Published on October 3rd, 2013 | by Andy Bell4
Blog: EuroGamer Expo 2013 – Andy’s view
So I have had a couple of days to recover from a weekend of gaming, drinking and long queues. And now the toxins have almost left my body I thought the time would be right to get some thoughts on Honest Games Reviews’ trip to Eurogamer, en masse. This being my first trip to any large gaming event like this, (I can’t think why!) I have nothing to compare against but I should say that the experience as a whole was amazing, eye opening and a massive buzz, throughout the entire weekend.
On to impressions, and I should start by saying that in my opinion there did not seem a big Xbox 360 or One influence. While the Xbox One and the PS4 stands where equally proportioned, most of the playable demos, unless exclusive to the Xbox, seemed to gravitate to the PlayStation 3 and 4, plus the opportunity to play the PS4 was a lot more accessible than to get my grubby digits on a Xbox One.
So you might be interested as to what I played and what I thought was any good? I’m sure some of the other team might have different thoughts… in fact after a couple of jars down the local I knew they did! But this year we certainly have a couple of crackers on the way.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
I think above anything else I played on the weekend, I enjoyed this game the most and to think that I nearly didn’t queue up for it! In case you didn’t know this is “Lego does Marvel” and for what I played, they are still coming up trumps for quality games. I managed to play as Spiderman, Hulk and Iron Man in the level when you get to take on the Sandman. The game visuals seem to be better than ever with extra shine on the bricks and even more attention to detail, the movement was great with Iron Man’s flying ability reaching good heights giving the game great depth. It was also good to see voice acting in the game but sadly I couldn’t hear it so I can’t comment. Overall I cannot see how you could pass this one up, Lego pulled it out of the bag again.
Batman: Arkham Origins
I was really looking forward to this and I wasn’t disappointed. Set before the other two games when Batman was still considered a rodent, in this game Bat’s manages to upset Arkham’s biggest gangster the Black Skull. He then puts a price on our caped crusader’s head for one night only… And the rest is history! Playing very similar to the other games (which is great I should add), Arkham Origins is about 50% bigger again than Arkham City. Origins immediately struck me as being more detailed and more multi-levelled and it also seemed sharper and cleaner while Batman moved with more spring in his step; there was also a great new toy I got to play with that binds a goon with a canister of gas for an instant knockout. Overall not in any way disappointing, great to play with the Dark Knight again and I can’t wait to “grapple” this game.
Assassins Creed Black Flag
It appears that it’s a pirate’s life for me! AC Black Flag looked amazing! But hold on, wait, I didn’t see anything new. I did get a good long go on this game and I was impressed by how sharp it looked (this said it was on the PS4), and what I got to play was just on the ship. It looks like this will feature heavily in the new AC game and the mechanics are no different from AC III. This aside, I did get to blow some scurvy dogs up and send them to Davey Jones’ Locker. Once I did this, I could board their ship and take their goods or crew for my own means. I am confident being a fan of the AC series that the story will be great and there will be plenty of land based missions to quench my need of climbing things, what does excite me the most is the open ended opportunity that the sea brings, add a new island here, or a fleet over there. I will be surprised if Ubisoft drops the anchor on this and it looks like it will be an expensive Christmas.
After playing this, I came into harsh criticism from the guys about my lack of enthusiasm over playing Dead Island, I have merely not got around to it!! I was told that this game was similar, but from a noob’s perspective I thought it was fun. What’s not to like about killing zombies? Criticisms to be had are that I had no idea where I was going or what I had to do; this was mutual from other people and secondly it’s not new or ground-breaking, so really I would like to be proved wrong. Still fun though!
Ryse: Son of Rome
This was my first Xbox One experience and grumbles aside from the size of the controller, Ryse played like a solid, enjoyable game. I got to play two Gladiator levels against a small horde of men (I guess these are the MP levels), and with some disagreement from fellow team members down the pub that night, I thought it was a fun game. It’s not fast and it’s not got Lancers or Pulse Rifles, but Ryse boasts that it will immerse you in the Roman world that was, and I did feel like I was in a Ridley Scott film and almost shouted how I was a father to a murdered wife and child. Weirdness aside, good fun to be had here if this is your cup of tea; is it a Next Gen game with Next Gen graphics? Er, No.
CCCCCCOMMMBBBOO BBREAKER!!! HGR got their game face on when we entered this area and what fun we had. All of us at an age when we remember the original Killer Instinct, the game was familiar to us and did play very similar, but what can you do with a VS fighter game that launches it into the next gen? Well I guess that remains to be seen. The graphics didn’t seem to leap out at me and the game played just as well as anything else on the market, still fun to be had though with a next gen HD remake of a quality game.
Now admittedly I am not the man to review on a game like this, they are simply not my bag. What I couldn’t resist though is the only Xbox One game that looked Next Gen, and boy did it look amazing! The attention to detail on the vehicles and the game as a whole is mind-blowing and the new feedback you get through the controller triggers really comes into themselves when you are hard breaking and accelerating in this game. This is a must for the hardcore racers out there.
Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns
Not out until February next year, there is still a little wait to see Lightning back in the saddle of a Final Fantasy game. Without starting me off on what the best FF game is (VII) and the progression of the Final Fantasy games, there is still a place in the heart of me and many gamers out there for this legendary RPG series. Lighting Returns sees the return of, well, Lightning of course. I only got to play a small bit of the game, and from what I got to play the game mechanics have changed very little. Still remaining is the Paradigm Shift only in a slightly different guise and the whole enemy stagger thing. What does seem to worry me is I think it may just be Lightning all the way through, and if you haven’t got a team, it may limit the size of the enemy and make the battles unexciting after a while. This aside, hopefully these issues have been pondered and addressed and we should see a quality title emerge.
Moving on to a couple of games to watch out for firstly,
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
Not out till spring next year I was fortunate to play this, and it was GREAT fun! Hack and slash pushed to the limit. You are pitted against a zombie horde and presented very much in a “comic book” style, things are just crazy! With so much carnage, body parts flying everywhere and blood, half the time I didn’t even know where my character was! While possibly not appealing to all gamers, I love these games to blow off steam after a rough day, can’t wait to see more of this.
Murdered: Prime Suspect
Coming from Square Enix I doubt this will be a clanger. What really excited me the most about this game, aside from its good looks, was the concept. You play a cop who is murdered at the start of the game and playing as his ghost, yes a ghost!, you get to possess various people and animals in order to influence the living world into solving your murder. I talked at length to the chap at the expo as this really caught my eye, looking forward to seeing at bit more of this and hoping I don’t have to call the Ghostbusters.
Closing thoughts on Eurogamer? I shouldn’t have stayed in the pub that late with Esfevium Games? Possibly… But I did have a great blast!
This aside, it’s clear that the PS3 and the 360 are still firmly in place and the games are continuing to improve. For me, without that feeling like I leaped into the next gen when I played the One or the PS4, I will be staying where I am for a while… and with this line-up, I won’t be disappointed