Photos from Gamescom 2017 - we arrived in the dead of night
Gamescom 2017 is open to the public August 23 to August 26, and the crowds are already piling in in their droves. Guests turning up on the first day without tickets were being told that there were no more day tickets available.
If you're one of those unlucky enough to have not managed to get a ticket, or if you are simply too far away geographically to attend Germany's gaming bonanza, do we have a treat for you.
Over these next few pages we have put together a gallery of images from the floor so that you can experience the wonder that is Gamescom 2017 for yourself.
- Gamescom is Europe's largest annual gaming event, stuffed full of the latest and greatest games, consoles, and gaming hardware. TechRadar is reporting live from Cologne, Germany to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated Gamescom 2017 hub to see all the latest news, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about the next year in gaming
KolnMesse (Cologne's convention center) in all its glory
A beautiful blue sky greeted us as we entered the cavernous halls of the KolnMesse, and that was the last time we saw it for many many hours.
Diligent workers that we are, we were there first thing in the morning, and already the queues were hundreds deep, tannoys announcing that all day tickets were now sold out.
A forlorn Mario and Luigi stood to the side of the entrance, contemplating their fate. But enough about them, onwards!
As soon as you walk in you're greeted by massive Guardians
See those little ants down in the right hand corner? Those are people. The scale of Gamescom is frankly staggering. We had to take a couple of seconds just to think about how you even print something as big as this.
I mean, we were already pretty excited Destiny 2, but then we saw this poster and were in awe. Maybe it's the same approach that religions took to architecture when building monolithic structures. If it's big enough, it becomes impressive by force of will.
You quickly realise that everything about this place is massive
This place was a VR arcade. You strapped a headset to your face, a portable computer to your back and away you went.
VR was fairly prominent at Gamescom this year, with dedicated sections for PlayStation VR section, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, and many more. We haven't included more photos of the VR experiences because they were mostly populated by children, and we didn't want to be the people at a convention taking photos of other people's children.
That includes the photo opportunities
This little (well, not so little) chap has been doing the rounds. He showed up at E3, and we're sure this isn't the last we're seeing of him either.
Quite a few of the different concessions had massive photo opportunities. There were dragons you could sit on for Shadow of War, Guardians you could stand next to for Destiny 2, and if you were eagle-eyed, there were Assassins walking amongst the crowd that you could grab a snap with.
And the displays
The very pretty BMW M5 actually received its world premiere at Gamescom during EA's live broadcast. The car will feature in Need for Speed Payback, which we thoroughly enjoyed playing when we had some hands on time with it.
It's an interesting move to see a car unveiled for the first time at a games conference. But with a car that can do 0-60 in less than 3.5 seconds, maybe a Need for Speed audience is the right one.
Which is just round the corner from a trusty X-wing
We've come a very long way since the old LucasArts X-Wing game, and Star Wars Battlefront II does a fantastic job of building on all the things that have made space battles fun in the past, and bringing them right up-to-date.
We don't know if there's a person alive who can stand under a giant X-wing and not get a little bit giddy. If there is we don't want to meet them.
Facing off against a Tie-fighter
In Battlefront II you've got the option of playing as either Empire or Rebellion, and so on the show floor, you had the option to play on the actual physical side of one or the other.
The Empire side also has a photo opportunity, and to be fair that Tie Fighter is probably one of the most Instagram-able things we saw while we were at Gamescom.
There's a cosplay village, but not a vast amount of cosplay
The cosplay village felt a little bit like a bolt-on, trying to capitalize on the crossover between comic fans and games fans. Inside there were some artists doing 'you as your favorite character' drawings, as well as their own manga art.
In the early days of the show we saw a few people in cosplay, but nowhere near enough to justify its own section of the show. That said, when the doors open for the public that changes drastically. Then this section is bustling with people and some of the costumes are a sight to behold.
That's not to say there's no one in costume
This, funnily enough, wasn't a photo opportunity or cosplay, but simply an attention grabber. And it worked. There was almost always a crowd gathered around Crossout, which just goes to show that even a game that's not very well known can get a good crowd with the right display.
Grabbing attention is especially difficult at Gamescom. The halls were vast, and there were so many concessions that we're certain there are stalls that we didn't even see.
It's not all fun and games, though. There's a section where you can apply for jobs
While this may seem like a bit of a downer, it was actually a really interesting idea. The convention was full of people who are deeply passionate about video games, so why not use it as a place to recruit?
There were concessions from a number of different companies with wide ranging remits, so regardless of which area of video games you wanted to work in, there was someone to talk to.
...Or pick up a delicious crêpe
While the theming of the food concessions wasn't quite as impressive as we've seen at other conventions in the past, there was plenty of choice, and the concessions are spread out enough that you never had to walk too far for a bite to eat.
There were cuisines from all over the world represented, and some of the stands were mercifully placed outside for when you needed a reminder of what sunlight feels like on your skin. Our favorite lunch was a cup filled with creamed corn, pulled pork and coleslaw. Sounds terrible, was wonderful.
And don't forget the merch
There was a merchandise concession for anything that you could ever want. Collectibles, yep. Playing cards, yep. Clothes, yep. Wigs, why not. Pillows in the shape of an old NES controller, you betcha.
There were official stands where you could buy a Gamescom T-shirt, so that you will always remember your time in Cologne.
So much merch..
After a certain amount of time, you start to wonder if there's anything that isn't available in the merchandise hall. And the answer is a resounding no. Literally anything you can think of that you want to take home emblazoned with characters from your favorite games (and TV shows, and films, and comic books) will be available here.
There was some retro gaming to be had
Because sometimes when you're right at the cutting edge, it's easy to only look forwards. This particular device wasn't actually an old console, but the latest in the current wave of retro gaming devices.
There was an entire section dedicated to people who have created 'retro' devices, inspired by the classic devices of yesterday.
Plus some new instalments in classic franchises
Super Mario Odyssey is undoubtedly one of the most hotly anticipated games coming to the Nintendo Switch, so it's no surprise that this particular booth had one of the longest queues to be found anywhere at the entire event.
While at Gamescom, Nintendo showed off a new kingdom for the game called the 'Luncheon Kingdom'. This new world is themed around food, in particular the cuisines of Italy and other European countries.
Some brand new titles like Sea of Thieves
Xbox had a very big presence at Gamescom, and with the Xbox One X on its way soon that was no surprise. It had a range of titles on display, but the biggest pull seemed to be commanded by upcoming title Sea of Thieves.
While at the event, Microsoft announced that cross-play would be possible in the game, meaning that if you are a PC gamer, but want to play multiplayer pirates with your friend on Xbox, that's going to be possible.
And some firm fan favorites
Considering Overwatch is now over a year old, and there were no huge announcements about it, it had a surprisingly large presence. Although when you consider the amount that people care about it, we suppose it makes sense.
Also, some of the best cosplay that we saw was Overwatch themed.
That's it for now – until next time Gamescom!
We had an absolute blast in Cologne at Gamescom 2017, and while for us it's now all over, that doesn't mean that we're going to be forgetting it any time soon.
If you want to catch up on all the biggest news that happened at the event this year, make sure you check out our hub for Gamescom 2017.
Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.