Eurogamer Expo happened during September and it gave a lot of gamers from around the UK a chance to get hands on with some of the titles due to be released over the next 12 months as well as a chance to meet others from the ever-growing gaming community. This was my first trip to an event like this so I was obviously looking forward to seeing what an event like this had in store. The event didn’t disappoint as I got to see much of what I was interested in getting time with as well as finding some hidden gems and also having my opinions changed on a couple of titles, some for the better and some not so much.
Here are my impressions on some of the upcoming games that I managed to get some time with.
The graphics were very crisp and clean. The lighting made everything look amazing, it really was a nice game to watch. It sounds a bit redundant to say but it looked very much like an Uncharted game but we all know that these two share more than a glancing nod together so there’s nothing wrong there. Playing the game I felt that the overall movement felt very smooth and responsive. The character response felt sharp and you felt as though you had complete control of both large and small movements. It was pretty evident that the designers and the graphics department had spent a great deal of time working on Lara’s character model and how she looked both in-game as well as in the FMV sequences. One minor issue I had with the character was that when she picked up something (in the case of the demo, meat) and carried it, there was nothing on the character model to show she had it on her. It might sound like a small thing but the addition of a small pack or the item carried on her back would in my opinion add to the feel of where you are and what was happening to both her and you playing the game. Another slight quibble I had been with the bow. In the demo you had to use a bow to kill a wild deer. Now i’ll give a little bit of background detail here so you have an idea where im coming from. In my spare time I am an outdoor activities instructor and as part of this i am an archery instructor so I am used to how a bow should feel and how it should act when used. I was looking forward to getting a hands on with Tomb Raider to see if they had made their bow act and feel as a real on would. During the demo I used the bow a couple of times to get a good feel for it. Personally i didn’t feel as though the bow handled as well as I had hoped and expected. Inverted bow controls may help this but it also felt as though it had no weight to it. I was hoping that the bow would feel heavier and take more control and time to use. Aiming in the demo was all too easy, it was literally a point and shoot affair, no weight to the controls and no feel of pressure as you pulled back on the string and held it there. This title isn’t due for release for a while so this is all something that they probably will work on more and I look forward to seeing if they continue to develop and improve this particular feature.
All in all, Tomb Raider looked as though it will be a strong and competent title that will catch many gamers eyes and the gameplay should be solid along with an interesting and strong storyline.
God Of War Ascension
I was looking forward to seeing this playable and I must say that I was not disappointed at all. God of War has always been a fun hack and slash game and this new installation does not disappoint. It is exactly what you would expect from the series. It’s hugely over the top, completely insane button bashing combat sequences with huge enemies and creatures.
The combat felt great fun and the combos felt rewarding as you pummelled your enemies to dust. The graphics felt nice and smooth and everything looked very colourful. To be fair I have to say that it doesn’t seem as though there is anything new in this title (multiplayer aside), the single player looks as though it will be very similar to the past installments but is that such a bad thing? I don’t think so, I cant wait to get back to helping Kratos destroy any and all things in his path. I can honestly say that I think that fans of the God Of War series will not be disappointed at all.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
This was a mixed bag for me. I have been looking forward to getting a hands on with this title for some time. I have been a fan of the Alien genre for as long as I can remember. I love how the films portray a sense of panic and fear over the alien creatures more than in any other sci fi film ive seen. I love how the marines are seen to be this almost rag-tag group of heavily armed soldiers thrown in at the deep end where their training becomes null and void in the face of such a perfect enemy. In particular I have been looking forward to getting a hands on with the alien characters in the game. unfortunately this was not to be the case at Eurogamer. They were showing off the multiplayer and public were allowed to take part but only as the marines. The developers had their own group of players it seemed for the aliens. This was a shame but nevermind. The multiplayer handled well, it looked fine, the accompanying sound was also good. You may have noticed that im not being overly enthusiastic with my wording. This is because although Aliens Colonial Marines was a good game from what we got to play, it didn’t feel like anything new. It felt as though it was a game that we have played before in a different guise more than once. I am wondering if this title will play more heavily on the subject matter ie the aliens and the desperate struggle of the marines rather than the strength of the actual gameplay. Dont get me wrong, this game had a real sense of panic as you fought the aliens. Creeping round the tunnels and buildings, checking doorways and dark corners felt scary enough especially when it suddenly dawned on you that you also need to check the ceilings as well for the nightmarish creatures that were bent on ripping you to shreds. This will be a fun game to play and hopefully the multiplayer will continue for a good while after its release. However, it does feel like a fairly average game that could be great but has something missing so far, what is missing im not sure but hopefully whatever it is will be found and added before release.
This is one title that I went to Eurogamer wanting to be impressed with and came away wanting to see more. Im going to wait until I get a hands on with every aspect of the game before deciding how I feel about the final product. The demo I got to play didn’t make me want to jump around with anticipation but it also didn’t make me want to ignore the game either. This will be a watch and wait title.