are all things that can be tweaked and enhanced at final release; I understand that. Perhaps the full release will improve upon the things I saw in the beta, and I will definitely be revisiting the game. It is launching free to play for everyone, and is launching on PC, Xbox, PS4, and Switch.
Medal of Honor: Above and beyond
I've said before that EA needs to sit back, write blank checks, and let Respawn Entertainment just "make whatever they want", so I really don't want to contradict myself. But...I looked at this and was like REALLY??? Why a VR only game? Seriously, VR is way too much in it's infancy stage of technology for EA to waste their best developer, waste their golden goose, on a VR only game. Why couldn't this have been a high quality AAA military shooter that happened to have a VR mode? Plenty of games have proven that a traditional first person game can successfully have a VR mode. I feel like having this game portioned to such a small player base of just Oculus owners is a mistake. Respawn called this a "passion project" and EA may have indeed just let them make what they wanted. Respawn has made 4 games and all 4 games have been phenomenal. Apex Legends has become a cash cow for EA. I felt like Respawn could do no wrong, and I was really excited to see game number 5. I guess I was just hoping for something other than a niche VR game. What sucks is that this looks really good too; I just wish it was made more accessible with a Multiplatform first person shooter that had a PSVR/Oculus mode.
Fall Guys Season 2
Every single year has "that game"; The game that breaks records, that seemingly every gamer played, and a game that just becomes a mini-phenomenon. 2016? Overwatch. 2017? Breath of the Wild. 2018? Fortnite 2019? Apex Legends. Now, 2020, has Fall Guys. I'm not saying that Fall Guys is GOTY or the "best game" this year, but it is "that game". It is the one that so many people are playing; a widely popular game that seems to have struck something with gamers. It has broken steam records and is the most downloaded PS Plus game of all time. I have been widely enjoying the game so far, and enjoy all the fun colorful chaos. After playing through both Last of Us games prior to this, I will admit that honestly a change of tone and color palette is great. The Last of Us 2 is phenomenal, but it is also dark, drab, and depressing. Fall Guys a bright, happy, goofy change of pace. ONL gave us a look at season 2 with news levels and new outfits.
Chorvs? Chorus? Debate the spelling and pronunciation all you want. This upcoming space combat sim looks to be amazing. We got another look at it thanks to ONL.
I want desperately for this game to be good. Until Dawn is one of my favorite horror games. It is so beautifully cinematic. However, the first of this anthology series "Man of Medan" was a major let down. I gave it a 5/10 and that was being generous. It wasn't scary, had a boring nonsensical story/ending. It broke the immersion with some errors in the branching paths. The graphics of the clothes of some of the characters were awful. I really hope that Little Hope will improve the anthology closer in quality to where Until Dawn was. ONL gave us another look at this game, and later Gamescom gave us an extended look at gameplay above.
Sims 4 - Journey to Batuu pack
Do You like Sims? Do you like Star Wars? Well get ready for a MASSIVE Star Wars crossover in Sims 4.
So, I really thought this was some Minecraft spinoff/sequel/expansion. Nope!
World of Warcraft Shadowlands
ONL gave us a big look at the Warcraft expansion Shadowlands. We also have received news that WOW is making a huge leap by coming to console for the first time with news that it will be coming to PS5!
Lemnis Gate is certainly a unique take on the shooter genre by playing with time loops. Check this one out.
Dragon Age 4 update
Good god BioWare GIVE US AN UPDATE ON MASS EFFECT. I swear every single one of these events, I guarantee to see "Mass Effect Remaster?" pop up several times in chat. The rumors of a Remaster of the trilogy have been circling strongly for the past two years. Even an Amazon listing of a new Mass Effect Trilogy art book "expanded edition" only seams to make it feel like one is coming. It has reached a point that so many people believe it is happening that at the very least EA needs to come out and say "no we aren't doing that" if it isn't true. It is distracting from other BioWare or EA news. The mystery of the remaster distracts from news on Dragon Age, Anthem 2.0, and other EA projects. It is hard to care about them when we would rather have news on that. I don't have much to add, Dragon Age 4 still seems far away as we still get these art focused developer focused videos, that tell me Dragon Age 4 is far away. I'm glad to see EA isn't making the same mistake they did by showing artificial trailers like with Anthem when the game barely exists.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
I've never really played much of any of the Lego games, but I will say how much I am looking forward to this. We get to relive the entire Star Wars Saga, but now in a fun and whimsical way. ONL gave us a first look at gameplay, but it also came with some sad news. The reveal came with a silent delay to Spring 2021.
Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War
Black Ops Cold War was revealed just before the start of Gamescom and ONL, but ONL did give us an extended look and trailer. We also know that we will see a look at multiplayer on September 8.
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