Gamescom 2014: Microsoft Shows Its Hand

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Steve Anderson
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Gamescom 2014: Microsoft Shows Its Hand

It's easy to forget about Gamescom; after all, it's not E3, it has nothing to do with Penny Arcade, and CES is still almost five months out. But Cologne, Germany's big gaming event packs in the excitement in its own right, and it's bringing the major names out to play. But what came along with the big show? Well, Microsoft had some exciting offerings to put up, and for those expecting more in gaming out of one of the biggest names in console gaming, there's plenty of reason for excitement.

First, Microsoft brought along Remedy Entertainment, the guys who handled “Alan Wake,” one of my personal favorite horror-action titles of recent memory. This time, Remedy's going after the science fiction side of action with its “Quantum Break,” a game in which time isn't quite the constant that it used to be, and is now subject to be moving forward or backward as need be to deal extra damage where required. But given that it's also set to be a television show, this could be quite the title indeed, and it will hit Xbox One when pretty much every other game in the universe is set for release, in 2015.

Also up is a title that fairly screams to be Oculus Rift compatible: “Scream Ride.” A title that's being compared to “Rollercoaster Tycoon,” users get to build an amusement park in a sandbox-style title that allows for rides and other attractions to be built from the ground up. Additionally on tap were “Halo 5: Guardians” multiplayer modes, more from “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”, more from “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” word about the open beta of “Evolve,” and a slew of ID@XBOX titles, which—for those who've forgotten—is Microsoft's indie initiative.

Exciting? Certainly. There's a lot to like in this particular venture, no matter what one's taste happens to be, and we've already seen enough of the ID@XBOX market to be excited about what's coming out there. All told, this was a reasonably good showing for Microsoft, and exactly what it needed to be: heavy on the games, light on the everything else, and a fair followup to its technically sound performance at E3. Admittedly, I'm not exactly over the moon on this one, because frankly, I'm still waiting for word about things like “Dying Light,” “Mad Max” and of course “Fallout 4”. Nothing in here really seemed to have much of that open-world gameplay that I often find myself looking for these days. Still, Microsoft had a reasonably sound showing here and 2015 sounds absolutely stuffed full of games to enjoy for all tastes. But the question that's likely on everyone's lips is just how it fared against Sony, who was also in appearance at the big event.

Only time will tell, of course, and we'll be keeping an eye out with a particular inclination toward comparison, so be sure to join us back here for more on Gamescom!