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Gamescom 2018 from the eyes of a first timer

On August 21st and 22nd I attended Gamescom in Cologne. I got to play a ton of games. I met a lot of interesting people. I walked a lot. Here I’m going to show some photos, talk about some games and generally discuss the entire experience. I’ll start by saying, if you love video games: Go to Gamescom. It’s like a religious experience. There are thousands of people here who all love the things you love. You’ll see all kinds of merchandise, from every franchise you can think of. You’ll be able to play anything you think of. Whether it’s waiting hours to go hands on with Smash or walking up to a quiet indie booth and playing something unique. There is so much going on here and all of it is amazing. There’s beer and food all over the place, you’ll get free stuff handed to you, you’ll bump into developers and media personalities and best of all you’ll get to play something that you’re excited for.

The Booths

The booths are incredible. Whether they’re intimate little stands like the Spyro the Dragon one pictured here or massive sprawling sets like the including Fallout 76 booth, the variety is amazing. One of the most interesting was Fortnite. This featured six challenges and if you completed three you’d be granted an exclusive in game item. These challenges included riding a bull, a zip line, obstacle course and more. It was a really impressive set up that people flocked towards. Microsoft’s booth was an example of practicality. The games they had on show were incredibly strong, from indies like Below to huge titles like Devil May Cry 5. It was a really excellent set up. Moving away from this there are small experiences like Football Manager 2019’s press conference or Overkill’s The Walking Dead’s set that replicated a survivor’s hideout. These are unique and feel really cool to be inside. Then there’s the abundance of photo opportunities. I missed the majority of these due to time constraints but the Sekiro statue included is one of them. There were gladiators straight from Assassin’s Creed roaming around, operators from The Division 2 and so much more.

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The Games

There are so many games. I played so many games. We’re going to have plenty of content on all of these going forward but for now here’s a quick run down of the highlights just from the show floor. Forza Horizon 4 really made a strong impression. The weather effects are stunning and add a lot to the racing experience. Biomutant makes a wonderful first impression. The world is so unique that I can’t wait to spend more time in it. Metro Exodus feels like it could be special. There’s a real world that you can manipulate to your advantage both for exploration and combat. Finally there are smaller stands everywhere. These include intriguing indie games like Planet Alpha from Team 17 or AAA releases that are really close such as Dragon Quest XI or Dark Souls Remastered on Switch.

The People

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You might not be aware of this but I’m from Scotland. I’m very Scottish. Thanks to this it made me almost impossible to understand. Despite this, the people were lovely. This includes the event staff who manned the many game booths and concession stands and the other show attendees. Also lovely? Industry people and personalities. Pete Hines? Wonderful guy. IGN’s Rory Powers? As nice as he seems. A Scottish Activision rep was happy to stand and talk to me about Sekiro and the downsides of our accent. Two reps from video game accessory maker Venom showed me their product range and were absolutely fantastic. These aren’t boring business meetings. These are people who love what they do and exude passion. I played Devil’s Hunt alongside the game director and he was genuinely interested in my opinion and feedback as we spoke and played.

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Business Area

Where the magic happens. Hidden away from the masses there were four more giant halls with plenty of gaming goodness. Here you’ll find all of the PR, the developers, the publishers and their varied representatives. It’s a real gaming industry who’s who. One minute you could be playing an indie game, like the incredible Blazing Chrome from Arcade Crew and the next you’ll be standing next to Bethesda’s Pete Hines. As you make your way from appointment to appointment you’ll be absolutely knackered, you’ll forget names, you’ll get lost and you’ll be desperate for a drink – but you’ll get it. The booths are incredibly welcoming. Whether it was the THQ bar situated outside the cinema where I was treated to a presentation or the branded cans of lager handed out at the 1C booth, there’s something to keep you going. Then there’s the secret weapon of this section: the merch. Visit a booth and you’ll be treated to some really unique and intriguing objects. Again, it’s an incredibly wonderful, positive experience.

The Experience

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It’s really incredible. For any gamer it is totally worth it. The arena is a total paradise for any gamer that is completely tailored to the event. It is also massive. Getting around is no easy task. Luckily I had my phone in my pocket all day counting steps. On the Tuesday alone I walked nearly 20 kilometers. My phone died by the way, so that’s not even including a couple of hours while I left it to charge. It also doesn’t include the time I was in appointments. Which was most of the day. You’ll be so engrossed by everything going on that you’ll forget to eat or drink despite the numerous vendors. I did get myself a ‘Red Bull muffin’ on Tuesday morning though. It was… unique.

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All in all? It was amazing. I’d love to go again and hopefully I will return in the future. For now though it’s time to put the work in and cover all of the amazing titles on show! You can find my first preview, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, right here. Stick to thelootgaming.com for all your gaming news and reviews.