Published on April 14th, 2016 | by Guest Contributor0
HGR at EGX Rezzed
Over the years we have attended several expositions – EGX, GameFest, Play.com Live and now EGX Rezzed. Rezzed is one of the smaller gaming events we have been to which is held at Tobacco Docks, London running for 3 days.
Tobacco Docks is probably one of the nicer venues but maybe not the best place for this kind of event. Some of the areas felt quite tight for room, especially the indie room where we saw a wheel chair struggle to get through the busy crowds and small lanes. He was only in the room for 10 minutes. I’m hoping indie games keep getting more popular so that Rezzed can hopefully move to a bigger venue with a more open floor plan but that it stays in London. Personally I think the downfall of the main Eurogamer Expo was due to the relocation to Birmingham.
Anyway enough about the venue, we were lucky enough to see and play a bunch of great indie games and even jump on the Sony’s PlayStation VR. We will go through some of the games below that we personally enjoyed and caught our eye then round up at the end with games we felt deserved a mention.
The PlayStation VR
GM: Oh my god! I wanted to hate it, I really did not want to get sucked into what I consider to be a similar fad to 3D or Camera Gaming (Eyetoy/Kinect) but I simply fell in love with the PlayStation VR. The looks of the device are night and day compared to the others on the market, it just looks more polished than cramming in as much technology as they could. Aside from the looks I got hands on with London Heist. Using the PlayStation Move controllers I was able to pick up a guy whilst my free hand was used to keep restocking the gun allowing me to fire. I thought that before I played this game I would be very aware that I would be moving my head around like an idiot from everyone else’s point of view however; as soon as the game started I totally forgot about what was going on outside of the headset and purely focused on the game. I found the game to be a bit pixelated, I’m not sure if that was due to the headset not being set up correctly or if it was the unpolished game. Apart from that I couldn’t pick a single other problem with the game or the PlayStation VR.
DG: I’ve never been too fussed about trying the latest trend of VR, mostly as the headsets I wanted, the VIVE and Oculus Rift, were way out of my price range and the PSVR was PlayStation only (duh) which isn’t my console of choice but I got the email about booking a time slot and I thought why not. Up close the PSVR is one of the nicer looking headsets that will enter the market but I always thought it would be quite front heavy when I sat down and it was placed on my head it felt balanced and comfortable. We didn’t get to pick the game but the gaming gods must have looked at me fondly as I got to play the remake of the 1980 tank game, Battlezone. The game started up and straight away I was looking around the level in all directions, being fully immersed in the surrounds. Looking down I could see screens giving out details about the tank and looking left to right I could see the tanks controls moving whilst I played with the joypad. Going out to battle I was moving my head around looking for targets whilst my hands were automatically aiming the turret to the targets. I was getting so in to the gameplay that when shots were fired in my direction I actually leaned my body to dodge incoming fire.
Sadly I did notice some blurring around the edges of the screens but this could have been due to the fact that the headset wasn’t set up for my head and that I could’ve adjusted the lenses but I won’t know till I get a more personal feel for it. When payday comes I’ll have to put down a deposit for a pre-order, I’m now a believer.
GM: This booth gets a mention due to the 3D printer that was being used to print off random players’ vehicles that had been created. This was an awesome twist on a booth to see things built in game turn into mini objects in real life. It was something that instantly caught my attention as it was not the same as anything else at the show but in a good way! I would have loved it if, down the line, we could take our creations from the game and send them directly to a 3D printer once they become more normal in the market.
DG: Visiting the TerraTech booth has become a regular thing since 2014’s EGX in London. I actually backed the game on Kickstarter so when EGX2014 came around, I forced Gaz and my other friend Andrew to sit down and play and actually backed the early access of the game. So this year made we want to go back to the booth but not to play the game but to see the wee toy they brought with them, a 3D printer with which they could print models of the creations players made while playing the game at Rezzed. We didn’t get a chance to see the models printing but we actually thought this was a brilliant feature and hope to see this come more in to the consumer market where anyone with a 3D printer could do the same and see more games adopt the idea.
Oh My Godheads
We entered the land of Square Enix collections for where they were publishing some indie games and one that caught our eye was Oh My Godheads. This game is currently slated only for the PC but the developers were cagey on what the future would hold depending on how well it sells. This is a party game where 2 v 2 will try and get a god head and take it back to their base, each head held different powers such as being held for too long and exploding!
GM: Got to love party games, this is a game a family could sit and play together and have hours of fun with. The more you play it, the better it gets. You get to see more of the moves and understand them better such as throwing the head across the level to your team mate who has made their way into a clear path for the goal.
DG: It’s good to know party games aren’t going anywhere and seeing the games around Rezzed proved that. Oh My Godhead is one of those 2nd look games in which you give it a quick glance, don’t think much of it, then you go back to it and give it an actual try and kinda enjoy it. I actually got to play it quite a few times during the course of the week, the first time myself and Gaz played it with the developer and some random it was a lot of fun working together throwing the head to each other to score the points. On the last day I played with my son who picked up the controls easy enough but he’s not much of a team player. After a couple rounds he figured out that if he wanted to win he would have to listen to his old dad, which he did and we slaughtered the first and second couples who played us.
We only got to play one mode of the game but it has some promise, plus I’m a sucker for a couch co-op game.
We’ve spoken and tweeted quite a bit about Subnautica lately as it was due out at the start of April but was delayed so they could fix some frame rate issues but we still have something to say about it, well one has more to say that the other.
GM: It’s a very interesting game, sort of like ARK but in the sea? Could see me spending a lot of hours on this however I think I will let the hyperactive person speak about this game more as he is beyond excited about this game…
DG: Ok when we say we’ve spoken about it quite a bit I mean I have as I’ve been following this game since last year when it was released on PC. The game was rumoured to be coming out for XB1 at the start of the year then all of a sudden that it was entering the Game Preview program in April but got hit with some issues. So when we saw it at Rezzed in the Xbox Room, I was all over it. Mainly I let my son play but I used my experience to lead him through the game. The problem is Subnautica needs a lot of time to get in to. It’s a survival game like ARK: Survival or The Long Dark, you have to invest time to gather resources to build equipment which isn’t really possible at an event on a single booth but we tried our best. From the limited time we spent with the game I didn’t notice any major problem with the game but we were still quite early on in the game with no major building done. It looked fantastic on the Xbox One, even using a joypad wasn’t a major problem to get used to.
Win That War
Since David had a game he was very excited about, it’s only fair the next game on the list is one I am excited about. So how about Win That War? Think Total Annihilation graphics/style but as a MMO RTS.
GM: Is the final game out yet!?!?!? This game could quite easily be massive, you could end up with little countries being formed with several players creating an alliance and then that alliance creating an alliance with another group. Before you know it you can have full scale wars with hundreds of players fighting for territory. The next build of this game is due out this summer and I can’t wait to get some real time playing it!
Super Arcade Football!
We need a game both of us liked now I feel so time to talk about Super Arcade Football! This is an old school football game, top down 2d graphics, with a slow-mo option when you take a shot (just to rub it into the face of the player you are playing!)
GM: The thing with Fifa is its a very skilled game, you need to know the controls and is not a simple game to teach a non gamer, non football fan where as this game is great, limited controls and just stupid fun. The rules seem very relaxed as several times off the ball my players were being taken out however you do still get yellow and red cards for certain things. It’s a game that you would be able to sit and play with a few mates without being serious. The game supports up to 4 players, we used xbox controllers to play this and is out on steam the now!
DG: I’m not the best football fan but when I was a kid I always enjoyed playing Sensible Soccer on the Amiga, it had simple controls and didn’t take it self rather seriously so when I saw Super Arcade Football! at Rezzed, I was more than happy to challenge my son to a game. Super Arcade Football has the same overhead view as Sensible Soccer and near enough the same button set up but the game was more brutal and had a slow-mo option to shoot the ball which was kinda neat. It’s an excellent non-serious sports game to play with the mates, hopefully once pay day comes round I can pick it up on Steam and do a Rivalry Night and get my revenge on Dibs as he beat me 2-0 down at Rezzed.
The Round Up
GM: I really enjoyed my time at EGX Rezzed, I love these shows with some facetime talking to the developers and learning more about why they are making their game rather than here’s a code and go try it. There were a lot of games that I have noted down on my watch list from this event and that’s what is good about these events, seeing games that you would not perhaps have looked at before. I tend to avoid AAA games at these events (Just Cause etc) as let’s face it we already own it and played it so why waste time looking at these games compared to things like Oh My Godhead and Win That War which are things I had not really looked in to much before. Of course I had to have my visit to TerraTech but that was more to talk and see their booth rather than play TerraTech as I already own it.
DG: I had a pretty excellent time at Rezzed and it’s well suited to me as I’ve always favoured an indie title over big triple A games, I just don’t have much time to invest in the bigger games so I’d rather play a smaller indie title with my son. One game I’ve been following for a while is This Is The Police which I sadly missed the Kickstarter for but I’ve been following the development through Twitter. The game is set to release late this summer (I think) and will be coming out on PC and then consoles at a later date. The game is pretty hard to describe but you play a Police Chief in a small town in which some of the police activities are questionable. You can play it crooked or straight but again it’s one of those games that you need to spend more time on before you can fully explain it so keep an eye on the site for more details soon.
While I do mention that we are there for indie games, we did manage to catch a Mirrors Edge dev session in which we listened to Erik Odeldahl who is the Design Director for the upcoming Mirror’s Edge Catalyst game, speak about the inspiration and steps they took to develop this new vision for Mirror’s Edge. While I’ve been keeping myself away from trailers and information about the game I did learn that it sounds to be an open world set up in which you can traverse the city at your own leisure and somehow there will be multiplayer but this could just be leader boards by racing certain paths. He didn’t go in to the details of why Catalyst isn’t a sequel but did mention that we will see a more in-depth look in to Faith and why she is a runner and why runners exist so I’m no officially pumped for the new game.
The Xbox Booth did have Quantum Break on full show for everyone and it was packed and I heard quite a few positive comments but all I wanted to play was SUPERHOT as it was finally there but sadly every time I went to get a shot at the booth, someone was deeply invested in playing the game but from what I saw it looked excellent and I didn’t see the players have much problem controlling the character and dealing with what was designed to be a mouse and keyboard game. It’s a pity no one was around to ask for release date details. We also saw Flight School by Dovetail Games which looked quite good but games like this don’t require much. I personally wanted to see how they managed to squeeze a game which usually requires a full list of keyboard shortcuts on to a controller but at the booth they had a keyboard so I think they may be cheating.
I also got to try Carmageddon Max Damage which brought me back to playing the original all those years ago but I feel they need to tune those controls up as the car handling was pretty shocking, I was having quite a bit of trouble keeping the car on the road and in a straight line. Gang Beasts was there and packed as always, wish we had time to jump on the recently announced VR mode for the game but that too was booming. Tom Francis was there with Heat Signature and I love how I’ve seen that game develop over the years, visually and gameplay wise. Anyone who loved Gunpoint should keep their eyes peeled for this!
There is of course more games but they were the honourable mentions that I feel you need to check out. Sadly though I think this was my last year for such events, the cost and my hate for queuing for ages just to play a game for 3 minutes is starting to get boring fast but I highly recommend to everyone that if you love new indie games and want to see what is on the horizon then Rezzed is the event for you. It’s a cheap day out, in which you can see over 160 games, speak to the developers who are some of the nicest folk and make new friends with fellow gamers. There’s an indie game for everyone and if you want the more technical side of game development there’s always the dev sessions or even the careers fair where Colleges and Uni’s from around the country will be so you can speak to them about either signing up or just getting some advice.
Support the indie developers as some will go on to make the next triple A titles.