So Friday saw the Eurogamer Expo hit Earls Court in London again. I went along to check out some of the titles we can look forward to playing in the next 6 months or so.
Unfortunately I have to begin by saying, as always, there were a few queues that were just too large to wait in. The biggest were Assassin’s Creed III, Hitman Absolution, Resident Evil 6 and Call Of Duty: Black Ops II.
I guess when time is limited it boiled down to one simple fact; I know I will be playing all of those games. For me they are all titles I am sure to pick up, so queuing for an hour to play them seems like madness!
Anyway, there was plenty of other stuff to play at the Expo, so here we go:
Eidos have been doing a lot of work pushing this game recently and highlighting how it’s a reboot of the series in the same vein as the recent Batman films. I know I joked about it previously but if you only have an XBox 360 and haven’t played the Uncharted games then you’ll love this. Sadly for me, while it plays well, Tomb Raider is just a clone of Uncharted. Hopefully the story will lift this above that status.
Dishonored is one of those games that is very difficult to judge from playing at an event like this. Set in a steampunk world you play as a wronged man who uses his various skills (possession/slowing down time etc) to get his own back. Unfortunately being dropped into the game at a random point and without much guidance, I promptly forgot all about the powers and just used the crossbow and knife. I enjoyed playing it though and it should be a great game when you get it on your PS3 in the comfort of your own home.
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES
While I’m more interested in the story of this game, it was the multiplayer that was hands on today. Setting Marines against Aliens isn’t the most original premise but it was well handled and the one button press to bring up your motion tracker was slick and effective. I did find it a bit tough at times but I think that might also have been down to the fact it was Sega staff controlling the Aliens!
GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION
In a neat reverse of Colonial Marines I bypassed the single player demo for this (I’ve enjoyed bashing square and triangle for all the previous games so I don’t need to go through that at an Expo) and headed straight for multiplayer. Having little to no interest in this I wasn’t expecting much. What I found however was a fun, engrossing brawler-type of affair. Still not sure how much I’d play this long term but I will certainly dip in after finishing the campaign.
NEED FOR SPEED: MOST WANTED
I’ve been looking forward to this game (and the accompanying Vita version – absent today) for months. The switch to a more Burnout style open world driving game is welcome and it looks like it’ll be insane fun online. The steering was a bit loose but once you got used to that it was a blast.
MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER
Again, another game I’m more interested in the single player of but we battened down the hatches and got some multiplayer on. This was mostly enjoyable, certainly miles better than the last Medal Of Honor’s terrible online. Warfighter straddles the online gap between Call Of Duty and Battlefield. Perfect for it’s target audience but not one for me. I am looking forward to the campaign though as I thought the last one was pretty good.
Ah GRID. If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen me squeeing with excitement when they announced this was coming out next year. The original GRID was one of my favourite driving games ever and GRID 2 didn’t disappoint. It looked gorgeous and handled like a dream. Everything I hoped it would be. And certainly the most impressive game I played today.
* ‘GRID 2′ : GREGHORRORSHOW’S BEST IN SHOW – Eurogamer Expo 2012*
METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE
As disappointed as I am that Bayonetta 2 isn’t coming to PS3, this game (from the same developer) looks set to more than fill the gap. A mix of Bayonetta and Vanquish, Revengeance is NOT the Metal Gear you know and love. Raiden is the main character rather than Snake and he is a frantic cyborg killing machine. Revengeance has no need for stealth, you just kill everything A lack of direction stifled things somewhat but overall most enjoyable.
FIFA 13 (Vita)
I was hoping to see some pretty big changes in FIFA this year on the Vita. The game available at release was a (good) port of the PS3 FIFA 11 engine. It didn’t feature some of the new AI stuff from FIFA 12 and so I hoped some of those features might make their way into FIFA 13. Sadly from what I could gather in the time I played it seems to be almost the exact same game barring some cosmetic changes. Still the best football game around for a handheld device but if you already have FIFA for Vita you might be better off sticking with that.
ASSASSIN’S CREED: LIBERATION (Vita)
I finally got my hands on the forthcoming Vita Assassin’s Creed game and I have to say I was mightily impressed. Graphically the game looks great, although the main character Aveline does have a touch of the ‘crazy eyes’ if you get in too close Overall I’m impressed – the animation looked smooth and there was a solid fidelity to the graphics of the environment and a decent draw distance as well. Can’t wait for this now.
FAR CRY 3
Far Cry 3 had a pretty substantial queue to play it but fortunately when you sat down with the game you were given 10/15 mins to just get on with it. I really enjoyed this and thought it could be a game I’d plough a decent amount of time into. The demo dropped you in the middle of the island and allowed you a fair amount of freedom. I didn’t do a great deal of story stuff – but had an action packed playthrough in which I began crafting my own mini story within the fiction. That’s always a good sign. Did see a few crazy glitches (characters suddenly zooming across the screen/flying etc) but this is early code so hopefully they will be ironed out before release.
PLAYSTATION ALL STARS: BATTLE ROYALE
I’ve never played Super Smash Brothers, the Nintendo game All Stars (apparently) borrows heavily from. I’d read quite a bit about All Stars and seen some character reveals/trailers but nothing had really interested me that much. I’m not big into fighting games and this looked like it might be too complex for me. However I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the round we played. There is a real depth to the game in terms of moves/control that is there if you want it but alternatively you can just use the face buttons and directions to pull off whatever moves take your fancy. I was almost reluctant to pick up the pad and play it but I walked away impressed & with a smile on my face.
* ‘PLAYSTATION ALL STARS: BATTLE ROYALE’ : GREGHORRORSHOW’S MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE – Eurogamer Expo 2012 *
LOST PLANET 3
After waiting for what seemed to be an eternity for the guy on the console in front of me to stop playing (seriously – how long can one man die against the same enemy before letting someone else have a go?) I sat down and got some time with Lost Planet 3. Coming across to me as Dead Space in the snow (and without the horror) it certainly wasn’t a bad game. Some of the aesthetic seemed to ripped straight from EA’s game (unless EA stole it from an earlier Lost Planet game?) but I’m still not sure how much fun it was to just hold the trigger and pump the bigger creatures with bullets. Having said that my time was slightly hampered by the fact there was no option to invert the Y Axis on my demo pod :angry:
So that’s the games and after all that I would like comment on how well run the whole thing was. Having people walk through the crowd while we were queuing to scan our tickets and give out the relevant wristbands was a stroke of genius and genuinely saved about 15 minutes of queuing time compared to last year. When the doors opened at 10am we went straight in. Great stuff.
Overall Eurogamer Expo 2012 was a little muted for me personally. There wasn’t one particular game I was desperate to play – perhaps that is tied to the fact we’re nearing the end of the console cycle? However I enjoyed everything I played and even liked a few titles I might not have otherwise bothered playing.