gamescom 2023: Day 1

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On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, gamescom opened its doors to media and trade visitors.

Due to the abundance of appointments and games, we will provide you with detailed previews of other games, trade fair tours and gameplay material by the end of the month at the latest. Here are some cornerstones of our first gamescom day.

Multiplayer Shooters

We had the opportunity to play three multiplayer shooters – Foamstars (Square Enix), HYENAS (SEGA) and Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game (IllFonic).

In Foamstars, two teams of 4 players each fight for supremacy in the arena. With different skills and weapons such as shotguns and rifles, we not only defend ourselves directly against the enemy, but also build small castles to protect ourselves from the enemies. After one or two matches, we have internalized the controls and game mechanics and, similar to Splatoon, we glide through the foam of our team and target the Most Valueable Player (MVP). Once the MVP is defeated, the respective team loses. The different skills and ultimates increase the replay value of the 3rd person shooter. Foamstars is due out in 2024 for PS5 and PS4 with cross-play support. The developers have not yet revealed whether there will be a beta or details of the monetization system.

Fans of extraction shooters might have fun with HYENAS. 15 players compete against each other in squads of 3. The game design is reminiscent of heist shooters like Payday. We have to graze as much loot as possible – including SEGA merch like Sonic figures – and bring it to the evacuation point. Here, too, a colorful mix of characters with individual equipment awaits us. A healthy mix of long-distance and close-ranged combatants usually leads to success. If you are less successful in PVP, you can also face the AI in PvE. The game keeps generating mission objectives for you, but if you trigger an intermediate boss, the alarm will be raised and waves of drones and soldiers will fight you. HYENAS is fast and offers many options in terms of skills, equipment and level design. From August 31st you can try it out for yourself in the beta. HYENAS is scheduled for release in 2023 for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game is the upcoming asynchronous multiplayer shooter from IllFonic, the developers of Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. In Killer Klowns, three of the eponymous Klowns compete against seven humans. The task of the clowns is to pupate people and hang them on a hook, similar to Dead by Daylight. However, humans have the stamina to free themselves from the cocoon to a limited extent. If all the people die or if they don’t manage to leave the area within the time limit, the Klowns win. As a Klown, we have various special abilities at our disposal. With the push of a button, we can teleport to another point on the map and conveniently observe people’s movements from a bird’s eye view, similar to Commander mode in Battlefield 2. In addition, they can heal themselves or disguise themselves as pizza boxes, then sneak around the pitiful people only to surprise them with no food. Due to the diverse sets of skills and the number ratios, we had the feeling that the balancing works well at the current time and the cat and mouse game is working. We look forward to stepping into the shoes of humans as well when the game launches in the first half of 2024 for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S with crossplay support.

Political opening

At the opening, figures from politics and the games industry met, including the Federal Minister of Economics Dr. Wolfgang Habeck, the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst, the Mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker, Felix Falk (Managing Director of the German games industry association game), Phil Spencer (Head of Xbox), Jan Klose (Managing Director of Deck13 – Atlas Fallen) and a few indie developers. Viola Tensil (Vorzocker) helmed the event. Above all, the importance of games as a cultural asset was emphasized. The federal games funding, which recently fell below the pre-corona level, was also an issue. Unfortunately, no increase is to be expected here at first, one would like to use the funds much more efficiently and combine them with other elements such as crowdfunding. Felix Falk made demands on politicians to enable German studios to remain competitive on the international market. Dr Wolfgang Habeck will work to introduce tax credit funding which is available in other countries.

F.l.t.r.: H. Reker (Mayor of Cologne), Dr. W. Habeck (Federal Minster of Economics), F. Falk (Managing Director game)

Image source: Medien Service Koelnmesse image database