Another year and another Eurogamer Expo
This year saw a huge amount of gaming goodness on show, not only in the form of new hardware with both Xbox One and Playstaion 4 consoles available for fans to play, but also up and coming triple A titles such as BEYOND Two Souls and TitanFall, as well as new installments of fan franchises such as Call of Duty, Killzone, Battlefiled and Need for Speed.
This year was a great show and to give you a flavour on what was on offer, I thought I would share the top 5 games I got our hands on.
5 – Battlefield 4
EA are always willing to play their part in the competitive marketplace and for the fourth year running it is no exception with the Call of Duty Killer – Battlefield 4. The game was being run on the new Xbox One and it played to a great capacity, with teams of 16 on each side.
On display at the show were two different mulitplayer modes on the same map. One mode was the popular conquest, a capture the flag style game with two sides trying to capture three points on the map. The other mode was a new game type called Obliteration that saw the two 16 man teams face-off against each other to destroy high value targets that are on the map.
The game played as you would expect it to, if you have ever picked up Battlefield in its previous instalments. There is a lot of customisation and unlockable modifications although most of this was restricted at the show. There were also some noticeable things that the team needed to iron out including small graphical tears and textures as well as refining the new trigger vibration functionality that has been enabled in the Xbox One pad. This was nonexistent in ether of the game modes at the show.
Out of the two game modes, I was perhaps looking forward to playing Obliteration the most, however it fell a little short for me and I preferred the tried and tested formula of the Conquest map instead.
I am sure I will enjoy both a lot more when the game hits current-gen consoles and PC on 29th October and at launch on both next-gen consoles.
4 – Batman Arkham Origins
This was one of the most anticipated games for me at the show, having enjoyed the first two games. I was slightly apprehensive though, knowing that Rocksteady had handed the reigns over to Warner Brothers and bowed out for this third outing. As a big comic fan, I love a great comic book game and the demo for Arkham Origins did not disappoint.
I can’t decide if it is to the merit of the game or to the detriment but the demo played very much like its predecessor Arkham City. You start off with a cutscene and then are placed in an open world environment. The combat is exactly the same down to the button layout, moves and warning of thugs attacking from behind. To generate a combo and gain strength you need to piece together successful hits, again like its predecessor. You are also encouraged to open your gadget wheel or utility belt, and looking at the items available, these are all pieces of bat equipment that will be familiar to those who have played an Arkham game before.
The demo showcases what we can expect and leaves a great cliff-hanger that really left me wanting more. My only complaint was that I had to deal with the Joker again and not any of the new enemies we have seen showcased so far.
Playing the demo left me feeling warm and fuzzy and wanting more. Like revisiting an old friend that had a new story to tell due to not seeing them for a while, I was more than prepared to sit down for a lot longer to see what else the game had to show and I will be doing just that when the game is released on 25th October.
3 – LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
A round of applause should be given to Telltale Games, who have become one of my favourite developers in recent years. They have managed to successfully grab hold of a vast array of franchises to give them a cute and funny LEGO makeover while also making the hugely enjoyable and refreshing Walking Dead games.
It is Marvel Comics that has been given its turn to join the LEGO family. A second round of applause then should be given to Telltale for the amount of content it had available to play at the show. As I took a seat I had the option of two full story levels to play through as well as two different free-to-play levels, with the option of a massive thirty-two playable characters.
There were some great new mechanics, as there often is. Telltale always continue to learn and try new things and LEGO Marvel is no different. Playing as The Incredible Hulk you can destroy difficult and large obstacles as the giant green monster or hold down the Y button to transform into Bruce Banner to pull levers or push buttons. It was great to see the developers play around with the different heroes and use the superhero and alter ego in different ways and I look forward to seeing if they continue this with other larger than life characters.
The other thing I should mention is the split screen feature of the game. In a dying age of local co-op gameplay I have always admired the LEGO games for their drop-in / drop-out co-op. To my surprise this was made even better when I joined a random stranger for some multiplayer action at the show. Although slightly strange at first you get used to the moving and dynamic split screen line. As the action transpires on screen the line doesn’t just stay as a vertical or horizontal line but moves and adjusts. It sounds bizarre but is a really nice little touch that works really well.
Normally the LEGO games are a Christmas list purchase, but I enjoyed this so much that I may just have to pick it up on release. Those lucky enough to be in North America will be able to pick it up on 18th October while those in the Euro Zone will have to wait until 15th November.
2 – BEYOND Two Souls
This was the show’s biggest surprise for me, as I hadn’t heard much about the game before sitting down to play it. I don’t own a Playstation 3, which pains me more and more, especially over recent years with the plethora of exclusives that Sony seem to be picking up.
The demo was one of the longest at the show, totalling nearly thirty minutes and unfortunately due to the way you queued you got to see a lot of the gameplay and puzzle solving before sitting down and experiencing the dialogue and game for yourself. I did still enjoy the game immensely though.
You play as Jodie Homes, acted by the excellent Ellen Page, who starts off as a small child being experimented on for supernatural, psychic abilities. Flash forward a few years and you are learning basic combat with the analogue sticks. A clever tutorial that keeps you involved with the game’s storyline while teaching you the combat mechanics of the game.
Flash forward a little more and you are now a young teen on the run from the police and this is where the demo really takes hold, letting you work on combat through numerous action sequences as well as getting a chance to play with your powers and take on the role of Aiden, your now supernatural entity friend that has all manner of extraordinary abilities.
The action sequence sees you run through a forest and leads you to an exciting standoff at a cinema that is surrounded by army forces before Jodie and Aiden take them all down and bring a helicopter down in a burning glaze of fury.
I walked away really impressed.
Graphically the game was amazing and was shown on the PS3. When I think of the games I played and saw on the next-gen consoles, this was miles above some of those Xbox One and PS4 graphics I saw on display at the show. The sound and controls worked perfectly and the acting from the games stars – Ellen Page and William Defoe – were spot on.
If you own a Playstation 3 I would highly recommend picking this up when it is released on the 8th October in North America and 11th October in Europe
Game of the show – TitanFall
As I approached the show, this was one of the must play games for me, although I knew little about it. An FPS from the team at Respawn Entertainment, I was expecting Call of Duty with Giant Mechs. Instead I got to play something a whole lot better.
Before sitting down to take part in a multiplayer game, you got to watch a quick video in small groups that detailed and showcased what the game was about, explaining the mechanics of the universe, your character, as well as the reason why the mechanical titans exist. Shortly thereafter we got to participate in a dynamic campaign mission, which means it was a story mission that had real time events happening around it with AI enemies and real-life multiplayer aspects.
Starting off on foot we had three classes to choose from, one carrying a shotgun, one an assault rifle and one a pistol. With the game being set in the far future things are slightly different though; this pistol can mark multiple targets before being shot and the bullets then trace the path to their marked targets, even if this means turning corners.
The soldiers are like Steve Rogers on drugs and these guys can jump and run like they are parkour specialists. The environment has been designed as such so that you can get from one side of the map to the other as a solider without ever touching the ground. You can double jump and wall-run, and while some people I spoke to said they had imagined it to be like Mirrors Edge, it was ten-times better than that. I really enjoyed playing as a soldier.
After a few minutes of running around and killing the enemies a message flashed on my screen saying my titan was ready. I had totally forgotten that the titans were in the game, as the on-foot soldier action felt very new and refreshing for an FPS.
Calling down your titan (that falls from the sky to a designated spot marked by you) is something else. The graphics were great and the animations are smooth. Again there were three choices of titan for the demo, with more to be available when the game is released. Each had special abilities and different weapons.
As you run around in your titan movement is not slowed down at all. I thought that it would be difficult to move and they would appear slow to compensate for their power but this is not the case, which makes for a much more fun and entertaining experience.
As you get shot and beaten you can eject from your titan before it explodes, another great feature that shoots you high above the map and lets you scout out your enemies position as you land back into the action.
Overall I was just really impressed with the gameplay, mechanics, graphics and story of the demo and really wanted to play more. Unfortunately we will have to wait until next year for this one, but I know it will be worth it when it comes out in early 2014.
So that’s my thoughts on the show. Did you go? If so, what did you get to play? What was your game of the show? Will any of our readers be picking up any of the titles above, if so which ones? Let us know by leaving a comment below.