Trade shows like Gamescom are full of familiar faces: there are sequels and spin-offs to enduring franchises, and games that we've been hearing about at these shows for what seems like forever. Sure, a new Tomb Raider is cool, but these trailers and hands-on experiences tend to overshadow what's actually new. And at this year's Gamescom, some pretty intriguing new titles were revealed. Whether you want to explore beautiful, wild landscapes or build a terrifyingly futuristic rollercoaster, the future of gaming includes a lot more than the next Call of Duty and its collapsing bridges.
Life is Strange
From the same studio behind the cyberpunk adventure Remember Me, Life is Strange is the latest game to mimic television, focusing on narrative-driven action and an episodic structure. It stars a young student with the ability to rewind time, a power she uses to help find her missing friend. No word yet on when the game will be launching.
Michel Ancel is best known for games like Rayman and the cult hit Beyond Good & Evil, but his new title is something completely different. Called Wild, the PlayStation 4 exclusive is described as an "online survival adventure game" set 10,000 years in the past, when people and nature lived in tandem. We're not quite sure how it plays, but it sure looks beautiful.
While various Bioware studios are hard at work on new Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, the developer's Austin studio is making something brand new. Shadow Realms is a PC-only online action game, that has you teaming up with four other players to take on some kind of evil force. The Bioware name is synonymous with storytelling, but Shadow Realms looks to put the focus mainly on action.
Generic name aside, there's plenty of reasons to be excited about Hellblade. It comes to us from Ninja Theory, the studio behind the excellent Enslaved and the recent reboot of Devil May Cry. The first teaser shows off exactly the kind of darkly beautiful world you'd expect from the studio, and Hellblade promises to offer the same style of exciting combat as games like DmC.
Remember Roller Coaster Tycoon? Now imagine someone made a crazy, sci-fi version of the game for Xbox One that let you create coasters that were both ridiculous and destructive. That's Screamride.
Ruffian Games — the studio behind Crackdown 2, which was founded by team members from the original Xbox 360 favorite Crackdown — is back with a new futuristic action game called Hollowpoint. It doesn't look quite as over-the-top as Crackdown, but the co-op action still looks like a lot of fun. It's due to hit the PC and PS4 some time next year.
The Tomorrow Children
Q-Games is best known for its quirky Pixeljunk series of games, but its next PS4 project is something very different, and a whole lot more ambitious. Called The Tomorrow Children, the game tasks you with rebuilding and repopulating the Earth after a disaster wiped out much of the planet. It also features cooperative online features, so that you can share your rebuilt world with other players.
Housemarque makes some of the best shooters around — including PS4 launch title Resogun — and the upcoming Alienation looks to continue that trend. The game looks like a yet another twin-stick shooter, but set in a ridiculous and violent sci-fi world. It might not be the most original premise, but it looks like a lot of fun.