Previews

EGX 2018

EGX 2018 felt like it was an age away before it was suddenly upon us and there just felt as though time was too short! Sadly I wasn’t able to get around everything but here are some of the games I was fortunate enough to have a go on over the event and some thoughts on them!

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

With the arrival of the next instalment in one of my favourite gaming series happening in the next week, EGX offered the opportunity to get hands on with the game. Albeit an ‘old’ demo now, I did enjoy what I played. It felt difficult with the demo throwing you in at around level 22 with enemies that are hard to hit and fight when you haven’t had a tutorial and there are seemingly no controller hints around for you to refer to. I tried the battle on the beach and died almost immediately… so I tried again and lasted a little longer… so I tried a third time only to die pretty quickly again and I decided it was time to just have a look around instead. The demo was looking quite good for a rough alpha but I would have liked a bit more assistance with direction and controls as there are some things that have changed since Origins. It does just drop you in and leave you to it so a little more information would have been handy from a demo point of view. Regardless of how much of a butt kicking I received during my time with the demo, I for one am looking forward to getting my hands on the game… and the collector’s edition goodies too!

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Metro Exodus

A lot of people are hyped for the new game in the Metro system which lands in February 2019… so much so in fact that a very rude man ran into me in order to get in the queue when doors opened… Anyway, Metro Exodus is shaping up to be really good. It’s dark, gritty, the surroundings feel dangerous so much so that I refused to go down a hole because I was worried about falling off my stool if something caught me off guard. With nature and bandits to worry about, I engaged in a fire fight which saw me fail miserably at stealth before those I was fighting surrendered. Instead of killing them, I just knocked the rest of them out and looted what I could as I was trying to get used to the crossbow. There was a lot of information to take in at the start of the demo which caught me off guard but it did give details about the games features such as crafting, the lighter and your stealth light. It definitely feels like a good game even at this stage so we’re looking forward to seeing the full game at release.

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Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Now I really enjoyed The Division when it was released and had fun playing with my friends but I stopped playing when all I had left to do was going to the Dark Zone… I really didn’t enjoy the Dark Zone. But I’m considering going back for The Division 2 because I do enjoy playing in a squad and saving the day with bullets. We have seen some of the demo before but it was good to get hands on. I went for the sniper character and was chuffed with some of the sweet headshots I managed to get while working with the squad to take out the bad guys. The game play is familiar with the cover and shoot mechanic and the waves of enemies that result in a mini boss fight as you move through the mission. For fans of The Division, it will be a welcome return to the game and for new players, it seems that you won’t feel clueless or behind the times by joining now.

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Pokemon Let’s Go

For Switch owners, the wait for a new Pokemon game is almost over. I was fortunate enough to have two opportunities to try out Pokemon Let’s Go at EGX and the Pokeball peripheral was also available for testing. At first glance, the Pokeball looks a bit like a gimic, however after spending a little time with it, it is fun and effective although I probably wouldn’t use it all of the time. You use the stick to navigate and click it in to select your option or ready up, you’ll ‘throw’ the Pokeball to throw the ball at a Pokemon in game which may give you the perfect catch or a curveball depending on how you do it. There are visible encounters as you wander around as well as those hidden Weedles in the long grass but you can also have Trainer Battles similar to previous Pokemon titles. It felt enjoyable, fun and something that I could easily pick up. If you don’t get the Pokeball, you can still do the same thing with the Joy Con although we couldn’t quite find out whether you could just play in handheld mode without having to ‘throw’ your controller about. We’re certainly excited about getting a second Switch so we can both play some Pokemon in our household!

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Super Mario Party

The Mario Party games are always a hit and a good bit of fun to have with friends and the new Super Mario Party is great new addition to the Switch catalog. With a plethora of mini games to battle in against your friend, you’ll be trying your hardest to pedal the fastest, survive the gauntlets and flip your steaks successfully for those points in order to claim victory. Sadly there didn’t appear to be a demo featuring multiple console play, as it would have been nice to recreate those rooftop party scenes from the adverts when the Switch launched, but we still got to get our competitive sides out while testing it out. There’s not much else to say really other than it’s Mario Party on the Switch and it’ll be a bit of a giggle that’s for sure!

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Super Smash Bros Ultimate

With the upcoming release of the new Smash Bros title for the Switch, it was great to kick some butt while trying to remember what the buttons are. We used the Gamecube controllers instead of Joy Cons for the demo which is always the best way to play. You’ll feel the joy, frustration, chaos and panic as you play against your friends so Smash fans will of course, love it.

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Kingdom Hearts III

Fans of the Kingdom Hearts series queued for hours to get their opportunity to get their hands on the demo for the upcoming third title! Now I will admit that I have never played a Kingdom Hearts game but I wanted to give it a go to see what it was all about and it was a lot of fun. I played the Toy Box demo of the two available as I wanted some Toy Story action and thoroughly enjoyed it even though I had little idea of how to fight or use magic as Sora but still had some fun working it out. The demo did have some sound issues which meant the cut scenes didn’t run as smoothly as they could have done but I think folks who are big fans of the games will really enjoy this game when it is finally released.

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Hitman 2

Now I’ll tip my hat to the Hitman 2 booth as their Agent 47 was on point as he followed and stalked unsuspecting folks as they walked by… he was also standing by a large smart looking duck. As for the game, it’s Hitman which means I am useless at it. As the game gave a breakdown of the people I was meant to assassinate, I was ready for being sneaky and taking out the targets… in reality, I couldn’t find the van with my weapons in it, I knocked out a guy in a flamingo mascot suit before finding the weapons and forgetting to holster them so I immediately get shot to pieces. It didn’t get much better than that but I still had fun playing the game and in fact I am tempted to pick up the first season so I can get good at the game before the second comes out! For those who like the challenge of stealth and coming up with intriguing ways to kill your targets and get away clean this game is for you.

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Jump Force

When Jump Force was announced I thought the concept seemed cool even though I am a bit behind in my knowledge of the manga characters of the Weekly Shōnen Jump anthology. So when I found the booth at EGX I thought I would give it a go to see if it is something that Kuniku would want to get involved with. As a person who is rubbish at fighting games, I can’t comment on the responsiveness of the controls or the combo features, the potential frame traps or if the mechanics were good… but I can tell you the game looked awesome and I kicked butt. As you pick your team of three characters, you will fight the opposing team and try to knock one of the team out to win the round. Graphically the game looks impressive and I did enjoy fighting the CPU although I was a little disappointed that it didn’t switch characters to give you a longer fight but Jump Force is certainly shaping up to be a game that the fighting game community should be looking to add to their collections.

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LEGO DC Super-Villains

We all know that the LEGO games provide us with a lot of joy and gaming pleasure. From Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings, from Jurassic Park to Marvel Super Heroes and Dimensions, there is so much fun to be had with these games. I was a little unsure whether I would find a place in my heart for DC Super-Villains but at a quiet moment I stopped by the Playstation demo area and gave it a go on single player mode catching the arguements and banter between friends as they played co-op mode. It’s the usual awesome LEGO format that allows you to switch between characters as you work your way through the levels changing depending on what skill you require and the demo offered so fights and story as it advertised the game to prospective players. It was great and as usual, LEGO knock it out of the park but I would be interested to see more of the story, that’s for sure.

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Spyro Reignited Trilogy

The first game I actually played at EGX was Spyro. I waited eagerly for a lovely rep to let me spend a few minutes playing through one of the three levels available and I think I just smiled the whole time. My childhood memories of Spyro are hazy but I remember how awesome it was as a kid. To see it now, in its remastered glory, just fills me full of joy. It was great and I realised how much I have missed these games. As Spyro is technically now my second favorite dragon (after our pet bearded dragon of course), he will always hold a special place in my heart and I have to say that I thought the Reignited Trilogy is shaping up to be great so far. It will appeal to all fans, whether they played the original or whether you’re introducing the next generation to this wonderful dragon in this game! It can’t get here soon enough!

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The Dark Pictures – Man of Medan

As a fan of Until Dawn, I was pleased to see Bandai Namco bring Man of Medan to EGX so I could get a feel for it before The Dark Pictures Anthology is released next year. The demo appeared to have two versions which was pretty cool and it did freak me out a little when JollyFrog Gaming played it and it was different to when I first played! The game offers the cinematic horror/thriller experience as you explore a lost war ship which is not only dark and creepy but weird things are happening which just adds another layer to the story. It’s along the same lines as Until Dawn in the way it plays and looks which is good as if it isn’t broken, there isn’t really a need to fix it! I’m personally looking forward to the Anthology being released and seeing how it all unfolds!

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Two Point Hospital

As Two Point Hospital is already out and I haven’t the time to get invested in it right now as I add it to my list along with Planet Coaster and The Sims 4 but I wanted to give it a go and I have to say, it’s a game I could easily sink a lot of time into. I now really want to build a hospital and take on the challenge of running it and helping people… although a little part of me obviously wants to see what happens if you just don’t do anything and let all hell break loose! If you haven’t picked it up yet and you love any games in this genre, then Two Point Hospital is certainly one to get!

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Surgeon Simulator CPR for Switch

I suck at Surgeon Simulator…. in fact I don’t think anyone is truely good at it. Even if it was in VR, I’m not sure I would ever successfully complete a heart transplant but I thought I would give it a go on the Switch and the folks running this booth were amazing! They were hilarious and genuinely having a good giggle while promoting the game which is fantastic as after a long day of queuing, having foam middle fingers waved at you is certainly something that will perk you up… especially when you find out how hard Surgeon Simulator is on the Switch! It isn’t any easier, in fact, it might be harder, who knows! All I know is that it’s a bit of a laugh and I can imagine many hours of frustration and fun with this version. Switch owners, pick it up and give it a go if you get a chance!

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Beat Saber

In all honesty, Beat Saber might be one of my new favorite games. I’m not great with VR and have seen people play this online while they stream so thought I would give it a go and I love it! Anyone who is thinking about VR, this is a game you need. It’s great and gets you up and about, moving with the music and of course, hitting blocks correctly in the level with your laser beams. Initially I gave it a go on normal but was quite happy bumping it up to hard after the first couple of goes. If I manage to afford some sort of VR set up, this is a must have!

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Dead End Job

We love Dead End Job here at Darkworld and have done since we played it at Rezzed last year when it was in its initial few months of development! In fact we’ve covered it a couple of times before but I still want to give it a mention! The game has come on leaps and bounds with the release hopefully coming soon and we were treated to a new level this time around which offered a new type of challenge. It’s a game in which you play a ghost sucker-upper who rescues helpless citizens and works towards a promotion at all times. It’s bright, colourful, funny and great fun to play. I’m still really looking forward to its release and you should too!

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Catastronauts

With the release upon us, Catastronauts offers a fantastic space themed co-op game filled with craziness and chaos. Falling into the same category as Overcooked, this great party game will offer hours of fun and you try to destroy alien ships while trying to stop your own ship being blown to pieces! It’s fast, it’s hilarious and will have you all shouting at each other to get the tool box, repair the guns, put out those fires and fire torpedoes! Be sure to add this to your gaming collection! Catastronauts is out 28th September and keep your eyes peeled for our full review coming soon!

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Honey, I Joined A Cult

One thing I love about EGX is meeting the devs, especially in the Rezzed Zone. Honey, I Joined a Cult immediately jumped out at me as I scrolled through the list of games coming to the show and it went on my To-Do list because it sounded fun and would fall into the same sort of genre as Two Point Hospital which would appeal to a lot of people. When I arrived, I found Simon & Ed of Sole Suvivor Games who have changed their careers to make this game which is amazing, not only are they genuinely lovely chaps, but they have made a title which offers a new take on the building sim genre as instead of building a theme park or hospital, you build and manage a cult! You can pick your deity, customise your cults look, build your base, recruit followers and send them out into the world to recruit more people! I really think this game offers a little something different to the usual building sims with the cult theme. If you’re a fan of sim games such as this, be sure to keep it on your radar!

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PHOGS!

If you say the word gelatinous, I tend to giggle, not only because it’s a silly word but it perfectly describes the creature you play as on PHOGS! As a dog like creature with a head at each end and the ability to stretch and grab, this physics based puzzler offers some fun and potential co-op frolicks as you try to work your way through the levels. I’ll admit that I was stuck a couple of times and it took me a moment to work out what I needed to do but it is enjoyable, colourful and a little crazy.

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Planet Alpha

Team 17 always have a fabulous offering at EGX shows and in among My Time in Portia and Overcooked 2 was Planet Alpha. This science-fiction puzzle platformer reminded me a lot of Inside and Black: The Fall in the way it plays as you are a stranded spaceman who must traverse this alien world while avoiding getting vaporised by robots that are landing on the planet. I thought Planet Alpha was visually stunning and the gameplay was the right level of tricky and fun. With some of the titles listed above of my Better Late Than Never playlist, Planet Alpha is one I hope to play before it makes its way into the list! Certainly a title to keep an eye on folks.

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Nature’s Zombie Apocalypse

If you like animals and zombies then this title is for you. You play a variety of zoo animals in ridiculous outfits who can wield weaponry and try to take out the zombies that are taking over the world. It’s absolute chaos but is also a lot of fun. We played as a team of 8 and ran around trying to stay alive to overcome the waves of enemies and larger than life bosses that would descend upon us to unleash their fury. It’s a pretty straightforward game but we had a blast playing it. Another good party game to keep in mind if you fancy a little something completely nuts but offers a good challenge too.

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Human: Fall Flat

I’ve seen many people playing this game before but hadn’t actually managed to have a go on it yet so thought it deserved a mention. As a gang of gelatinous people who must overcome the obstacles presented in the levels while potentially working as a team (of 8 in this case), you might think Human: Fall Flat is just a game to mess around in… when you play with people who want to grab your character and hurl you off the edge of the level for a giggle, it makes it a little harder but it’s part of the fun! This game is silly, funny and frustrating for all of the right reasons and is one to be enjoyed across all of the platforms.

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With EGX over for another year, we’re already looking forward to Rezzed in April to see what delights will be on offer. Overall, a lot of fun was had over the course of the show although it did feel smaller than previous years with a reduced number of AAA titles being brought in by the publishers, also not helped by the fact that some of the AAA titles that were brought, included games already released such as Tomb Raider and Spiderman. The upside of this was shorter queue times and more people spending time in the Rezzed, board game and Retro areas which is always a positive.

We hope to be back next year for more gaming action and look forward to the release of the titles that we were fortunate enough to try out at the show!

Did you attend EGX 2018? What were your highlights of the show?

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