gamescom Tweet Preview Round-Up

By Matt Bailey

Last week we were in Cologne, Germany for the gamescom convention. With 245,000 visitors it's not only Europe's biggest games event but also the largest in the world, and it's only on its début year (following events in Leipzig previously run by the same people). Almost all the major publishers in Europe were present, including the big three manufacturers (Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony), and names like Activision Blizzard, EA, Bethesda, Eidos, Square Enix, Take-Two, and Ubisoft.

Some games are gaining full previews on the site, such as Brink and Tony Hawk: RIDE, but all games we saw at the end got some coverage on our Twitter feed. We provided a "Tweet preview" - that is, a preview in 140 characters or less - for each game we saw and posted it to Twitter while we were in Germany.

However, in case you don't follow our Twitter feed, or missed the flood of activity, then we've rounded up the lot for you here. There's a few alterations as we're no longer limited by characters, including giving the full name of the items we looked at and the platforms we saw them on.

  • Brink (Xbox 360): Awesome! Dynamic movement, 8-player cooperative play with drop-in functionality, persistent character across game modes with customisation.
  • Tony Hawk RIDE (Xbox 360): Jumps and Manuals are great, grabs were hard to pull off. Gameplay is very much following predefined tracks.
  • Gran Turismo 5 (PlayStation 3): Looks pretty, nicer than GT5: Prologue. Realistic with force feedback steering wheel, now with damage modelling. 10 AI cars, good racing.
  • Shaun White Snowboarding World Trip (Wii): Balance board controls work well. Graphics look Wii-like, 1080 Avalanche looked better on GameCube.
  • Wheelspin (Wii): Wii motion control, full game has GC controller and Nunchuck suport. Controls feel like F-Zero + WipEout + Mario Kart.
  • Gravity Crash (PSN on PlayStation 3): Nice visual style. New take on Moon Lander, but also has optional twin stick controls. Basic gameplay same on PS3 and PSP.
  • Digital Comics (PSN on PSP): Storyboard flow is nice to read. Image quality good.
  • PSP Go: Very small and light. Nicer analogue nub, but shoulder buttons not as good. Quicker loading with no UMD.
  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP): Just like LittleBigPlanet on PS3 (good thing!), though lacks any multiplayer. Animation looks good, and framerate was smooth.
  • Motorstorm: Arctic Edge (PSP): Feels like Excite Truck with gravity (or Motorstorm on PS3). Framerate nice but visual quality compromised. Has lots of snow.
  • Supreme Commander 2 (PC): Still pre-alpha but saw no unit teirs and demo level seemed smaller. Otherwise similar to the original Supreme Commander.
  • Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360): Subtle differences to Halo 3 (you die easier). Firefight mode is enjoyable; spawn in waves, better than Gears of War 2's Horde mode.
  • MAG (PS3): Feels like Battlefield 2/Warhawk. Squad mechanic confusing. Looks nice, plays smoothly. Controls similar to Killzone 2. Objectives also confusing
  • Dead Nation (PSN on PlayStation 3): Top-down twin-stick zombie shooter. Good range of weapons. Takes inspiration from Left 4 Dead: flashlight, look, melee shoving.
  • Uncharted 2 (PlayStation 3): Looks really nice, retains same basic jump-shoot-cover gameplay. Still relies on scripted events, but action flows well.
  • God of War III (PlayStation 3): Essentially God of War II in HD, but with more brutal moves and a new story.
  • Heavy Rain (PlayStation 3): Another impressive looking title. Investigation through the use of magic glasses. Uses quicktime events for the fight sequences.
  • Reflection (DSiWare): Double-screen platformer with character moving in different versions of the world on top and bottom screens.
  • Pop 'n' Rhythm (Wii): Controlled by Remote and Nunchuck, actually works. However, still not quite as responsive as real buttons.
  • Red Steel II (Wii): Not quite as good as trailer, but close. Blocking felt natural, gun aiming was excellent. Targetting a little disorientating.
  • Scribblenauts (DS): Use the ability to summon any object imaginable to complete puzzles. Awesome.
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii): Encourages competition that will end friendships. Also punishes you for lagging behind front player.
  • StarCraft II (PC): Looked very pretty, felt like the original StarCraft. More tutorials for new players. Choice of missions available in campaign.
  • Singularity (Xbox 360): Sci-fi shooter with interesting time-shifting mechanics. Can pull items from other points in time. Some rather fun weapons.
  • Blur (Xbox 360): Colourful arcade racer from Project Gotham Racing developers. Power ups, but no projectile weapons. 20 player drop-in/drop-out online multiplayer racing.
  • Forza 3 (Xbox 360): Simulation racing game, but designed to be accessible. Looks much better than Forza 2, with incredibly detailed new tracks.
  • Lost Planet 2 (PlayStation 3): Similar to original, but now features 4-player online co-op on an epic scale.
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS): Looks like it will be a smooth transfer of the Kingdom Hearts gameplay to the DS.
  • Brütal Legend (Xbox 360): Hack-n-slash action adventure with a metal theme. Main character is very Jack Black; voice acting good and dialogue amusing.
  • Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360): More Mass Effect with improved squad mechanics and very satisfying combat.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360): More action than Battlefield 2; less trudging. Variety of vehicles work well with destructible environment. Good squad integration.
  • RUSE (PC): Tabletop-styled RTS, large in scale, heavily detailed even up close. Summarises large groups of units to give a better overview.
  • Dark Void (Xbox 360): Vibrant sci-fi action adventure with shooting while using jet packs. Contextual cover and movement system, with clear objectives.
  • Need for Speed Nitro (Wii): Arcade racer with excellent motion controls. Features 4 player split-screen, but looks much better in single player.
  • Need for Speed Shift (Xbox 360/PC): Really detailed almost sim, Project Gotham Racing-style racer. Good, agreesive AI opponents. Also a good range of assists available.
  • APB (PC): Unreal Engine 3-powered massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), with proper shooter action and controls and missions that pit you against other players. Grand Theft Auto 4-style driving and cover.
  • Guitar Hero 5 (Xbox 360): Similar note tracks, but now with better in-game menu and drop-in/drop-out multiplayer.
  • Borderlands (Not specified): First person shooter with strong role-playing elements. Gritty cel-shaded art style. Lots of vehicle combat and huge range of weapons.
  • Diablo III (PC): Extremely pretty and easy to pick up. Improved inventory and new quickbar for setting up abilities since Diablo II.

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