EGX 2014 – ROUND UP

EGX 2014 Main

I was fortunate enough to once again attend the Eurogamer Expo at Earls Court in London this year. There was a great selection of games to try and despite lengthy queue times for some games, it was relatively easy to wander around and just sit down to play a lot of titles.

There wasn’t one big stand out game for me this year – my anticipation was spread across several titles and the only thing I was disappointed I didn’t play was Evolve. The queue for that was simply too long but I do feel it’s a little like Destiny in that I might not fully grasp what the game is until I actually play it.

Anyway, moving on to what I did play – strap yourself in, we have quite a bit to get through!

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THE ORDER: 1886

The Order

I’ve been looking forward to The Order: 1886 for ages – what’s not to like about London Victorian Steampunk?! Graphically the game was amazing which I think contributed to the feeling of disappointment I had when some of the character animation came into play. Granted this is an early glimpse of the game but the jerky movement of some of the NPC’s and the fact enemies didn’t flinch from shots anywhere except their head, really deflated me by the end of the demo. For me the controls felt a little clunky and the gameplay didn’t really get going in the short time we had to blast through the demo. I’ll still definitely play this but my expectation levels have dropped considerably.

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BORDERLANDS: THE PRE-SEQUEL

Borderlands PS

As a big fan of the first two Borderland games I was kind of hoping this game would make an appearance on the PS4 but at this time there are no plans for a current gen version. The queue for this game was crazy long but eventually we got to play and while the game didn’t do much differently (the gravity changes were interesting but not a game changer) it really rammed home to me how much I enjoy the mechanics and shooting of the series. I’m still not sure I’ll pick this up now that I’m mainly gaming on PS4 but if you like Borderlands then this is more of the same… which is no bad thing in my book.

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MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR

Shadow Of Mordor

I had seen some preview videos for Shadow of Mordor and had semi-dismissed the game as an Assassin’s Creed type hack ‘n slash title. Having been fortunate enough to get hands on with the game I can confirm there is a lot more to it than that! The combat is smooth and, while lifted from the Batman series, it really suits the fluid style of fighting in the game. Graphically it looked great and character movement was impressive. Add in to that the Nemesis system, where Orcs you defeat (or who defeat you) will remember and bring it up if you meet again, and you have a really strong title on your hands.

*GREGHORRORSHOW’S BEST IN SHOW – Eurogamer Expo 2014* Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

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PROJECT CARS

Project Cars

I don’t know a lot about Project Cars, aside from it being a racer that is coming to PS4. Luckily for me this was one of the less busy booths so I could just walk up and play. I’m not a huge fan of driving games but there is usually one or two each generation that I get into and enjoy. The demo here was only one race and whilst it wasn’t bad the handling didn’t quite click with me. I appreciate that this could have been down to the car or track as opposed to being an issue with the game but once I’d finished I didn’t have the urge to play more.

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FAR CRY 4

fAR cRY 4

I tend to try not to play games at these events that I know I’ll definitely be getting in the months following the show but the queue was unusually short at the time so I jumped into some Far Cry 4 🙂 As expected it was frantic, funny and slightly insane. As I attempted to take over an outpost I used a combination of guns, grenades and even jeeps to mow down an army of bad guys. While there wasn’t too much new stuff on display it seems that Far Cry 4 will be continuing the previous games good work. I just hope the story doesn’t collapse under it’s own weight this time out.

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GALAK-Z

Galak-Z

Galak-Z has been on my radar for a while and it’s ‘Saturday morning cartoon’ style seemed to be something I would like. I’m pleased to say that in motion that style is wonderful and the gameplay was fun but quite challenging. I think that is down to the control of the ship, where the game uses a button for thrust rather than the stick movement a lot of games use. It looks like Galak-Z will be one of those titles that is tough to get to grips with but hugely rewarding when you do.

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HELLDIVERS

Helldivers

Helldivers is a twin stick shooter in the same mould as Dead Nation, the twist here is that the game is four player co-op and friendly fire is ON! I played this with 3 other random people and it was amazing how quickly we started working together as a team. And you have to as the game will punish you quickly if you don’t. Our mission involved going to certain areas of the map to trigger waves of enemies and using our various skills (turrets/mechs/revives etc.) to dispatch them as soon as possible. Using your abilities isn’t as simple as a single button press, you’ll need to input a fighter-style combo to access them, which adds to the pressure. I expected to like this but I came away even more impressed than I thought I would.

* GREGHORRORSHOW’S MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE – Eurogamer Expo 2014 * Helldivers

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BLOODBORNE

Bloodborne

Having not played any of the Demons Souls/Dark Souls games I wasn’t sure what I would make of Bloodborne. Knowing how punishing the games are to newcomers I was expecting to hit a wall quickly. I’m pleased to say that while the nuances of the genre were lost on me I was able to pick up the basics and explore the world for a bit before I met a grisly demise. The game looked wonderful and the character handled nicely (I went for the agility/speed build). Once I get to play the game properly and get to grips with the full controls/game systems I think I’ll really enjoy Bloodborne. It certainly seems like the developers have done a good job of making the game more accessible.

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DRIVECLUB

DriveClub

DriveClub continues to be a driving game that I enjoy playing. It looks great and handles really well – a mixture of simulation and arcade racing that suits me down to the ground. The queue was super short and so even though I’d already played it at previous events I thought I’d check it out and see how it’s developed. The truth is I didn’t notice a big difference between this and the build I played last year. Having said that I still enjoyed it and with Playstation Plus subscribers getting a free (but content reduced) version, I know I’ll be sinking some hours into this when it gets released.

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So there you have it – lots of great new titles will be hitting at the back end of this year and into the beginning of 2015. What titles are you most looking forward to?

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Hacksville: Population 70m+

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last three weeks you’ll have noticed that the PS3 has been without it’s online component, the PSN.

Someone hacked into the network and stole users personal data so Sony shut down the entire online aspect of it’s service to investigate.

It took a week or so for them to fill gamers in because they were waiting for the investigation to be completed by a third party. Once they had the confirmation they let us know the following day.

Online is a big part of the gaming experience for a lot of people.

This is apparently standard procedure (see here for more details) but it was the announcement that the hackers could also have got hold of users credit card details that ruffled feathers.

It usually takes something controversial for gaming to appear in the mainstream news, let alone make the headlines, so the theft of over 70m users credit card details was just what the media ordered.

The truth of the matter is that, at present, Sony has nothing to prove that credit card details were taken and no-one has reported any unauthorised activity on their cards.

Killzone 3 was a recent flagship online game for Sony, will people return to it or play fresher titles?

From a personal perspective I immediately cancelled my card and ordered a new one. Any concerns from my end were then finished.

Sony vowed to increase security and apologised for the breach. They have also offered some compensation in the form of some free games and a month of Playstation Plus for free.

As time rolled on and a few days turned into a week, which turned into two weeks… gamers seemed to be getting overly irate.

What impact will the outage have on the sales of a game heavily based around multiplayer, like Brink?

Now I accept that Sony has to shoulder some blame for this but someone breached the security they had in place and attacked them. I’m presuming this was a data theft issue because any group, such as anonymous, that attempted this to inconvenience Sony will have lost any support from PS3 gamers.

In terms of getting back online I would much rather the PSN was down an extra week or two now with better security than have it back up and running now, only to see it taken down again a few weeks later with problems.

Sony’s initial response was by the book according to people in the know, so waiting until the investigation was complete before commenting was ok with me. But the handling of it over the last few weeks has been ridiculous. The phrase ‘a few more days’ has been wheeled out at every opportunity, when realistically they must have known they were looking at weeks rather than days.

Were some gamers really desperate enough to play Call Of Duty that they would trade in their PS3?

There have been plenty of claims of people trading in their PS3 for an XBox 360 so they can play online, which I find hard to believe. Buying a 360 as well? Can see that as an option for people with the cash to do so. But trading in your PS3? What about the exclusives coming up such as Infamous 2, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3 or the just announced Starhawk?

The time the PSN has been down has been a blessing in disguise for me as I’ve knocked out a huge chunk of my single player backlog before the arrival of L.A Noire.

Over the last three weeks I’ve made my way through Bulletstorm, SOCOM 4, the first episode of Back To The Future: The Game, Stacking, Crysis 2, Portal 2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Not to mention throwing countless hours into Mass Effect 2.

The outage meant I cleared a big chunk of my game backlog.

I rediscovered my love of single player gaming. With the PSN showing signs of life this week it might be time to rediscover my love of online gaming.

What did you guys so in the downtime? Play much? Turn to other pursuits? What did you think of Sony’s handling of the situation – from the actual security itself to the response and release of information?

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