Goodness, Gamescom is here already. How did that happen? The yearly German gaming show is back in action, and features the ever-present Geoff Keighley and a smorgasbord of videogame announcements, trailers, updates, and news. There are few better ways to catch a glimpse into some of the biggest upcoming games of 2022 and beyond, and Gamescom’s kickoff event Opening Night Live certainly didn’t disappoint on that score.
In case you missed the show, or you went out for a snack during your favourite game announcement, below we’ve rounded up absolutely everything revealed at Gamescom’s ONL show. Have a read of everything that’s coming up, and then sound off in the comments below with your opinions!
All the Gamescom Opening Night Live trailers and announcements
Opening Night Live lived up to its intention and got Gamescom off to a roaring start, with over 30 game announcements that gave us a lovely sneak peek at what’s around the corner for games over the next couple of years. Feel free to skip ahead to any game trailer you like using the below list!
“I’m sure you’ve got a tonne of questions,” Geoff Keighley states after our first glimpse of Everything, a brand new game by developers Build A Rocket Boy. And, well, he’s right. That was a trailer that didn’t give much away. What we did get a glimpse at was concept art of some rather lovely-looking alien landscapes, and a lot of talk about player-driven worlds and experiences. Sounds… Intriguing? That’s really all we can say at this point.
It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere… oh wait, wrong blockbuster sci-fi franchise! But just like sand, Dune does seem to be everywhere these days, and now it turns out we’re getting a brand new survival MMO using this doughty IP. That’ll go nicely with the new movie, new board game, and probably a bunch of other new multi-media spin-offs I’m forgetting too.
The Callisto Protocol is one of the big names on the horizon – an eerie survival horror game by Striking Distance Studios. Their latest trailer gave us some gameplay of the player walking down a suitably dark and ominous mechanical corridor and fighting some zombies. What makes these zombies different is the occasional tentacle that shoots out from their wounds as they’re damaged. Apparently you need to shoot those tentacles or kill the zombie in time, or they’ll mutate into something much stronger and more dangerous.
Usually games with such a strong horror vibe revel in making you feel powerless. But in The Callisto Protocol, the protagonist seems pretty strong, using their telekinetic powers at every opportunity to toss zombies into handily positioned grinders. It’ll be interesting to see how much you end up feeling the sense of threat.
Some dark fantasy warfare on display in The Lords Of The Fallen. I may struggle to tell my Elden Rings from my Shadow Of Wars at a glance, but I know a zombie apocalypse and a rocking soundtrack when I encounter one. Going toe-to-toe with shambling giants and corrupted gods certainly ups the stakes in this reboot-with-a-hint-of-sequel to a 2014 Soulslike of the same title that (I’ll be honest) I hadn’t heard of until just now.
Physics-based couch-mover Moving Out 2 is coming in 2023
They said I could become anything I wanted… So I became a F.A.R.T. The sequel to 2020’s physics-based couch co-op furniture moving simulator, Moving Out 2’s new trailer showcases some crazy conveyor-belt-filled levels where players wrestle fruitlessly with gravity and each other in their attempts to move sofas and other oversized pieces of furniture to their rightful destinations. Those wishing to become Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technicians will have to wait for the game’s release in 2023.
A follow-up to the story-based Borderlands spin-off born from the sadly defunct development arm of Telltale Games, the confusingly titled New Tales From The Borderlands is being helmed by parent series developers Gearbox Software and looks set to deliver on everything we love about the series. I’m always well up for more Borderlands and/or more narrative adventure games, so a bit of both is bound to hit the spot. And, with an October 21st release date, you won’t have to wait too long to satisfy that appetite.
Dying Light 2: Bloody Ties brings arena combat to the zombie apocalypse
Fans of Techland’s largest open-world parkour zombie game will be happy to see, well, more Dying Light 2. The Bloody Ties DLC seems to centre around an arena where combatants willingly (or unwillingly?) fight to the death. The trailer was suitably bombastic, bloody, and filled with fiery explosions and carefully crafted first-person animations. I particularly like the one of the player being thrown backwards and falling through the floor. Very dynamic. Good job Techland.
Tortuga: A Pirate’s Tale is a new game from the Port Royale devs
Ooh, a pirate game. We like pirate games here at RPS. This trailer (which we’re still trying to find a nice clean version of) went by in a flash but it looks like this’ll be more Sid Meier’s Pirates than Sea Of Thieves once you get down to the nitty-gritty, which makes for a nice change of pace. I’m also unclear on whether this IP is linked to 2003’s Tortuga: Pirates Of The New World, although I can confirm it’s coming from the developers behind the Port Royale series, a pirate-themed strategic trading game franchise.
Marauders shows off some space pirates with STENs
Ooh, another pirate game. Except this time it’s a space pirate game with a very dieselpunk aesthetic. Marauders is a multiplayer first-person looter shooter set in space, where pirates armed with WW2-era weaponry (because… reasons) must embark on raids on enemy ships to steal loot, while also protecting their salvage from other pirates who might be nearby. The trailer didn’t show too much beyond a few nice shots of spaceships, and a whole lot of shooting, but it still caught my eye as one to watch out for.
Destiny 2’s latest DLC, Lightfall, is coming in February
Following on from the Destiny 2 showcase earlier tonight, we got another look at Destiny 2: Lightfall. This DLC-slash-Season 20 is due in six months’ time, and assures us that an end is approaching. It does look suitably epic, but also I’m a little dubious of the claim that a game that’s run to 20 seasons already will be content to just stop there at a nice round number. The neon metropolis of Neptune does look pretty cool though; it’s about time Destiny got a cyberpunk city.
Everyone’s favourite superspeed spine-covered mammal is returning with Sonic: Frontiers, whose 8th November 2022 release date was announced with a surprisingly dramatic trailer. We were treated to glimpses of some vibrant and varied biomes that quickly became blurred thanks to the titular hedgehog’s legendary speed.
BioShock vibes yay, Quantic Dreams ehh-nay were my first impressions upon seeing this trailer for the undeniably stunning Under The Waves. Not much information in this initial announcement/teaser trailer, but don’t worry, it doesn’t look like David Cage has his hands anywhere near this, as Quantic Dream are simply publishing this rather than developing it. Instead, it’s being made by Parisian team Parallel Studio and will be a deep sea exploration of both grief and the ocean. So many mixed feelings to work through ahead of this game’s vague 2023 release date!
Goat Simulator 3 is headbutting its way into November
Goat Simulator 3 is the second (not the third) instalment of the Goat Simulator franchise. If that irritates you, then it’s probably not your kind of game. Possibly the most ridiculous trailer of the entire evening showcased the titular goat getting up to all sorts of hi-jinks, ramming passers-by, climbing up gigantic vines, destroying cars with laser-beam eyes, and so on. 17th November 2022 is the slated release date for Coffee Stain’s new sandbox adventure game.
Hooray, more pirates! And what’s more, these swashbucklers bring an extremely welcome release date as part of their booty. On September 19th (a.k.a. International Talk Like A Pirate Day), Ron Gilbert’s long-awaited follow-up to the classic ’90s point-and-click series will see the light of day. In typical Gilbert fashion, there will be a mandatory pre-order bonus (horse armour!) to appease modern marketing demands, but it is guaranteed not to have any in-game benefits or effects whatsoever. Delightful.
Oh, hello! It’s Brandon Sanderson! I was just reading one of his novels earlier today. That’s kinda neat. What’s even neater is he’s here to talk about Moonbreaker, the new IP by Unknown Worlds, the devs behind Subnautica. Having seen the trailer, well, it certainly doesn’t look anything like Subnautica.
Moonbreaker is a sci-fi turn-based “digital miniatures” game set in a vibrant space-western-esque universe. It looks a little like XCOM, but much more bombastic. Units are deployed on a battlefield and must defeat their enemies with an array of spectacular powers. The real head-turner of the trailer though was the miniature painter feature, a seemingly very powerful tool which allows you to paint every single one of your units just as you might paint a real-life tabletop RPG miniature. Very cool stuff.
This cartoonish card battler-slash-FPS looks like a wild cross between Inscryption, Ooblets, and Borderlands, starring a colourful range of anthropomorphised animal characters. I don’t know for sure what I just watched, but it was certainly eye-catching, and accompanied by a catchy tune! And, given the name, expect plenty of online shenanigans with your mates in multiplayer.
Lies Of P is definitely one of my most anticipated upcoming games. A dark, Bloodborne-esque Soulslike starring everyone’s favourite “real boy” Pinocchio, Lies Of P has been really impressing us so far with what it’s revealed of the slick, flashy melee combat and exquisitely crafted and clothed characters. I mean, who doesn’t love a creepy Victorian steampunk aesthetic? All those top hats and monocles. Sign me up.
Hot on the heels of a message from a real-life astronaut about all the cool recent and upcoming games set in space, we have a trailer for Stranded: Alien Dawn, which is heading into Early Access this October. I think the title says it all really: a spaceship crashes, city building IN SPACE ensues. It all looks very pretty: one to check out if you don’t want to live on this planet any more (understandable).
Coming in 2023 is Atlas Fallen, a new action RPG taking place in a “semi-open world” of desert dunes and ruins of past god-ruled civilizations. Apparently this was another classic case of gods’ vanity laying waste to yet another world. Those pesky gods just can’t keep it in their pants.
The very pretty trailer which accompanied the announcement of Atlas Fallen showcased a cinematic of two armoured fighters dispatching some hefty Monster Hunter-esque beasts in the desert. One of them uses some cool sandy powers to raise a broken bridge, and then later is seen wielding a fiery blade which turns into a whip at their command. I quite like what I’m seeing here so far – let’s hope we get a more in-depth glimpse at Atlas Fallen in the near future.
Space-based ’90s RTS Homeworld is getting a second sequel after a mere 20-year break. Published by no less than Gearbox (they of Borderlands fame) and developed by Blackbird Interactive (the studio behind Minecraft spin-off titles Earth and Legends), this trailer promises to be made up of 100% in-game footage, a particularly welcome surprise given the regular shifts between cinematic action and pulled-back strategic unit shuffling. A release window of the first half of 2023 means that veteran fans hopefully won’t have their long wait dragged out too much further.
Genshin Impact Version 3.0 launches less than half a day after Gamescom ONL, but nevertheless we got treated to an advanced peak at many of the new features we’ve been looking forward to, including the North African-slash-South Asian inspired desert-and-forest nation of Sumeru; the playable Dendro elemental power; and new characters Tighnari, Collei, and Dori. The world of Teyvat continues to be unreasonably stunning and it’s the environment that steals the show in this barely-pre-launch gameplay trailer.
As you may already have heard, Honkai: Star Rail is the upcoming strategy RPG from Genshin Impact creators miHoYo. They’ve released a new trailer which seems to focus primarily on the game’s storyline, but without giving too much away at all. We get some glimpses at starships in space, and one of the main characters having a rather intense dream. Then some sort of space-train arrives. Yeah, I can’t pretend to know what’s going on here, but it all seems rather intriguing.
Rick and Morty creator’s FPS High On Life gets an extended gameplay trailer
We got a small update on Justin Roiland’s upcoming comedic biopunk FPS, first announced back in June and apparently now coming to Game Pass in December following a smallish delay. This short gameplay clip demonstrates the non-stop chatter between your talking guns as you squelch your way around an environment that is both literally and metaphorically toxic. Expect meta commentary on the state of video games and popular media galore, but also plenty of unironically mindless shooty business, from the looks of things.
Hardspace: Shipbreaker is coming to consoles in September
Hardspace: Shipbreaker is one of the most relaxing games I’ve ever played. Most of the time. Other times it’s incredibly stressful, like when you accidentally slice through the wrong thing and cause explosive decompression which tears apart the entire ship you’re working on, and sends debris careening into your face, cracking your helmet visor and causing you to slowly asphyxiate in the cold, uncaring world of outer space. Well, the good news is, console fans will soon get to experience this magnificent spaceship disassembly simulator for themselves, as it’s coming to Xbox and Playstation this September.
Semi-revived Telltale may not even be heading up their own sequel in New Tales From The Borderlands, but they were still represented at Gamescom in their capacity as publishers of The Expanse. An upcoming canonical prequel to the TV series of the same name, this episodic narrative adventure game will focus on the character of series regular Camina Drummer (played by Cara Gee). Classic Telltale were always on top form when they got to play around in the world of an existing television and/or comics IP, so I predict The Expanse will be a welcome return to form after an extremely turbulent few years for the studio. On the developer front, The Expanse is being helmed by Deck Nine, the studio behind 50% of the Life Is Strange series — a promising pedigree indeed from where I’m sitting. Maybe it’s time to finally start watching the show so I can really appreciate this choose-your-own-space-opera when it arrives in Summer 2023.
From the Executive Director of Friday 13th: The Game, Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game (quite a mouthful) is an asymmetrical multiplayer comedy horror game based on the 1988 film that I hadn’t heard of until this very moment. It seems a little bit like a slightly goofier Dead By Daylight, where you play as either the titular Klowns or the lowly civilians trying to avoid being harvested. The beta begins in early 2023, and you can sign up now.
Scars Above is a sci-fi adventure game that doesn’t seem like it’s setting out to break the mould, but might just deliver on some classic scary space tropes really, really well. A booming, unnerving soundtrack accompanies looming alien landscapes all lit up in shimmering dark greens that make the whole place seem, well, alien. Think Returnal in terms of aesthetics, but you can actually play this one on PC. Or you will be able to eventually, as there’s no release date for this one just now: it’s “Coming Soon”, although there’s as yet been no explicit backtracking on the promise that it’ll be out in 2022.
I do like a good trailer that gives away more or less nothing about the game in question. Such is the case with Wyrdsong, a creepy-looking RPG currently being developed by Something Wicked Games. It’s the first IP by a dev team composed of several ex-Bethesda, -BioWare, and -Obsidian developers.
Age Of Empires IV: Ottomans and Malians DLC coming in October
Play as the Ottomans (and also the Malians, I guess, although the Ottomans do rather hog the limelight in this trailer) in a new free DLC for Age Of Empires IV. The update aims to celebrate the game’s one year anniversary when it launches on October 25th. More details are promised at the Xbox showcase later this week, but the early peek we saw today really tells you all you need to know: it’s free; happy anniversary! Frankly it’s worth watching this quick trailer just for the cool music.
In a spectacular twist quite unlike what we’re used to these days, Gotham Knights is actually coming forward in release date instead of being delayed. The news of its new October 21st release date was revealed alongside a new gameplay trailer, which gave us an insight into just how many familiar heroes and villains are going to feature in WB Games Montreal’s open-world Batman-but-not-really game.
Oh, this looks pretty. Ever since Journey I’ve loved a game with a haunting soundtrack and lyrics that rip your heart up when you read the subtitles. So far it’s looking not unlike another Assassin’s Creed style open world historical stab-em-up à la Ghost Of Tsushima — which is no bad thing to be, let’s be fair, especially since we’re still waiting for the latter to come to PC. But oh look: there’s some otherworldly weirdness mixing things up. Is our hero about to fight a god at the end of that trailer? This exciting new IP (per Geoff himself) certainly looks like one to watch.
Next up we got a new look at Park Beyond, the upcoming amusement park building and simulation game from Limbic Entertainment. Announced last year, Park Beyond allows its players to create the absolutely ridiculous rides and adventures that would incur far too many court costs and far too much paperwork to be viable in real life. This trailer gave us a nice look at how easy it is to just plop down a few bits and pieces and create a crazy-looking amusement park attraction.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide trailer sets the story and tone ahead of November release
Darktide is a co-op FPS spin-off set in the grimdark future of Warhammer 40k. Playing as a convict, conscripted into the Emperor’s army to act as cannon fodder, you and your pals will defeat waves of enemies and, by the looks of things, spend ages creating a lovingly personalised character you’ll never actually see in-game. Coming out on November 30th for PC players, and making it to Xbox Series X|S at some unknown future date.
Blacktail tells the story of Baba Yaga facing off against a forest of hostile spirits
Blacktail is a first-person action-adventure game based on the legend of Baba Yaga – a 16-year-old girl ousted from her home due to her witchcraft. I love walking through fantasy forests with longbow in hand, and having dark mystical powers to back it up only sweetens the deal. It looks like the fantasy forests in question aren’t exactly friendly though; at one point we see a giant, wizened tree slamming its trunk down towards the player; elsewhere, we see rock-hurling spirits accost the Baba Yaga while she attempts to shoot the rocks with her bow before they reach her. It’s looking pretty cool, so far.
A brief, wordless trailer nevertheless tells you everything you need to know to get a bit excited for this one. There’s swish swordplay from a masked character in a plush theatre: is this a Phantom Of The Opera video game? Inspired by NieR and unabashedly cribbing its aesthetic from the aforementioned classic work of sumptuous gothic fiction, Phantom Hellcat isn’t afraid to turn into a sidescroller when the mood strikes it. Part 2D and part 3D, this game promises to be all hack-n-slash, and I’m eager to find out more.
CrossfireX Babylon update is now live
CrossfireX’s latest content update has dropped, with a sonorous new trailer at ONL showcasing the FPS’s “Babylon” update and its two brand new maps. One is the titular Babylon, a new Occupation map, while the other is Satellite – a map made for Search & Destroy, Modern, and Classic game modes.
There’s a definite horror element permeating this year’s Opening Night Live, isn’t there? Next up we got a new look at upcoming survival horror game The Outlast Trials, with a trailer filled with hospital corridors, mutilated bodies, and plenty of creepy-looking characters looming over the camera. If that sounds up your alley, you can sign up for the closed beta taking place between October 28th and November 1st.
You know how we all know that The Hunger Games was objectively a terrible vision of dystopia, and yet there’s a certain appeal to the idea of a multiplayer game that scratches that itch we’ve all had to compete in a cyberpunk-ish death gameshow battle like it’s all just a big laugh? I mean, the battle royale genre is not exactly new at this point, and we technically haven’t even had any confirmation yet that that’s what The Finals is. Whatever it turns out to be, you can sign up now for playtests due to take place in September!
One of the big reveals of this year’s Opening Night Live was Dead Island 2 – the long awaited sequel to the hit zombie survival RPG by Techland. No, not Dying Light. Their other one.
A stylish cinematic trailer gave us a look at Jacob, one of the six playable characters in Dead Island 2, slaughtering his way through a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. And shortly after that we got our first glimpse at some very gory zombie-dismembering gameplay. Zombies being decapitated, zombies being electrocuted, zombies being forced to walk through swimming pools of toxic sludge… Man, the zombies really aren’t getting a good deal in this game. Everything is, of course, very over the top, extravagant, and sleek, much like the original. The game is coming on 3rd February 2023, which may sound like a long way away, but actually it’s less than half a year to wait. Time marches on.
For more Gamescom coverage, be sure to check out our Gamescom 2022 hub for all the latest news, impressions from the show floor and more.