I didn’t get to go to Gamescom 2022 so I haven’t been able to play any of the games but I did get to watch all the coverage from the comfort of my living room, experiencing them precariously through proper videogame journalists. It’s exactly how I decide what to play every other time of the year and Gamescom 2022 has been no different.
Below are my 5 favourite games from Gamescom 2022 (and 2 games I’m happy to avoid), each with their own tenuous accolade.
Top 5 Gamescom 2022 Games
Most Anticipated: Planet of Lana
This one is a bit of a cheat as I’ve been anticipating Planet of Lana for a while now, so although it didn’t make its debut at Gamescom 2022 I wanted to give it a quick mention. Planet of Lana looks like a chill action-adventure that won’t ask too much of me, other than to crack environmental puzzles and brainteasers. I’m also a dog man, so I reckon I’ll take great pleasure in bossing around a cute alien cat. It also has the juxtaposition of nature and technology, which I’ve always found fascinating.
I agree that Planet of Lana isn’t the most fascinating game on the show floor but its fantasy sci-fi setting and its relaxed playstyle makes it my most anticipated game.
Most Capitalist: Park Beyond
I’m a sucker for a theme park sim but they never translate well to console. Hopefully, Park Beyond manages to overcome this hurdle because it looks like you’ll be able to build the batshit insane type of theme parks I wanted to in Rollercoaster Tycoon. Although there are statistics to monitor, Park Beyond feels like it’ll embrace the arcade style over a realistic management one. The gameplay trailer and website promise plenty of freedom and creativity when it comes to building rollercoasters, and although I don’t mind the coasters being the main focus I pray to the videogame gods that Bandai Namco doesn’t drop the ball on all the other features that make theme parks the best places to be.
Best New IP: Atlas Fallen
When I first saw the cinematic reveal trailer for Atlas Fallen I thought it looked more like a sequel to Lords of the Fallen than The Lords of the Fallen did. However, as there is no gameplay footage out in the wild yet I have had to rely on the informative words of IGN’s Simon Cardy. From what Cardy has described, Atlas Fallen sounds like an action-RPG with slick sand-surfing mobility and enemies that need to be weakened one limb at a time (a mechanic not dissimilar to how Aloy defeats robot dinosaurs in Horizon).
Cinematic trailers are always misleading but from what Cardy has told us, Atlas Fallen sounds like it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Best Indie of Gamescom: The Last Case of Benedict Fox
Sometimes you’ve got to follow your heart instead of your head. Truth be told, I’ve been burned in the past for doing just that but something about The Last Case of Benedict Fox feels right. First of all, it looks absolutely beautiful. The use of lighting and colour paints a twisted, broken world that I can’t wait to explore. The way the in-game map opens up gives me goosebumps. I adore how the weapon inventory is contextualised as Benedict getting enchanted tattoos. To top it all off, it’s a Metroidvania!
So far, The Last Case of Benedict Fox sounds like the perfect game, and that’s why it’s my favourite game of Gamescom 2022.
Best Sequel of Gamescom: The Lords of the Fallen
I hate the Soulslike genre with two exceptions: The Surge and Lords of the Fallen. There’s no arguing that the storytelling and world-building aren’t on par with FromSoftware but in my humble opinion, The Surge has a cooler setting than Dark Souls, and Lords of the Fallen is a poor man’s Bloodborne – and I’m broke!
The long-awaited sequel to Lords of the Fallen has finally been given a release date for sometime in 2023, and it has also been given the confusing name of The Lords of the Fallen. Although a direct sequel, it feels more like a soft reboot to me, especially with the absence of an interesting title with the number 2 at the end of it – Creative director Cezar Virtosu even calls it a ‘spiritual successor’ so I suppose that puts any speculation to bed.
Regardless, the excitement is real and I can’t wait to see more from The Lords of the Fallen, and I can’t wait to see how everyone inevitably shreds it to pieces for being a Demon’s Souls clone.
Gamescom 2022 Games to Avoid
Before I explain why I’m not looking forward to the following 2 games, I want to clarify that I don’t think either of them will be terrible titles. In fact, everything I’ve seen from both games looks great but there are a couple of reasons why I’m throwing them in the sin bin.
Least Interesting: The Callisto Protocol
Obviously inspired by the great Dead Space, The Callisto Protocol is an action-horror survival game set aboard a spaceship with mutating alien zombies that need their limbs removed. At Gamescom 2022, efforts were made to distance itself from Dead Space (probably because Dead Space is being rebooted) by showing off the stealth mechanics. Behind closed doors, journalists got to see even more by getting a sneak-peek at the detailed weapon upgrading workbench system.
Problem is, the more I see of The Callisto Protocol the less interested I become, and the more I long for the return of Isaac and the Necramorphs.
Most Disappointing: Lies of P
Lies of P is my most disappointing game of Gamescom 2022 at no fault of its own. It’s an adaptation of Pinocchio the likes that have never been seen. Pinocchio is a handsome cyborg-puppet-boy who beats up evil cyborg-puppet-boys. I got Nier: Automata vibes, which was awesome because I liked the hack-and-slash nature of Nier: Automata, and it looked like Lies of P had that.
Lies of P was full of potential and intrigue but then an 11-minute peek under the hood left little to be desired. Lies of P is another soulslike, and all of that potential melted away like a snowball in a microwave.
I probably won’t ever give Lies of P a try but I will be more than happy to spend several hours watching RKG rinse it.
Until Gamescom 2023…
That’s my brief summary of Gamescom but I would love to hear what you think. Let me know your favourite games you saw at Gamescom 2022 in the comments below.