Gamescom 2022

The Best Games We Saw And Played At Gamescom 2022

Here are our favourites!

Gamescom has come around and we were fortunate enough to be able to attend the event as media and get our hands around a bunch of new and upcoming titles.

While the enormous size of the event and the limited time we had meant we barely scratched the surface of what was available at Gamescom, we wanted to highlight for you the best stuff that we did manage to get around and that you should be excited for in the near future. We’ve also got some more in-depth previews of certain games, which you can check out under the Gamescom 2022 tag or alternatively we’ll link them under each relevant title below:

Alone in the Dark

The surprises come in twos with Alone in the Dark. Firstly, the fact that we’re getting a new Alone in the Dark game at all, but also that it seems to be shaping up incredibly well. Pieces Interactive are crafting a love letter to the earliest games in the series, taking the tone and as much lore and backstory as they could scrape up to put together a pseudo-reboot/retelling of the original story. The best way I can describe it is a less action-oriented take on the recent Resident Evil remakes that deals more in psychological horror, takes place in a far more colourful setting and has a super-cool “doom jazz” soundtrack.

Take a deeper look at our hands-off impressions here.

Coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC at an unannounced date.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake

SpongeBob SquarePants is back in a brand-new game helmed by the studio that created the excellent Rehydrated remake of Battle for Bikini Bottom. The Cosmic Shake takes SpongeBob and Patrick on an adventure spanning seven distinct worlds based on the beloved, early episodes of the show. It’s got all the charm of a classic SpongeBob platformer with gorgeous visuals and fluid, modern controls, so I really can’t wait to play more.

Take a deeper look at our hands-on impressions here.

Coming to PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC at an unannounced date.

Goat Simulator 3

Ah, Goat Simulator. Normally I would have suggested that the 2014 viral sensation stay in 2014, but I’ve been converted into something of a baa-liever (sorry) after getting some playtime with Coffee Stain North’s impending sequel. It’s still very much a dumb, slapstick physics sandbox but with four-player online co-op, a gigantic map, tons of new mechanics and even a set of story objectives this is poised to be a far richer and more compelling effort.

Take a deeper look at our hands-on impressions here.

Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC on November 17th, 2022.

Kona II: Brume

Kona II: Brume came as a surprise to me at Gamescom, mostly because I had no idea that Parabole’s excellent 2016 narrative adventure game was getting a sequel at all. Like the first game, this one seemingly has you exploring chilly, snow-covered environments and piecing together a sinister mystery. This time around it’s a creepy fog that shares its name with the sequel’s subtitle, and though I didn’t get to see any of it during my hands-on with the game I did get a good feel for the great atmosphere which is helped along by some very nice weather effects.

Though there are some light survival elements like managing your body temperature out in the freezing cold environments, the developers assure me that the narrative mystery is the main focus and the survival stuff can even be turned off. Though there are supposedly some pretty prominent horror aspects, so steer clear if you’re not into that.

Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch and PC at an unannounced date.

Scars Above

To anyone with whom I’ve spoken about Scars Above and made the comparison to Returnal – I retract my statement. Not only is that an unfair comparison when the former was likely well into development before the latter was even revealed, it’s not at all accurate after having tried the game for myself. Unfortunately there’s not a lot I’m allowed to say about this one just yet beyond what you can see in trailers, but I urge anyone with even a passing interest in unique and engaging sci-fi action games to come back once the preview embargo lifts. I promise it’ll be worth your time.

We’ll be publishing a hands-on preview of Scars Above very soon.

Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC in 2023.

High On Life

I’ll be honest, I’d kind of already chalked High On Life up to being a success for me based purely on how much I enjoyed Squanch Games’ last two titles. Despite being ready to forgive any potential pitfalls in gameplay for the sake of the studio’s usual penchant for humour and inventive storytelling over anything else, I was pleasantly surprised during my hands-on session with the game. The section I played seemed incredibly early-game and only gave me access to one of the talking “Gatlian” alien guns (and eventually everyone’s favourite/most hated foul-mouthed and murderous Knifey) but even on a basic level it feels great to play and gives me a lot of hope for the release in December.

Take a deeper look at our hands-on impressions here.

Coming to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC on December 13th, 2022.

Dead Island 2

Although Shannon already got his paws around Dead Island 2 prior to Gamescom and had some great things to say about it, I didn’t want to miss my chance to have a go as well. The demo had me fighting my way through a typical LA wharf park in the dark of night, getting into close-quarter scraps with all manner of terrifying zombies and enjoying the hell out of Deep Silver Dambuster’s fancy new F.L.E.S.H gore technology. It’s a heap of fun with incredibly crunchy and constantly frantic combat that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time – I can’t wait to see how it translates to the more open full game experience.

Let it be known that I also managed to take down the zombie clown boss, Butcho, at the end of the demo. A feat that the development team assured me was a rarity at the show.

You can take a deeper look at Shannon’s hands-on impressions here as well as some words from the developers here.

Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC on February 3rd, 2023.

System Shock

Nightdive Studios has quite a task updating the 1994 classic that spawned spiritual successors in the forms of Deus Ex and Bioshock, but after sitting down to roughly 30 minutes of the game at Gamescom I’m far more impressed with this remake effort than I’d anticipated. The things that initially concerned me going in – early 90s level design being a big one – have turned out to be a refreshing antithesis to the modern single-player FPS format. Getting totally turned around in the claustrophobic hallways of Citadel Station was a blast and the visual treatment that combines the blocky aesthetic of old with modern rendering and lighting techniques grants it a very strong visual identity.

Coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC at an unannounced date.

The Chant

The Chant was another big surprise for me at Gamescom, a game that would’ve otherwise sat firmly in the background of my most anticipated upcoming titles that’s quickly making its way upwards. The creepy, cultish-retreat-in-a-remote-forest vibe combined with exploration, puzzle solving and combat that all have both real world and psychological aspects is a super intriguing prospect and from what I played it’s shaping up quite nicely. I particularly like that the studio has foregone the staple melee and occasional firearm combat of most survival horror games in favour of thematically-appropriate tools like sage sticks and fire lashes, and without dialling down the grotesque factor in its monster designs. Very good stuff.

Coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on November 3rd, 2022.

AEW Fight Forever

Here’s something I didn’t expect – a wrestling game being one of the highlights in all my Gamescom preview sessions. But while I might not be anything close to a wrestling fan, just a short time with AEW Fight Forever proved that there’s something special here. Between the easy-to-pick-up-but-hard-to-master controls and over-the-top tone, it’s a far cry from the attempts at realism and complexity that seem to have soured fans on the WWE 2K games. I have no idea who Kenny Omega is or why his being intimately involved in development is important, but I do know I really enjoyed playing this.

Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch and PC at an unannounced date.

Jagged Alliance 3

There’s a really cool theme here of games taking me completely by surprise, either because I couldn’t be sure of their quality or simply because they existed in a genre that I’m not overly familiar with. Jagged Alliance 3 falls mostly into the latter category, especially because I was far too young when the original released for PC in 1996. I remarked to the team at Haemimont Games after being shown a hands-off preview of the game that the first thing I wanted to do was go home and check out the first two entries – if they’re even half as deep and engaging of tactical RPGs as the upcoming sequel is then I’m sure to love them.

With seriously impressive dynamic storytelling amongst a plethora of unique mercenaries, some wonderfully designed turn based combat and a balls-out 80s action movie aesthetic I’m definitely going to be saving my pennies for a capable gaming PC before this one hits.

Coming to PC at an unannounced date.

Gungrave G.O.R.E

I vaguely remember bits and pieces of the original Gungrave games on the PS2, but if you asked me what they’re about at all I definitely couldn’t tell you. What I do remember is that they were cool as hell, something that looks to continue in superb form in this very belated follow-up, including the part where I have no idea what’s going on. All you really need to know about Gungrave G.O.R.E is that it never stops. The team at Iggymob explained to me during my hands-on demo that their aim was to make sure that combat in the game is relentlessly thrilling, and that it never stops. After making my way through one of the game’s early levels I can say with confidence they’re nailing that idea so far.

Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC at an unannounced date.

Sonic Frontiers

I know it’s a contentious topic and the general sentiment is leaning more towards boot than toot, but I’m still excited for the release of Sonic Frontiers this year. That’s been further cemented after checking out a special press-only demo at Gamescom, different from the one on the consumer show floor. I spent a good 30-40 minutes speeding around the game’s second island, a desert-themed landscape packed with all manner of unique enemies and challenges (and Knuckles the Echidna!).

We’ll be publishing a hands-on preview of Sonic Frontiers as well as an interview with Producer, Takashi Iizuka, very soon.

Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch and PC on November 8th, 2022.

Evil West

I don’t know what I was expecting from Evil West, the latest from Shadow Warrior developers Flying Wild Hog, but it certainly wasn’t for it to be my personal Game of the Show. My hands-on demo was a balls-to-the-wall thrill ride through a bandit-infested Wild West mining town and then a vampire-infested mine, topped off with a brutal boss fight that showcased the game’s meaty and satisfying melee/shooting combo. If you like third person shooters or melee action games and don’t have this one on your radar – fix that right now.

Take a deeper look at our hands-on impressions here.

Coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC at an unannounced date.

A Plague Tale: Requiem

A Plague Tale: Innocence was a very pleasant surprise for a lot of people when it released in 2019, and for good measure. Excellent storytelling combined with compelling and unique gameplay hooks made it far more enjoyable than its budget and status would typically imply. That’s why it’s great that Asobo Studio now has the backing to return with a bigger, better sequel and from what I played at Gamescom it raises the bar in just about every way. My time in the game’s six chapter saw me making my way through gorgeous environments from a forest pilgrim community to a quarry packed with enemy soldiers, the majority of whom I was able to gruesomely eliminate with Hugo’s new ability to control small hordes of rats and use them as a living weapon.

We’ll be publishing a hands-on preview of A Plague Tale: Requiem very soon if you’re keen to know even more.

Coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on October 18th, 2022.

The Author of this article attended Gamescom as a guest of PLAION.