Eurogamer Expo 2011

Earl’s Court in London was once again taken over by gamers as the hugely popular Eurogamer Expo hit town.

With a wealth of games on display and the first UK showing of Sony’s new handheld, the PSVita, it was set to be an exciting show.

So without further ado, here are the titles I managed to get my hands on:

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TOM CLANCY’S GHOST RECON: FUTURE SOLDIER

A few E3′s ago this game looked like a futuristic warfare shooter where you would be using lots of gadgets to take out your enemies. While this is still the case to an extent, the game this most reminded me of was SOCOM 4 – no bad thing. Definitely a solid third person shooter, I’d certainly be interesting in playing through this if the story is strong enough.

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BATTLEFIELD 3

I make no apology for the fact that I *love* the campaign and online of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Battlefield 3 is from the same makers but is the sequel to Battlefield 2, as opposed to Bad Company 2. Which means it’s more realistic and less like Kelly’s Heroes. We played the online beta (which releases to everyone on Thursday 29th September 2011) and I have to say ‘wow.’ Once I’d got used to the changes (the recoil kicks especially) I had a great few rounds. Graphically great this is definitely a step up from any other shooter out there.

* ‘BATTLEFIELD 3′ : GREGHORRORSHOW’S BEST IN SHOW – Eurogamer Expo 2011*

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CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 3

Spec Ops was the only thing I got a chance to play – they had the game set up with headsets so you could communicate with your partner and the whole experience was great fun. The game looks really nice and while it doesn’t have the realism of Battlefield in terms of recoil etc, Modern Warfare 3 will be lapped up by fans of the series.

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INVERSION

Inversion is one of those games that hit me out of leftfield when I first saw footage of it earlier this year. It certainly looked interesting and the gravity based gun play seemed like it could be fun. Unfortunately while this may turn out to be the case the gameplay on offer here didn’t really sell me on the game. Not to mention the fact that graphically it was quite poor, with lots of jagged edges and pop in. Fingers crossed the full game gets more polish before release.

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JOE DANGER: THE MOVIE

I really enjoyed Joe Danger and the follow up plays it safe in terms of gameplay, with great stunts and lots of combos. What changes here is that not every level is bike based – there are mine carts, skis and more besides as Joe shoots scenes for a film. Brilliant fun and with the game moving to XBox 360 as well even more people will be able to enjoy it.

*EDIT* Been told that Joe Danger isn’t confirmed for XBox 360 – so we’ll have to see what platforms are confirmed.

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RAGE

Rage is one of those games that just never excited me. It certainly looked great but coming on as a cross between Fallout and Borderlands I wasn’t sure whether I would end up picking it up – there are only so many post apocalyptic shooters I can play… But having got my hands on it I’ve changed my mind. What impressed most was the enemy AI, the fact they ran for cover and scurried away to protect themselves was very cool. The shooting felt strong and I liked the vibe of the game. This has gone from a maybe to a definite play.

* ‘RAGE’ : GREGHORRORSHOW’S MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE – Eurogamer Expo 2011 *

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AWESOMENAUTS

Awesomenauts is a downloadable, 2D online battle game in which you take control of one of a selection of cartoon mercenaries. The gameplay is objective based and was good fun for a quick blast. Each character has their own abilities and can contribute towards the goal of destroying the enemy base (while also defending your own). Not sure if I’ll pick it up but if you like battle arena games, this is something different.

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SAINTS ROW: THE THIRD

The trailers for Saints Row made the game look like a fun open world title and after getting a chance to try it out I can confirm this is indeed the case. Running around shooting random people and dealing with the cops/enemy gang members when they showed up left me with a big smile on my face. The only problem I have is that the game didn’t do enough to convince me to pick it up so I’ll wait and see before making a decision.

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STARHAWK

It was more than a little disappointing to find that the hands on with Starhawk was ground based as opposed to in the sky or being multiplayer. Regardless, the action was solid and fairly enjoyable, though it was reminiscent of Red Faction, without the comedy destruction. I’m still looking forward to this but I don’t think this demo would have sold many people.

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BINARY DOMAIN

This almost took my Most Pleasant Surprise award but was pipped at the post by Rage. Looking very much like Vanquish, Binary Domain features a nice bit of squad interplay in that you can issue commands but also have conversations based on which members you included in your squad. Fast and loose shooting is the name of the game in this title and you’ll be ripping through evil robots on the way to, what I expect will be one of many, boss battles. Definitely one to watch out for if you liked Vanquish.

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PS VITA

Well I got to *see* a Vita – unfortunately the queue was so long that we’d barely moved after 15 minutes and with time running out we had to make an executive decision to get out and see a few more games instead. It didn’t look as big as I’d heard it described, which is a good thing and although I was viewing from a distance the screen gave a pretty clear picture. Would’ve loved to have actually played one but sadly it wasn’t to be… yet!

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So there we have it, lots on show and plenty of stuff to play. One of the bigger surprises for me was that Bioshock: Infinite didn’t make any sort of appearance – seemed weird for one of the biggest games of next year.

Overall the Eurogamer Expo goes from strength to strength – now I need to start planning for next year :smile:

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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Review (PS3)

 

I’ve been waiting for months to get my hands on this game. Having loved the beta and demo I was keen to experience the full set of features in the final title.

I enjoyed the first Bad Company – it’s irreverent humour shone through and while the story was fairly standard the characters were well designed and it was a lot of fun.

The same rag tag bunch of soldiers return for the sequel – you play as Preston Marlowe again, accompanied by Sweetwater, Haggard and, of course, Sarge :cool:

The single player campaign is a wonderful blast through several impressive set pieces and the feeling of being in ‘B’ Company really adds to the experience.

That sense of community and closeness to the characters is a big bonus and probably the main reason Battlefield’s campaign stands head and shoulders above Modern Warfare 2.

While the enemies initial spawn points are often the same, the AI behaviour varies so if you retry a section you will know roughly where the enemies will come from but not what they are going to do.

Clocking in at around 8/9 hours it’s also almost double the length of Infinity Ward’s offering but it occasionally lacks the polish of Call Of Duty – perhaps down to the fact that everything is destructable in the environment.

The destructability of the world is a big factor here as well – you can’t just run into a building and pop up in the window firing shots at enemies with no repercussions – bullets whizz through the walls and a rocket or tank attack will soon take out whatever cover you have. It adds a whole new spin on your thinking regarding taking cover.

I found I cared enough about the characters and was suitably immersed in their world to feel a pang of emotion here and there during the campaign. Quite a rare experience in a (non-RPG) FPS and something I hadn’t had since Killzone 2 back in February 2009.

The multiplayer kicks you off with four classes (assault, engineer, medic and recon) allowing for people to find a class they are happy with or mix it up. You unlock more weapons/gadgets per class with your overall score giving you your rank.

The maps are fantastic and very well designed. Especially the ‘rush’ mode ones, where you have to plant charges at two sets of areas in 3 or 4 different bases. These are my favourite match types with some real epic battles so far.

You also have ‘conquest’, essentially capture and hold, along with ‘squad rush’ and ‘squad deathmatch.’ In the latter two, rather than just two sides, four squads of four face off against each other.

Then there are the vehicles: Tanks, Helicopters, Quads, Boats – it all adds a huge dimension to the gameplay and thankfully don’t feel too overpowered.

Again destructability comes into play massively in multiplayer. Buildings crumble around you under attack and the sense of panic as you hear the foundations creak while you desperately try to sprint away is awesome.

D.I.C.E have done a great job of balancing weapons out in my opinion. Seemingly the more powerful weapons you unlock have less bullets per clip but do more damage.

The unlock system itself is excellent, giving you a wealth of guns and gadgets to unlock – eventually everyone will find a favourite.

Over the last year or so Killzone 2 has been the FPS of choice between me and my friends. Does Battlefield do enough to muscle in?

It’s a resounding yes from me – while Killzone is different enough that I know I’ll still play it occasionally, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is the best FPS I have ever played.

The single-player is solid and enjoyable, with the multiplayer wiping the floor with anything out there on the PS3 at the moment. If you have any interest in a more realistic FPS as opposed to ‘twitch’ shooters then you should check this out immediately.

Rating: 10/10

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Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Review (PS3)

For the first time in a long while I have not been sucked into the hype for a big triple A game.

I just wasn’t excited about Modern Warfare at all – a mixture of not getting on with the first title and a general disappointment from the multiplayer footage I’d seen.

Upon firing up the single player mode I was struck by how good the graphics were and after a quick run through the training camp I was on my way.

The campaign mode sees you take on the role of several characters and while the story is full of big set pieces, the lack of depth in any of the characters you control leads to a sense of confusion at times.

This is also one of the games biggest weaknesses – without any sort of attachment to any of the characters it was difficult to care about what was going on as I worked my way through set piece after set piece.

The set pieces themselves were great when they worked but on the whole were another weakness in my opinion.

Take the snow mobile ride. Now I know someone who did it in one flowing attempt and thought it was amazing. It took me 3 or 4 goes to nail it – on one occasion failing right on the last jump as I wasn’t going quick enough – and was just a disappointing pain in the ass. :sad:

I just feel sections like that should be very hard to mess up, not knocking into one tree kills you (as realistic as that is).

Overall the single player is a bit of an enjoyable mess, with a story that is all over the place.

But no-one is going to be buying Modern Warfare 2 for the campaign mode… it’s all about the multiplayer.

And it’s a pretty good experience.

It’s been patched 4 times in the opening two weeks after release which I think may be a record – and it certainly struggles at times.

I’ve been kicked off because ‘the server is full’, disconnected from lobbies, been unable to party up, got stuck in doorways, had the cpu move for me when I was trying to stay still and had general connection issues.

Having said all that the actual gameplay is polished, and while it took a while to get used to the speed of moving (having been used to the slower Killzone 2), Modern Warfare 2 is fantastic fun online.

They have incorporated some features from other games and improved their own stuff from the previous installment.

The best thing for me are the Deathstreaks, where instead of being rewarded for killing opponents you get a bonus for dying. Very helpful if you’re having a bad round or just starting out. :smile:

Modern Warfare 2 is a vast multiplayer experience, with a ton of unlocks and perks to get over time. It’s a rich and deep set of abilities and weapons, which will keep you busy for a while to come.

As an overall package though Modern Warfare 2 is a lopsided beast.

The single player lacks any depth and would be no great loss to skip and the multiplayer, while fun and engaging, is extremely glitchy and suffers from connection problems.

Better than I thought then but not quite the second coming everyone was raving about.

Rating: 8/10

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