The press days of Gamescom have come to an end yesterday, and for now we only shared a fraction of the many, many games we saw. With only two public days left, it’s time to name our winners for the show.
As usual, remember that the winners below reflect our personal feelings and opinions. It’s perfectly ok if you disagree, and have your own list. As a matter of fact, feel free to post it in the comments.
That said, let’s get down to business, we have some stars to deliver.
Game of the Show: Sea of Thieves (Rare – Microsoft Game Studios)
Best Xbox One Game
Best PC Game
Best First Party Game
Best Adventure Game
It’s a little difficult to notice without playing it, but Sea of Thieves really has enormous potential. It looks gorgeous, and anyone can see that, but there is much more to it.
Naval combat is absolutely fantastic. It’s a mix of collaboration, tactical thinking and old plain guts. It definitely isn’t limited to just shooting your cannons. The helmsman’s prowess and the coordination of the men handling the angle of the sails to get the best out of the wind generate an extremely compelling gameplay mechanic.
The moment you manage to place your ship in a position that allows you to bring down a full broadside on an enemy while preventing them to shoot at the same time (a traditional maneuver that seamen call “crossing the T”), you’ll feel like a god. Try to resist the temptation to scream “FIRE!!!” into the mic if you can. I couldn’t.
A beta is coming, and soon many of you will be able to play is at well, but for now Sea of Thieves gets our golden star, and the most awards that we have ever given to a single game during any show.
Best PS4 Game: NieR: Automata (PlatinumGames – Square Enix)
also: Best RPG
NieR was a charming game, but NieR: Automata seems to have the potential to surpass it in basically every aspect. With PlatinumGames providing its trademark stylish action, Akihiko Yoshida bringing his beautiful character design, Keiichi Okabe’s music and the visionary direction of Yoko Taro, the pieces are really starting to fall in place.
The moment in which the timed demo ended, I felt sad (because I wanted to play more and master the awesome combat system) and energized at the same time.
We’re slowly uncovering more and more about the story and the androids that populate it, and I’m already hooked.
Best Wii U Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
Link’s latest adventure still has quite a bit to prove compared to the rest of the genre and to games on other platforms, but it certainly has the potential to be a great Zelda game.
It’ll most probably be the Swan Song of the Wii U, and if what we’ve seen so far is any indication, it’s gonna be a hell of a sendoff.
Best PS Vita Game: World of Final Fantasy (Square Enix)
Semi-classic Final Fantasy with an absolutely super-cute re-imagination of some of the franchise’s most beloved characters.
It’s basically impossible not to love World of Final Fantasy. We know we do, and so should you.
Best 3DS Game: Pokémon: Sun and Moon (Game Freaks – Nintendo)
Another Pokémon is coming (well, technically two but…), and the content keeps piling up. From what we have seen so far, it’s destined to kick everyone’s rear in the fall Japanese charts for the traditional couple of months.
It’ll be probably do well in the west as well, so expect the Pokémania to come back full force in November.
Best Shooter Game: Battlefield 1 (EA Dice – Electronic Arts)
The shooter category was crowded this year, and the competition was very, very close. Ultimately, Battlefiel 1 narrowly came back on top from at least four games that would have been worthy of the award.
But alas, we have only one award to give, and Battlefield 1‘s absolutely stunning and extremely fun desert map brings it home. And the horses… oh the horses… They’re unbelievably fun. If you see one available on the battlefield, grab it.
As a cavalryman you might not be as powerful as a tank driver, but you won’t just have more fun, but you’ll even look a hell of a lot cooler.
Best Sports Game: Steep (Ubisoft Annecy – Ubisoft)
No. This isn’t football, but Ubisoft’s mountains are a spectacle to see, and extremely fun to explore.
They’re also rather hellish to descend, because Steep is not an easy game. After all, you’re tackling the Alps. It’s supposed to be a challenge, and the game definitely doesn’t shy away from putting a tree in your flight path.
Best Platformer: ReCore (Comcept/Armature Studios – Microsoft Game Studios)
Recore is a game that oozes charm from every pixel. Joule is awesome, and her corebots are even more awesome.
At Gamescom, we have seen how to customize them, and I can’t wait to see how my mechadog, mechaspider and mechagorilla will turn out.
Best Racing Game: Forza Horizon 3 (PlayGround Games – Microsoft Game Studios)
Forza Horizon 3 looks the part and plays the part. It also provides a large open world to explore and conquer with your driving skills.
We have enjoyed the hell out of the first two Forza Horizon games, but third time appears to be the charm.
Best Fighting Game: Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco)
Tekken 7 had plenty of time to mature in the Japanese arcades, and now it’s ready to make the jump to consoles.
It’s fast, powerful, and fun. It also comes with a large story mode for those (like me) who suck at fighting games but still enjoy them and their narratives.
Best Strategy Game: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III (Relic Entertainment – Sega)
It’s back baby! The most relevant Warhammer 40,000 video game series is now reborn from the ashes of THQ.
While Gabriel Angelos remains a fan favorite, the Imperial knight Solaria seem to be ready to take over, and she’s as badass as they come.
Want a strong female heroine? Try one at the core of a metal giant hundreds of feet tall, armed with gatlings the size of skyscrapers.
Best Indie Game: The Sexy Brutale (Tequila Works/Cavalier Game Studios)
The Sexy Brutale is definitely a sexy game (not in the dirty way, you pervs), but it’s also an extremely intriguing one.
While it has just been announced, and we’ll probably see a lot more in the future, what we have seen so far appears to be a winner. It sure won our indie award.
Biggest Shocker Special Award: Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix)
The Biggert Shocker award goes to the game that really surprised us. Final Fantasy XV did. Considering that it has been delayed, you would expect it to be a bit rough around the edges, but it simply isn’t.
The beginning of the game was playable at the show, and it was absolutely fantastic. The full thing isn’t so far off, and if this demo is any indication, with further polish on top of it, we’re in for a real treat.
This award is also special, as it comes with a second meaning, representing our respect for taking a decision that certainly mustn’t have been easy, and that most studios and publishers probably wouldn’t have had the guts to take.