Yesterday the first GamesCom trade fair in Cologne opened the gates for the trade visitors and I took the opportunity to get my hands on several upcoming games.
After playing a first session of Diablo 3 (which was really great) I testet DJ Hero and Tony Hawk: Ride. Both games will ship with new interface gadgets – one being a small-sized plastic turntable and the other being a skateboard without wheels. I was very sceptical when I first heard the announcement of DJ Hero but after playing it I must admit that it is really fun. Scratching felt really precise and the hardware looked much better than the first prototypes. The overall turntable looks robust but from my first impression the mixer could be a potential weak spot.
The skateboad controller of Tony Hawk: Ride looked and felt tough too but I was not very happy with the gameplay of the attached game. It felt like a skateboard game on rails with action events in between where you have to perform tricks at the right moment. I think this game will work pretty well for casual gamers but fans of the Tony Hawk series will perhaps be disappointed about the lack of freedom and control.
The PSP Go looked a bit smaller than I thought but I was surprised how well the sliding mechanism works. Still I think it was a wrong descision by Sony to use only one analogue stick for the console but the overall impression of the handheld was very positive.
Surprisingly the console version of EA`s Dragon Age looked really bad – both in terms of graphics and character control. I thought I would definitely buy this one, but now I am quite sceptical that this one will be as successful as Mass Effect 2 (which made a far better impression).
Heavy Rain looked really good but played a bit strange since the control scheme is very untypical – I hope this feeling will fade after playing some time because graphics and story really make me wanna play this one. Other games I can recommend to test at GamesCom are God of War 3, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Pixeljunk Shooter, RUSE, Starcraft 2 and the already mentioned Diablo 3 (and I am pretty sure that I forgot at least 10 more titles…).
Compared to last year`s GC at Leipzig the GamesCom at Cologne seems to be a bit smaller and has – except of the official unveiling of the PS3 Slim – less big news than the GC 2008. But if you are into games and have time to visit the GamesCom till Sunday I strongly recommend you to go there.
Thx to factoids@flickr for the pics!