Eurogamer Expo takes places at Earl's Court One in London, and heading out of Earl's Court Station has it immediately opposite you, looming large with big red banners emblazoned with the Wolfenstein logo.
Huge queues to stand in from the get-go, which moves fast once the doors open so that people can rush in to get a good spot in yet another queue.
Amazing work by the ticket boothsagain this year, getting people wristbanded and inside within a minute.
Now onto a list of things we saw!
- Sonic Lost World -Got hold of the 3DS version first. A little simpler graphics-wise compared to it's console counterpart, the 3D is easy on the eyes as the camera isn't constantly moving, and there's still them same Giant Spring transitions splitting up the levels.
Controls will take a little getting used to - Sonic moves left and right seemingly too quickly - as the ground isn't flat, but he still controls as he should in all other aspects.
The levels I played didn't have much in the way of parkour, but it was as simple as running into a wall and Sonic will take care of the rest.
The Wii U version looks super crisp and the colours are vivid. Controls are easy to grasp, and it's nice and simple to move the Blue Blur around the strange new world designs.
Level design is nice and varied with classic enemies being the most prominent in the level I played.
Looking forward to when these two release in a few weeks.
- Dark Souls II -Excitedly queued for this one. Met a friendly fellow in the crowd and went through chatting geeky Demon/Dark Soul's chat and watching others have their turn.
There was prizes to be one for those who beat the Demo's Boss: The Mirror Knight. Someone won mid-queue, and as he was the very first to win, he got a PS3 and some other stuff to lug around for the rest of the day.
Everyone past that point got a DSII shirt, but at least we got to look at the Collectors Edition statue up close and personal, and all the while the Dark Souls II Guy was wandering around for photo ops.
On to the demo: The person who'd played before me had gotten past the first areas, so I had to start off in the corridor leading up to the Boss Area.
That may have been cheating somewhat, but it didn't help in the end. And besides, I was thrown in the deep end.
The corridor was guarded by some kind of Dark sorceror at the far end, and lined with statues.
I tested my controls and checked my equipment, and then headed out into the corridor with shield raised.
Halfway down, I realised one of the statues had started to rise, and found that one behind me had as well... so back I went, rolling like a madman.
These guys were pretty swift, mixing up their halberd attacks with multiple jump kicks and hard-hitting lunge attacks.
So I decided to fight them in the small stairway corridor from where I came. They had to go single file in here, and I equipped my greatsword and took them down with it's leaping chop, knocking them to the floor.
Not to say I didn't get killed by them at any point, but getting the strategy down, I could defeat them pretty easily if I was careful with my stamina consupmtion.
So onto the Sorceror. He was not as agile as his friends, and was all but fixed in place hurling magical spears and dark blasts every now and then.
So backstabbing was the best bet, in between his AOE blast attack. Backstabs are enhanced this time around by adding a multi attack to them.
Meaning you can now either hit and run with a simple blow to the back, or chop away at them for more damage at the risk of exposing yourself to other enemies. (And presumably to the creatures anger/counterattack at some point, I expect)
Just past the sorceror is the ever-threatening fog gate, indicating a Boss battle, though you have no idea what you'll be facing or where it is until you enter.
Mirror Knight was waiting at the far end of a colliseum, twice as tall as me and seemingly made of silver. He carried a large straightsword in one hand, and a huge tower shield in the other with a giant mirror embedded into the front.
He ran at me, stopped mid-stride, and leapt for me, sword leading.
Easily dodged, I attacked with my longsword. Not very effective.
Switching to my greatsword proved more effective, and I hacked at him meekly whenever he stopped attacking.
He could charge his sword with lightning, and it tripled the range of his sword's sweeps.
At certain points, he would slam his shield's rim into the floor and stop moving. This was a good time to two-hand my greatsword and get a strong hit or two in there.
But he was actually summoning help! Out of his shield came a silvery phantom warrior with a greatshield and a spear, giving me a second opponent to keep track of.
They were easy enough to despatch by themselves, but Mirror Knight would take bolder actions when you weren't attacking him directly.
Death happened a lot. But I soon realised that I didn't actually need to fight the Sorceror and his lackeys as I could run straight past and get through the fog before they could hit me.
I got his health down to the mid-way point once, but all that seemed to do was add electric projectiles to his lightning sweep attacks.
So in the end, my 20 minutes ran out, and even with my head start, I didn't kill Mr Mirror Knight.
I got a poster just for trying, however. And preordered to get the t-shirt.
- Mario Kart 8 -Good thing I got in here early, as all the other days there was always a queue for this.
Not a lot to say about this one though. It looks amazing, the controls are tight and the antigrav additions don't even require any effort to adapt to.
If anything, what they do is open up the level designs, and add an extra path for a tracks shortcuts to take.
Didn't get a chance to see if there were new items there, but this was the same demo you'll have seen before.
- Super mario 3D World -I'm typing this up just after the latest Nintendo Dircet has shown even more info about it and it now looks like I'll enjoy it even more upon release.
But my impression: Just like Sonic Lost Worlds, everything is wonderfully vivid and colourful. Enemies and objects pop and it just oozes that patented "Nintendo Polish"
I got to play three of the 5 demos on show - The standard intro/grassy level, the Yoshi-like water creature level, and the boss level.
I played all three with other people, and we all enjoyed ourselves throughout.
I got to play as both Luigi and Toad, Toad being the speedy one and Luigi having his wonderful flutter jump.
All the moves seem to be there, and work as they should, and you can still "Bubble" to keep yourself safe like in NSMB.
Everyone knows how Mario games play by now, so I'll just talk about the additions:
Clear Pipes add just a little flair on the originals, opening up for more mazes and shortcuts as well as funnels for your powerups.
Cat Bells add some extra climbing ability and a more ranged arial attack. It'll take the Tanooki suits place for most cheating item when it comes to golden flagging levels. (Which I'm guessing is still in there from 3D Land)
Cooperative levels (the water creature one in this case) seem to be in here to add some much needed teamwork sections to the multiplayer, this one requiring all the players to help steer the creature through the rings, coins and hazards.
Higher jumps are achieved by more people pressing at the same time. There are LOTS of shortcut possibilities to be had (one behind a waterfall that led to a lot of coins leading to a ramp and a mid-air green star grab)
Having the green stars in there from the get go is a fun idea, and hopefully Green Stars become a staple of the series as they've always been a good incentive to explore levels thoroughly.
Finally, bosses aren't as repetetive in this one as they were in NSMB series, with the one being on show involving climbing various height snakes to get high enough to stomp the boss himself.
Don't expect them to be too hard though, as he didn't seem to really attack anyone.
Looking forward to the end of November for this one. All the newly shown stuff such as Duplication Cherries look like good fun for everyone.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds -ZELDA. One of my all-time favourite series, and memories of leaving the SNES on to keep my LTTP save from erasing itself (My dad fixed it eventually by tightening the carts screws) are still fresh in my mind.
First off, the subtle 3D effects are awesome. It remains largely unobtrusive, but it keeps throwing these little flairs at you every now and then to keep you going.
I jumped right into the Dungeon Demo, though I popped outside to see the outside of it, and it's the familiar white stonework from LTTP temples.
You start out with the Magic Mallet, smashing the pegs into the floor, you stand atop the peg and it will launch you upwards. With small pegs getting you onto higher ledges, and giant pegs launching you up a whole floor.
Just like LTTP, there will be plenty of falling through holes to reach the floor below, though with the added benefit now of being able to see where you'll land.
The Wall Shifting ability is ridiculously easy to pick up, and is linked like all your gear to an ever recharging Magic Meter. Which to some purists may seem like blasphemy, but it runs out pretty fast, so there'll be no item spamming here.
I made my way up the tower, sneaking out through the barred windows and falling through holes to secret chests (mostly filled with Silver Rupees)
Unfortunately the demo ran out just as I was about to launch into the boss room, but there's new info released with the new Direct to fill that desire for info.
Getting hands on alleviated those initial fears when it was first shown, as the graphics have had a lovely touch-up, and the 3D makes it look even better.
- Bayonetta 2 -Snuck onto this when we noticed how small the queue suddenly was. (It was super busy at all other times)
What can I say? It plays like the first. 60FPS, crisp, smooth, Platinum-quality action. Bayonetta looks as lovely as ever, sporting a new haircut and all her wonderful skills.
You start off fighting on the back of a jet flying through the city, centaur-like angels attacking you from angles. Eventually the jet takes a hit and as it careens off to it's doom, you pass another jet doing much the same, this one being ridden by Jeanne. They each share a glance as they pass each other, and then launch themsleves onto a moving train.
The giant tentacled lion creaure that took the jets down lands behind it and gives chase.
Bayonetta controls like a dream, dodging at the last instant and activating her time-slowing Witch Time ability, as well as the new Umbran Climax mode, where every attack is a Wicked Weave attack.
All this culminates in her usual hair-flair spectacular finisher that put the boss down for good.
Unfortunately my demo was cut short after this, (despite there being another boss straight after) but I came away with a Silver for the first section, and a Gold for the boss!
Platinum ranks will have to wait, but if the demo is any indication, it will be well worth it.
- Beyond: Two Souls -The latest Dragon's Lair-a-like game from David Cage is a step in the right direction.
I can't say how the stroy is going to hold up as it goes along, but the gameplay is a lot more involving than it's predecessors.
Controlling Jodie is much like the characters in Heavy Rain, but with streamlined directions for the most part. It teaches you to push the right stick in the direction of Jodie's movement to complete that motion - be it kicking, ducking, pushing a button, jumping, etc.
Aiden (Jodie's supernatural tag-along) is a little more involved. He can manipulate knock over certain items (be they some building blocks or cars) and can also possess certain people and make them cause a distraction or shoot their teammates.
The first section of the demo has you as a young Jodie sitting through a psychic examination, guessing the shape on the card of the person in the room opposite is holding.
Switching to Aiden, you can float over and through the wall, and look over the other person's shoulder at the card she is holding, then switch back to Jodie and select that card.
You are then asked to knock over some blocks on the other persons table. Using Aiden again, you lock on with L1, and pull both sticks back like a slingshot, and let go to knock the blocks over.
You're finally asked to see what else you can knock over - a bottle of watter, some papers, a cup, the entire table...
This makes the lady aiding in the experiment freak out and try to run, only to find the door is stuck, and she begins to panic.
Eventually I broke the window, and Nathan (Willem Dafoe's character) and some others rushed into the room to calm Jodie down, whispering reassurance, whilst security bash down the door to get to the poor crying woman in the opposite room.
It's all wonderfully acted, and you can't help but feel responisble for making that woman cry. I tried breaking the door down for her, but it didn't seem to let me, and it seems the window may have made it worse.
Next up is a jump ahead to Jodie's martial arts training.
This teaches you the new system for pressing the stick in the right direction to complete Jodie's movements.
It's not too long, but it get's the job done, with time slowing down to indicate that input is required.
Now we're on a train, Jodie is asleep, but is clearly on the run from the authorities.
As Aiden, I try to wake her up. Knocking her bag onto her, throwing a bottle of water at her, each time getting brushed off and she returns to her slumber.
The train pulls into the station, and you see some police officers milling about waiting for the train to stop.
I start knocking things into Jodie again, and she eventually catches a glimpse of the flashing siren lights and gets up just as the train is pulling away.
She tries to get out of the carriage, but is immediately spotted by some officers who have gotten on, and one of them recognises her face. They grab her, but she shakes out of her jacket and they start to give chase.
She stumbles down the shakey aisle and pushes the buttons to get to the next carriage (time slowing for the button pushes) and she fumbles through the doorways and throws carts and such into the aisle to slow the officers down.
She eventually gets caught by one of the first class booths, and a short fight ensues. Breaking his arm to get away, another officer comes around the corner and goes for his gun.
Jodie dives into the restroom and locks the door, dodging a few shots. There is immediately banging and shouted demands, as Jodie frantically looks for a way out.
There's a hatch in the ceiling that she tries to open, but it's stuck fast. "Aiden! I need you!"
Switching to Aiden, I smash the thing open and get Jodie to climb out and lose her hat to the wet and windy weather. And just in time, because the officers to break down the door and find you gone.
They immediately start to follow, and others are climbing up from the side (they are really persistant for standard law enforcers)
Jodie makes her way down the rain-slick roof, eventually getting headed off by a few other officers from the front.
A 4-on-1 fight ensues, and despite the slow down for the button input, everything feels nice and quick, and things continue smoothly whether you fail and input or not.
Eventually there are too many to take on, and finally she calls for Aiden's help again and leaps from the train: Aiden's other power creates a forcefield of sorts around her, cushioning her fall from the train.
Things aren't over though, as soon enough the police are storming through the woods after her, flashlights glaring behind her as she stumbles through the dark.
She eventually gets caught up with by a pair of police dogs and another fight ensues, grabbing a branch to defend herself, and some swift kicks when an opportunity presents itself.
Eventually they have enough and run off, leaving Jodie to come across a cliff, climb up to a ledge and hide there as the officers below move on.
Continuing up the cliff, you come to a road with a par of police cars and a motorcycle.
Using Aiden, I possess the motorcycle cop, get him to pick up a shotgun from another vehicle, and then start firing rounds into the air as the other two officers take cover and shout at him.
I then get Jodie to run past, jump the road barrier and make off on the unattended motorcycle.
No sooner has Jodie passed the first bend than a helicopter passes over and rests it's lights on her.
Trying to lose it, she eventually comes across another roadblock over a short bridge. She's shouted at to surrender.
"We go straight through..." She mumbles to both herself and Aiden, and then revs the bike to lif and races toward the roadblock ahead.
Switching to Aiden, I invoke his forcefield again and it allows Jodie and her motorbike to plow straight through the barriers, vehicles and bullets, as the commander calls for cease fire and informs his forces that shes heading to the nearest town.
Finally we do indeed arrive at the town, where there is an ambush set up. They manage to take Jodie by surprise and she takes a nasty spill from her bike, damaging her leg.
She scrambles behind a car as the officers take up positions around the theatre she's nearby and start shouting again.
"Aiden... take care of them."
Time to go nuts. I'm given free-rein to take out as many people as possible. Using possessed officers to take out nearby ones, flipping cars onto others and eventually making the helicopter pilot crash into everyone else remaining.
(DISCLAIMER: Mine actually "crashed" at this section, before I could crash the helicopter, as after I'd possessed a sniper and made him jump off the roof, Aiden then began to resolutely sink through the floor and I couldn't get him back. But I saw the rest in the last player's run)
Once the dust clears, Jodie strides over to the dazed commander (who she clearly knows) and says "Tell them to back off, or next time... I kill everyone."
Looking forward to more of this for sure, just hoping the story doesn't get super silly near the end, or super predictable.
But from what I've seen, it looks like it'll be great fun while it lasts.
- Knack -This was in the PS4 section, but was also hidden away with some other PS4 games in the Virgin Media section behind it.
And as we could only try out 2 games per trip into the PS4 area, we were telling others that a good chunk of the games on one of the vouchers were available outside the PS area.
From the first time I saw it, I said that Knack was going to be a tech-demo game. I said this because minutes before unveiling Knack, there was a tech demo about how the PS4 could handle a LOT of little blue cubes at once.
And here's Knack: A game whose titular hero is made up of possibly thousands of little individual pieces.
It plays a lot like any other platformer, with lovely shadows and subtle motion blur on Knack's movements making everything look nice and flowy.
Problem is, as a PC gamer, none of the PS4 games I've seen have wowed me. The shadows are nice and crisp, but I've had that for years. Same with the smooth edges and motion blurring.
It's not snootiness thats saying this, it's just showing that this console generation has been going on for far too long. And now that the next generation is here, nothing is going to be a graphical leap compared to the last gen.
But on to Knack itself. It's titular hero doesn't have much personality, or at least it isn't conveyed in the demo.
It plays pretty well, and he has a whooshing punch attack that has some of his block trail to catch up and it's all animated superbly.
It's definitely harder than it looks, with Knack only taking a few hits before kicking the bucket, but it'd usually your own fault for not being careful of the enemies.
The enemies themselves seem to be Orcs (Green skinned, big teeth/jaws and pointy ears) and some sci-fi military humans, but there was no real hint on story that I saw.
Knack can also dodge in any direction, even whilst mid-air. And during the demo, absorbed a stack of firewood that made him larger and armoured, but also vulnerable to fire, where the fire would burn away the wooden armour.
It'll be nice to see the kind of variety it can get up to as the game progresses, but the demo did little to impress unfortunately.
- Tearaway -Got a little time with Media Molecule's second game, and it is just as charming and lovingly crafted as LittleBigPlanet.
You get to play as an envelope-headed courier, and get to choose between a girl or boy version of our hero.
It controls well, the jump pads are easy to identify by their pattern, and are activated by tapping the rear touchpad.
Your method of attack in the demo is picking up and throwing items at enemies, or even throwing some enemies themselves.
The only other obstacle I found was moving platforms that could be slowed down by placing your finger on spinning records marked with fingerprints. Again, all very intuitive.
Unfortunately the demo wasn't very long, so not much else to report on but I'm annoyed by the delays for this game.
- Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus -HELL YES. Another actual Ratchet & Clank game finally! Though it will have a hard game to beat as I enjoyed A Crack In Time immensely.
Everything controls the way you'd expect for the titular duo, (though I only got to play as Ratchet at the time) except I couldn't seem to find the duck button for my wrench-throw attack, which I hope is still there.
Newest addition I could see besides the new guns (One that turns things into Snowmen for example) was a new gizmo to create what is essentially an Aperture Science Excursion Funnel between two pink targets, firing first at the origin target and then the destination target.
You can move faster and slower through these, and often have to use multiple funnels to get through the areas.
That's all I can really say from my time with it, and again, cannot wait for more Lombax goodness.
- Oculus Rift (Strike Force Zero) -Strike Suit Zero is already available on Steam and such, but this new support for the Occulus Rift was on show at EGX.
Now a disclaimer here: My glasses did not fit into the Occulus headset, so everything was super blurry for me. So I won't be able to comment on the graphical prowess on show. I know they're fixing that flaw for the consumer model though.
However what I can comment on is the headset tracks perfectly, being able to look down at yourself in game as you sit in the mech's cockpit.
The 3D effect is great, as even with my impaired vision I could tell when things went whizzing by close up, as well as the cockpit's design and the third person mech view.
Finally the headset itself is comfortable to wear, with large cushions to keep it snug on your face, (as well as keeping the light out) and the headstraps didn't dig in as the weight was distributed across the entire head harness.
I was debating on picking up a dev Occulus Rift headset, but having tried it, it seems I'll have to wait for the commercial model to get one that accomodates my eyewear.
On top of that, Strike Suit Zero was probably not the best to show off the OR headset as headtracking did little to improve the game.
But hey, even without my glasses, and using a joystick, I beat the level without dying. Like a boss.
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 -I completed the first LoS game without any of the DLC, and whilst it was an okay game overall, it dragged on too long and it all seemed just BARELY Castlevania.
This second one picks up where everything left off, with Gabriel now known as Dracul and he's overall a pretty grumpy guy.
It plays identically to the first one, hack and slash with switching between Holy and Chaos powers (here a Sword and Claws respectively) and a neutral blood whip thing.
All was going well for a while, the combat is flowing and responsive, and dashing/dodging is exactly what I want from my action games.
It all disappoints though in the graphics department with some of the WORST Aliasing I have seen in a game. It got to a comical point when there was a close-up of his hand through a fog effect, and the fog makes all the aliasing at least twice as bad as it was.
Worse than that is it's terribly shoe-horned in reference to the most well know cheesy Castlevania dialogue in the series. And if that wasn't bad enough, it does it again not even minutes later.
Luckily, this game is coming out on the PC as well, which should alleviate a good deal of the graphical issues (hopefully) but for the console owners, it's a reminder of just how much we needed to move on from the PS3 and 360.
- Ethan: Meteor Hunter -Platform Puzzlers! A dime-a-dozen these days.
One of those that are currently in Steam Greenlight limbo, Ethan is an anthropomorphic mouse that has the ability to freeze time with the help of some doodads.
So for example, Ethan needs to jump across a large amount of saw blades, so he makes a running leap over them, freezes time, moves a nearby metal panel onto the saws, unfreezes and surfs the panel to the other side.
And you'll be doing this a lot.
The main surprise was some nicely added elemental puzzles. One saw me needing to power an electric generator in the ceiling by routing the current through a couple of metal blocks, using two other wooden blocks to prop them into the correct position.
Another saw me having to use a burner to blast through two wooden blocks to allow two other platforms to fall into the acid below and allow me to cross.
All these puzzles are completed with a limited amount of time freezes. (You pick up some powerups that add a certain amount of uses)
The best thing about all this is that it didn't hold your hand, just a simple tutorial to teach the mechanics, and then you're thrown in to figure things out for yourself.
It picked up the pace really quickly too, requiring both mental and physical acuity from the get go. Ethan controls pretty well with an easy momentum gain and a wall jumping ability from the get go.
Looking forward to the release of this, and go take a look and vote for it on Greenlight.
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze -Really not much to say about this one.
It's Donkey Kong Country Returns 2, it looks as good as the first one, and plays as sharply.
Though some minor changes being the addition of more camera angle play and underwater levels.
On an even more minor level, I've noticed they've added a blue-lettered DD barrel for Diddy to break out of, and the Shake to roll is a little more forgiving this time round. (Though that's somewhat moot as the Gamepad can be used)
More cooperative monkeying about, but now in 2014 due to the delay announcement.
- Knytt Underground (With Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren) -This game is already out on the PSN and Vita, but talking to Nifflas himself, he says that the Wii U and PC versions are going to be superior due to the enhanced gameplay and content.
Not too much to say on this, as it's already out and about so info is out there in abundance, but I would urge you to check out the free original title "Knytt" and its predecessor "Within A Deep Forest"
They're both ace, and Nifflas is a really swell guy in person too!
- Putty Squad -Even less to say about this one.
It was an unreleased Amiga game and it still plays like one, albeit with vastly improved graphics.
Unfortunately it didn't control very well, and at one point I even managed to get stuck in a wall.
Probably best to wait for some reviews for this one.
- Shantae and the Pirate's Curse-Wayforward prove themselves the masters of spritework once again, and although I've never complete either of the Shantae games (though I own them both) I admire almost everything they produce. (But Silent Hill is PAINFUL)
There seems to be more adventuring than before, with all the hair-whipping you could want, along with Risky's Pistol for hitting things from a distance.
The demo was actually really short and didn't really show off much. Just you usual switch hitting and boss beating.
So that's really all I have on that one, despite playing it in its entirety.
- Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails (With Dakko Dakko Dev)-Not sure which dev I was talking to, (Possibly Rhod) but they were kind enough to help out when I looked like I was stuck.
I didn't know at the time that Dakko Dakko also made "The Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character", which is a great arcade puzzler on the PSN.
Scram Kitty is an arcade-y shoot'em up and kinda-platformer. You're out to save the titular Scram Kitty from some evil mice, and you play as his Buddy on Rails, rolling along the walls and only being able to shoot the way you're facing.
Plenty of things are out to kill you: the aforementioned evil mice, mines, lasers, spikes, you name it.
There's a whole bunch of collectables to snag, some of which will provide you an extra weapon to use. (I got hold of the dual rocket launchers)
It takes a little getting used to only being able to shoot away from whatever you're stuck to, but eventually you'll be flying off jump-panels and spin-attacking through swarms of turrets and mice.
Looking forward to sinking my claws into some more SKahBoR.
- Tengami (With Phil Tossell, Nyamyam) -This was towards the end of the day, and we finally found it hidden just opposite the Bayonetta 2 stations.
At it's core it's a point and click adventure, steeped in a wonderful pop-up book aesthetic with an ancient japanese artstyle.
There were headphones on hand for use as Phil was saying that sound was a large part of the experience, and key to solving some puzzles.
It certainly was true, as the first major puzzle I came to required a set of windchimes to be activated in order, this would in turn put the wolves to sleep to stop them from howling a staircase closed.
I'm looking forward to checking this out further when I have a chance to hear it, and not when SCAN computers are blaring dubstep nearby.
- Killzone: Shadow Fall -I'm not incredibly familiar with the Killzone series, but I know it's always been a looker.
It's still as pretty as it ever was, though the level I was on had some pixelated rainfall. (Though it was quickly forgotten when you were being shot at)
It was a multiplayer demo, and we positioned ourselves so that we were all on the same team. (My name being "racerV88", the others being "theHAHAkid" and "chopperREGGIE")
I went for a support class with a HMG and Medical ability and jumped into it. Y-Axis inverted. Ugh.
After fixing that, I ran off in search of the enemy, as the first gamemode was Search and Destroy.
I didn't get many weapon kills on anyone other that myself (darn grenades have a long fuse) but I did get several melee kills in there to make me feel better.
First thing I noticed was just how much damage the soldiers seem to take before they drop. Too much, considering I had a HMG.
Another thing was that when it came time for the opposing team to be attacking our the generators around the field, there were instead 2-3 of them sat outside our spawning area.
We won that round, due to the other team not completing their objective, even though we weren't near them.
I came away in disbelief. We were there for less than 20 minutes, and there had already been spawn/base camping.
I hate multiplayer FPS games.
- Warframe (With Rebecca Ford, Digital Extremes) -Warframe is an F2P thrid-person scifi ninja game that is entirely co-op based.
We were having a go at the PS4 version of this title, and it is great fun to play.
I had the sleeker ninja of the group, with an assault rifle, dual pistols and a flaming "Excalibur" sword.
I barely glanced at the assault rifle, and instead kept with my pistols and sword, superjumping to higher areas whenever I ran out of baddies to hunt.
The only difference between the PC version and the PS4 was that the super abilities were mapped to swipes on the DS4 touchpad.
We were overseen by Rebecca who was there every day doing a Q&A session, and after our match I came away immediately ready to download the game and get some time in there.
- Resogun -Made by the wonderful team behind Super Stardust and it's HD cousin, Resogun is a modern day revamp of Defender.
In Defender, you'd fly off one side of the map and appear on the otherside, and it's present here with it being a sidescrolling loop of neon enemies, particle effects and voxel debris.
And it is AWESOME.
Unlike Defender, the humans you save in Resogun act as powerups. Once the powerup deactivates, you can fling them from your ship, energise them with a blast of your cannons, and scoop them up again to get it's effect.
You have a rechargeable Dash move that lets you spiral through enemies, and an Overcharge ability that lets you fire a devestating electric arc that has time slow down to and show all the effects slowly go off in a blaze of awesome.
You can see enemies form as such as a bunch of whit particles forming together into silhouette that solidifies into something dangerous.
The boss does the same, but slower, and more menacingly.
It's a huge turret-covered wheel with armour over its weak-spots, which spawns swift kamikaze pilots.
If you do eventually destroy those weakspots, its cover falles off and you can see it's core, defended by lasers.
That's right, you have to go inside it whilst it's still moving.
I didn't make it, and neither did the more skilled player before me. (Who corrected the guys behind us who said it was "like Space Invaders")
And we all know Defender is not Space Invaders. And neither is Resogun.
- Kinect Sports Rivals -The queues for the XBONE areas were jam packed for all but the first 2 minutes of each day, so we decide we'd pick just ONE we would go to.
And that was Dead Rising 3.
But this was one we headed to near the end of the day as a "Hey, we should probably go and see at least one more XBONE game before we leave" and this was the one with the shortest queue.
Besides, we'd held the controller, so it was only right to see how their other input method had been improved.
The answer is: Not much. At least not for this game. It didn't have any problems detecting my turning for the jetski, but I was told to pull back for the ramp boost (which worked) and then push forward for a flip (which never did)
My brother couldn't get the stamp motion to register for the speed boost powerup either.
This is all likely due to lack of calibration, but I've had nothing but problems with the Kinect as it is now, and this experience with its sequel isn't alleviating my skepticism.
- Playroom -Every PS4 will come with this preinstalled as well as 2 DualShock 4 controllers according to the rep presenting Playroom to us.
Basically, Playroom is a tech showcase software much like Wii Sports, in which you interact with a bunch of items after it "loads" the different features of the Dualshock 4.
You get to play with a bunch of adorable robots called the AR Bots, and once you've flicked them out of the controller, you can knock them about (and even into the screen) and can even wave at them to have them all wave back at you.
It's all super charming, and shows off the controller and it's little camera buddy using giant rubber ducks, litte discos and an a game of Pong against your brother. (I won)
We were told that the rubber duck was just one item of many, and that a companion app for mobiles would be released on which you could select a whole bunch of stuff and flick it onto the floor for the AR Bots to interact with.
I'm looking forward to seeing what else Platyroom has in store, and the fact it's a built-in bit of software make it even better.
- Ultratron -ROBOTRON IS STILL AN AWESOME ARCADE GAME.
- Velocity 2X -Velocity recently got it's HD release on PSN after being a PS Mini before that.
This is the sequel to the Quarp-Jetting adventure, and now sports the ability to dock in certain areas and do much the same as a woman with a pistol.
This generally involves hitting switches in order, the 3rd of which is inside the station, and then continuing on in your quarp jet.
It's as fun as the original Velocity is, and the platformer sections are just as arcadey as the outside sections.
The only problems I encountered were that if you missed one of the ordered switches, and then docked your ship, you'd get all the way to the next switch just to find it indestructible.
Heading back out, you'll likely find the switch you missed travelling off the bottom of the screen, and is unreachable without resetting the entire level.
Now the levels aren't exactly long, but it's quite an annoyance as the switches need to be shot several times, each time it shows an explosion effect.
I'm hoping they either fix this, or come up with some kind of warning as it happened twice to me in the same demo.
- Volume -From the creators of Thomas Was Alone comes this tactical stealth game in which you use sound to distract robots and get by.
It's all very basic right now, and I don't know how it will evolve, but it gives me MGS:VR Mission vibes and that's only a good thing.
- Dead Rising 3 -On the final day, we decided to use our morning rush to get into a queue for an XBONE game, and we were all fans of Dead Rising, so we picked that.
Entertaining thing about having Early Access is getting to see zombies turn up for work with a can of No Fear Energy, and also slip out for a cigarette break before things kicked off.
Anyway, Dead Rising 3 - when announced - filled me with scepticism as they'd seemingly turned it into another serious, brown zombie killing game as opposed to its usual colourful wimsy.
Thankfully, it's only a little duller in the colour department, but the gameplay is the same as ever. The hero isn't as fun at the moment though.
The demo was sandbox, which is where Dead Rising games shine after all.
We had a member of the team point out some things we could do in this one, and had preloaded us with some stuff to combine.
Combining is now really easy, simply pointing at one weapon/item and hitting A to pop up a blueprint of something you can make with it. (I'm sure this is a list if there's more than one possible combination)
So combining my Sledgehammer with a car battery created the Thunderstrike or some such name. Each one having a finisher too!
I also created a grenade launcher and had a pair of machinegun Wolverine claws.
New to this one is the ability to combine vehicles. I somehow managed to combine two sportscars into a military jeep looking thing that shot acid, and a sportscar with a digger truck into an armoured car with a turret and deployable side blades.
Neither made sense, but I don't go to Dead Rising games for sense, I go there for fun, and it seems like it'll have it in spades.
Costumes are still in, and I found out right before it ended that you would collect blueprints for weapon combos, though I'm not sure if these are mandatory for combining them.
So yeah. Came away from Dead Rising 3 with a smile and we were comparing what we found and combined even in that short demo.
We tried to pry an answer out of the rep about if it would be coming to any other platform, and he said that it's an XBONE exclusive for now.
Here's hoping to "For Now".
- Dying Light -Another zombie game! This time with parkour.
The demo was about 6 minutes long, and you have access to a hatchet and throwing knifes to go about your zombie killing spree.
Most people were using their time killing zombies, but I decided to head to the objective that was given and testing out the parkour system along the way.
You can climb most of the things here: buildings, walls, telephone poles, etc. So no problems with that.
I had to get to the overpass, and so sprinted most of the way there, climbing anything that got in my way, and basically playing "The Floor Is Lava 2: There Are Zombies In The Lava"
Once I got to the overpass, I had to make a jump to the walkway there, and for some reason he awkwardly veered off to the left instead of landing, and fell to his death.
Luckily it placed me right where I'd jumped from, and the exact same jump had me land safely. Demo strangeness, I guess.
On the overpass there were two people who I first thought were zombies, but soon talked amongst themselves and decided to kill me.
They'd clearly killed the guy I was going there for, so I jumped to killing them instead.
These guys were quite proficient at taking axes to the face, showing no worry at the swinging blade and not caring that his friend had just died doing the same thing.
He was basically a zombie too, lumbering towards me until he was killed, and not showing any signs of injury.
After that I picked up the explosives from the guy I was meant to meet, and the demo ended there.
It all felt very similar to Dead Island, except now you had minor parkour skills.
There are far too many zombie games out there right now, and even more to come in the next year alone.
Hopefully we can move onto more exciting enemies this generation.
- Wolfenstein: New Order -We were chatting to a ZeniMax rep whilst we were in the queue, and he confirmed to me that you could dual-wield full auto shotguns and more.
Seconds later I was in the queue.
There was quite a meaty demo to get through, and the game puts you in the boots of good ol' B.J.Blascowitz.
The story this time around is that the Nazis are manipulating time and replacing our history with a Nazi version of it.
BUT ENOUGH STORY! You wake up amongst some rubble and are immediately on the move with a Knife and strange plasma pistol.
It gives you the first kill for free, and I take down the evil super nazi with a twist of my knife.
Taking his assault rifle, you make your way through the collapsed room taking down that guys buddies along the way.
Things come to a sudden halt when a huge mech smashes through the far end of the room and starts spraying bullets at me.
Time to use the games cover system. There's no snapping into cover or chest-high walls, you take whatever you can get.
Holding the Left Bumper, you can then lean higher, lower and to either side, and with enough finger dexterity you can fire with both guns you're wielding.
The mech takes me out a few times as I get to grips with the mechanic, and I find that cover doesn't last very long against it's high calibre rounds.
Eventually I take it down with my Plasma Pistolmabob, and I can recharge the pistol at electrical sources. (Such as the wrecked mech)
Through the hole in the wall I go, only to come into a corridor with a large shutter at the end, which immediately starts to open.
A squad of Nazis and another mech. Super.
I cut immediately to the right as they open fire and head up the stairs for a better position.
At the end of the upstaris hallway is a room that contains a second assault rifle. DUAL WIELD TIME.
I put them to work as the Nazis charge up and into my sights and mow them down.
A couple of them have shotguns, and I snag a pair of them to make things even more awesome.
I head down the far staircase and peek round the corner to take pot-shots at the mech until it judders to a halt.
Now on to the shutter, which has since closed. I head to the large switch on the opposite side and hold the switch in place as the door slowly opens.
Now most other shooters these days would have either a timed switch that takes 5 minutes to open whilst you hold your ground, or you stand there like a berk taking bullets whilst holding the switch with both hands.
He hold the switch up with one hand and automatically hefts his other gun ready to shoot through the doorway as it opens.
Shotgun in hand got me killed quite a few times, as it has a very low range. So assualt rifle was the way to go for this next room.
Ducking under the barrier once it's opened enough, I run to the nearest cover - an mostly glass sign - as this room seems to be some sort of lunar exhibit with a large moon in the centre. Where the heck was this?
Many a death was had all around in here due to some fast moving flying bots that are difficult to track with analogue sticks.
Eventually they were taken down and I made my way up past the ever angry Nazis on the staircases and walkways.
I flip a switch in the control room at the top centre of the room to open the maintenance hatch.
Unfortunately the way across to it is non existent, but I use my plasma pistol to shoot down a hanging sattelite model and use it to get across.
A cramped maintenance tunnel with more Nazis milling about welcome me, and I make my way down it with 12-gauge buddies.
Another hatch sealed by a chain is blasted open by my plasma pistol and I make my way into the elevator shaft beyond.
I leap across to the opposite elevator roof and proceed to shoot out the emergency brakes, shooting the last one from atop the counterweight. Up I go.
Some Nazis don't want me up here, and whilst I rappel up further to an exit, they begin shooting down at me and send some of them oh-so-firendly bots my way.
Easily dispatched in such tight quarters with one of my shotguns.
I get to the top and make my way through the small engineering rooms and into a vent.
CUTSCENE! And unfortunately my time was up. (Though I was told there was only a little extra bit before the end of the demo)
I'm very impressed with this new Wolfenstein. It's fun to play and the cover system doesn't turn everything into a silly shooting gallery.
This is a step in the right direction for the series, and takes it back to its roots for the better.
And I didn't even get to see the really Wolfenstein-y bits like the Panzerhund. (well, not in-game at least)
An FPS for me!
- Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z -Everything kicks off with a really cool cutscene fight between Yaiba and our favourite Dragon Ninja pal, Ryu Hayabusa.
After a good fight, you can guess who actually wins.
So they skip over a good amount of story, and we're dropped into the demo as a cybernetically enhanced Yaiba in the midst of - surprise surprise - Zombies!
Now straight off the bat I see that the artstyle is very nice, and also that the controls are just as fudged as Ninja Gaiden 3.
With this in mind, I head out and start slashing through the hordes, grabbing and throwing the undead and generally making a mess.
Most of the demo is just this, with only 2 other types of zombie showing up, one of which is the boss.
The second zombie is harder better faster stronger than the others, and finishing one of them nets me a pair of nunchaku made from its limbs.
I also have access to Yaiba's Rocket Arm, which is a chargeable punch attack that you can combo in with your sword
Environmental puzzles boil down to quick-time like events to navigate the environment, and machinery that is activated by throwing a zombie into it and having them automatically work it for some reason.
Finally is the boss, who is just a damage-sponge with some extra ranged attacks. Helath is dropped by every other zombie you kill, so that was never an issue.
Just before the boss fight, you are told you need to destroy the shop (that sells womens underwear it seems) and you do so by getting a zombie to drive into it with a truck which is somehow launched into the air to get wedged between the large pair of fishnet-stocking clad legs on top of the building and gradually plunges further in as the legs tremble.
It results in an explosion that destroys the building and begins to rain flaming panties down on Yaiba.
Now as fun as that all is, I'm still reminding myself that this is a Ninja Gaiden game, and the whole thing feels like it has been done before, but better and somehow with more subtlety. (Such as Dead Rising for starters)
But unfortunately the gameplay itself is really dull and the fighting is uninteresting.
Add to that the fact that level navigation is now just bressing a button at the right time to have Yaiba do it himself, it makes it really dull to play.
Maybe the rest of the game is remarkable, but the demo sure wasn't.
- Titanfall -We queued up for this for about 3 hours.
In the middle of this queue, there was a 15-20 minute video in a small cinema-like setup which taught us what we would be doing and what we would have access to in the demo.
Needless to say that by the end of the queue, we were wondering if it could possibly be worth it.
We got in there and sat at our stations. We'd already been through the video, so we knew what we had to choose from.
I went with the more Tech based Pilot, equipped with an assault rifle, a Smart pistol (can lock onto up to three enemies and fire in rapid succession) and a Magnetic grenade launcher as my anti Titan weapon.
For my Titan, I also went with a grenade launcher equipped menace.
Ready to go, I jumped right in and tested the controls quickly, then made my way to the nearest wall to try out the parkour systems.
The game picks up exactly when you want to run along a wall, and it is really easy to get a string of wallruns and double jumps going and aiming them is a breeze.
I like being able to run across the street and double jump up through a second floor window behind someone to break some necks. (And I got to do just that)
The smart pistol felt super overpowered, but I had no idea if I was killing a fellow human player or on of the mixed in AI players, but still it was incredibly satisfying.
After 60 seconds I could call in my personal Titan, and it slammed to the floor in a protective bubble and waited for me to get in.
Once inside, I realised I'd traded my mobility for firepower, and went on a hunt for other Titans to fight, casually stomping or blowing up any Pilot who got too close.
You can still dodge in the Titans, to either side or backwards, and also throw a good punch for those Real Steel reenactments.
Eventually my Titan took enough damage and I had to mash the X button to eject and rocket up into the sky.
I equipped my grenade launcher as I fell and rained down explosives on my Titan's destroyer, finally landing on top of him, pulling open the hatch to the power supply and firing my pistol into it.
Unfortunately I was killed before I got a chance to destroy it, but the whole fight was awesome to be a part of, and gave the same thrill as BF2048's Titan matches with the landing pods.
My brothers weren't doing so well as they both experienced tech issues (the demo was from a pre-alpha build)
We were supposed to have a 12 minutes session, but that was reset about halfway through as I'm assuming enough people had tech problems that restting the match was only fair.
So I got even more time to have fun cloaking, smart pistolling, knifing and grenading the opposition.
The whole thing was over far too soon, and once our team had won (we took down the enemies tickets first) there is a mad scramble to clear the last of the oppostion as the have to flee to an extraction point.
We didn't get them all, and the survivors ran off with their tails between their legs.
I went in with very little expectations, (I played Wolfenstein AFTER this) and my patience was being worn thing by the absurd queuing time.
But I came away extremely satisfied and wanting more.
It's a game that didn't waste your time with long respawn times, It kept you satisfied with some AI that you were able to kill even if you didn't get to kill any human players, and the Titans are a nice way to turn things around when you need it.
It doesn't give you time to dwell on your frustration, and constantly throws you someone to take down and keep you feeling like you're helping.
The ticket based team-deathmatch is always preferable to the "Kill All The Opposing Team" deathmatch, and the simple addition of a double jump -let alone the wall running - keeps things moving at a constant yet manageable pace.
The weapons are easy to use and fun to use, melee seems to actually WORK in this game, and the Titans feel as powerful as the should do.
So overall it ws well worth the wait, and I can't wait to get hold of it once it launches on the PC.
- Octodad: Dadliest Catch -I never played the first Octodad. (Something I plan to correct ASAP)
The premise was always a great and ridiculous thing: You are an octopus pretending to be a man, and no one notices.
The demo for this sequel tasks you with getting ready for your wedding, first by opening a cabinet in the bathroom, (A tutorial for moving your arms) and upon doing so the entire wall falls down instead.
Then onto moving your legs, switching between arms and leg movement with the L1 button.
Everything is controlled awkwardly with the analogue sticks, but surprisingly its pretty simple to pick up.
You head through the areas, find colectable Ties that are hidden around the level, and throwing things around.
You collect your tux, your bowtie, (off a stainglass window of Chthulu) and finally your top hat.
You then have to walk down the aisle wihout making a mess, as any mess made whilst eyes are on you will raise the suspicion bar at the bottom.
I endeavored to climb across the pews instead, which for some reason didn't make them bat an eye.
The last thing to do is rummage through a box of jewels and coins to get the wedding ring, and thread it onto the brides wrist.
Everyone cheers, wedding bells and it closes on a kiss to the betentacled face.
All very odd, but it works so well that you don't care at all.
No idea why this is a PS4 games though, but if it's on the PC too, why not.
- There Will Be Lancing -We got enamoured by a small student game in the Virgin Media area in which you pick on of four characters and then get to jousting.
Simply put, it's a game of anticipating and countering your opponents moves and responding when you think you can get away with it.
You float in the sky with lines heading off from you in 8 directions.
Each direction you can swoop round in and try to take you opponent out, and they do the same, continuously swapping sides until one of you is hit.
There is a bar that fills up and increases you movement speed to catch out you oppenent faster, and the 4 and 5th section of the bar also grant you a projectile to fire straight at them to catch them out.
Instead of moving in that direction, you can also hold the Right or Left Bumper to enter a blocking stance, and then press the direction toward the opponents lunge, blocking the attack and briefly leaving them open for a counter.
Like I said, it was all very simple. Pick a character, try and lance the opponent by picking a direction or blocking.
It was very addictive though, and we played several time whilst we were there.
Unfortunately the game will not be available to purchase anywhere as the lady who made it does not want to release it to the public.
She will only give a copy to those who contact her and tell her a certain thing, which is baffling as it what was the point in putting it on display at a such an event?
- Tomb of Rooms -The indie Arcade is a cramped little corridor filled with wonderful smaller team's games.
One of the standout ones this year, (alongside the likes of Teslagrad) was a rough around the edges randomly generated co-op tomb romp called "Tomb of Rooms"
One player plays as the girl, one as the guy, and there's no set roles to take. I mainly played the role of lightbearer and scout, whilst my brother played as the monster slayer.
It's pretty bare-bones right now, but it's quite tense going around corners and not knowing whats lurking there or how many there are, but working as a team we were able to make it up about 5 floors before we got jumped by a spikey handed beasty.
It was getting a lot of attention for it's potential, and rightfully so as having to depend on the other player is bound to get more and more tense as things go on and the rooms get bigger, deadlier and more complex.
Keep and eye out for this one.
- Shiftlings (With Natascha Röösli, RockPocketGames) -Another platform puzzler, this time for two.
You play as two linked little blue alien janitors who by some bizarre accident have ended up with too much air in their suits, leaving one of the two inflated like a balloon.
Somehow, the larger one is heavier (IS it air they're filled with?) and can't jump very high/far whilst the other is the one that will be hitting switches and jumping gaps.
You can switch the inflated state to the other player at any point, and doing so is the key mechanic to getting though each level.
For example, only the heavy one can stand on switches, and they can be used as a spring for his friend.
The two are also linked by their air pipe, and you have to be careful not to cut the line via a door or elevator or it's back to the beginning for you.
We got to chat to Natascha from RockPocket Games, and had fun talking about the different things people had done, and how more point were awarded depending on how you completed the puzzles.
We even got an Epic Manouver moment by having my brother manage to catapult a block all the way up a ledge to land right on top of me.
It'll be an interesting one once it's released hopefully by the end of the year.
- Cloudbuilt (With Anders Davallius and Martin Löwgren, Coilworks) -Here it is, my Game of the Show.
I found Cloudbuilt whilst looking through the list of Steam Greenlight games, and it immediately grabbed my attention with how wonderful the gameplay looked.
Imagine my surprise when I saw it hidden away in the Indie Arcade, devs and all!
I finally got my hands on it, sat down and went through the tutorial.
Lets get this out of the way: Cloudbuilt is a rocket-powered parkour game complete with wall running, extreme jumps and obstacles and robots galore.
The controls are simple, mouse to look, Space to Jump, Shift to Boost and Control to drop. That's it.
The controls were absolutely perfect: The sensitivity was great, there weren't loads of controls bogging it down unnecessarily, and movement was quick and responsive.
So there isn't really any hand holding going on here, it get you to follow the lights, with text based prompts to tell you the keys and how the boost works in different situations.
Your boost is powered by your energy bar, that either recharges on its own or can be refilled by collecting spherical yellow tanks, usually placed along long boost sections.
You can use the booster to double jump, use it to extend your vertical wall run, use it on horizontal runs to keep you running up the wall at an angle and use it mid jump to blast forward through the air for longer jumps.
Like I said, it's all on the Shift key, and is really easy to keep yourself moving and dodging hazards.
There's robots all over each level that need a good shot with your blaster, which homes in slightly, or can be charged to do some higher damage with some spread.
You'll be using that blaster for stunning the robots, (which you can shoot off the edge of platforms) turrets and forcefields that block your way to the goal.
There's not a lot I can say without gushing over it, so I urge you to go to their greenlight page, look at it in action, and Vote for them to get Greenlit.
I went back on the final hour to play it, and was heaping praise upon the ever humble dev, Anders, and I found that they were giving away tshirts and posters to those who beat the level I was currently on.
Well... all the more reason to beat it. And the race was on between me and Noaksey. I had a headstart anyway, but he wasn't too far behind me.
But I inevitably won due to that head start and got the last t-shirt, and he got a poster and coerced Anders into signing it.
I seriously cannot wait for this game to become available.
Of all the games I played, it was this that I was itching to play more of, so that clearly made it my Game of the Show.
It should be released by the end of the year, so please: GO GREENLIGHT IT and spread the word.
- XBox ONE -Quick impressions of the consoles, first up the XBone.
It is BIG. Even if it looks huge in pictures and videos, it is far bigger in person.
There is no excuse for having that big a box and then also have a massive power-brick in addition.
The Kinect hasn't gotten any smaller either, and the controller, whilst still comfortable, is heavier than it's older brother.
We also had no experience of the new rumbling triggers, on at least none that we noticed.
- Playstation 4 -Compared to the Xbox, it is super sleek, with a glossy wedge at the front.
The biggest surprise was how small the camera is, and should fit right under your Kinect if you have all three consoles set up at once.
Finally the Dualshock 4. It's certainly not a super pretty design, but it is amazingly comfortable to hold, and actually beats out the 360 controller for me.
My only worries is how the battery life suffers with the bright lightbar always being on, even if it is rechargeable.
I'm still really hoping it becomes compatable with the PC so I can get a better placed and better functioning D pad.
- Overall Experience -
Ten things I've learnt from this years adventure:1 - Public transport in London has gotten obscenely expensive.
2 - I hate standing up, and so do my feet.
3 - There are still people who remember FPS games don't have to be serious.
4 - The guys running the queue and stands are just as bored in the queue as you are. TALK TO THEM.
5 - Same goes for the gamers around you. They all share your passion or they wouldn't be there.
6 - Talking to the attendants is also a neat way to get some free stuff even if you're not queueing for their game.
7 - Ninjas, Parkour, Voxels and Mechs are all still cool.
8 - I REALLY hate standing up.
9 - CoD fans are crazy even when it comes to a game that is out in just over a month.
10 - Bring on EGX 2014.