Previews

EGX 2015: The AAAs

Well guys and gals, myself and Kuniku have returned from the madness of EGX and have a lot to fill you in on! We were fortunate enough to spend Thursday through to Sunday testing out a lot of games though sadly there were also a few we missed. In today’s article, we will be giving a very brief overviews of some of the Triple A titles heading our way in the next few months. In the interest of time, we decided to not focus on any games that were already out (other than Kuniku’s usual trip to the Fight Zone which he will cover for you soon) and don’t want to spoil too much for you! With so much to do and see, we didn’t get a chance to cover everything, but here is a snippet of what we got up to and apologies for the lack of good photos, I completely forgot to take any!!!

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Star Wars: Battlefront – EA/PS4 stands

Let us begin with Battlefront. There were 2 areas showcasing two different modes. Playstation had the two player co-op horde mode, while the EA area let you get involved in the 20 vs 20 Battle of Hoth. Both queues were very long and popular over the whole weekend with everyone looking to get a turn. Firstly, the horde mode. Split screen co-op in which for this particular battle, you are stranded and awaiting transport with waves of enemy forces inbound to take you out. Over the 5 waves, the difficulty increases and encourages you to work together to hold off against the Imperial forces while you try to achieve your objectives, which in this case was to secure the escape pod. While I did enjoy this mode, it is pretty similar to all FPS with horde mode but I am hoping that there will be additional challenges within the objectives to give it a replay factor on release. So what about the 20v20? Well, it was chaos. But in a good way. Depending on which side you are on (Imperial/Rebel), your objectives are fairly simple. Capture and defend while holding off the enemy. The defending rebels needed to maintain control of uplinks in order to arrange and air assault on incoming AT-AT who pack a mean punch if they lay on the suppressing fire. Both sides get charge ups which may give you handy weaponry or put you behind the driving seat of the heavy machinery. With around 15 minutes given to play, you get a good sense of the controls and the objectives. This should certainly be a lot of fun in November!

Assassins Creed: Syndicate – Ubisoft

As this is out in a few weeks time, it seemed a good idea to get my mits on the demo just to check my investment in the Collectors Edition is definitely worthwhile. In this demo you play as Evie Frye and are on a mission to assassinate a Templar. As in the previous game, Unity, you have different opportunities to tackle your assassination. You have a insider who can help, a key you can steal or a character you can rescue and get on side. I chose to go for the key option, which I stole from a guard before unlocking a few doors to find the best path inside. After taking out some trash, I managed to air assassinate the target and complete the demo. Kuniku opted to get taken as a pretend prisoner and get nice and close to the target. Combat seemed fine although I didn’t engage much at all as I opted for stealth. Overall, the only thing I had a slight issue with was the frame rate, but that will hopefully not be an issue on release in a few weeks time . I would rather Ubisoft held off than have another Unity debacle. I am excited about being an assassin in London and what I have played is promising so far.

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Rainbow Six Siege – Ubisoft

Another popular title over the weekend is the highly anticipated and slightly delayed Siege. We got to team up in groups of 5 to take on an opposing team and duke it out to protect a biohazard container. Good times. Luckily, the exhibitors had set it up so we could communicate with each other which worked really well. This is definitely a better experience when you can set up tactics and take out the opposing team. There are skillsets to choose from allowing you a particular load out for the session. There are separate defensive and offensive set ups so you aren’t just stuck with the same skill. You have to get in quick though as you can’t double up on these. In a way this is good so you don’t end up against a group of guys with just shields or medics and does encourage you to try out all of them so you don’t just get comfortable with one. After choosing your load outs, you vote on spawn position and once the countdown ticks over you can start your set up. Attackers get drones which you can steer inside to try and locate your objective and defenders get some time to set barricades, barbed wire or reinforce weak spots. Once the count down is up, the fight is on. Work together to take out the enemy. We won. It was fun. Since getting home and trying the Beta, it is clear to me that there may be some issues if players don’t communicate. I feel this game will benefit more if you have friends who also pick up the game. Still, good fun and look forward to playing again in December.

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The Division – Ubisoft

Luckily the slight press pass advantage came in handy for this one and managed to get a go on the Saturday. Queues for this were beyond 3 hours. The set up, teams of 9 against one another all trying to complete an extraction of a weapon. Let the chaos begin. Now the idea in the actual game will be to work as a large team, but in this mode, we were encouraged by our rep who was also on headset to take anyone who wasn’t our 3 out. One a fire fight began, chaos ensued and many deaths happened. It was crazy. We managed to set the extraction but just as the last slither of bar was about to tick over, I died and was finished off leaving a revival unobtainable. I called a big pile of BS and we claimed the victory by default as the closest to completing the objective. Good fun but again all about sticking together and working as a team to survive. I understand the need for these games to come into the console market, but I am concerned once again as with Siege that if no one commits to speaking to one another, the novelty will wear off and it will gather dust on the shelf. Still, if we can get in on a Beta then it could be interesting to see how it works outside of the demo environment.

Just Cause 3  – Square Enix

So Just Cause is coming soon and the first UK hands on demo was available at EGX. There were two zones, one for a tournament which entered players into a competition for a crazy entertainment bundle while others just got to cause havoc. I’ll be honest, I didn’t do particularly well but managed to destroy a bridge which was pretty cool. Essentially you can blow stuff up to help take out a dictating force in an open-world environment. So that’s what I did for about 10/15 minutes by running cars into blockades and trying to use the wingsuit and parachute. I sucked at everything but had a blast destroying things. If you like the previous Just Cause games, then you know the drill. If you haven’t, this could be a wild place to start so it might be worth investing in the others first. Good fun, bit of a giggle but one i will happily wait for.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider – XBOX/Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix

Seeing as I won’t be able to play this on release unless by some miracle I win an XBOX One before it comes out on PS4, I had to get in the queue for this. Lara is back after her recent return to our screens. As you are aware, I loved the previous game and have been looking forward to seeing where Lara goes next. In the demo, bad guys are after us and we are searching for an artifact. Lara is now searching through tombs and risking some traps which could make her lose her head in order to locate the artifact. Queue some quicktime events, puzzles and stunning scenery and you’re in for some fun. I really enjoyed the demo and felt like it was over too quickly even when it took my ages to find the wall I needed to help my escape the area I was stuck in! Although players wanted more tombs after the last game, I hope it does get a nice balance of open world exploration (to a point) and then some tombs which you have to look to discover along the way. Either way, a little gutted I don’t have an XBOX for release so will have to wait a little while. Doh!

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Guitar Hero Live – Activision

So Guitar Hero is back, with a new guitar and a fresh look. The new guitar has 6 buttons to get to grips with (which confused the hell out of me initially) and there is now a crowd of human faces who will scream at you and tell you how much you rock/suck depending on how you play. We got the chance to play a song but the selection wasn’t that great in the demo so opted for some Black Keys as it was the only song I knew. The button layout is more user friendly but when you are so used to playing with the old style guitar, it does throw you a little. Kuniku didn’t seem to have too much of a problem and after a little while we got to grips with it and managed to get through the song. As usual, it’ll be fun and good for parties!

Rock Band 4 – Harmonix

Sticking with the music theme for a moment, Rock Band 4 is almost here too and the Madcatz stage hosted by our good friends at Xtreme Gaming was very popular over the weekend. We got up on stage a couple of times, Kuniku on guitar and myself on vocals. Great fun and with a plethora of songs to try out, it at least meant you would get something you knew and didn’t mind getting up on stage to play. Again, it’ll be great fun to play with friends and family. Myself and Kuniku will be attending a secret Rock Band 4 launch event soon, so will review the game fully with a write up of that in the mean time: Highly recommended. Short and sweet folks!

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – Activision

We played the Beta a few weeks ago and as always, CoD multiplayer is always a hit. This LAN demo allowed us to face off with an opposing team. We played capture the flag and as usual, it was fun. Short and sweet. If you like the BlOps games, you will probably enjoy!

Homefront: The Revolution – Deep Silver

Sadly, I have not actually played the first Homefront but thought it best to give this one a shot! It’s an upcoming open world FPS in which guerrilla warfare tactics are key. In the demo you are setting an ambush for an incoming enemy patrol. If you take out the team quickly, reinforcements won’t make it out but if like me you don’t, you better run. I enjoyed my time on the demo and headed towards enemy patrols to try and clear them out so I could do some hacking, but a nice rep saw me just sitting there and not actually hacking anything. After a long few days, my brain had not caught up! Sadly, my demo glitched out and cut short but I watched other players having a go and some were doing pretty well. It looks to be  promising game, but unless you get to test the demo at some point soon, you’ll have to wait until June 2016 to play.

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Star Fox: Zero – Nintendo

Star Fox is back for some more action packed starship fighting extravaganza. I was looking forward to this as I loved Star Fox on the SNES even though I sucked at it back then…. and it turns out I still can’t steer Fox’s ship for toffee. In the tutorial, you get to grips with the Wii U gamepad functionality and steering. The game pad uses the internal gyroscope to aim your lasers (which I assume you will be able to turn off if you don’t get on with it) and the analog sticks for turning. You also get a loop the loop button to help you get out of tricky situations. Sadly, I made a pigs ear of the whole thing but managed to get through. Graphically, it still maintains that old school look that will be enjoyed by any Nintendo fan.

Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes – Nintendo

So Tri-Force Heroes is inbound and the next Zelda based game for 3DS. The demo area was already set up with 3 consoles ready to go in order to give this title a try. Working as a team, you attempt to make it through the levels. we had the choice of level difficulty for the demo and embarked on our quest. Your controls are your basic Zelda buttons and on the touch pad, there are buttons to press which can be used as hints to point out what your team mates need to do. I assume this is more helpful when you aren’t standing or sitting next to each other. I have to admit that I am not the best at Zelda games and was more of a hindrance but it was fun to play with other people and make our way through as a team.

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Hitman – Square Enix

I took some time to head to the Hitman area to watch some of the gameplay that they had on offer. Sadly I missed the presentation with Agent 47 himself but what we saw looked pretty good. Similar to Hitman Absolution in the sense that there are many different ways to kill your target, the gameplay shown was the Show Stopper mission which is now available for preview online. The community manager explained about the feel of the surroundings and how they built the cities and surroundings for us to kill people in. In all honesty, the footage looked a little rough but hope that will be spruced up for release in 2016, but the idea still remains the same and is executed well.

There were many other games we didn’t get to try, either because we didn’t make the most of our press passes on the first couple of days or we just didn’t get around to it. Coming soon will be some of the indie games we saw/tried out in the Rezzed area and a couple of focused articles on some of our favorites from the weekend. For any gaming fan, Eurogamer Expo is a perfect opportunity to get your hands on great upcoming titles and take some time playing some of the old school stuff in the Replay areas and developer sessions.

1 thought on “EGX 2015: The AAAs”

  1. Excellent write up!

    Looking forward to a few of these myself. I liked the first Homefront. It had a decent plot and setting which made it interesting although the main character ended up more as an observer until the end. The multiplayer was pretty decent too and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really do multiplayer.

    With Just Cause 3 I’m hoping it has a compelling plot. As much as I like JC2, I admit I mostly just treated it like an explosive playground rather than getting invovled with what was happening so it would be nice to have other reasons to boot it up.

    Assassins Creed Syndicate has my interest. I’m not a huge AC fan really and I did enjoy Black Flag but mostly because of the sailing being fun. I didn’t like having to go back on land to do anything else though. I will say that Ubisoft had better learnt from the Unity fiasco as it was embarrasing that a multi million dollar game had that many problems from the get go. Syndicate’s setting and plot look like it could be quite satisfying in the end.

    Once again awesome work! Keep it up!

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