Whilst the UK Gamer Limit team may be slightly more undermanned than the Australians, we still managed to get at least one of our limey butts down to Eurogamer Expo in London. The event was also held in Leeds, but really, who would want to go to Leeds?
I may have been slightly disappointed at the lack of free t-shirts, but I still got to play some games, so read on to find out about various titles like Bayonetta, Heavy Rain and Left 4 Dead 2.
Let’s start this off with a some dazzling awards. I’m sure you’ll be dazzled.
Best of Show:
This award has to go to Heavy Rain, whilst only two of the scenes were playable it was just an awesome game to behold. I saw so many different ways that one of the scenes could unfold, with each success or failure branching off to a different experience. I can see first hand that this game is going to be one to replay, and one to talk about with people as the sheer variety of outcomes will mean very few gamers see the same game first time round.
This is where it all starts falling apart at the seams, and you find out just how indecisive I really am. I couldn’t decide on just one game to give this award to, as I went back to both of these titles so many times, but for different reasons.
New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii is bucket loads of fun with four people all bouncing along helping each other out, or mostly seeking to destroy each other at every possible opportunity. As someone who doesn’t own a Wii, playing a game where you have to waggle and be precise with the motion sensing controller is always a turn-off, but this uses that functionality as little as possible, and feels like you’re in Super Mario Bros. 3, but playing with three friends at the same time. If you own a Wii, there is no reason not to get this game.
The other game I kept on going back to was Lost Planet 2, in which they had 4 vs. 4 multiplayer set up. I’d not played the first Lost Planet, but this game was so accessible, so fun, and, whether losing or winning, I just had so much fun. I can’t wait for the release, as this game was very close to being voted my best of show.
Best “Off The Radar”:
With an event like this, you see the lineup of games on display and automatically think “Oooh, I want to play this game”, and they become your first port of call. But, they are not all the show has to offer, and eventually you check in on a game that you hadn’t heard much about, and just generally had no opinion of. Sometimes, these games can be amazing, and due to another case of me and my lack of decisive prowess, I have two titles.
Purist fans of the original IPs (Fanboys) will possibly be disappointed on the odd bit or bob about this game, but when dealing with such geek royalty, it was bound to happen. Regardless of that, Aliens vs. Predator was just immense fun. I got a chance to play as an Alien, and they are ridiculously fast, can cling to any surface, and have stealth kills when attacking from behind. This may be classed as overpowered when you come up against a marine who has…a gun, and ends up being just an overexposed flesh bag, but I didn’t have to play as one of them, so I had a lot of fun.
Racing games are not my speciality, to put it simply. Unless it’s Mario Kart or Burnout, it’s unlikely I’ll spend more than an hour with a racing game. However, Split/Second may have to be added to that list, as the game is one long adrenaline burst, with explosions, buildings crumbling, roads falling away, and more explosions. If you have a chance to play this game, I urge you to do so, as it will rock your socks off, which probably means you’ll need a spare pair of socks.
Dark void was a game I saw many moons ago at Comic-Con ’08, and it seemed fairly playable then, which leads me to wonder what they have taken so long doing, as they don’t seem to have spent any time making it better. The game feels clunky and derivative, like someone trying to be Gears of War, and just not quite cutting it. The addition of a jet pack might be something to get excited about, if it was in any way fun to use; but, well, it’s not. Maybe they’ll be still showing this game at conventions and expos next year, and it might be good by then. Who knows?
Most Notable Absence:
Sometimes you go to one of these events and you think “That’s odd, why isn’t Game X here, it’s not long til it’s being released.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t a game that was seemingly missing. Activision didn’t seem to have a single product on display here, except if you count the ability to buy DJ Hero or Guitar Hero 5 at the HMV stall. With Guitar Hero recently out, DJ Hero even more recently out, and Band Hero not too far off, it was baffling not to see at least one of them. Modern Warfare 2 is one of the most hyped games of the year, yet not a pip or a pop was to be seen of it. Not cool, Activision, not cool.
*Shrug* of Show:
Some of the displays put in a lot of effort, from developers being on hand, to a vast array of screens to play the game on. Some seemed to have really made a half-assed attempt. Assassin’s Creed 2 falls in the half-assed camp. When looking at God of War 3, they had around 10 screens to play this game on. Lost Planet 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Bayonetta, AvP, and Ratchett and Clank, to name a few, each had 8 screens available to play the game on. AC2, however, had just 4, and as such there was never a time when they weren’t swamped with people. Even Wet had 6 screens.
Army of Two – A lot like the first, but a bit smoother, and a bit shinier. I didn’t last too long, which I’m going to blame my partner. It’s still his fault if I jumped off a wall and broke both my legs whilst trying to reload, right?
Bayonetta – Ridiculous amounts of fun. Slightly baffling when you see enemies dropping shiny golden rings, but who am I to question Sega and its love affair with shiny golden rings? If you in any way enjoyed Devil May Cry (any of them), then you will have a blast.
Dante’s Inferno – Not God of War.
God of War 3 – This was God of War.
Left 4 Dead 2 – Screw the boycott: buy this game. It is so much fun, I’m not sure if it is legal. The new zombies are great fun, especially the jockey who will jump on a survivor’s head and ride them whilst screaming. Whilst I didn’t see it, I also heard there was a kind of zombie that comes equipped with earmuffs, so that it doesn’t hear pipe bombs. If that doesn’t sell you, then I don’t know what will; go and play Imagine: I’m a Pretty Princess or something.
MAG – My entire opinion of the game can be summed up with “meh.” It was just such an average game. I doubt the setup they had really showed off the vast amount of players you can have going on, nor the organisation that is possible, but what I got to play was a whole lot of “meh.”
Saw – Maybe not watching the Saw movies was a hindrance to playing this game, but there really wasn’t much to it. The game had pretty much no scary moments, no sense of consequence, and was fairly dull. If you like games where some doors will force a quick time event, or your head will explode, then this game is for you.
All in all, the event was a blast. Played some great games, met some great people from Sarcastic Gamer and Achievement Hunter, and even caught site of the elusive Wardrox in its natural habitat. When next year rolls around, I urge all of you readers from the UK (and I know there are some) to make yourselves known, and we’ll get together for a hoe-down or a booze-up or something with a direction in it.