This week we’re wrapping up our coverage of Gamescom 2015 at MMOGames, this of course means that it is awards time. We’ve added a few new awards this year as our scope grows ever larger. There is one award that isn’t filled in yet though, that’s Reader’s Choice and it is up to you the readers to decide who wins that one. It was a fantastic year for technology and expansions. The convention was bigger and better than ever. So grab a drink, sit back and enjoy our list of the the best of Gamescom 2015.
Best Technology: Oculus Crescent Bay
What can I say? This one is a little bit of a cheat. I didn’t actually get to play with any massively new technology this year at Gamescom. No 4k monitors, that 16TB SSD hard drive only recently got announced. HTC Vive was invite only and I didn’t arrange one.
What I did try though was the latest Oculus Rift. Lighter feeling than last years SDK2, easier to focus in. Best technology goes to Oculus for working constantly towards that eventual consumer launch.
Best Booth: Overwatch
Wandering the halls of Gamescom is really one of the highlights of the entire show. But it is often filled with dark colors that games choose to use in their booth. This can make for a somewhat bland experience at times. But this certainly wasn’t the case with Overwatch. Their booth was quite simplistic in fact. A plain white base with the logo were the only thing that made up the walls of this walled in booth. Above the booth was a circular display which showed off the characters who had already been announced and on one side they had statues of characters from the game, something that is a Blizzard conference staple. Though it was somewhat simplistic it was beautiful for it. It stood out in the sea of darkness as a bright beacon giving a wonderful first impression of the game before you ever see it.
Best PvP: Sword Coast Legends
It’s not strictly speaking PvP. It is … Dungeons and Dragons. Yes your DM probably is trying to kill you, but it’s a friendly trying to kill you. The sort of friendly attempted homicide that forms those crowning moments of awesome or funny. Sword Coast Legends lets you craft that ultimate campaign, that dream dungeon, those nightmare denizens of both. Win or lose, well the important thing is to have fun. It’s PvP but victory is measured in a good time, not player body counts.
Unless you’re that sort of DM…
Most Innovative: Kingdom Under Fire II
It’s an RTS title. It’s an RPG title. It’s an MMO title. It’s all those in a blender with between four and ten thousand troops battling it out in grand scale. Kingdom Under Fire II is in development by Blueside and carries on from the earlier titles in the series. Sitting down to watch the live demo, I got to see the player jump between his hero character blazing away with guns and dicing up enemy Orcs before jumping seamlessly back out to an overview for grand strategy and troop movement. An MMORTS that lets me act out those huge cinematic battles normally reserved for a summer blockbuster or Lord of the Rings movie? Please and thank you.
Best Shooter: Destiny
We didn’t actually interact with many shooters this year. I’m not sure if there’s a dearth of them or if it was just the nature of the appointments we made. Still Bungie never disappointed. Destiny: The Taken King was as polished and as beautiful as I remember Destiny being before. The mystery of the Taken was laid out in the demo we got to play and the level of skill I clearly do not have was made clear. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun. Fun was most certainly had. It’s a pity Peter Dinklage wasn’t chatting to us any more, but there are always the warm tones of Lance Reddick instead.
Best Mobile: EVE Gunjack
When it comes to mobile games Gamescom this year was feeling a bit light. But there was one game that stood out above the rest, EVE Gunjack. Gunjack combines mobile with virtual reality while being in the EVE universe. It was challenging, beautiful to look at, but most importantly it was fun. Granted it’s a mobile game by virtue of being on a mobile phone. You do need the Gear VR to play it and we might have to define “mobile” games in the future as more people start strapping them to their faces instead of crushing candies or clashing clans.
Best MOBA: Gigantic
It was pretty clear at Gamescom this year that the MOBA bubble has burst. There weren’t nearly as many as there were in previous years and those that remained were really something special. At the top of that crowd was Gigantic. Though they didn’t want to fall into the MOBA genre at first they’ve embraced it thanks to their community. Gigantic is not only fun to play but it has a massive focus on their community making it a much more friendly environment and by extension making it much more fun to play. Gigantic has stolen the hearts of their players and now we’re happily part of that community too.
Reader’s Choice: Star Citizen
It was a tough contest, and we were sure that war was due to break out at any moment at one point, but in the end there was a clear winner and you spoke loud and clear. Congratulations to Star Citizen who won with a grand total of 7,216 votes, 4,558 ahead of the second place winner.
Second place: Crossout, the fun new vehicle customization and combat MMO from Gaijin Entertainment.
Third place: Guild Wars 2, whose Heart of Thorns expansion has everybody excited.
Most Anticipated: Vermintide
KILLKILL MANTHING! I’m a Warhammer Fan. Anyone who knows me knows that. Anyone who checks Warhammer coverage here on MMOGames usually will see me pop up somewhere. Vermintide is … oh it’s just so beautiful. It’s the Warhammer World. It is the Empire city of Ubersreik. It is grim and dark and full of Skaven trying to chew my face off. It is simply glorious. My time with it was all to brief but left me wanting it even more than when it was first announced. Hands down, most anticpated. Vermintide.
Best Indie MMO: Albion Online
What do you do when you come off of a ship wearing nothing but a loincloth in a strange new land? Try to take it over of course. Albion Online is looking to get back to the Ultima Online roots and aims for complexity and creativity. They’ve integrated tablet versions of the game as well meaning that you can play along with your guild mates even if you aren’t at your PC, of course you wouldn’t want to try defending one of the guild invasions that way. Stepping off the ship in a loincloth is hardcore. Imagine the challenges that wait after that?
Best MMO Expansion: Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
World of Warcraft’s Legion expansion may have been the talk of the town but it was Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns expansion that really kept our attention throughout the event. Gamescom coincided with the first playable beta weekend for those who have pre-purchased Heart of Thorns. There was so much added this time around we kept going back for more, each time seeing something completely different. We can’t wait to see Heart of Thorns continue to grow as beta weekends continue in the future.
Best MMO: World of Warcraft
How do you measure impact? At 5.40 pm the hall was half full of World Of Warcraft fans and people eager to see the reveal. I was also there. How do measure success? One measure may simply be this. The utter hush that descended on the crowd. The jump in temperature from so many bodies so close together and excited. World of Warcraft knows how to put on a show and how to work a crowd. They’ve been doing it long enough that you would think people would move on but no. This was passion distilled into a crowd, this was joy waiting for the moment. World Of Warcraft Legion came on the screen and fans went wild.
Best MMO at the show in that moment and nothing else came close to dethroning it.
Best in Show: EA
Okay, we might be cheating a little bit with this one but bear with us for a moment. EA started Gamescom with a fantastic press conference broadcast live around the world. The Star Wars titles sent shivers down our spines and Grass Effect in Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 made us laugh, not to mention the EMPeach. Our hearts were once again stolen by Yarny and Unravel. They may have only had one title that MMOGames would traditionally cover, but with Garden Warfare, and the massive battles of Star Wars Battlefront we may have to start expanding our horizons. Online gaming is ever evolving and that was proven by EA this year.Albion Online, Awards, Destiny, Gamescom, Gamescom 2015, Gigantic, Guild Wars 2, Kingdom Under Fire II, Overwatch, Star Citizen, Star Wars The Old Republic, Sword Coast Legends, Vermintide, World of Warcraft