E3 is done for another year, but that doesn't mean that the big shows and big game reveals are. Now it's Europe's turn. Gamescom 2010 starts in Cologne, Germany tomorrow and runs all week. With the show getting bigger and better every year (it really is the Euro E3 these days), there's going to be plenty that demands your attention.
Exactly how exciting is it going to be? Let us give you our predictions for what's going to be revealed, based on the current state of things and our experiences of being at GCs past. We have 13 of them. And they're all big, and they're all likely.
Duke Nukem Forever by Gearbox
Our thinking: The rumour of Borderlands dev Gearbox Software taking over the aged, ill-fated Duke Nukem Forever project has been kicking around for ages. Take-Two's court case against Duke developer 3DRealms revealed that a second Duke game, Duke Begins, had been in production at Gearbox, and with Take-Two retaining the DNF publishing rights, it's a no-brainer that Gearbox should take over work on 3DR's part-finished game, perhaps even combining the two projects.
With three mystery games mentioned as in development on Gearbox's website, there's plenty of room for Duke. Gearbox's Randy Pitchford has mentioned addressing the rumour at PAX in September, but Gamescom is just weeks before that, so we're hoping for a teaser at least.
Big Valve announcements
Our thinking: Things finally seem to be moving forward with Valve's next set of big projects. Portal 2 has been properly revealed, The House o' Gabe is making big moves toward the PS3, and there's still the lingering matter of that Freeman chap to clear up. So we're expecting more Portal 2 info, more PS3 news (including details of how Steam will work on it, as announced at E3, and possibly a re-release of Left 4 Dead) and maybe, just maybe, the reveal of Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Europe is much bigger PC gaming country than the US, so it would make sense. But then again, we have been using that logic to justify this prediction for the last couple of years of GC already...
PSP Phone or PSP2
Our thinking: One of these has to happen. Gamescom is always a big deal for Sony. It always puts on a big show for Europe, and it always brings a load of new game and hardware announcements that it didn't take to E3. If any new PSP technology is going to be announced this year, it'll be at Gamescom. We're tempted to say it'll be the recently re-rumoured PlayStation phone rather than a full-on PSP2, given E3's bewildering focus on the current PSP's ad campaign, but either way, expect a new shiny black lump of plastic in Jack Tretton's hand come tomorrow's press conference.
Respawn Entertainment reveal
Our thinking: The ex-Infinity Ward bosses are brewing a new franchise, and we're well due for a look at what it is. After riding out the publicity from the fallout with their previous Activision bosses, they gave their profile a boost with an appearance at Quakecon at the weekend, but spectacularly failed to reveal anything in terms of their new project. That feels like a cheeky set-up for a Gamescom announcement for us, so don't be surprised by a reveal at EA's press conference.
Our thinking: We know Resistance 3 is on the way. We know it will have a product placement billboard in the sci-fi movie Battle: L.A. We know that Battle: L.A. is due out in March. So that means Resistance 3's hype campaign has to start soon. There was no sign of it at E3 and we can't see Sony waiting until the Tokyo Game Show to unveil a western-developed shooter. It'll be at Sony's Gamescom press conference. We'll put our lunch money on it.
Big Rockstar reveals
Our thinking: Rockstar wasn't at E3. Rockstar is going to Gamescom. Rockstar isn't going to go to Gamescom simply to promote the Red Dead Redemption DLC. Max Payne 3, L.A. Noire and Agent have all been far too quiet for far too long. We don't expect them to be for much longer.