"Evolve": four hunters set off on the trail of a mythological creature. Photo: AFP
February 2015 action game "Evolve" clinched five category awards at the bustling August 13-17 Gamescom video game expo in Cologne, Germany, while "Super Smash Bros." was named Most Wanted by showgoers.
Five players enter the arena, four as hunters tasked with taking down a savage monster, and the other in charge of the beast itself.
Due early next year on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, "Evolve" comes from Turtle Rock Studios, best known for creating the "Left 4 Dead" franchise that was a hit on PC and Xbox 360, providing tense multiplayer action within an innovative, co-operative context.
As well as scooping the judging panel's Best of Gamescom, "Evolve" was awarded Best Console Game: Microsoft Xbox, Best PC Game, Best Online Multiplayer Game and the overall Best Action Game.
The award for Best Console Game: Sony PlayStation, which "Evolve" had been in contention for, went to horror title "The Evil Within," this October's multiplatform release from feted "Resident Evil" designer and director Shinji Mikami.
Nintendo's best game was elected "Splatoon," a paintball-based action game for Wii U in which players can transform into an appropriately color-coded secret squid, according to the paint-soaked environs.
Such tweaks to established genre tropes offer a sense of innovation and a considerably softer tone in contrast to "Evolve," an approach that suits Nintendo's desire to provide both unique and family-friendly experiences.
Accordingly, "Super Smash Bros." won Best Mobile Game in its 3DS iteration (due October) and the Most Wanted Consumer Award as a Wii U title, due before the end of the year. Music-based 3DS "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call" took Best Simulation, in advance of a September 2014 outing in North America and Europe, having been made available to Japanese audiences in April.
Best Role Playing Game went to German-made "Risen 3," published on PC, PS3 and 360 during the Gamescom event, while Best Sports Game went not to "FIFA 15" but "Pro Evolution Soccer 2015." Motorsports title "Forza Horizon 2" was the remaining category contender.
November's PS3 and PS4 release "LittleBigPlanet 3" was both Best Family Game and Best Social/Casual/Online Game; other nominees in Family were "Skylanders Trap Team," "Silence," "Lego Batman 3" and "Yoshi's Woolly World," while remaining names in Social/Casual/Online were "Dance Central Spotlight," "Orcs Must Die! Unchained," "SingStar" and (again) "Lego Batman 3."