Opening Night Live’s best and worst moments

Geoff Keighley presented his Opening Night Live event this week to kick off Gamescom, a two-hour-long gauntlet of video game announcements and videos, including many that aren’t developed in the US. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most intriguing games.

EVERYWHERE 

The program began with a game that will either have excellent or poor search engine optimization. The developers of Build a Rocket Boy, including former Grand Theft Auto game designer Leslie Benzies, revealed an open-world game in which players may create their own storylines and universes in the featurette.

DUNE: AWAKENING

Along with a strategy game and a Fortnite crossover, the Dune universe is receiving an open-world survival MMO. The brief movie, titled Dune: Awakening and created by the same studio that created the Spice Wars RTS, include someone who appears to be an older Paul Atreides repeating the famous “Fear is the mind-killer” speech as he prepares to grab a ride on a sandworm. Sign up for the beta here, but there’s no indication on beta dates, release dates, or whether the game will finally allow Paul become a sandworm.

HOGWARTS LEGACY

Hogwarts Legacy, the Harry Potter prequel game that has been plagued by delays, has received a new trailer. In it, a Slytherin and a Hufflepuff investigate the mystery behind the unforgivable curses in the hopes of using them to save lives. The trailers depict students combating zombies and a choice system similar to Telltale’s The Walking Dead series.

UNDER THE WAVES

Under the Waves is a single-player story game developed by Parallel Studios and released by Quantic Dream, the studio behind Star Wars: Eclipse. Under the Waves focuses on loss, loneliness, and the alien wildness of the open waters, evoking the enigmatic deep-sea exploration vibes of ABZ, Soma, and Subnautica.

GOAT SIMULATOR 3

Sun’s out, tongues out. The gameplay trailer for Goat Simulator 3 from Coffee Stain Studios added some much-needed levity to Opening Night Live. Bleat, baa, and ragdoll your way across the world, getting into all sorts of goat-flavored mischief. Goat Simulator 3 will be released on November 17th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and will enable four-player online or local co-op.

HIGH ON LIFE

High on Life, the “Rick and Morty game without Rick or Morty,” debuted a new boss fight while testing the public’s tolerance for a talking pistol. What is everyone’s opinion? Not a lot. Imagine dying repeatedly during a difficult boss fight and having Morty voice actor Justin Roiland continually recite the same dialogue at you until you win. No Thank You.

MOONBREAKER

Moonbreaker, the latest game from Subnautica creators Unknown Worlds Entertainment, may be the most intriguing game of the exhibition. The game is a turn-based, real-time tabletop strategy game combining single-player, competitive multiplayer, cooperative multiplayer, and roguelike aspects, according to its website. It’s a miniatures-based game reminiscent of physical tabletop strategy games like Warhammer, allowing you to customise your units without the time-consuming process of physically painting teeny tiny statues until your fingers cramp. Moonbreaker will be available in early access on Steam on September 29th.

DEAD ISLAND

Dead Island 2 finished off Opening Night Live with a ridiculous reveal and gameplay teaser, eliciting almost none of the emotion inspired by its predecessor’s reveal video. Since 2014, Dead Island 2 has been stuck in development hell, changing studio hands several times. It takes place in a zombie-infested Los Angeles known as “Hell-A” (get it?) and is described on the game’s website as “the most immersive, visceral, and horrific first-person experience possible.” Both trailers obviously play up the gore, with squelching, moist noises as decaying body parts burst across the screen. Gross. In addition, the game will be the first to use Amazon’s new Alexa Voice Control technology. Dead Island 2 will be released – for real this time — on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC on February 3rd.

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