So I went to the Eurogamer Expo held at the old brewery in London as part of a small group of friends and had a go on a fair few games which are due for release soon. In some ways, it was similar to the play.com live event I went to a while back, except it didn’t suck!
But I thought I would share my thoughts about the games I played while I was there. While not a complete list, I did manage to play a fair amount…
Read on for my opinion on Mirrors Edge, Resistance 2, Gears of War 2 and others.
- Mirrors Edge: The demo should be available for download now, but I must say that i was left somewhat unimpressed from what I played. Some people really loved it but I found the controls rather awkward and unintuitive, the combat fiddly and the lack of depth perception made for lots of unneccesary deaths as we ended up jumping too soon to reach the nearby ledge. There are also some serious concerns about the longevity of the game and how I felt somewhat detached from the action.
Overall, the demo felt more like a time trial as opposed to a full stage. It does drive you to try and do a perfect run without slowing down, but I don’t think it will translate well if the whole game ends up like that. Perhaps worth a rental.
- GTI Club+: Cast your mind back to 1997. Were you playing video games back then? Did you go to the arcades? If the answer to both is yes, then you may remember the game GTI Club: Cote D’Azur, a racing game with a difference. It was one of the first driving games to do away with the track and allow players to choose their own route to reach checkpoints. The tracks were designed to keep pushing your in the right direction but there were many little shortcuts and detours to try out.
It was also awesome due in part to the car selection. You could only pick little cars like VW polos and the like. Yes, that also includes the Mini Cooper, which makes the game one of the closest things to being the italian job: the game!!!
The good news is that it’s back in full and will be a PSN download!! The floaty controls, the open tracks, the bomb tag multiplayer, it’s all there. I’m SOOOOOOOO getting this when it’s released!!
- Streetfighter IV: Nothing to add since my last playaround with the game, although I started to get the hang of the focus attack. Still can’t do super and ultra moves with any consistancy tho. I blame my skills with the arcade stick.
In Short, lacks the depth of SF3 but makes up for it in accessibility.
There was also a 360 version on show but that was marred by the fact that the 360 pad made it pretty much unplayable. PS3 version ahoy (I have a special streetfighter pad for my PS2 I can use).
Also, the 360 version showed Gouken (the master of Ryu and Ken) and Sakura, but no Cammy!!!! Come on capcom! You did a survey to see who people wanted in SF4 and Cammy was the outright winner, so where is she???? Why do we get sakura instead??????
- Super Streetfighter 2 Turbo HD Remix: They finally had a build up which had all the characters, so the only real question left is “when is the release?” If they leave it too long, then it’ll be forgoten under the weight of the home release of SFIV!!!
- Bionic Commando: In short, A mess. The game looked sound, combat was solid but it was marred by the complete failure of the swinging mechanism, which is a major part of the game!! It was very difficult to control the swinging and the lock on mechanism which allows you to latch on to the next ledge seemed arbritrary. At times, you could shoot past the desired ledge and never get the option to latch onto it. at other times, the system will let you do so even when it looks like you should be out of range! Had the swinging mechanism been more accurate and lenient, the experience would have been far more pleasant. Instead, even the tutorial managed to frustrate no end!!
- Resident Evil 5: Resi 4 but prettier. The main selling point was the co-op mode but unfortunately, that wasn’t available.
- Da blob: A fun little romp on the wii, but like most wii games, I quickly lost interest.
- Shaun White Snowboarding: A half decent way to extend the life of that lump of plastic known as the wiifit balance board but it’s not going to get people to buy one if they haven’t already.
- Motorstorm Pacific Rift: Felt identical to Motorstorm, which is what some people want.
- Gears of War 2: Gears 2 was hidden away in an enclosure to ensure that under 18s didn’t get to play it, it also meant that the queue was quite significant, even if they did do it in groups of 8.
Only zone multiplayer was available (the mode where you have to take control of an area and hold it to get points) which was a shame cos I really wanted to try horde mode.
But from the multiplayer, it looks like nothing has changed from the original gears. Controls are identical, and the changes we did see were pretty minor. Now, if you are incapacitated (not dead so you can be revived) you can now move yourself around to a safe spot to await rescue. You can also lift heavy weapons like the chaingun from their mount and use it as a mobile weapon, though you lose the ablility to hide and aim accurately. But you can then place the weapon elsewhere and turn it into a gun placement again. Finally, you can use the enemy as a shield by placing him in a chokehold, though it means that you can only use the pistol and I believe the enemy will be dead anyway.
They also diversified the death sequences from the first game, as well as the traditional head stomp, there are now several other ways to finish off the enemy. My personal fave was using the butt of the shotgun as a golf club and the enemy head as the ball.
Like most sequels, gears 2 is a case of “if it ain’t broke…” but I really want to try out the new horde mode. Luckily, the game is released next week!!!
- Resistance 2: I actually didn’t think too much of Resistance 2. The set pieces were spectacular but the game has the same problem as the first for me, which was that I felt somewhat detached from the action itself. The firefights didn’t really have a sense of urgency and the environments looked a little too clean. Given that it’s too late to change anything (it’s getting a release in the next few weeks) I can’t help but feel disappointed in the game. Esp when compared to…
- Killzone 2: This game was graphically gorgeous with only Gears 2 holding up any kind of competition. The environments all look really worn and dirty with some amazing detail. But Graphics don’t make a game so how did it play? Surprisingly well. The game was much more immersive than Resistance, with skirmishes with the Helghast being very intense and viceral. But the game was not without issues. There was text permanently on the top of the screen which reminded gamers that the demo they were playing was pre-beta. I’m not sure how much truth there was to that line but it did explain the sheer stupidity of your AI buddy from time to time. There were times he would prevent you from moving forward by blocking a doorway, only to suddenly move when you had almost given up hope of progressing.
Granted, there’s still some time before Killzone 2 is released so there’s plenty of time to fix such issues (if they are still around) so I will be looking forward to this game with increased interest.
From my playthough of this and Resistance, in contrast to what I have been hearing on the net, Killzone 2 >>>>>>>> Resistance 2
- Left 4 Dead: And so we leave the best for last. A bit of a surprise hit in the show, our group expected it to be fun, but not as great as this. Our only real complaint is that graphically, it’s pretty poor but we can accept it as a measure to try and minimise lag when playing online and to be able to increase the zombie count on screen, and boy, are there a LOT of zombies!!!!
The premise is insanely simple. You are part of a group of 4 survivors. you are given the choice of weapon at the start of the game from shotgun, SMG, assault rifle and sniper rifle to go with your standard sidearm. once you have picked your death stick, your mission is to simply survive with your teammates and either get to a safehouse or await rescue. You are given 2 life bars at the start with the second one kicking in when you are surrounded by zombies. At that point your character is dragged to the ground and it’s up to your team to get rid of them and help you back on your feet.
The game actively punishes solo play with the sheer number of zombies which attack you. If you find yourself isolated, you are pretty much dead. Teamwork and sticking together are a necessity in this game. Aside from zerg rushing you (I kid you not, sometimes the number of zombies is so great you just have to unload your shots and hope for the best), zombies can also drag you back with their tongues and jump large distances. Another reason why you will want to stick close to your teammates.
The game itself had many memorable moments. Though the one which stuck in my mind the most was on an oil rig stage where we barricaded ourselves into a small room after radioing for help. We covered all the access points but were simply overwhelmed at times. I remember turning around from a window only to be met with a wall of zombies. At that point, all 4 of us simply changed tactics to spray and pray (fire constantly and hope you hit things).
Not sure how well it will work if you join a goup of strangers, but with mates, this experience was incredible and I whole heartedly recommend grabbing a copy on release!!!
So there you have it. I didn’t play prince of persia, Tomb raider underworld, World at war or several other big titles but I did play a large bulk of the big titles. Must buys for me are left 4 dead, Streetfighter 4 and GTI club. I will be getting gears as well, but my interest in it isn’t as high as the others.
Are any of the above titles on your watch list?