Editorials

Gamescom Screenshots: Combat.

As promised in the previous article, today we’ll be looking at the screenshots from the ‘Combat’ section of the new releases. Despite the label, these images appear to be PvE-focused – PvP screenshots appear in a different section.

The first few shots are concentrated in the ruins of Ascalon. To begin with, we have an image of Barradin’s spirit in his new body – a giant statue in the ruins of his state at the end of the charr starter area. Necromantic energy is rife on this screenshot – green-black spread across the screen as well as forming a dark halo around the blood fiend, while a pair of red-tinged bubbles indicate the possible use of blood magic such as Life Siphon. A spectral object across the charr’s back gives the illusion of the charr being ripped apart by blending with the background of the catacomb wall.

The second screenshot brings us to a later section of the game, as evidenced by the presence of a noncharr guardian brandishing a sceptre to encase her spectral opponent in Chains of Light. Eerie columns of blue flame erupt from the ground around her, possibly part of some trap or attack, or perhaps just adding to the ambience.

A third image returns us to the showdown with Barradin and the charr. The feminine charr near the centre of the shot appears to be wearing the same armour as that in the first, but lacks the pale pink accoutrement – suggesting that that might have been an attack or other effect rather than a natural part of her armour. A glimpse of a fiery blade at the far left indicates Tribune Brimstone’s personal interest in this battle.

Still fighting the ghosts of Ascalon, but this time it appears to be outside… with a hint that the gods of humanity are no longer supporters of Adelbern’s cause. While we’ve known they’ll exist and seen concept art of the Hounds of Balthazar for quite some time, Gamescom has given us what appears to be our first glimpses of them, in this case apparently savaging and igniting one of the ghosts of Ascalon.

The final three in this category appear to be telling a brief story:

First, a female adventurer stands off against two undead monstrosities – a krait and a larger, more brutish kind of zombie. She wields a scimitar-like sword in her right and a kris dagger in the left.

Next time we see her, the krait is recoiling as if from a blow, possibly from the woman’s sword positioned as if recovering from a left-to-right slice with the blade. Her kris is held in front of her body, in a stance ready to intercept a strike from her foes.

Finally, we see the krait lying vanquished upon the earth as our heroine lunges with her off hand. The green glow at the zombie’s abdomen is lacking from the previous shots, indicating that it might be the result of a skill from the adventurer or the zombie – possibly Venom’s Sting, although no ranger companion is evident – or maybe it’s just that Orrian zombies bleed green. Or ooze green, as the case may be.

So, what are your thoughts? Anyone lucky enough to play the demo – or particularly sharp-eyed in watching the videos of people playing the demo – feel they can shed some light on what we’ve seen above? Comment below!

Next up we’ll be looking at the environment screenshots, starting with the imposing gates of the Black Citadel, both eldritch and mundane.

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