Ben Goes To The Eurogamer Expo 2013 – Part 2: Electric Boogaloo
If you’re going to do a sequel to anything, make sure you have a ridiculous subtitle. Anyway, on with the show. I’m afraid you’ll have to indulge me, I’m going to go through my entire day at the expo, without skipping out on the games that are exclusive to… other consoles.
So, Titanfall. Its been getting exemplary write-ups, and from video footage it would be fair to say that its hard to say why. To the average observer, it looks like Call Of Duty with robots and a jump pack. To an extent, that’s what it is. Except there’s a fluidity to the game that can perhaps only be afforded by more powerful hardware. How the current generation version will perform is entirely up to the developer Respawn chooses, so let’s not dwell on current gen conversions of next gen games. How’s the Wii version of Dead Rising holding up, by the way? Either way, Titanfall is a first person shooter for the people who don’t always enjoy online multiplayer, and for the people who excel at it. I was puling off silly jumps, calling down my mech as frequently as the game would allow me. So, about every 4 minutes roughly. The action moves quickly, and the auto aim is sufficient enough to keep that pace from slowing down at any point. It’s an absolute blast, and thankfully its coming to PCs day and date. Although, if you’re patient enough to wait for an arbitrary amount of months post release, i’m sure your patience will be rewarded.
If I don’t talk that much about Battlefield 4, it’s because the improvements to the next gen consoles are what PC players were enjoying in Battlefield 3. Safe to say, there’s a bunch more people in the maps, and I still can’t control a helicopter. Hell, I don’t think that anybody on my team knew how to do so either. Fun, but when EA’s showing something far more exciting right next to it, you can’t help but wonder what it would be like if you could double jump. If you’re down for traveling even further into the past of First Person Shooters, say hello to Wolfenstein: The New Order! A game in which you can dual wield shotguns that are, I kid you not, the size of your character’s arm. It’s delightfully silly, but the difficulty still needs tuning. Also, perhaps clearer signposting, to prevent me from running in circles in the game’s levels. Still, good fun.
Onwards to Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag. If you though Assassins Creed 3 took way too long to get to the point, then I have literally no idea how Black Flag is going to fix those problems. All I know is that in the game’s open world, there’s a dedicated button to get your pirate crew to launch in to a lovely sing song. You can’t get better than that. The rest of the game feels like Assassins Creed, for better or worse. Played this one using a PS4 controller, and it certainly ran well enough. I can’t say the same for Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. A large badge saying ‘pre-alpha’ means I can’t be too harsh on it, but the gameplay at least was fairly uninspired. It’s rather odd indeed to take a series famed for its deep combat mechanics, and to turn it in to a button masher, but that’s Ninja Gaiden Z all over. Yes, the Z stands for Zombies.
After escaping from the expo’s 18+ zone, I went and checked out Ratchet And Clank: Nexus. Have you been waiting for a proper Ratchet And Clank game again? Well, you’re going to be extremely pleased. It’s classic Ratchet through and through, with some interesting 2D platforming sections for Clank to deal with. You can switch up the gravity whenever you like, so there’s a good element of puzzle solving in there too. Oh yeah, and there’s a gun that turns enemies into snowmen. Of course there is. There is no such gun in Bayonetta 2. What there is, is a fight on top of a soaring fighter jet, as you use your body hair as a weapon against a whole bunch of bizarre foes. It’s absolutely ludicrous in a way that only Bayonetta can be.
With the recent Shante Kickstarter meeting its goal, I felt it only appropriate to check out the upcoming 3DS eShop instalment. The pixel art is absolutely stunning, and the platforming is appropriately punishing. So, business as usual really, but when that business is so fun you can’t really complain. The same could almost be said for Sonic: Lost World on the WiiU, where Sonic Team have seemingly been taking level design lessons from the Mario Galaxy team. The whole thing is very fast, and the controls just about keep up with it all, which really is a blessing in a Sonic game. Also, it seems to run at a constant 60 frames per second, a feat it only took Sonic Team a whole console generation to accomplish. I then played the only Xbox One launch game I’m interested in. I am of course talking about Zoo Tycoon. I loved that series when I was younger, and Frontier has made a new one of those. Except now you can play as a zookeeper on the ground level, and whiz around the Zoo in a buggy, as pedestrians jump out of the way. Rather relaxing, actually.
I then played Volume, and did an interview with Mike Bithell, which will be appearing on the site in due course. Volume is looking lovely, even at this early stage. Though the voice actors haven’t been revealed yet, I was told that the main character’s whistle is, in fact, the actor whistling. I couldn’t for the life of me work out who it is. And finally, we came to OlliOlli, the 2D, Vita exclusive, Skateboarding game. I was pleasantly surprised when I one of the developers sat down next to me, and showcased exactly how much depth the game actually has. The answer is, far more than anybody could rightfully expect from a 2D skateboarding game. There’s so many different tricks and grinds to pull off, alongside a mechanic that gauges how accurate your landings were, making a game that’s ripe for replayability. There’s even a daily grind for players to attempt, as they strive ever further for leaderboard immortality. It helps that the game’s artwork is absolutely wonderful, but never distracting. So, OlliOlli is currently the game I’m most eager to play more of, because I know it’ll suck me right in.
There you have it, that was this year’s Eurogamer Expo. There were a lot of video games there, and some of them were good. Some of them were even better than that, but only a few of them got above that. It’s going to be an exciting next few months.