Monday, August 26th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Eye candy: the best game trailers from Gamescom

Crytek’s latest CryEngine demo may have been one of the most eye-catching things to come out of Gamescom last week, but it doesn’t qualify for our pick of the show’s best trailers. Find out what did below.

Gamescom may not have quite the kudos of E3 or GDC, but it is very, very big. Over 340,000 people visited the giant independent German games fair last week. That’s more than the population of Iceland.

And while the trailers released at the show may not all have been quite as high-profile as those from its US counterparts, there was still plenty to dazzle the citizens of the new European Republic of Games.

Below, we’ve picked five of our own highlights. As ever with these round-ups, we’ve made our choices based on the graphical polish of the trailers, not the merits – or otherwise – of the games themselves.

Also as ever, this is a completely unscientific selection, so feel free to to suggest your own favourites in the comments. And some of these titles feature adult content, so you’ll need to be logged in to YouTube.

Right, disclaimer over. On with the eye candy…

5. Fable Legends
Fans will argue over the wisdom of ditching an open-ended RPG system in favour of four-player co-op until Fable Legends is released. But on purely aesthetic merits, the latest of Lionhead’s long-running series of games looks promising. The Axis Animation-created debut trailer features chunky, satisfyingly stylised character design, and like the citizens of Albion themselves, it doesn’t feel obliged to take itself too seriously.

4. Dead Rising 3
The Dead Rising series’ take on the zombie apocalypse isn’t notable for its understatement. Blur Studio’s teaser for Dead Rising 3 begins with new protagonist Nick Ramos wiping brains off his windshield, and ends with him riding out across a sea of undead on a turbo-powered steamroller. But while it isn’t exactly subtle, the animation delivers jolts and gross-out comedy in equal measure, along with a surprising amount of back story.

3. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Describing the upcoming expansion for your RPG as a “dark and terrifying new chapter” in the game world suggests that the teaser for said expansion probably won’t feature kittens or bunny rabbits. Blizzard’s trailer for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls doesn’t disappoint, featuring a number of unfortunates meeting their ends at the hands (or rather, hooks) of Malthael, the sickle-wielding Angel of Death. It’s all suitably harrowing.

2. Thief
Eidos Montreal’s fourth outing in the Thief series may have shed its version number, its original voice actor, and some of its fans’ good will, but if it plays half as well as the trailer looks, it’ll still be a classic. The latest Uprising cinematic looks simply gorgeous, and the only reason it doesn’t take top spot here is that if you’ve been following the game’s lengthy journey to market, you’ll have seen some of the early shots already.

1. The Witcher 3
Gritty, downbeat games often have gritty, downbeat trailers. In most cases, this means a lot of moody lighting, and some strategically placed smoke. Platige Image’s Killing Monsters teaser for The Witcher 3 does involve a modicum of smoke, but after that, it’s all refreshingly prosaic, with the everyday business of monster-hunting and heretic-slaying played out against a muddy, leaden-skied winter countryside. The facial performances are a touch Uncanny, but this is one of the rare ‘cinematics’ that genuinely lives up to that adjective.

Do you have your own favourites from Gamescom? Post them in the comments below.