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Gamescom Bulletin: Day 3

Blizzard! Boredom! Bratwurst!

Wilkommen to our third and final Gamescom update. The show's going to continue over the weekend, but the business folks are packing up and fleeing, leaving the vast showfloor to the general public to drift between heaving booth demos, like Dead Rising but with more Final Fantasy cosplayers.

This means that we have indeed gone a whole show without any Sony vs. Microsoft throwdowns, which after the last couple of years of heavyweight slugging feels crushingly anticlimactic. PS4's best and only hope was an awkward, over-produced booth tour with Jim Ryan, which does at least capture a classic trade-show experience of spending half an hour with somebody who is contractually obligated to say nothing new or interesting.

Things weren't much better over at the Blizzard conference, which turned out to be roughly a thousand years of filibustering about lore that even the level-100 diehards didn't remember. We woke up to discover that the new expansion is called Legion, which adds a new Demon Hunter class and all the weapon-levelling stuff that Bungie just took out of Destiny. Good to see that Activision supports recycling. Meanwhile the Away Team had a chat with Blizzard about the changes to Hearthstone, covering all the new stuff and how it won't be making the game impenetrable to newcomers.

How everything fell into place for Tetris Block ops. How everything fell into place for Tetris

Not for the first time it fell to Paradox to keep thing interesting, with a conference that revealed a Cities Skylines expansion and and new space strategy title Stellaris, both of which Chris is very excited about.

Martin has already fled the Halles, but found time to write up that Scalebound looks pretty good despite its insufferable protagonist, and Mafia 3 looks pretty dull despite its amazing setting. Square Enix apologised for its E3 showing and confirmed that FFXV is out next year. The games industry continued its blasphemous rejection of the laws of mathematics with the news that Halo 5 is twice as long as Halo 4 and and Fallout 4 is infinite.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 has had a last-minute visual change. Presumably the ambition is to copy that moment when Borderlands went cartoony and transformed from grey-and-brown also-ran to cel-shaded smash hit, although here the transformation appears to be from "early-period Xbox 360 game" to "nightmarish reboot of I, Robot" and thus less likely to succeed. Other things which seem unlikely to be as successful as Borderlands include Gearbox's don't-call-it-a-MOBA Battleborn, which now has a release date.

Competitive Call of Duty has switched over to Playstation, which is good news for anybody in the market for one of the Mountain Dew-stained Xbox Ones that will be hitting eBay any minute now. Horizon: Zero Dawn has not been delayed, and Square is making noises about Tomb Raider's Xbox-exclusivity not persisting beyond the current game.

To round it all off we had an exclusive and extended video of Divinity: Original Sin on PS4, Konami revealed that dismal corporate culture is immensely profitable, and nothing happened with Nintendo of any consequence whatsoever so please enjoy some photos of the booth.

That's it for our daily Gamescom updates! We hope you enjoyed them, we're going to pack up our comfortable conference shoes in readiness for EGX in September.

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