GC 09: 23 reasons to be fired up for gamescom

Why the European E3’s awesome games could make this the most exciting event of the year

RAGE (PC, PS3, 360)

John Carmack, the legendary Wolfenstein developer, seems to think this is a pretty big deal, and we’re inclined to agree with him. Somewhat of a cross between MotorStorm and Doom 3, the game combines wide open racing action with tight, corridor shooting. It’s all backed up by id’s cutting-edge new engine and looks stunning. The trailers shown so far have revealed a post apocalyptic world filled with mutants (Fallout 3-style), but are still pretty mysterious. Cologne should shed more light on this exciting, ambitious shooter.

Red Steel 2 (Wii)

We’re about to trot out that most hated of phrases, but Red Steel 2 looks ‘really good for a Wii game’. Ditching the grimy visuals of the original, Ubi Soft have combined an evocative Wild West setting with Wii Motion Plus-enabled sword fighting and a beautiful cell shaded style. We played this recently and the responsiveness of the samurai scrapping really showed the benefit of the Wii’s new peripheral. Gamescom should give us the chance to test our swinging skills on some new rootin’ tootin’ levels.

Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC)

LucasArts have already confirmed this will be playable. So hopefully we’ll be able to drown out the constant sobbing from fanboys of ‘why in the name of Mon Mothma is it an MMORPG?!’ long enough to bring you a preview. Unless you wake up in cold sweats fantasising about jamming pointy things into Jar Jar Binks, the CG trailer released at E3 was amazing. And we’re crossing all our midi-chlorians in the hope this can recreate the magic of Knights of the Old Republic.

Tony Hawk: Ride (PS3, Wii, 360)

While we’re not entirely convinced by this at the moment, there’s no denying Ride has the opportunity to reinvent the skateboard game. The idea of mimicking real skating manoeuvres on Hawk’s board peripheral no doubt has skaters everywhere excited. But it could well be too much of a convoluted effort for those of us weaned on pressing buttons while eating crisps. We’re hoping to get our feet on the game this week to allay those fears, because Ride could yet be something special.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

Nathan Drake’s second Indy-esque adventure looks all set to raise the bar for graphics and production values for this generation. Already looking hugely polished and brimming with the same character that made the original Uncharted so disarming, we’re sure playable code will confirm this as PS3’s best action game.

Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)

The agonising wait for a proper sequel to Twilight Princess might go on, but the unveiling of Spirit Tracks has certainly cushioned the blow. Wisely sticking with Wind Waker’s charming art style, it looks like the game will be home to some of the handhelds’ biggest bosses. The latest trailer showed foes that actually stretched over both screens. We want to know more about how the trains work, though, and we hope Nintendo will reveal more details at gamescom.

Aug 17, 2009

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