Player 2 Vs GamesCom Opening Night Live 2023

Player 2 Vs GamesCom Opening Night Live 2023

GamesCom is upon us, and Geoff Keighley has hosted the latest in his now-annual Opening Night Live showcases. Geoff had promised some big updates coming to a range of already-known titles, as well as a few other surprises, so join Player 2 editors Jess Zammit and Paul James as the duo comb through everything that was on show, discussing the best and the worst bits!

Streets Of Rogue 2

Jess: I have never heard of Streets of Rogue 1, but I did enjoy the art style of this trailer! It looks like another one of those ‘this will be fun with friends for at least a few hours’ type games, so I’ll keep it on my radar. 

Paul: Like you Jess, I’m not familiar with Streets Of Rogue at all, but the game does look pretty neat. I don’t know if it’s the sort that I think I’ll ever give any of my own time to, but I can see the appeal for a certain portion of the audience.


Jess: I’m not gonna lie to you, I half-tuned out as soon as there was a big ol’ spider in the first few seconds. Pretty sure there were more spiders after that. So, I suspect this one isn’t gonna be for me. 

Paul: So I actually backed this one on Kickstarter, so I’m pretty happy to see Mandragora show up. I largely want to abstain from too much commentary given my financial stake in it, however it’s safe to say I backed the game for a reason. Keen to see more.

Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior

Jess: It’s hard not to talk about how similar this is to Hades in level design and attack animations – at least based on this trailer. But hey, it’s a formula that works, and if there’s a great story to go along with it, I’ll be fully on board with Lysfanga. 

Paul: I sadly do not yet have the Hades experience to be able to contrast Lysfanga with, but at the same time, those parallels certainly pique my interest, I just need to carve out some time for that modern genre benchmark so that I can compare Lysfanga and others to it!

Endzone 2

Jess: So, knowing nothing about Endzone 1, this trailer was sort of just footage of a van driving around a field? It feels like maybe knowledge of Endzone 1 would have provided some crucial context here. 

Paul: It’s Streets Of Rogue all over again – a sequel to a game that I never knew existed; and I was even less enthralled by this one.

Bulletstorm VR

Jess: All I can say is that this seems like it’s going to be extremely chaotic for a VR game. My eyes already hurt thinking about it, and I’ll probably never play it. 

Paul: I somehow managed to miss Bulletstorm, despite meaning to play it multiple times over the years – it’s potentially a bit overwhelming in VR though for me to take on the challenge in this format

Fae Farm

Jess: Fae Farm is so close! Another take on the ‘wholesome games’ trend that’s been sweeping the world, and while I am getting a little overwhelmed by options at this point, I’m interested in the multiplayer aspect of this one. I can’t wait to jump in with some friends and do some witchy farming. 

Paul: There’s been a lot of farming sims lately and despite Fae Farm looking pretty neat, I think I need some breathing room from the genre for a little while. Hopefully it’s as good as I expect and it’ll be ready for when I am.

The 7th Guest VR

Jess: The 7th Guest was always one of those games that I’d heard a lot about but never played, and I’m thrilled by the idea that it’s coming back – and in VR form! The graphics look exactly as I would have hoped they would, not straying too far from the original but modernising it in some fun ways. This is going to be the perfect spooky Halloween game. 

Paul: Yeah, the 7th Guest didn’t hold any weight with me and this VR take on it does nothing for me. Pass.

Post Trauma

Jess: This is clearly such a love letter to Silent Hill, with a little bit of Resident Evil sprinkled in. I’m gonna both love and hate every second I spend playing this PS1-era-reminiscent horror game. The bits with the spider/Grudge lady who made an appearance in that trailer though? I will only hate those. 

Paul: Its hitting some classic Survival Horror notes that makes me sit up and pay attention. Hopefully it delivers like those classics of yesteryear and if that’s the case, then consider me down to play Post Trauma.

Warhammer Age Of Sigmar: Realms Of Ruin

Jess: Yep, that sure is a Warhammer game. There was some good hair on those characters, but this is probably another one that I’ll be giving a miss. 

Paul: Not a Warhammer guy and with this one not doing enough to knock my socks off, I’ll pass on it.

Delta Force: Hawk Ops

Jess: I am very much not into war games, so this is a big no from me. There was a brief second where I thought it was about to tell me that it was about fighting aliens when it nearly grabbed me, but when that didn’t happen it lost me again. 

Paul: Hawk Ops washed over me without a fuss when it first aired, and when I revisited the trailer the same thing occurred. Not to be too dismissive of Delta Force: Hawk Ops, but it is doing nothing for me unfortunately.

Homeworld 3

Jess: I have once again not interacted with Homeworld 1 or 2, but I’m thrilled for RTS fans!

Paul: My experience is as limited as yours Jess. I’m open to the possibility of engaging with the game upon launch, but I’m not necessarily anticipating it per se.


Jess: That was a genuinely beautiful opening to the live show, and if I wasn’t already on board with Starfield before, I would be now. Even if it did feel a little bit like the ads for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. I am currently reviewing Starfield for Player 2, so I don’t want to say any more about it, but it’s so close now that soon everyone else will be playing too!

Paul: As someone who is not reviewing Starfield, and has consciously not spoken to you about it to spare the surprises for my own playthrough, I was thoroughly impressed by the showing, and Todd Howard’s appearance on stage was really nice too (and refreshing given what had just transpired)

Little Nightmares III

Jess: I love the Little Nightmares games. They’re a strange, whimsical kind of spooky that I haven’t really seen captured well in any other games. So while this looks spooky as hell, and I’m concerned that clowns are gonna make it too scary, I’m ready to see what this series throws at us next. 

Paul: I finally played the original Little Nightmares this year, and wanted to jump into the sequel immediately after. That didn’t work out for me, but I loved the first game, I’m hyped for the second, and now the word of a third has me pretty damn keen. Interesting to see Tarsier out, Supermassive in, and co-op added for this threequel.

Black Myth: Wukong

Jess: That was… a headless body playing a stringed instrument, right? That… that was happening on purpose? I have so many questions. This seems like it’s gonna be a big one for those who enjoy fast-paced combat. 

Paul: Black Myth was certainly one of the biggest games going into the event. We knew it would be there, and Souls fans were getting hyped. I love what I’m seeing, but at the same time, I don’t think I can invest because the game will destroy me unless difficulty modes are present. We’ll wait and see I guess.

Killing Floor 3

Jess: I looked away for a second and didn’t realise they had started talking about a different game, and thought there were going to be genetically engineered super-zombies in the previous game, so that was a little jarring. But sure, Killing Floor 3. Not my jam, but looks fine?

Paul: Killing Floor hasn’t really floated my boat up until now and what was shown of this third entry hasn’t done much to interest me either.

Age Of Empires IV Anniversary Edition

Jess: Hell yeah I’m ready to jump back into Age of Empires, and game pass is an excellent excuse to do it. Wololo!

Paul: Love Age Of Empires, and I’m thrilled that this fourth entry has now stealth dropped on Xbox. It’s a curveball in my plans, but one that I’ll happily accept.

Rebel Moon

Jess: Zack Snyder is certainly a director who makes films. Many people will be excited for this, and I’m happy for them. It seems like a cool concept and some intriguing cast members, and I do think it’s given how much it looks like a ‘video game movie’, I think it’ll make a fun game.

Paul: Geoff always has these moments with guests disconnected from the games industry. They pay the bills, but Rebel Moon looks pretty cool, and as you say Jess, it does have that game movie vibe. To that end, it’s interesting that we’ll be getting a video game spinning off from this franchise then.

Crimson Desert

Jess: It seems you get to ride (and tame??) a horse, so I’m immediately more interested in this game than I am in many others like it. And carrying sheep? What a thrill! 

Paul: There are a lot of people losing their minds following the showing of Crimson Desert – and I kind of get it. The game looks astonishingly good, and is not the MMO I was expecting it to be given Pearl Abyss’ previous works. I’m not quite all in on the game yet, but the various systems look good, the combat seems strong, and you can pet the dog, cuddle the cat and carry sheep. What’s not to love?

Payday 3

Jess: Sure, why not have Ice-T themed content in Payday? That makes as much sense as any of the other recent celebrity tie-in games content. 

Paul: Yeah I couldn’t care less about Ice-T, but at the same time, it was nice to see the game a little further. I’m quietly anticipating this one, and with it coming to Game Pass, I can hopefully see what all the Payday hype has been about for all of these years.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage

Jess: It’s been long enough since the release of AC: Valhalla that I’m finally ready to be excited about another Assassin’s Creed game. I go into each new entry with cautious optimism, which is often a terrible idea, but I’m keen to see how this one turns out. It seems to be leaning heavily into aiming for historical accuracy, which is a positive!

Paul: You’re right, the wait has been long, but it’s been even longer since we’ve had a very traditional Assassin’s Creed game, and I’m incredibly excited to draw more heavily on my Ezio, and Altair-learned skills once more. Cannot wait to go hands on soon enough!

Tekken 8

Jess: I mean… it’s Tekken. It looks like Tekken. Not the graphics I expected for at least some of the new content, which is kinda intriguing, but otherwise yep – very Tekken.

Paul: Yeah I’m not a fighting game fan, and so Tekken does nothing for me. Great for the fans to get a date though, and for 2023 to not have another big name fighting game launch in it.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare III

Jess: I have friends at Sledgehammer Games and I want this to do well for their sake, but like I said – war games, not my thing. I simply cannot muster excitement for this. 

Paul: Modern Warfare games are the only branch of the COD formula that have spoken to me, and so I’m low-key excited for this one. I’m not much of a multiplayer guy though, and so I’m not willing to pony up the big bucks for the campaign alone right now. Perhaps I’ll get on board once the price comes down a bit.


Jess: I am much more interested in Nightingale. It looks like it might be filled with eldritch horrors and could be terrifying, but its’ aesthetic is undeniably cool. I’m thankful that there seems to be the option to play in first or third person – that immediately makes me want to play it more. 

Paul: I’ve been on the Nightingale bandwagon since announcement, and to see people like yourself Jess climbing aboard as well feels vindicating – not in any kind of arrogant way, but rather, it’s nice to feel like I wasn’t misguided in the first place. Survival games aren’t really my schtick, but something clicked immediately with me around this one, and I’m glad others see it too.

Granblue Fantasy Relink

Jess: I’m never sure when I see these trailers whether it’s a new game in an existing series, or just a new series that has a long title for no reason. I think it’s the former in this case? Either way, it looks very pretty, and seems to be a classic JRPG-style situation. 

Paul: I love JRPGs, but I couldn’t muster any excitement for this one unfortunately. Maybe it’s the context, but I need my JRPGs toned down a bit, and this was anything but. What I adore though is the very Tales Of Arise inspired visual aesthetic – the game looks fantastic!

Immortals Of Aveum

Jess: Would I care about this game if it didn’t star Gina Torres? Hard to know. Again, visually exciting, and it may or may not have a good story – and that may be the thing that makes or breaks it for me. I’m keen to check it out. 

Paul: An awkward one with the review embargo up and the launch mere hours away at the time. This felt more like a traditional ad than a new look at an anticipated title, but that’s okay, there’s a place for that. The Immortals reviews have been middling, but it feels like the FPS for me, so I’m keen to jump in soon enough

Zenless Zone Zero

Jess: Honestly, these names are killing me. But I think this one is a new series. I have no idea what the actual gameplay of this is, though. Is it the Tetris-style minigames? Is it Snake? Is it some kind of fighting situation? Is it all of them? I honestly don’t know. 

Paul: I’m with you, the naming convention of these games is right down the u-bend at this point. I, like you, don’t really see what people are excited about in this one yet, simply down to a lack of information. People just seem into it because they like Genshin and Honkai Starrail… which is okay, but as someone who has tried neither, I don’t have that build in excitement and readiness.

Honkai Starrail

Jess: I think that was a reveal for this game coming to PS5? I have heard nothing but positive things about Honkai Starrail, so I’m glad it’s going to be reaching a new audience if that is in fact the case! 

Paul: People are foaming at the mouth over Honkai Starrail, and I’ll admit, with it now on the way to PS5, I’m more likely than ever to try it out.

Genshin Impact

Jess: I’ve dabbled very briefly with Genshin Impact in the past, but not enough for this to pique my interest too much. The score of Genshin is perfect for a concert though – for those who are interested, I’m sure it’ll make for an amazing night. 

Paul: I missed the boat on Genshin, despite it speaking to me in a host of ways, but I got to hear the OST and I loved what I heard. Maybe one day…

Lords Of The Fallen

Jess: My brain simply cannot comprehend whether this is a remake, or a sequel, or a spiritual successor, or something else. It’s been in development for so long in so many different forms that it’s impossible to keep track. But it looks cool, I guess? I’m sure fans of the first one will be keen. 

Paul: This reboot seems to be striking the right chords with Souls fans that the original name couldn’t. The team seems to have learned a lot more about what makes the Souls-likes tick in the years since Lords Of The Fallen first launched, so I’m certainly intrigued to see how this one shapes up – even if I’m not keen to play it myself.

Sonic Superstars + Frontiers

Jess: I’ve never been a Sonic person – I’ve dabbled, but only briefly. But I am so excited for Sonic Superstars, and for going fast with friends. Split-screen co-op games are weirdly rare these days, so hopefully this will scratch that itch! As for Sonic Frontiers… I don’t know. Maybe I’ll play it one day. 

Paul: Frontiers was extremely overrated by many, and Superstars, well… Team Sonic has given me no reason to trust them, and so I’ll be reserving any and all judgement until after the game has launched.

The First Descendent

Jess: Geoff’s use of the term ‘looter shooter’ set my expectations pretty low for this one, but then the trailer was actually weirdly compelling. I don’t think this game will do anything groundbreaking, but it could turn out to be a bit of fun. 

Paul: As you say Jess, I don’t think The First Descendent will be breaking new ground, but at the same time, I’m a bit of a sucker for a looter-shooter, and this one looks pretty damn good, so consider me quite interested in the game as we approach it’s launch.

Under The Waves

Jess: This was immediately a breath of fresh air tonally, mixed in with the big action game trailers. I’m getting some Firewatch vibes, but in the much more terrifying deep sea setting. The ocean is a horrifying place, and I’m not sure I’m ready to brave that, but I’m definitely going to look into this one – and how exciting that it’s so close to release! 

Paul: There’s a crowd that see the Quantic Dream name attached to this and lose their minds. To those people… shut up. The acts of one or two individuals don’t reflect the entire team, letalone the fact that Under The Waves is simply published by Quantic Dream, and not a product developed there. I trust the eye of those at Quantic Dream, and so Under The Waves is certainly one that I’ll be considering next week!

Fort Solis

Jess: ‘Amazing narrative experience’ – those are my buzzwords. And it’s here now?! Hell yeah! After seeing this trailer, I immediately googled the game, and uhh… seems like maybe reviews aren’t great. But I’m gonna look into it a little more, and might still give it a try! 

Paul: Fort Solis was on my radar for a good, long while, but then tumbled off it, and then suddenly it’s here with those aforementioned lacklustre reviews. If I can get it on the cheap at some point then it’s a consideration, but for now, sorry Fort Solis, but you won’t be getting my time.

Expedition: A Mudrunner Game

Jess: Honestly, this also looks weirdly great. I feel like I could accidentally lose hours to this game, just vibing around the canyons, taking in the scenery – it’s a nice idea. 

Paul: I like what was shown of Expedition: A Mudrunner Game, but at the same time, I don’t have the mental bandwidth to give to such a game, not with the numerous games that come out monthly that do speak to my tastes. Who knows, maybe the stars will align and I’ll have the time… but I doubt it.

The Crew: Motorfest

Jess: Any time I talk to anyone who has played a demo of this game, they sing its praises. I’m not really a driving game person, with the exception of some occasional Forza Horizon, but I’m willing to make another exception. 

Paul: There’s a very positive sentiment around this one, and I’ve heard a lot of buzz from our own Matt Hewson, but I couldn’t find the time to give to Forza Horizon, letalone a Forza-clone

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Jess: As soon as the games industry calms down for a second and stops this endless stream of absolutely killer releases, I’m going to go back and finally play Cyberpunk properly. 

Paul: I gave the initial launch less than 60mins before I felt burned. By now, I know that Cyberpunk is firing the way CD Projekt Red had always intended, and so, like you Jess, I’m keen to carve out some time and finally give it a go. The Phantom Liberty expansion is doing some pretty amazing things from all I see/hear, so bring it on.


Jess: Another case of ‘seems cool, but not my thing’. 

Paul: I don’t know how much time I’ll have for an RTS such as this, but I do like the look of Stormgate, and The Chainsmokers being involved is also appealing. Keen to see more, and hopefully I can be properly won over

Last Epoch

Jess: I wanna have feelings about this, but I really just don’t. It looks like a fine ARPG? I don’t quite understand where the innovation is in their ‘community-driven’ approach, but maybe that just requires some more research on my part. 

Paul: Other than being an indie-ARPG, I don’t know much else of what Last Epoch is offering, but if timelines align the right way, I’m certainly interested in playing it!

Marvel Snap

Jess: I love how animated the Marvel Snap guy is, and he had a great animated short to go with it. It was a fun interlude. 

Paul: I’m more than a little bit over seeing Marvel Snap popping up in every Keighley production. The energy was too much for me, and the game isn’t winning anyone new at this point (unless they’ve somehow never heard of it), and so I don’t think we need this anymore.

Armored Core VI

Jess: This is also very close! I have no knowledge of the series, but do know that many people are keen for it. Rejoice, FromSoft fans!

Paul: This is the FromSoft title that actually has me excited. We’ve all seen the reviews, and it’s looking like another gem from the studio, so who knows, this might be my gateway.


Jess: I probably won’t be jumping into this multiplayer PvP game either, but I guess it’s nice to have a melee-focused addition to the genre?

Paul: Yeah, PvP isn’t for me, so let’s move on shall we?

Mortal Kombat 1

Jess: I promise I play games, but this one is also not high on my list. It does look next-level brutal though, even by MK standards. 

Paul: I’m also not a fighting game guy, so Mortal Kombat couldn’t win me over either. Can’t argue that for what it is, that it’s looking unreal though. The audience is undoubtedly salivating ahead of it’s September launch.

Ara: History Untold

Jess: This feels like a Hewso game – but I’m also interested to check it out (and then probably immediately quit due to being too stressed out by the weight of my decisions) when it comes to Game Pass! 

Paul: I will not go as far as to say that I’m all in on Ara: History Untold, but I am certainly quite keen to check out more. You’re right Jess, Matt is going to be all over this one when it launches, so hopefully he can shed some additional light at some point and explain what makes Ara tick for us.

Diablo IV

Jess: There was a lot more decapitation in this trailer than I was expecting. Thrilled to see Gemma Chan venturing into the gaming world though – she’s an incredible actress, and I trust she’ll bring something great to Diablo!

Paul: The main thing for Diablo IV right now needs to be making amends for that patch that upset the audience. The initial launch has been stellar but the road since has been a bit rocky. Hopefully reveals such as this one go a long way towards making things right once again


Jess: This is absolutely my jam. A gang of misfits travelling across the countryside, and a trailer with a huge focus on how much words matter? Yes please. I can’t wait to play Dustborn. 

Paul: Dustborn looks sensational! It came out of nowhere, presented well, and spoke to me deeply. Cannot wait to see and learn more about this one.

Thank Goodness You’re Here

Jess: This tune is going to be stuck in my head for the next week. And whatever it is, it looks wacky and wonderful – I’m ready to be delighted by this game. 

Paul: I feel like Channel 10 needs to be in touch here to claim some kind of royalty, but with that aside, nah, this one didn’t really vibe with me at all. Catchy, giimmicky tunes just aggravate me in marketing (oh, hello there Bugsnax!), so this crotchety old man will shuffle on elsewhere for now.

Alan Wake 2

Jess: Sometimes I feel like the only person in the world who didn’t love Alan Wake. I should have loved it – I love Stephen King, and I generally like games that focus on ~mysteries, but Alan Wake is just… not it for me. The second one looks better though, with some new additions that make me want to (against my better judgement) give it a try. We’ll see how I feel come October. 

Paul: I am sooooo ready for Alan Wake 2. Im quietly hoping that this was the final big marketing beat that Remedy was going for and that they largely go quiet until launch trailers and review embargoes arrive, but wowwee, I’m so incredibly ready to go. It’s been a long 13 year awaiting this game.

“The Incident”

Jess: I don’t even really know what happened, it happened so quickly. A guy ran onto the stage and started talking about… GTA 6? It was handled swiftly, and the audience seemed receptive to Keighley’s apology. To his credit, he did actually handle it quite calmly and with grace. It is disappointing that this is still happening though, and I’m not really sure what the dude thought he was going to achieve. I guess the return to live audiences means this is likely to keep happening, unless they tighten their security – which at this point they probably should do. 

Paul: That kid at The Game Awards has opened an almighty can of worms, and if Geoff wants to ensure that the developers get the respect through these events that they deserve, then he needs to do more about his security budget. Geoff handled everything extremely well, but you could see the immediate uneasiness on Todd Howard’s face as he walked out moments later. It sucks that this keeps happening, and a hearty fuck you to anyone who thinks that this kind of behaviour is funny or appropriate.

Overall Thoughts

Jess: I feel much the same way about this as I did about Summer Game Fest, which this year was a pretty resounding ‘eh’. There were a couple of highlights for me – I’m thrilled to see Little Nightmares 3 is coming, and I’m very intrigued by Dustborn – but otherwise a lot of games we’ve already seen extensive footage of before, or games that are days from release. Not a whole lot new here – but to be fair, they didn’t really promise there’d be anything groundbreaking to see. At least we have a date (December 7) for The Game Awards now, I guess? 

Paul: ONL was never going to knock our socks off, what with it primarily being a focus on known titles, but there were plenty fo games for me to relish getting a new look at, some new surprises that I enjoyed, and a largely well structured showcase that ensured I didn’t drift off to sleep along the way. This is the lowest profile event on Geoff’s year showcase calendar, but I really appreciated what he had put together. On to The Game Awards!