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The best (and worst) of Opening Night Live

To kick off Gamescom this week, Geoff Keighley hosted his Opening Night Live event, a two hour-long gauntlet featuring announcements and trailers of video games, including many that aren’t made in the US. Here’s a not-at-all-exhaustive list of some of the most interesting games — if you want that, check out the full video here. We also covered some of the biggest news from the show in other articles, including Hideo Kojima’s new Spotify podcast, the release date of Return to Monkey Island, Sony’s new Edge controller, and even a Pokémon concept car.

Everywhere

Everywhere — a game that’s either going to have awesome or terrible search engine optimization — kicked off the program. In the featurette, the developers at Build a Rocket Boy, including former Grand Theft Auto game designer Leslie Benzies, teased an open-world game where players can create their own stories and build their own universe.

Dune: Awakening

In addition to a strategy game and a Fortnite crossover, the world of Dune is also getting an open-world survival MMO. Dubbed Dune: Awakening and made by the same studio making the Spice Wars RTS, the short clip features someone who seems to be an older Paul Atreides reciting the famous “Fear is the mind-killer” speech as he’s about to hitch a ride on a sandworm. Beta signups are available here but there’s no word yet on beta dates, release dates, or if the game will finally let Paul become a sandworm.

Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy, the Harry Potter prequel game that’s suffering from persistent delays, has a new trailer. In it, a Slytherin and a Hufflepuff explore the mystery behind the unforgivable curses in hopes that they might be used to save lives. The trailers shows students fighting zombies and what looks like a choice system ala Telltale’s The Walking Dead series.

Under the Waves

Under the Waves, developed by Parallel Studios, is a single-player narrative game published by Star Wars: Eclipse studio Quantic Dream. Evoking the mysterious deep-sea exploration vibes of ABZÛ, Soma, and Subnautica, Under the Waves focuses on grief, isolation, and the alien wilderness of the open waters.

Goat Simulator 3

Sun’s out, tongues out. The developers at Coffee Stain Studios injected some much needed levity into Opening Night Live with the gameplay trailer of Goat Simulator 3. Bleat, baa, and ragdoll your way through the world getting up to all kinds of goat-flavored shenanigans. Due out November 17th on Xbox, PlayStation and PC, Goat Simulator 3 supports four-player online or local co-op.

High on Life

High on Life, the “Rick and Morty game without Rick or Morty” showed off a new boss fight while testing the limits of how much the general public can endure a talking gun. The consensus? Not much. Imagine repeatedly dying during a difficult boss fight and having Morty voice actor Justin Roiland repeat the same dialogue at you ad naseum until you win. No thank you.

Moonbreaker

Moonbreaker, the newest game from Subnautica developers Unknown Worlds Entertainment, might just be the most interesting game of the show. According to its website, the game a turn-based, real-time tabletop strategy game with single-player, competitive multiplayer, cooperative multiplayer, and roguelike elements. It’s a miniatures-based game evoking physical table top strategy games like Warhammer that will let you customize your units without the painstaking process of physically painting teeny tiny statues until your fingers cramp. Moonbreaker enters early access on September 29th on Steam.

Dead Island 2

Evoking exactly none of the emotion elicited in its predecessor’s reveal trailer, Dead Island 2 finished out Opening Night Live with a silly reveal and gameplay trailer. Dead Island 2 has been firmly lodged in development hell since 2014 changing studio hands multiple times. It takes place in a zombie overrun LA known as “Hell-A” (get it?) and the game’s website describes it as, “the most intense, visceral and gory first person experience possible.” Both trailers certainly play that gore up featuring all kinds of squelching, wet noises as rotten body parts explode across the screen. Gross. The game will also be the first to include Amazon’s new Alexa Voice Control technology. Dead Island 2 launches — for real this time — on February 3rd on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

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