Posted on September 28, 2015
Gamescom 2015 Log
Gamescom 2015 has come and gone. And once again it was a busy week filled with games, meeting fellow gamers and a lot of information on upcoming releases.
There was so much to see and so much to do that we didn’t get the chance to see everything we wanted to. But on the other hand we did get to see a lot of new games that weren’t on our radar before and peaked our interest.
Overall it was a fun 5 days but at the same time very tiring and consisted of a lot of walking, planning and waiting in line. But hey you have to suffer a little in order to be one of the first to see or play a new title.
Chardy and I were leaving from Utrecht with the ICE train from 08.30. For me it was a bit stressful as normally it takes me 45 minutes to get to the train-station in Utrecht. We even took extra time to allow for any trouble on our way but sadly there were several traffic accidents on the way which caused traffic-jams and the inner city of Utrecht was one big mess. I made it in time but without a chance to get my much needed caffeine.
Luckily the travel itself didn’t take too long and within 2,5 hours we were supposed to be in Cologne.
Travelling by train was extremely easy and it gave Chardy and I some time to talk about the plans we had and how to arrange certain things. And at 11.00 we were able to get out of train and walk into Cologne. The first thing we did there was grab something to drink by the Starbucks and look at the map to determine the best manner to go to our hotel. We finished our drinks at 11.30 and started of searching for the tram-stop which we managed to find in the end. Hop on the tram, hop off and take a long walk in warm summer weather.
We arrived at our hotel around 12.00 and were told our room would be ready by 15.00. So we decided to check in and leave our luggage in a locker-room there. We quickly changed clothes and grabbed our Gamescom tickets. Since the press-day opened its doors at 13.00 we didn’t want to be too late and managed to find a quick route to the KoelnMesse.
As soon as we got in we made our way to the bigger halls where most of the popular publishers had their booths.
Our first stop was the Bethesda booth which showed a nice presentation for Fallout 4. We expected this to be one of the busier queues in the coming days and at that moment all seemed reasonably quiet. Most of the lines we waited in were very short and it was easy to get from point A to B. Not having to deal with an immense crowd is a dream come true as it cuts down so much in time. Not only is the wait only a fraction of what it is normally, but it is so much easier just walking around getting to places.
Strangely enough the biggest line we saw was the one for Star Wars Battlefront and this didn’t change throughout the week. I was really the one who wanted to play the game but decided to not too as the lines were 3-4 hours or even more.
We actually got to see many of the games that were on my wishlist and I am quite happy about that. And much to my surprise I saw that there was a booth of Horizon: Zero Dawn at Gamescom as well. So after Seeing Fallout 4 we went to the Sony area and saw the live demo of the game which looked awesome.
We visited a lot of stands and at the end of the afternoon went to see the merchandise hall. A lot of the Gaming companies have either their own stand or an official reseller who offers the products. Like always Blizzard and Square Enix were there with their own stands. While Chardy was drooling over the wallscrolls from characters of Final Fantasy 7 I was looking at their Play arts figures of other series. My wallet was in luck as the two that I actually liked were only prototypes and wouldn’t be released until in 2016.
I did need some stuff from Blizzard but decided to wait with that until the next day as I was too tired to drag all the loot back to the hotel.
The Gamescom doors close earlier on press-day and so we left the halls as soon as it become clear it was the end of the first day. We immediately went back to our hotel so we could get our luggage and find our room.
Our hotel was..okay. We didn’t know how many days we would be attending until somewhere at the start of June. Sadly by that time most hotels were already fully booked and most places that were left were quite expensive. This one of the few that didn’t charge an outrageous price but it came with disadvantage of crappy beds and no airco.
We dumped our luggage and got a bite to eat at Vapiano’s. Afterwards it was time to go to sleep as the next day the normal Gamescom Mayhem would start.
Our first stop was Starbucks as we had been too late for the hotels breakfast. After finishing up it was time for the second day of Gamescom.
And what a difference it was with the previous day. The halls were boiling, there was a huge crowd of people and the lines were really long. We passed a few lines that were already stating it was 3+ hours until you would get in. And the Overwatch line was closed, with a lot of people nearby waiting until it opened again so they could run in. We decided to skip that.
Chardy had plans to meet up with Xenogelion* and his friends who also play Warframe. Sadly due to internet being difficult it was almost impossible to exchange messages. So sadly we didn’t meet them at the event.
The rest of the time we waded through the rest of the gamers and played some other games
While updating my twitter I found out that at the Horizon: Zero Dawn stand they were giving out posters. I went to the live demo the day before and sadly missed that. Luckily the team of Guerilla was kind enough to give me a poster. We couldn’t make it to the signing session as we found out too late but still I am extremely happy with the fact I have the poster.
Next to their Booth they showed Disney Infinity 3.0 with all the Star Wars figures. I wanted to give it a try but there were some kids playing it and having a blast so instead I just watched the gameplay and looked at the awesome figures. Seriously if you love Star Wars, the figures alone are well worth it. Ahsoka, Sabine, Leia, Chewbacca and the others look super. Although I am a bit saddened that there are no figures of Count Dooku, Grievous, Asajj Ventress or Agent Kallus. What can I say? I like my villains and prefer the dark side.
What did annoy me was how certain people still view gamers. Since it was incredibly hot that day I decided to wear a dress to the event to make it easier on myself… or so I thought. At three moments I had either a fellow gamer or an actual booth member come up to me and ask if I had experience with games. To be fair I was taken aback at first until another gamer mentioned that I more or less looked like someone’s partner who was just there to accompany them. Their mistake, and I have to say I was happily surprised how much diverse the Gamescom crowd has become in these recent years.
This day we picked up everything we needed from the merchandise hall. I got a small haul of Blizzard stuff and a Skyrim Beer glass. For a bit I was going back and forth if I should buy the cute lil Stitches plush. But in the end decided against it due to the price and the fact that I probably couldn’t fit it in my suitcase when I went home.
We left the event and saw the sheer number of people trying their best to cram themselves into the train-station, so we waited for a bit until the queue died down a bit. When we finally went into the station I noticed a guy there with a Warframe cap on his head. And what do you know? It was MDRlolz and so we finally met Xenogelion and the rest of the crew.
It was quickly decided to have dinner at the Hard Rock care together and ended up chatting until it was well after midnight.
* Xenogelion has an awesome youtube channel with Warframe content. Go follow it!
And go and read Kingdom-Star as well!
This was the last day we would attend Gamescom. After last year we decided that four days of Gamescom was a bit too much to handle if you are an attendee. Or perhaps I am just getting way too old and should know better.
One of the first things I did at Gamescom was getting an age wristband. Now let’s be fair, some people think I am younger than I actually am but being asked to show my 18+ wristband is a bit far-fetched. And nothing is more infuriating than seeing Chardy smirk while he is being let through and I have to ID myself.
Basically we didn’t do too much. We looked at a few games, saw the Overwatch queue was still closed and decided to just stroll around the cosplay village and look at some of the amazing costumes.
At the end I picked up a small present to myself in the Square Enix store and than it was time to leave Gamescom and go to a hotel next to Koeln Messe.
At that hotel we attended the Star Wars; the Old Republic- Cantina tour. This is an event where you can meet and greet with the community team of SWTOR and fellow players. And this one there was a special guest since Bioware brought Darin De Paul to the event who is the voice behind Emperor Valkorion.
As soon as we got there we encountered some of the Swtor staff who also got back from Gamescom. Which was a good sign as we were at least at the right location.
The cantina was really popular and there were even people who didn’t sign up for it who tried to attend the event. Overall it was cool to see new players as we walked in although I have to admit I kinda felt like newbie since I don’t partake in raiding and hardmodes any more.
The event started off with a Q&A were you could ask Darin De Paul all kinds of questions regarding his role, voice-acting and getting into character. It was a great Q&A session with a lot of laughter but also information about roles he did like Blackhand and Socrethar in Warlords of Draenor.
After that it was time to ask questions to the developers and see how much information we could get out of them. Sadly they kept their secrets hidden well.
There was also a chance at prizes and you could mingle afterwards and talk with fellow gamers and with the dev team. I asked a few questions about things like SWTOR lore and found out there is an Encyclopedia of Swtor.
I do think that events like this are a great way for players and developers to communicate. Forums these days are often quickly filled with spam and often discussions there quickly get out of hand. While at events like these discussiosn often seem to get way more done as it is easier to get a point across.
I kinda hope we get a SWTOR Cantina at Celebration 2016 as well.
If you are interested it what has been discussed, there is good overview about all the Q&A’s, that can be found at Dulfy’s site.
This was the only day we decided to not attend Gamescom. Last year we did go the Saturday and it was just too warm, busy, messy and it did make me a bit reluctant to deal with again after three previous days.
Instead I found out that the Star Wars: Identities exhibition took places in Cologne. Several of my friends visited it already and all told me that it was well worth the visit. So it was quickly decided that we chose Star Wars over another day at the convention.
The exhibition itself was so much fun and I can really recommend it to people who like Star Wars and are interested in seeing concept arts, models and costumes. Next week I will have a bigger write up about Star Wars: Identities and what makes it so worth the visit.
In the evening we all met up to have dinner before we got ready to go to the TennoVIP party that was thrown by the team behind Warframe.
Last year we were lucky enough to go to Tennolive which was held at Gamesom, but this year they opted for a smaller gaming party (instead of a livestream) where you could hang out with your fellow Tenno (gamers) and talk to the devs and community team.
Like the previous event I loved this night. It is just so much fun to meet your fellow players and talk about the game with them. And also meet the team of the game you love and discuss stuff more in depth. The food was delicious, the beer was awesome and the atmosphere was even better and I can’t say how much I enjoyed meeting old faces and new ones.
There was also a bingo card where you had to answer questions and perform certain tasks to compete in the lottery and win some prizes. And much to my surprise and delight I won a prize and it so happened to be the one I wanted the most. The huge banner with Ember who so happens to be one of my most favourite Warframes on it. Later that evening I got the banner signed by the team. I can’t tell you just how cool the banner is and it is now standing in the workroom keeping guard.
Later on the night it shifted to the more serious aspects of life, like epic dance-offs, discussions about the best anime, Gundam Models, Ponies and make up. I didn’t take any pictures there as I felt this was somewhat of a private event and this feeling was probably shared by others. Quite a few of the more known streamers and Warframe players were there and I saw almost no camera’s.
Time to go home! The Warframe party was so much fun that we stayed for a long time and I think I finally went asleep around 03.00. This meant a very short night as our train would leave at 08.42 so that meant getting up around 06.30. Luckily we did all the packing in the previous evening so there was no rushing.
The train travel went off without a hitch and Chardy and I used that time to relax and catch some rest before we would arrive in Utrecht. Luckily when we got there Pepijn was waiting for me with the car. Once I finally came home I hugged my cats, unpacked the gifts and fell asleep on the couch after another fun Gamescom.
And now for the most important part.. the loot. This time I saw a lot of cute stuff but I decided to not just throw my money everywhere but only get the things I really like.
At the Blizzard store I got the Demonic Tyrael Funko, a cute zergling on a key-leash, a mini funko Tyrael ( mystery grabbag), a “cute but deadly” Sylvanas key-chain and the Lost Vikings shirt. The Tonberry key-chain comes from the Square Enix shop and the Skyrim beer glass came from Gamers-Heaven.
As for the Star Wars shirts and key-chain, those are all from the Identities Store at the Odysseum in Cologne.
The Sylvanas key-chain is for my car-keys and the Tonberry is going to hang in my car. All the shirts I got for Pepijn who stayed at home (he dislikes crowds) and who is a fan of Lost Vikings and Stormtroopers.
Overall I really like my haul of this years gaming loot. The prices for a lot of things were either the same as online or even cheaper. I am so happy to have the chance at the Tyrael Funko as the prices online are quite high since it was a con exclusive. And the quality of the Star Wars shirts was beyond expectation. I now want one of the shirts for myself 🙂
There are only two things I missed out on. One was the Pop figure of Gentleman Claptrap which was a bit expensive. Luckily I bought that one last week at my local gaming store for the normal prices (€13 euro instead of €20). And the other thing is the Abominomnomination plush from the Blizzard store. Both the price and the fact I had no room held me back from buying it. But I have to admit that I still want it.
But it goes without saying that for me, my Ember banner had to be on of the coolest things ever.
A warning though about the merchandise hall. There are a lot of official stores there like the ones from the actual publisher or Gamers-Heaven who only sell the official stuff. But the majority or normal stores who resell merchandise from games, anime, movies and more. Be picky at those stands as some of them sold clearly fake/bootleg materials that weren’t official. They asked the normal prices for stuff that was of inferior quality like funko’s, nendoroids, action figures but also blu-rays. It is such a shame really as people expect the real deal but get fake ones instead. So be mindful or what and where you buy and when something is much cheaper than normal. Check why that is.
If you want to know more about the games we saw. Later this week I will make a small extra post with the games we saw and what my thoughts are.