We will have three day coverage of the entire Eurogamer Expo event, but in order to give those with Saturday or Sunday tickets an insight into what to expect, and where best to spend their time, this articles aim will be a preview of highlights. Expect more articles to follow over the coming days along with numerous hands-on previews of the games on show.
Easily the steal of the show for me was Brink, a game which had a single row of machines yet somehow managed to gain a queue that looped around the entirety of this area. Somewhat misleading this queue managed to last nearly two hours. When I finally got the opportunity to sit down at a machine, it turned out that it was somewhat worth the wait.
You are greeted with the character customisation screen, which whilst limited to only a handful of choices at the moment (I expect those additional items just need unlocking/purchasing) is very detailed and allows for some very stylised characters to be made with not only personalised clothing but weaponry. Then on we were quickly thrust into a battle, a single objective based multiplayer match in which our team had to assault key objectives each within a time limit. The usual fare really.
The aspect that makes Blink special is simply the implementation of each class’s abilities, the games automatic task assignment and quirky reliance on one another to make progress. All wearing loud headsets we never once spoke to one another, yet it always felt like the team worked in tandem. Playing the Medic class I fell in love with being able to nip into the middle of a fire-fight, revive a few fallen comrades, pick off a handful of enemies and dish out some heals in-between. One additional feature I praise greatly is also the scoring system that grants points on minor details such as each bullet that lands, not only a single point per kill or objective captured – every contribution, no matter how small, is rewarded. The name of the game is teamwork.
On the other hand I did come across a negative during my time on the game, which was the lack of actual free running (something that given the excessive over the top CGI trailers I was expecting in abundance). All attempts to scale buildings or even tall walls resulted in me looking rather stupid, and the largest vaults I could perform were over small rails or crates... nothing that felt out of the ordinary for your typical first person shooter.
It might simply be the fact that the glory of being on the winning team, and the #1 player in the match might I add, that has given me an unbiased opinion but there just seems to be something special about the way Brink has been put together, and it’s certainly gone from mild interest to a day one purchase in my books.
Next up came Bulletstorm, a game which wasn’t encountered until later in the day due to the fact that there was no apparent advertising for the games booth whatsoever. I even had a couple come up to me during gameplay to ask “Is this Brink?”.
There wasn’t a great deal of gameplay on offer as the demo came to a close just as I was getting used to flinging enemies into my boot and then shooting their skulls until they explode open. Literally, over and over grab, fling, kick, shoot in the face – but such a simple repetitive string of attacks didn’t get old and having a small taster of unlocking new abilities I can only imagine the wide possibilities. Competing with others for the best highscore over the course of the demo the per-kill constant score rewarding comes perfectly into play and feels very rewarding, without ruining the immersion of the game.
Yet again another title that was on the radar for moderate interest and has leapt into a certain purchase on the day of release. Bulletstorm is easily worth your attention, and that’s even before considering that this might be the best looking Unreal Engine game to date.
This concludes the first part of the Eurogamer Expo preview. For those that will be waking up early tomorrow morning to attend, enjoy and make sure to get in the queues early for the two games above. More to follow for everyone else!