GregHorrorShow’s Year In Gaming 2019

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It’s been a strange year for gaming, as I mentioned in my EGX round up – with both Microsoft and Sony in a holding pattern until new consoles land in 2020, the gaming landscape has been a lot quieter than usual. Luckily some stand out titles arrived through the year and we had plenty of ongoing games to keep us entertained.

For anyone who missed it my non gaming round up of 2019 can he found HERE.

Valiant

I started the year with a few titles left over that needed to be fully finished, namely Red Dead Redemption 2, Valiant Hearts and Lara Croft & The Temple Of Osiris. Red Dead I discussed last year and it was deserving of all the plaudits but I also thought Valiant Hearts was an excellent game, helping to give some further insight into World War 1. The Lara Croft spin off was ok, probably better played with friends but perfectly serviceable solo.

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A lot of the year was spent on catching up with other titles I’d missed and I finally got to play Firewatch, What Remains Of Edith Finch and Pyre. All of these were brilliant and had great stories to tell but the one that stuck with me the most was Pyre. In addition to the fact the game makes you learn a new sport, the story and characters are so well written it was a joy to spend time with them and see how their tales developed. Apparently there are a lot of different ways it can play out, great fun.

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2019 was the year I ended up switching from FIFA to PES, though in general my playtime for football seems to have dropped off slightly as well. PES is enjoyable and the realistic physics mean you see a lot of different types of goals, which is good. While it’s not a sport per se, I also found myself hooked on Gwent in 2019. A fictional card game from The Witcher games, Gwent is a deck building title that I had a huge amount of fun with. The tactics involved led to some of my favourite competitive gaming moments of the year.

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Other games I finished this year were Telltale’s Batman (which I thought was a good spin on an old, well told story), Overcooked (a hilarious co-op cooking game) and The Witness (I mean, I say finished but mean met my limit for puzzle solving). I also played through Spiderman, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do with the next title on PS5!

Honor

In terms of ongoing games I continued to play and love Overwatch, Battlefield V, Fortnite and Rainbow Six: Siege. All of these are among the best online games I’ve played and would still recommend them all to anyone who hasn’t dived in yet. In addition I also jumped feet first into For Honor and Warframe. For Honor is complex but very fun, my main issue is that it can sometimes find an age to find a game. Having said that when you get into a game it’s unlike anything else I’ve played. Warframe has been interesting, it reminds me of the horde side content in Mass Effect, which is no bad thing. I’ll probably stick with it and keep investing time.

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I finally got around to playing Hitman 2, which I thought was just as good as the first game. The set pieces were spectacular and although I mainly just used my own direction and a silenced pistol the first time through, I imagine I’ll dip back in and replay the levels to see some of the clever set ups included. 2019 also saw the best stealth drop of a game in recent history when Apex Legends appeared out of nowhere to steal Fortnite’s Battle Royale crown. A three player, squad based first person shooter that hit the ground running from the start. It is a brilliant game and well worth checking out if you haven’t tried it already.

FAnne

As you know if you’ve read my blog previously, I love games where the story changes based on your decisions. From the makers of Until Dawn, Man Of Medan landed this year – giving me an opportunity to try and guide a group of kids through a haunted ghost ship. Thankfully I didn’t kill everyone, so I considered my playthrough a success! I’ve written about Forgotton Anne before but when looking back on my year of gaming it was very almost my game of the year. The story was excellent and the animation, along with the music, was top notch. It’s a game I found myself thinking about long after I’d finished it, always the sign of a great title.

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There was one title that stood out slightly more than the others in 2019 though, Remedy’s Control. The story of Jesse Faden, who turns up at a kooky federal building looking for her long lost brother. The building in question hosts the American supernatural service, which means all bets are off as you begin a stunning mission to uncover what is going on. The writing here is brilliant and the design of the game, in terms of the levels and just stylistically, is phenomenal. One part of the game haunted me for a while due to the great voice acting. It isn’t without problems though as the performance of the game really does suffer at times, with action stuttering and slowing on screen if a lot is happening. Once I’d finished the main story I even went back and played another 2 or 3 hours to wrap up a few side missions and reveal more story beats. Control is my game of the year for 2019.

I’m excited for 2020 and the chance to see another round of new consoles. I can’t wait to see what the PS5 brings (hopefully less fan noise!) and fingers crossed we also get a bunch of great games announced for it this year.

Eurogamer Expo 2013 – Round Up

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The Eurogamer Expo grows in size every year and 2013 is no different, with over 70,000 people attending over four days. That is a LOT of people, which also explains why I spent most of the day in queues rather than playing games.

That’s not to say it wasn’t still a blast but by choosing to queue for Titanfall and Battlefield 4 (about 2hrs of queuing between them) we gave up time we could’ve spent queuing for less busy games.

Anyway, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give Titanfall a shot – that and Quantum Break are the only two games of interest to me in the XBox One launch line up (although Titanfall doesn’t arrive until 2014).

So here is my round up of what I got hands on with at the Expo:

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Titanfall

First up was Titanfall, voted by most critics as the best thing at E3 2013. Even while we were queuing I was finding it hard to get overly excited – it’s just Call Of Duty with double jump and mechs. Right? Wrong. The game itself is great fun and it was easy to get straight into the action. Movement felt fluid and wall running was easy. I liked the heft of the weapons and the fact they seem to have taken a leaf out of Resistance‘s book with some of the weapon design. I see no reason this won’t come to PS4 further down the line, with the developer already mentioning that a PS4 version is ‘definitely not out of the question’ so I will be picking this up for sure then. But it’s not worth the price of an XBox One for me just to play this. * ‘TITANFALL’ : GREGHORRORSHOW’S MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE – Eurogamer Expo 2013*

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Battlefield 4

Next up was Battlefield 4 and as a big fan of the series I was looking forward to seeing what improvements had been made. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Battlefield has never been ‘pick up and play’ and I spent the first three or four minutes of the demo sorting out the sensitivity on the sticks etc. I don’t think having to stand so close to the screen and use an XBox pad did me any favours either but I didn’t enjoy the demo. Recoil on the guns felt insanely over the top, I shot a few guys three or four times without killing them and the map looked similar to some of the stuff on BF3. Of course it’s an alpha build and it was only one round so, recoil aside, it could’ve been bad luck. Nevertheless after queuing for so long this one left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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Killzone Shadow Fall

I’d played Shadow Fall previously but that was the single player component so I was excited to try the mutliplayer offering. Shadow Fall delivers a refined Killzone experience and I can see this being my go to shooter on the PS4. The weapons felt great and the game looked fantastic. At one stage I managed to get behind the enemies and brutal melee’d three of them in a row… the stuff of dreams 😆 It felt competitive and it seems there will be even more depth with the new class abilities. * ‘KILLZONE SHADOW FALL′ : GREGHORRORSHOW’S BEST IN SHOW – Eurogamer Expo 2013*

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Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Octodad is a wonderfully absurd game in which you control an octopus trying to maintain his life pretending to be a man. In this demo I was tasked with getting him ready for his wedding and making sure he gets down the aisle in one piece! Octodad’s legs aRE controlled with L2/R2 and the left stick. When you need to switch to his arms you press L1 and then you move the sticks to control his arms, with R1 picking things up. The tricky controls and crazy animation of Octodad make this a very fun game. Definitely recommended.

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Warframe

Warframe has had my interest since it was announced for PS4 as a free-to-play title. At the expo we were sampling co-op mode, which was a horde mode affair with three of us combining to protect an item in the middle of the map. The game is fast paced and moves smoothly – you can aim and shoot with L2/R2 with R1 bringing out your samurai sword for close encounters. L1 allows you to slide on your knees in the same style as Vanquish. I’m not sure how much more effective that was but it sure looked cool 🙂 You also have special abilities which are triggered by swiping the touchpad on the DualShock 4. We had no problem dispatching wave after wave of enemies and soon the demo was over. I had a couple of issues where it felt like the camera couldn’t actually keep up with the game but hopefully that will be ironed out by launch.

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Velocity 2x (Vita)

I enjoyed Velocity as a mini on my Vita and I have Velocity Ultra (courtesy of Playstation Plus) but haven’t fired it up yet. So when I saw Futurlab were back with another Velocity title I was hoping they’d mix things up a bit. And they certainly have. As well as the spaceship flying that made up the original title we will now be treated to some platforming goodness as well. The game looks and feels fantastic. It’s easy to control and has a really cool style. This looks set to be a masterpiece on Vita (and PS4) when it arrives next year.

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The Crew

Lastly I played The Crew, Ubisoft’s next gen racing offering, and while half the time I didn’t have a clue what was going on (not helped by the game randomly cutting to a title card in amongst everything) it was great fun. This is a more arcadey racer, with nitrous boosts and drifting the norm. We were given a few minutes to drive around before being entered into a race (individually – we were all in a different race in a different part of the gameworld) and then assigned a target car for the four of us playing to take out. Much crashing and hilarity ensued – if they can polish up the presentation angle of the game this could be a great addition to the racing genre.

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While I didn’t get to play them (as they were on PC and I’m not a PC gamer) I also watched people playing Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and Volume – both of which will be coming to Vita next year. And both of which looked excellent. Hotline Miami 2 seems to be more of the same which is fine with me and Volume looks like a super interesting take on the stealth genre. Here’s a trailer for that:

So overall it was a good Expo, although the queues seemed to have doubled in size from last year. I suspect next year you might need two days to actually get round and see a decent amount of games. For the most part queuing wasn’t too bad – Titanfall had the nice idea of seating the next batch of people to play in front of a video about the game and Sony‘s booth had content on a big screen that didn’t loop for the entire hour we were queuing.

Did anyone else go this year? Would be good to hear what you played and what you thought of the Expo.

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