By now many of our readers probably will have read Lefranzine’s part one write up of EGX Rezzed 2017. If you haven’t it can be found here. I’m sure those you did read part one have been eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated “Part 2”. But fret not, the time is now!
While Darkworld Gaming have covered EGX itself 4 times, this was actually our first time visiting its little brother Rezzed, as well as London’s Tobacco Dock – which is probably one of the coolest looking venues I’ve been to!
What I love about Rezzed, as its own show or the Rezzed area at the big boy EGX, is that you’re not talking to reps. As good as it is to see the AAA developers’ games at shows, and as good as it is to see how awesome the Nintendo zone is looking – 95+% of the time, the person showing you the game is just a rep, and being the gaming fan that I am, usually I already know more about the game than they do. Which means that getting to talk to the actual developers of these awesome indie titles is very refreshing and a lot more meaningful. And they’re excited to talk to us, which just makes the whole experience better. (Not to mention that you’re not wasting 3 hours to queue for the latest CoD…).
Without further ado, I shall share my thoughts on each of the games I played that haven’t already been covered, in no particular order:
Mayan Death Robots
This was a great little title from Sileni Studios. Like me, many of you will have probably spend many hours playing various games from the Worms series growing up. If so, you’ll instantly get to grips with what Mayan Death Robots is all about. However, unlike Worms, turns happen at the same time in Mayan Death Robots. Both players take aim and fire their weapons or put up their defences, and then once both players have decided on their actions, the weapons fire or defences get built. While Worms is purely turn based, Mayan Death Robots allows for some very interesting interactions, if both players fire rockets and the trajectories cross at the right point, they could collide in mid-air and blow each other up, or a cluster grenade could be thrown just as the opponent puts up a wall which bounces the grenade back at the throwing character.
If you enjoyed Worms, I highly recommend checking out Mayan Death Robots – which is out now on Steam and will be coming to Xbox in April.
A fantastic upcoming title from Angry Mob Games, Brawlout is effectively based on the concept of Nintendo’s Smash Bros, but with its own set of cool characters and without being tied to a single console platform. Brawlout is a competitive fighting game, coming to Steam on April the 20th, and PS4 and XB1 in Q3 of 2017. So far there are six playable characters, who are all vastly different from each other and, as a big fighting game fan, are all beautifully designed with some unique styles and special moves. I played as both Paco and Chief Feathers, who couldn’t have been more different, Paco is your four-armed grappling frog, your “usual” slow grappler character archetype who hits like a sodding truck, while Chief Feathers is your fast winged character darting around the place, hard to hit but doesn’t take a hit very well. Sephi’ra was the other character I wanted to get a go on, but there was a big queue so had to pass the controller.
Really looking forward to the release of Brawlout, and will be very tempted to see if I can add it to my weekly fighting game event’s game line-up!
This might just be my “game of the show”, made by Manufacture 43, Pawarumi could be the long-awaited return to the “Shmup” genre to its former glory. While Lefranzine was playing Figment, I turned around and saw what at first glance looked like a more colourful version of Ikaruga, which is a game I played endlessly in my first two years of university, and was instantly gripped. The developer, Alex, noticed my interest and started telling me all about it, while also informing me that the gentleman currently playing had been their all morning trying to secure his place atop the leader board for that day’s T-Shirt give away. Not being one to back down from a challenge, I had a go after him, and while I started off a bit rusty, and didn’t know the controls, I soon settled into the swing of things, and beat his score by a few million points, and ultimately walked away with a free T-Shirt for Lefranzine at the end of the day.
The design of this game is really clever, gone are the genre’s usual item pickups of power ups and extra lives. Instead your ship has 3 different coloured weapons, and those interact differently with the 3 different coloured enemies, like a big red, blue and green version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. If you hit an enemy with one colour it does double damage, if you hit it with another colour it boost charges your super and if you hit it with the same colour it charges your shields. It takes a little bit of getting used to, need to think what colour you want to use in what situation, and what button corresponds to that etc., but once you’ve played for a few minutes it starts to feel pretty natural.
If you like your top down shoot ’em ups, keep an eye out for Pawarumi, and if you aren’t familiar with the once very popular genre, I’d highly suggest checking it out anyway and I intend on backing this game on Kickstarter – That’s just how much this impressed me!
Oh my, Snake Pass from Sumo Digital, is one of those games! You stand watching someone playing, and think to yourself “Wow this looks so cute and cool – but boy do these guys suck at playing it” and then sit down to play yourself and soon see how addictively difficult it is to play. It’s incredibly simple at heart, you control a snake, and just need to get to the end of the level, grabbing a few items as you go. But you take full 3D control of the snake, and much like a real snake, you are fully effected by gravity. While you can lift your head, you need to wrap yourself around things to climb and traverse your way around the level. It seems very simple, and feels like it should be. But you’ll find it surprisingly difficult – but not in an infuriating “throw the controller across the room” kind of way, but more of a “I will get this, I will get this, I will get this” kind of way. You also can’t ignore the heart wrenching look of fear your snake friend shows if you fall down a bit – especially if you’ve tried to curl around a pole, so he is falling away while facing you, that look of betrayed trust from your wriggly friend…
Snake Pass is out now on all consoles and PC.
It’s a very poorly kept secret that I am a big fan of fighting games. Some might go as far as saying that it is a known fact – something to do with me running a fighting game community night perhaps? It will, then, be no surprise that I was very eager to get my filthy mitts on Pocket Rumble at EGX Rezzed!
And I got extra lucky, as it was featured in both the Indie Room, and in the Nindies area, so I had a good reason to play it twice. Pocket Rumble tries to tackle the execution barrier that many fighting games have, while not losing out on the depth and competition that fighting games enjoy. Developed by Cardboard Robot Games, Pocket Rumble features “simplified” graphics to match its simplified command inputs, going with a classic Neo-Geo art style to best suit the games play style.
Pocket Rumble features 8 very unique characters who all play very differently, while also playing very similarly and I got to try most of them out personally. This is because all the inputs are the same, there are only two attack buttons, and all special inputs are performed the same for every character. So, it doesn’t matter which character you pick up, you’ll know how to do their moves, which means you just need to figure out how to put those moves into action.
Pocket Rumble is on Steam Early Access already, and is due out on the Nintendo Switch and PS4 very soon – at which time you can definitely expect a full review from us!
Attack of the Earthlings
Team Junkfish’s upcoming turn based strategy game turns your typical “alien attack” story on its head in a brilliantly tongue in cheek way. Attack of the Earthlings is all about a nice peaceful alien race, casually going about their business, when those dastardly humans decide that they need to strip the alien’s planet of all it’s resources.
A huge drill descends from the sky, and begins drilling into the core of the planet. It is up to you to protect your planet from the humans’ attack. You start at the bottom of the drill and have to work your way up through the various levels of the vessel; from the engine rooms, to living quarters, to middle management and all the way up to the CEO’s office.
If you’re a fan of XCOM and the like, I definitely suggest having a look at Attack of the Earthlings, it is a lot of fun, and is spot on with the tongue in cheek humour.
Guns of Icarus Online: Alliance
The latest offering from Muse Games, Guns of Icarus is a super cool “steam punk airship online combat” game, an online PVP team based title, where teams of players crew a steampunk/diesel punk style lighter than air airship taking on the different roles aboard the ship. You’ll need someone manning the wheel, flying the airship from target to target, a few players on the various assortment of weaponry aboard your team’s airship, as well as engineers who will need to run around repairing everything. With an inbuilt “command wheel” for easy communication without typing or using VOIP, communication around the ship is very easy and intuitive. The Captain at the helm can tell his gunners if the upcoming target is on the port or starboard side of the ship (left or right to you non-seafaring types out there).
During my time with the demo I got to try out everything except the engineer, although spent most of my time at the helm, while Lefranzine laid waste to our enemies. And it really showed how good the Command Wheel works for communicating.
Guns of Icarus uses an interesting concept of gameplay and was a whole load of fun to play. However, it could suffer being an indie title that relies on online PVP gameplay. PC gamers can be quite fickle and jump from game to game quite a lot, unfortunately I can see it being a game where finding games could take a while down the line but this game has a very loyal community following who will be sure to lend a hand. But Guns of Icarus is certainly worth checking out!
Guns of Icarus Online is out now on Steam for only £3.99
Imagine Rocket League, crossed with Speedball and you’ll very roughly have HyperBrawl Tournament! It is a 2v2 arena hand ball battle game. Team up with a friend, find 2 opponents and go at it! The goal is to outscore your opponents by throwing the ball into the goal more times than they do. However, brutal attacks and special abilities will hinder your ability to score those goals – it’s hard to do sports when you’re dead…
With a wide selection of characters, and various weapons you can choose from – you end up with so many different combinations of character abilities and weapons that you can really experiment with it.
Currently HyperBrawl Tournament is only coming to Steam, with early access opening June 2017. But to give you a bit of an idea of what this game is – if this game came to PS4 and was included in one of the PS+ monthly freebies, you’d see this game blow up just like Rocket League did!
It’s crazy fun, and should be checked out!
If F-Zero and Wipeout were to produce a bastard love child, it would be Fast RMX, one of the Nintendo Switch’s launch titles, from Shin’en Games. This is a title that we’re hoping to get hold of for a full review, once we’ve got the spare cash to buy it, so we were very eager to play a few races while at Rezzed to get a feel for the game. The trailers had looked great, it was already very much on our radar for our Switch, and I can honestly say the game fully lived up to our expectations! Much like the games mentioned at the top of this paragraph, Fast RMX is a crazy fast paced futuristic racer with an interesting boost mechanic. As many similar style racers feature, it has a selection of vehicles to choose from, which have different weight, speed and acceleration stats etc.
I’ll try not to say too much about this one, as it is one we very much plan to review in full once we get our hands on it! Fast RMX is out now for the Nintendo Switch.
Nongünz, by Brainwash Games, is described as a “nihilistic action platformer which combines hectic shootouts with the management of a mysterious idle game”. And that does roughly sum it up! If you imagine a gritty retro style platform shooter, crossed with an idle game, crossed with your roguelike dungeon/map generation and you’ll have a rough idea what Nongünz is all about!
It probably would’ve done better at Rezzed with a slightly more beginner friendly “tutorial” type demo, as it comes across as quite complicated and required quite a lot of explanation from the Brainwash Games fellas; which isn’t something you really want when trying to show off your game to as many people as possible. That being said, its complexity shouldn’t put you off looking this one up. Combining the various Roguelike elements with the Idle Game elements is a really clever idea I’d not seen before, and as a fan of both games it really appealed to me!
Nongünz doesn’t have a 100% set release date, but keep an eye out for its release on Steam in the coming months.
Victor Vran – Overkill Edition: Motörhead DLC
The guys we spoke to at Wired Productions were some cool mofos, chatting to them was less about their Diablo style Action RPG, and more about how awesome Lemmy from Motörhead was as a person (RIP). Victor Vran has been out a while on Steam, and the new Overkill Edition brings a physical release to console while also including the Fractured Worlds and Motörhead: Through the Ages expansions. If you already own the game on PC you can just buy the expansions individually as well.
Originally Lemmy was supposed to be the main character in the Motörhead expansion, and the band were a big part of its creation. However due to his untimely passing, Lemmy instead is exactly where he should be in the game – sat at the bar! You’ll find all of the band members throughout the expansion story, as well as a Motörhead soundtrack!
If you’ve never played Victor Vran before, and you like both Diablo and Motörhead – make sure you give this a look – while of course having a drink for Lemmy.
Tetra: Elemental Awakening
The boys and girls from Ocean Spark are a group of students who have been working together as part of their degree to build their own studio and start bringing their dream to life. And it is a beautiful thing to see! They were so enthusiastic to tell us everything about their title, and it was really infectious. Considering it was 5 minutes before Rezzed closed up, they were far more animated about their title than some of the other stands nearby already eagerly looking to pack up shop.
And their enthusiasm was somewhat needed, because Tetra: Elemental Awakening is still very much in an early alpha stage (only 4 months in and this team is made up of students who work around their studies and development time), they were very up front in saying that it was probably too early to really show the game off, but wanted to get it out there and let people get hands on to help push their Kickstarter program.
But it is important to look past the bugs and flaws of an incredibly early alpha build, and instead concentrate on the ideas behind the game, what Ocean Spark are trying to achieve, and what they’ve done right so far.
Tetra: Elemental Awakening is very roughly a combination of a World of Warcraft style of team based game, but in a horde mode setting all crossed with the periodic table of elements as a system of skills, spells and abilities. Their idea is that each character will be based on one of the elements of the periodic table, and their abilities and themes are based on the properties of that element. Another feature they plan to implement, which could be stunning to see if they do manage it, is to have all the elements interact differently together. This could make for some absolutely crazy meta game combinations of characters. Especially if they eventually add the planned PvP game modes as well.
It’s probably a while before we see this released, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for it. However rusty their alpha demo might have been, it has most certainly piqued my interest!
And that just about rounds up our coverage of EGX REZZED 2017!
Just a quick insight to each of the games we got to look at, but hopefully we’ll be able to do full reviews of many of these titles as and when they come out. So if anything has caught your eye and you want to know more, keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels, because you could well see a full review before you know it!