With Gamescom winding down in Germany and all the major studios basking in the buzz that comes from their latest big trailer drops, it’s a good time to gather the best of the best all in one convenient spot. We don’t have long to pause and take a breath before PAX West, the next major convention where more details are likely to emerge, brings all the gaming goodness back to our shores.
In the meantime, let’s take a video tour through the gaming highlights that Gamescom has left in its wake.
First up is one of the most anticipated gaming comebacks ever — at least, until Valve decides the Half-Life franchise is ripe for a revival. Announced in 2015 as a crowdfunding project, then quickly blazing on to become the most rapidly-funded gaming effort ever to hit Kickstarter, Shenmue 3 showed up at Gamescom with a release date (Aug. 27. 2019) and a new story trailer to whet our appetites for the adventures of Ryo Hazuki, who leaves his native Japan on a cross-China hunt for his father’s killer. Shenmue 3 arrives next summer for PlayStation 4 and PC.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Square Enix was all over Gamescom with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, saturating the week with previews not only of in-game mechanics like Lara Croft’s new crafting and inventory system, but also flaunting the game’s graphical prowess on PC, where the studio’s touting native 4K resolution, HDR, high-quality anti-aliasing, “and many other high-end features.” Shadow of the Tomb Raider brings Lara Croft back for her twelfth adventure this Sept. 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Bethesda took the playful approach to its Fallout 76 rollout at Gamescom, releasing a gameplay-free clip that stars everyone’s favorite Vault Boy in a feel-good propaganda PSA that explains the online game’s C.A.M.P. (Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform) base-creation feature. Settlement building and resource hoarding are set to be major strategic components of Fallout 76’s gameplay, and this animated clip will have you wanting to enlist in the Vault-Tec builders’ corps (if only there were such a thing) to help make the woods of West Virginia ground zero in the campaign, as Bethesda puts it, to craft “a new American dream.” Fallout 76 is heading to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC this Nov. 14.
If Fallout’s wasteland is as American as Apple Pie, then its post-apocalyptic counterpart in the budding Metro franchise is as Russian as a Fabergé egg. Metro Exodus, the followup to 2013’s Moscow subway tunnel-crawling Metro: Last Light, set its crossbow sights on evoking the upcoming first-person shooter’s woodland survival horror vibe with its super-creepy Gamescom trailer. When night falls in the Ural Mountains, the mutated wildlife may be a bigger threat than the mutated people. Metro Exodus is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Feb. 22 of next year.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Aside from the killer next-gen graphics and detailed feudal Japanese aesthetic, the big takeaway in developer FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is how brutally difficult it looks. But coming from the creators of the infamously challenging Souls series, that’s a feature — not a bug. Sekiro unveiled a super-atmospheric trailer earlier during Gamescom week, then followed it up with this five-minute clip of wall-to-wall gameplay with superheroic platforming elements that make walking around in the Souls games feel, suddenly, like puttering along on a kick scooter. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice slashes onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC beginning March 22 of 2019.
In addition to these, you’ve probably already caught a glimpse of some the other killer Gamescom trailers we’ve covered elsewhere — like Just Cause 4, Devil May Cry 5, and the Resident Evil 2 remake. Take a good look, then start prioritizing: it’s hard to envision where we’ll find a break from all the killer games we’ll be getting — not only this fall, but well into 2019.