By the time this goes live, it will effectively be the third day of the Expo, but this is a quick recap of day two at the show. Big shooters, big racers and numerous indies await…
The day started off with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare…well actually the day started with a Greggs breakfast bap followed by a long queue with the other press and early entry people. The queue was fairly big and by the time I got in to the show everything was fairly busy. Especially the Call of Duty stand.
I waited quite a while here, and it was only when I was at the double-back by the entrance that I was able to get ahead because I wasn’t playing in a group. Made me wonder why I bothered with the press pass…similar situation occurred with Battlefield later on, but that is for another time.
The Advanced Warfare demo started off with some team deathmatch which was fairly standard fare, while the second game mode was called Uplink. Think basketball but with guns and that should give you an idea. I surprisingly enjoyed myself, I’ll try to get some more cogent thoughts together in the next week.
Next up was a blast on Sony’s Drive Club, it looked nice, had some good damage effects and felt like a good rispote to Forza Horizon. I’m certainly looking forward to this now. I followed the PlayStation exclusive racer with a cross-platform one in Project CARS. I had a quick demo in an LMP car around the Dubai race track. The simulation settings were clearly turned down and the AI was barely present. I’ll need to take a closer look at my PC build when I return to my PC.
I followed these AAA games with a collection of indie titles. I’ll cover them briefly as I want to talk about some of them in more detail another time.
Heat Signature from Tom Francis looks set to be a great follow up to Gunpoint. Tom was live developing on his Mac Book Air while people were taking turns with the game on a nice big screen. I flew through space, found a ship, snuck aboard and took control by knocking out the captain. A speedy blast through space with Tom advising me to right click on a target ultimately led to a massive collision and death. I am certainly excited by this.
Mike Bithell’s new game Volume looked very pretty, the minimalist design is going to play out nicely. From what I could hear of the narration, there was a great Britishness to it. I didn’t complete the demo levels, I think I missed a pointer and didn’t want to prevent others from having a chance with it.
Flockers launched on Steam recently (19th September) and is an insane modern take on Lemmings, just this time with sheep and an evil side. Sheep don’t die (relatively) peacefully like in Lemmings. Here they die in a gruesome manner full of blood and violence. I like it.
I didn’t get to play Big Pharma, but I watched some others give it a go. It reminds me of the old Bullfrog games, especially Theme Hospital. Most certainly a good thing and something I will have to make time for.
Gauntlet is a 4-player co-op, top-down dungeon crawler. I was playing solo as a wizard and enjoyed a light-hearted bash of dungeon mashing after the darkness of Diablo recently.
I then moved away from the indie zone into the 18+ area and checked out Nosgoth after the best part of an hour in the queue. It is free-to-play arena battler currently in Early Access. I won’t be rushing to check it out again, but I won’t avoid it.
Dying Light looks like a hell of a lot of fun. It is an open world zombie basher. At least that is how the demo played out, kind of like Dead Rising but from a first-person perspective and a bit more serious. The only thing I didn’t like? The darned Xbox One controller I had to use. I really don’t like those shoulder buttons. Anyway, there was an electronic axe which was a hell of a lot of fun to swing around, so too was setting off different traps. I got side-tracked from the objective that was set and found myself coming up against a big bad at the end of my five minutes or so with the game. A bit of tactical running forward and back let me get enough swings with my axe in to take him down. Damn good.
Quick thoughts on some other indie games I saw but didn’t play:
Poncho – a 2D platformer with platforms that pop from front to back in a jungle filled post-apocalyptic world. There will be 4 days left on their Kickstarter by the time you read this. Might be worth taking a peak.
The Escapists – Prison Architect from the prisoner?
Mutiny – mad pirate ship local co-op action that looked crazy fun at the show, but not sure how it would work away from a party atmosphere.
Finally I got onto Battlefield Hardline and was pleasantly surprised. It is so fun having real cars involved, although the choice of in-car music wasn’t to my taste. It was generally much better than had expected, though I would need to play more away from the show to build a clearer impression.
And with that, I now collapse and sleep.