Gamescom 2020 finally kicked off on August 27, 2020 with a digital opening night which featured a variety of new and announced titles from developers at home. The dawn of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X were also highlighted as over 35 games were given new trailers ahead of a new generation for platforms.
Hosted by Geoff Keighley, the event was also tied to the Summer Game Fest, which became an outlet in collecting every developer’s own digital game event following the cancellation of E3 2020 and other major annual conferences. For Gamescom, the in-person shows were cancelled due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic while Keighley continued to interview developers and transmit updates through Summer Game Fest.
Kicking off Gamescom 2020 was an in-depth update of Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. Viewers discovered more details into the return of Treyarch’s smash-hit setting from the original game in 2010 with a cutscene. Like Black Ops II, the game will also feature multiple endings based on character choices across the campaign. Following the game’s full announcement on Warzone, viewers learned more about Perseus as he was shown in a picture and briefing with CIA operatives Jason Hudson, Alex Mason and Frank Woods.
U.S. President Ronald Regan also made an appearance to brief players of their mission before sending them into enemy territory. As introduced in Infinite Warfare, Black Ops Cold War will feature CG cutscenes in between campaign levels. New character Adler will be joining players across the single player story as its new running and gunning support character, shown leading the investigation behind Perseus.
Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part One is the first story expansion for the demon-slaying sequel. Expanding on the ending, players dive back into hellish landscapes as they descend into a base surrounded by water and new sacred realms to revive a long-dormant beast in the fight against demons. Samuel Hayden also returns to support the Slayer through his ripping and tearing. The Ancient Gods Part One releases for Doom Eternal on October 10, 2020.
Bioware made a return to Gamescom for Dragon Age with some concept art that promoted exploration and fantasy action under a new next generation light. The next game in the series will also feature multiple settings as an opposing force dominates each settlement. This is where players return as a custom character to fight enemies and interact with NPCs who cupport the character. Rough gameplay also showed off over the shoulder third-person-combat and a more streamlined approach to taking enemies down. With a sword and shield, players would be taking on various enemies in one-on-one engagements over the course of the journey. No release date was announced.
Gamescom was briefly crashed by Back to the Future‘s Doc Brown to promote Surgeon Simulator 2. A World Premiere showed off more gameplay with co-op multiplayer making the forefront for even wackier steamer moments. The game was surprised launched immediately for PC over the Epic Games Store.
Happy Giant unveiled a trailer for a brand new Sam & Max title for Gamescom, returning to current generation consoles in a very short tease about the point-and-click adventure series.
World of Warcraft players will be leaving Azeroth and into the Shadowlands as part of its newest DLC, joining a variety of covenants which grant players new skins, items and abilities. In the first of four short films, viewers met Uther as he was slain by Arthas. In the afterlife, he was chosen by a heavenly realm to ferry the souls of the dead into the Shadowlands. Though the darkness was sealed, Uther continued his quest for justice as the denizens of Bastion retrained him through ascension as one of its peaceful agents.
Mentor Devos guided him to let go of his pain across his life, while his soul was damaged by the blade of his student. The Bastion realm convened to identify the threat of Arthas as the Order of the Shadowlands while the case was quickly dismissed be its lead Archon. Uther was given an ascension by Devos, granting the character a new armor and wings to claim Arthas’ soul. After players kicked his butt in WoW, he was cast into the Maw. The comic-styled trailer ended with an opening to pre-purchase the expansion for World of Warcraft. Blizzard announced the Shadowlands expansion release date for October 27, 2020 worldwide.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time received a new Gamescom update close to its October 2020 launch, while the titular character missed his live appearance to explore Germany and encountered the Gamescom bot. “Flashback Tapes” will be added into the game as a “peek back in time” into the 1990’s. This challenging 2D platforming mode is also designed by villain Cortex, while players are given limited platforms to use for completing puzzles. The tapes will be hidden across Cras Bandicoot 4‘s main levels and players have to reach them without dying in order to unlock every one.
A team of two developers released a trailer for Teardown, a fully destructible game which features a brand new engine developed by Tuxedo Labs. Featuring a mix of 3D and 16-bit textures, players can mow, shoot and demolish any structure or object to conduct a heist. Teardown also features driveable vehicles including boats and cars within an empty world.
Horror adventure game Little Nightmares II was given a new trailer, showing off its 2.5D platforming gameplay introduced in the first game. Players will also be escorting a new character as they hide from strange enemies and giant ceramic schoolteachers. They will also be sneaking past a “slender” figure who can teleport behind players if they don’t run fast enough. Little Nightmares II is releasing on February 11, 2021.
Space combat sim Star Wars Squadrons is looking to revive the hype for a Rogue Squadron game, taking players into a story trailer that sets the scene between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Imperial Forces moved in with their collapsing Empire for one last strike on the New Republic before their formation. Over this skirmish, players take on the roles of both squads from the Rebels and Empire. As an Empire TIE Fighter, players were shown piloting the screeching vessel in first person. Its cockpit also featured a HUD, complete with ship status, a map and even a targeting system that puts targets on the screen. Inspired by Dave Filoni’s creations, Squadrons also features appearances by Star Wars Rebels character Hera Syndulla, who will be briefing players on the Rebels side.
The Sims 4 is bringing Star Wars: Journey to Batuu for players, taking them into Disneyland’s attraction while offering new cosmetics and a lightsaber. Players will also be seeing the Outer Rim with a comical Sims makeover, featuring characters such as Kylo Ren and smuggler Hondo. As a Sim, you can also use Star Wars assets to turn your home into a piece of Batuu and own an astromech droid as a pet. The Journey to Batuu DLC for The Sims 4 releases on September 8, 2020.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was given a gameplay trailer at Gamescom, letting players relive the entire series in a family action adventure setting. The trailer showed off a fully-voiced cast and brand new visuals similar to LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens. But the gameplay is tweaked with a focus on third person combat and combos for light, heavy and force attacks. Smugglers and soldiers will be getting a revamped shooting system while The Skywalker Saga features its biggest library of playable characters yet. The game releases on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC in Spring 2021.
Fall Guys Ultimate Knockout Season 2 was announced, subjecting players through a new variety of minigames and third-person platforming/flopping. Its Gamescom exclusive trailer shown with new rounds in a medieval setting. Players have to dodge wooden spikes, navigate moats and run past drawbridges. Players can also earn new skins, including a knight, dragon and princess costume delivered in pieces.
Respawn Entertainment returned to give VR players an update on Medal of Honor: Above And Beyond, reviving the series for the first time since 2012’s Medal of Honor Warfighter. Under a first person WW2 setting, players will be fighting Nazis behind enemy lines, with a story-driven single player campaign. As an OSS agent, players will also be sneaking through hostile bases to collect information and engage in firefights against troops. The game also throws players into a tank and gunship while a fully-voiced cast will interact with them. Its trailer featured cinematic slow-motion sequences which sees players under intense VR gunfights through battlefields and stealth missions.
Various segments will also let players practice OSS espionage away from soldiering such as breaking into safes and assassinating high-profile targets. According to Respawn, the game will be divided into three acts. The beginning will put players in the hands of French forces as they prepared for an invasion into Normandy. The middle part taking players straight into D-Day in VR, while the final act makes players an OSS Agent foiling a Nazi science plan. They will also be living through a seamless experience while the studio state cutscenes are performed in real-time without camera cuts. Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond releases for the Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest Link and Oculus Rift S on Holiday 2020.
Magical battle-royale Spellbreak appeared with a Gamescom trailer, putting players in a new open-ended map as a battlemage. They will also be using a combination of elemental spells to eliminate enemies and become the sole survivor. Spellbreak releases on September 3, 2020 for the Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart received a gameplay demo for the PS5, showing the iconic duo navigate through another sprawling metropolis. The third-person shooting mechanics from the series is intact, requiring players to flip past enemy fire while switching through different weapons. Dr. Nefarious makes a return as the main villain, while he causes havoc with a weapon that can open dimensions.
After the device is destroyed, Ratchet gains an ability to skip through time and space. This also brings in stranger enemies, waiting for players on the other side of each rift. The demo showed flying sandsharks and other prehistoric aliens terrorizing NPCs and enemies across the metropolis. As shown in the PS5 reveal, the Gamescom footage is a much expanded version of the demo and features a signature voice work by James Arnold Taylor who plays Ratchet. Rift Apart is the first original game in the series following the first game’s remake in 2016 as part of the movie.
Clank is separated into another rift, but meets other versions of Ratchet. A female Lombax is teased again at the end of the Gamescom reveal, while her debut at the PS5 reveal sparked a buzz from fans looking forward to Rift Apart. It’s suggested that Clank would be working with different Ratchets to stop Dr. Nefarious’ plans while sewing the universe back together. According to Insomniac Games, players will still be playing as the original Ratchet as he uses a hand tether to teleport around firefights. He will also have an access to a new arsenal of guns with their own upgrade paths. Using the DualSense controller, each weapon will also give different haptics. Grenades could manipulate the controller’s trigger pulls while heavier double-barreled weapons can be pulled halfway or fully for selective shots.
Rift Apart is also a “standalone adventure” which happens after the events of Into the Nexus. Despite Keighley’s best efforts, Insomniac also kept their lips sealed for the female lombax’s name. The game will be releasing into a “launch window” as the PlayStation 5 launches on Holiday 2020.