Third year running for us attending the Eurogamer Expo, we have to say we had a blast; here is a rundown of the games we played and our thoughts on them (see Key at the bottom): don’t forget we will be going through Eurogamer in our special episode which should be up late Thursday night from our site and iTunes.
Mass Effect 3 (Xbox) played by Ben and Al
- Graphically rough around the edges, some obvious bugs like floating enemies and reloading your weapon not working till you actually run out of ammo but it was still great to see Commander Sheppard in action again with some added features, for instance, the kick ass melee where a glowing blade unsheathes from his Omni-tool ready for him to plunge deep into a bad guy’s chest and the revised skills system.
- Even in its unfinished state, Mass Effect 3 still wowed us and gets an anticipation rating of 5 out of 5 (both Ben and Al).
Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC) played by Ben and Al
- The game looked good on the Alienware laptops and played well with the Razor MMO mice. SWTOR seems to have a tried and tested MMO body underneath it. Currently using an eight class system whereby you can choose to play as a Jedi, Sith or even a bounty hunter to name three. The training levels are catered for the chosen class of which we got to play only 20 minutes. Clearly this is not long enough to get a feel for this huge looking MMO but it was a good start. Bioware has brought over the dialogue system from Mass Effect i.e. good comments and bad comments; we don’t know what level of impact this will have on your characters storyline, however this is a really promising feature.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 4 out of 5 and Al coming in at 3 out of 5.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon (Xbox) played by Ben and Al
- Graphics are a lot more impressive than the previous incarnation with nice touches such as the dogfighting close air combat system, making the action feel a lot more visceral with the planes breaking apart in front of you. This version introduces helicopters and the real world to the game including missions taking place over Miami and Africa.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 3 out of 5 and Al being a rock solid 5 out of 5.
Assassins Creed: Revelations (PS3) played by Al
- Played the multi-player and on the surface looks and feels much the same as Brotherhood although the characters were made up of Abstergo agents rather than Assassins which could lead to some interesting story elements. I’m used to it on Xbox so felt slightly odd playing it on PS3 but the graphics looked sharp and the gameplay was fluid.
- Anticipation rating for Al 4 out of 5.
RAGE (Xbox) played by Ben and Al
- Queuing up for this game we saw this running on a nice 46” Samsung LED TV. It looked like it was running on a very tidy high end gaming PC, however, we were shocked to learn that it was actually running on an Xbox. Easily the most impressive graphics we have seen so far for the Xbox (until we saw Skyrim about 10 minutes later!). The gameplay was very responsive and the level of weapon choice was impressive in the level we got to play.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 5 out of 5, Al’s anticipation is 4 out of 5.
DRIVER: San Francisco (PS3) played by Ben and Al
- Driver did not impress at all. The game looked and felt like an ordinary racing adventure game. It’s one saving grace seems to be the storyline; though being set in the Driver universe it’s hard to mess that up. The shift mechanic seems nothing more than a gimmick that can only be used due to Tanner being in a coma.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 3 out of 5, Al’s anticipation 1 out of 5.
Mario Kart 7 (3DS) played by Ben and Al
- Played and looked exactly as you would expect a Mario Kart game to play. Worked well in 3D but still appears gimmicky in this nature. That said, looks a solid, enjoyable game that you could easily lose hours to.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 3 out of 5, Al comes in at a whopping 1 out of 5.
Mario Land 3D (3DS) played by Ben and Al
- Similar to Mario Kart in that it plays as you would expect a 3D Mario game to play. Nice touches in that when a character disappears behind the environment the characters silhouette remains visible to keep track of his location. Only had a short time with this game but if it is similar in length to previous Mario stories then this will be very good value for money.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 5 out of 5 (if he had a 3DS!) and a 1 out of 5 for Al.
Burnout Crash! played by Ben and Al
- Ben had already downloaded this from XBLA and as such only played it with the controller. At Eurogamer they were showing off its Kinect features, so Al had a go. The game is based around the crash sections from previous Burnout games. With its top down style it looks great and plays well although it could survive without the bolted on Kinect feature, part of which was having to lean in order to push your car in the direction you wanted after the crash breaker was activated. This didn’t feel very responsive at all.
- Anticipation rating for Ben N/A, for Al 2 out of 5.
Inversion (Xbox) played by Ben and Al
- This is a game that was completely off of both our radars before Eurogamer. This was tucked away around the back of the 18’s section and wasn’t being shown a whole lot of love. We got to spend around 20 minutes with it and we were very impressed with what it had to offer. It is a third person perspective shooter with a gravity changing game mechanic that feels very well implemented and surprisingly natural to play. It is a buddy game in that you have a co-op partner to play through with, although as at writing this, it is unclear whether you can play through with a friend in place of the AI.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 3 out of 5, Al is 2 out of 5
Silent Hill Downpour (PS3) played by Al
- Only having 15 minutes with the game in a noisy, well lit arena it was hard to get a feel for the game. The graphics seemed a bit ragged considering it was played on a PS3 and at times felt slow. It’s the first Silent Hill game without the original composer Akira Yamaoka so it will be interesting to hear the music and how it drives the atmosphere.
- Anticipation rating for Al 3 out of 5.
Saints Row The Third (Xbox) played by Ben and Al
- Bearing in mind that this game is within 2 months of coming out initial impressions on the version that we got our hands on is that there are a lot of bugs popping out of the woodwork. The graphics look like they haven’t moved on from the first Saints Row and the pop up is very obvious at even close distances. There are some positives though, the way that you can take a person hostage adds tension to a stand-off, the control system remains very similar to GTA’s and the humour is much more apparent than GTA 4’s.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 1 out of 5 moving up to a 2 out of 5 if they don’t announce a new GTA soon! For Al it is 1 out of 5 (bring on GTA5!!)
Bomberman (SEGA Saturn) played by Ben and Al
- Taking a venture into the Replay section of Eurogamer you get to enjoy many of the highlights of gaming from yesteryear. One of the gems that we managed to get our hands on for a couple of rounds was the classic Bomberman for the SEGA Saturn. An easy to play, hard to master title that has been overly complicated for its more recent incarnations for XBLA. A great party game where the purpose is to be the last person standing after eliminating all of the other players / AI with bombs.
Tintin (PS3) played by Ben and Al
- Great looking and possible game of multiple layers. The graphics on the PS3 version that we played were nice and sharp and appear to follow closely what Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg are aiming for with their latest film adaption. There would appear to be depth in the puzzles that could tax people in the same way that Shadow Complex manages to.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 2 out of 5, for Al is 1 out of 5
Ridge Racer Unbounded (Xbox) played by Ben and Al
- This game plays with the spirit of Split Second which as fans of that game we are really pleased to see. We had some hands on time with one course that offered us two laps of racing carnage. With pre-determined destruction points and the ability to reduce more of the circuit to rubble the way the circuit evolved during the race was impressive. Whilst none of the set pieces go as far as Split Second did, this does remain a game to look out for should you be a fan of the Blackrock fore bearer.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 3 out of 5, Al 3 out of 5
Forza 4 (Xbox) played by Ben and Al
- Much of what you would expect from a Forza game. Great true to life graphics, brilliant handling and easy to get into. A must buy for any racing sim fan.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 4 out of 5, Al 2 out of 5.
Need For Speed: The Run (PS3) played by Ben and Al
- Got to play two different levels from the game. One of these was set in what appears to be Death Valley with the other being based in the Rocky Mountains. Those who have played NFS: HP will instantly pick up the controls and handling which in this instance is no bad thing. The graphics look impressive and the game runs with no noticeable tearing. That said, whilst the idea of a race across the country is a nice idea the annual NFS titles take away some of the potential for excitement.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 3 out of 5 (would have been higher had NFS:HP not been released only a year ago) and Al rating it a 2 out of 5
Blocks That Matter (PC) played by Al
- A great looking indie game with interesting puzzle solving ideas. The controls (PC) were not that easy to get used to due to using the arrow keys to move around instead of W,A,S,D, which is what I kept wanting to do. Wouldn’t look out of place on XBLA or PSN, sadly not one I would buy though.
Modern Warfare 3 (Xbox – Gameplay Movie) viewed by Ben and Al
- Much the same as previous MW games but with some small changes to multi-player like better team/player balancing and team focused perks. The co-op horde-like mode looks interesting as well.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 2 out of 5, Al 4 out of 5.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox) played by Ben and Al
- Simply put, Skyrim looks amazing. Fantastic graphics down to the smallest detail and great sound and voice acting to add to the feeling of living and adventuring in the Elder Scrolls universe. This game promises over 300 hours of gameplay and I can’t think of a better way to spend them.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 3 out of 5, Al 5 out of 5.
El Shaddai (PS3) played by Al
- A visually stunning if not bizarre looking game. It has a good story premise to it though I found it very slow going and frustrating at times. I compared it to a brighter looking Ico or Shadow of the Colossus and would much prefer to play those than this. Perhaps it just needs more time to get into though it’s not a game I would part with cash for.
- Anticipation rating for Al 1 out of 5.
Battlefield 3 (PC) played by Ben and Al
- The second of the most hyped and anticipated FPS games to come out this year. Battlefield 3 didn’t disappoint. Graphically it looked amazing with some nice little touches like the sheen on the glass of the scopes, seeing the sun shine off of the scopes of enemy snipers and when you are targeted by one, their red dot passing over your eyes. Whereas MW3 belongs on the consoles, for me this belongs on the PC.
- Anticipation rating for Ben 3 out of 5, Al 4 out of 5
Batman: Arkham City (Xbox) played by Al
- Ben elected to not play this due to having not played the first game and he definitely missed out. Even with only playing it for 15 minutes it was easy to see that this beats the first game into a bloody pulp. With a much larger playground to run (and glide) in, it allows for more of the many different characters in the Batman lore to play a part plus you get to play as Catwoman! Still a graphically beautiful game and a solid storyline, fans of the first game are not going to be disappointed. The action flows very well and fighting many enemies at once seems slicker than before.
- Anticipation rating for Al 5 out of 5.
Other Notable Awesome Things That Happened!
Chet Faliszek (Valve)
- Meeting with one of the people responsible for some of our favourite games was an honour indeed. He seemed interested in what we did and was only too happy to pose for a picture. He told us that Left 4 Dead had at least one more piece of DLC coming after Cold Stream, that the Portal 2 DLC was imminent (better be!), and that they are working on some cool other things and experimenting. We can only speculate what that could mean.
R2D2 (Star Wars – Fuck Yeah)
- Fully working and bleeping R2D2. Enough said!
Tim Willits (ID Software)
- Tim is the Creative Director of ID, responsible for some of the best and inspiring first person shooters released over the last 20 years. Started off creating modded levels for free release over the internet for DOOM he was hired by ID off the back of that. He has worked on the Quake titles and is one of the main men responsible for RAGE.
- After missing out on our first day at Eurogamer to get a free Onlive console, we managed to get one on Saturday. Onlive promises to be the gaming system that will shake up the industry by showing that you don’t have to have a top end PC or a Xbox, PS3 and Wii to enjoy top game titles like Batman: Arkham City and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This is gaming in The Cloud, streaming over 140+ games direct to you through your broadband and has features such as instant demos of games and being able to create and show off Brag Clips™ on Facebook. Working on monthly subscription system it will surely change the way we all game in the years to come.
Webby317 from 360Gamercast
- We had the chance meeting with Webby317, and have to say what a nice bloke. It was good to chat with the guy who inspired us to start AMOLAG in the first place and also to talk about podcasting and of course Eurogamer. If you haven’t already, you should head over to 360gamercast.com and listen to their podcast.
Overall Eurogamer has been bigger and better this year and we can’t wait till 27th Sept 2012 when we can do it again. Lots on show and getting to play most of the games before launch are a great way to get a feel for what purchases to make. Congrats to Eurogamer.net on a job well done.
Ben and Al
Key (Out of 5)
1/5: Will not go near this game again, please don’t make me!
2/5: Passable but wouldn’t get this unless it comes for next to nothing
3/5: Good fun and would like to play more but won’t be getting this until it gets a decent discount
4/5: This will be bought within the first couple of months of it coming out, really good game
5/5: Looks like it will be a great game, day one purchase, if not sooner…