The week of video game trade fair Gamescom is a reliably busy news period for video games. The fact that this year’s event is entirely virtual did nothing to slow the tide of new game reveals and updates. Here’s the most interesting and exciting news to come out of Gamescom 2021.
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Showcase
Bungie’s presentation shared a look at the next year and beyond of its MMO shooter Destiny 2. The team showed off the game’s next expansion, The Witch Queen, which is scheduled to arrive February 22. The expansion’s titular enemy, Savathûn, has been teased in Destiny for almost seven years, but this will be players’ first opportunity to face off against her directly.
In addition to the kind of content fans expect from an expansion, The Witch Queen brings a brand new feature to Destiny: customizable weapons that players can build to their liking. One type of weapon that can be customized is the Glaive, a brand-new melee weapon highlighted during the showcase.
The next season of content, Season of the Lost, will run for the next six months, up to the release of the Witch Queen expansion. It’s available now.
Bungie already announced the expansion following The Witch Queen, Lightfall, but went ahead and teased the expansion after that. Destiny 2: The Final Shape will be the conclusion to the “Light and Darkness Saga” that’s been running since the launch of the original Destiny. What comes next? Destiny 3, maybe? We’ll have to wait awhile to find out.
Xbox Gamescom Showcase
Microsoft’s presentation probably didn’t meet most viewers’ expectations, particularly since Xbox saved its Halo Infinite news for the official Gamescom broadcast. But Tuesday’s Xbox Showcase still had its share of announcements and updates.
Microsoft Flight Simulator, which launched on consoles last month, is receiving a new game mode where players can race each other in WWII era planes. The Reno Air Races are expected to debut in October or November. Also planned for November is the game’s Top Gun: Maverick expansion. However, if the film is delayed for reasons related to Covid-19, the expansion will also have to be pushed back.
Microsoft revealed that Crusader Kings 3, the grand strategy role-playing video game popular on PC, is coming to consoles. The Xbox Series X version of the notoriously complex game will make it easy for players to swap between playing the game and visiting YouTube for tutorials.
Roguelike dungeon crawler Into The Pit will launch on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service on Day 1. The retro-inspired graphics are very reminiscent of DOOM, but the player unleashes spells instead of shooting guns.
Finally, Playground Games offered another look at car sim Forza Horizon 5, highlighting the diverse Mexico terrain players can race through.
The most important piece of news to come out of Xbox Showcase wasn’t actually a game, it was the introduction of cloud gaming to Xbox consoles. The cloud service, already available on PC and mobile, enables users to start playing games without waiting hours for them to download. With cloud gaming, owners of last generation Xbox consoles will be able to play current generation games otherwise too powerful for the older hardware. Available exclusively to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, cloud gaming comes to Xbox consoles this holiday.
Gamescom Opening Night Live
Gamescom Opening Night Live, hosted by Geoff Keighley, opened with the world premiere of Saints Row, a reboot for the GTA-like franchise. The reveal trailer showed off a new cast of characters and was followed by the briefest hint of gameplay. Saints Row releases on February 22.
Sledgehammer provided an extended look at Call of Duty Vanguard, which comes out November 15. The developer shared footage from the campaign that’s from the perspective of protagonist Polina Petrova, a Russian sharpshooter played by award-winning actor Laura Bailey.
Microsoft shared a cinematic trailer for the first season of Halo Infinite multiplayer, featuring new character Commander Agryna of the Spartan Academy. The multiplayer and a single-player version of the campaign are launching together on December 8.
A new trailer for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga teases how the developer has refined and retooled the LEGO game formula that’s long been in need of an update. Unless there’s another delay, Skywalker Saga will arrive in Spring 2022.
2K Games debuted Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a tactics RPG starring heroes and villains from across the Marvel Universe. The Beat covered the game in more detail in a separate post but those of you who’d rather stay on this page can watch the trailer below.
A new trailer for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania revealed that the game is adding Morgana from Persona. That’s not as impressive as it sounds, since all it requires is putting a 3D model of the character into a ball, but still a fun surprise for fans!
Ubisoft gave viewers a new look at Riders Republic, its massively multiplayer extreme sports title. The trailer details how players progress through the game and land sponsors. A previously closed-beta for Riders is now open to all players on PC and consoles until August 28.
The French publisher also released yet another trailer for Far Cry 6, this one focused on the story. The game releases October 7.
Sony made a surprise appearance at Gamescom with a video featuring Mathijs De Jonge, the director of Horizon: Forbidden West. He confirmed rumors that the game has been delayed out of this year, but fans don’t have to wait much longer. The new release date for Forbidden West is February 18.
Guerilla Games, the developer of Horizon, also announced that the previous game in the series, Horizon: Zero Dawn, is receiving an enhanced performance patch that makes the title originally released on PS4 run better than ever on PlayStation 5.
New World, the MMO published by everyone’s favorite corporation Amazon, is getting an open beta September 9. The trailer for the game looks absolutely stunning
Coming out of nowhere, a game featured at Gamescom named DokeV looks extremely impressive. The trailer shows off a lot of interesting game mechanics and a lively open world.
Gamescom 2021 ended with an extended look at Death Stranding Director’s Cut. Geoff Keighley’s pal (and video games legend) Hideo Kojima guided viewers through the new content that’s included in the expanded edition of the 2019 title. The Director’s Cut launches on PlayStation 5 September 24.
It’s been a very busy Gamescom week, thanks in large part to a more exciting than expected Opening Night showcase. Did any games capture your interest? Let us know in the comments!