The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from Gamescom Opening Night Live 2022

I am so glad that, despite not getting a “real” E3 this year, Gamescom decided to actually do a legit show this year. While Gamescom has yet to reach the same allure and status as E3 or the upcoming Tokyo Games Show, I still do go into it with high hopes as there’s always a good chance they can pull off some big surprise announcement. It’s also nice to see Geoff Keighley have his Opening Night Live keynote show have a live crowd again. I really miss the kind of electricity an actual audience can bring.

But Opening Night Live is still basically a way for game developers, publishers and the gaming industry at large to get people hyped for what they have in store in the future. Some of these announcements can be good, can be bad and, sometimes, just really dumb and weird. So, let’s go look at just some of the good, bad and downright baffling things that Geoff Keighley cobbled together for this year’s Gamescom Opening Night Live show, shall we?

I do have to mention that I will not be covering each and every thing that was announced all throughout this year’s Opening Night Live as there was a ton of stuff to go through. Rather, I’ll be focusing on just a few of the more eye-catching or groan inducing things that appeared during the show. There’s still a lot to get through so let’s start!

The Good

Lies of P looks like a really good Souls inspired game

I have yet to really dive into the realm of Demon Souls, Bloodborne or even Elden Ring. I do have plans but life just keeps getting in the way, you know? I know I have to be devoting a lot of time into those games because I’ll have to “git gud” in order to progress through any of those game. But, with Lies of P out on the horizon, I really have to start sooner than later.

I wouldn’t say Lies of P is just riding on the coattails of the Souls games since it looks and probably plays like them almost to a tee. I would rather call it more a homage to it. I will say the concept is strangely brilliant as it a messed up take on the Pinocchio as you take control of the non-living boy and traverse the gothic world and face off against other mechanized creatures and possible monsters. The gameplay and the graphical style looks phenomenal. There’s also supposed to be a “lie” system wherein you make choices and what you choose or how you tackle specific quests will affect which ending you get. I didn’t know I needed to play a game where you play Pinocchio until I saw Lies of P. But I do now!

Dead Island 2 looks like it understands we need a good B-movie horror inspired game

I didn’t play the first Dead Island game. I read the reviews of the game and it just didn’t seem like it was going to be for me. The game was pretty buggy so that was already a point against it. But the biggest flaw was with the original trailer as it looked like it was going to be too serious for its own good. Thankfully, it looks like the developer thought so too as Dead Island 2 looks like a much goofier and more stylized take on the zombie apocalypse.

Now, this is a trailer and it’s there to convince people to get the game. So there’s no guarantee Dead Island 2 will look and play exactly like depicted here. With that said, I do like the more campy attitude shown here. I do find it funny how the guy and his neighbors in the trailer treats the zombie apocalypse like it’s just any ordinary day. I mean, one of them even waives to them hello while the other two are beating up on some of the undead. All of this is happening while Kool and the Gang’s Hollywood Swinging plays in the background. I’ll wait for more details but this Dead Island 2 trailer this pique my interest.

Gotham Knights actually looks good this time around

I wasn’t a fan of Gotham Knights first trailer when it was shown way back in the first DC Fandome in 2020. Everything just looked way too stiff and robotic. Because of this, I let the game drop off my radar for quite a while. So maybe it was because I did have such a low opinion for the game that the trailer they showed off during Opening Night Live actually impressed me this time around.

The gameplay looked much more refined and fine-tuned this time around. The animations looked more fluid as well. The gameplay also looked fun this time. Once again, like with Dead Island 2, this is just a trailer so there’s no way of telling if the final product will look like this. But as Gotham Knights is slated to be released in just a couple of months, I guess I won’t have to wait for too long to see.

The Bad

High on Life showed a very boring boss fight

I love me some Rick and Morty. I do like the quirky and dark sense of humor the show has. So, when it was announced Justin Roiland, one of the creators of the show and the voice of both Rick and Morty, were making a game, I was excited. I did watch a few trailers of High on Life and it looks like the humor is on point for the most part. Unfortunately, they didn’t really highlight the humor during Gamescom Opening Night Live. Instead, what they gave us was a rather lame boss fight.

If the idea was to show what are some of the things you can do in High on Life, I will say they got their point across. Besides shooting, you can use another creature like a grappling hook to traverse locations and even deflect some projectiles. But the boss fight itself didn’t look like much of a challenge. All the video showed was the main character blasting the insect-like creature normally and then grappling on bugs in order to stop from getting bogged down in the sludge when the platform you’re on submerges in toxic goo. The boss didn’t feel the least bit threatening as all you had to do was jump up to avoid its laser blast. They did try to show some of the humorous dialogue but it wasn’t enough to really enamor me to the game. High on Life was one of the low points of the show because of that.

The awards show from within the show

Look, I get Geoff Keighley is mostly known now for creating The Game Awards and I’m really glad he did. He took that show away from Spike TV (does anyone remember the abomination that was Spike TV) and made the show much more legitimate than it should be. Gamescom also had their own awards show to promote the best or most anticipated games from the show. So I don’t get why Opening Night Live would have these weird intermissions where they would give awards while within the show.

Like I said, Gamescom has their own award show so it doesn’t make sense to interspace Opening Night Live where they would also give out awards. The show is already long as it is so having these moments just felt like filler when they should have been trying to find ways to cut out as much fat as possible. What’s also dumb is there was totally no fanfare as the winner would already be standing by with the trophy in hand! These awards just came off as totally unnecessary.

Sony plugging the new high-tech PlayStation 5 controller… despite it still being so difficult to buy a PlayStation 5

I would like to get a PlayStation 5. No, I really want to get Sony’s new system because I do think it’s a good system. However, I’m not eager enough to pay an unfair price for it and, sadly, that’s what’s happening right now as there are still worldwide PlayStation 5 shortages even up to now. It’s possible the supply and demand for the system will balance out in a couple of years so it does feel like a slap in the face that Sony would reveal the DualSense Edge PS5 pro gaming controller when not many people have a PS5 to begin with!

On paper, the DualSense Edge controller is a good thing. It’s a highly customizable PS5 controller that seems like Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s highly vaunted Xbox Elite controller. It will have some of the same bells and whistles, like being able to adjust the sensitivity of the triggers and the analog sticks. That’s all nice and all but I, along with a lot of non-PlayStation 5 owners, would rather Sony concentrate on making more PlayStation 5 systems so we can actually buy the thing I need use this controller on! System first, controller later, Sony!

The Ugly

Hideo Kojima shows up to plug his latest project: a podcast

Geoff Keighley is a lucky man for a lot of reasons. It must be really fun to be in his position to be a gaming industry insider and pal around with some of gaming’s heavyweights. One of these people he’s buddies with is Hideo Kojima, which is why Geoff Keighley can get him to appear in his programs and make some grand announcement on his latest project. During Opening Night Live, Geoff Keighley did just that as he managed to get the man himself to pop in and reveal what’s he’s been up to. Unfortunately, the “big project” Hideo Kojima revealed wasn’t his latest video game project. No, he was just there to plug his podcast.

I kinda get this was a “gotcha” moment for both Geoff Keighley and Hideo Kojima as a lot of people have high expectations whenever the latter shows up on some game related keynote show. I can see the humor of setting high expectations only to have that “shaggy dog” moment where your hopes just deflates sadly. But I can’t help but feel a little cheated nonetheless.

The Pokemon car

I… can’t. What?

There is just so many things… dumb about this. I thought you’re not supposed to even text while driving and now you want to add gaming features to your car? Also, why does the dashboard have so many distracting lights? And it’s a concept car so it’s not made for mass production, right? So why even show it during a gaming event?

The truly dumbest thing about this car is, strangely enough, the color. I can accept the idea that you wanted to combine Pokemon to a car. It’s crazy but I’ve heard crazier. It kind of makes sense to use Pikachu as the “mascot” for the car as it’s the most popular Pokemon and, as it’s an electric car, you needed to pair it with an “electric” creature. But why is it green? Pikachu is yellow! You couldn’t even get the color right!

What did you think of this year’s Gamescom Opening Night Only show? Let me know in the comments section below!

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