(In)decent Expo(sure) Part 2

So last week I shared my first impressions from the EuroGamer Expo on Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution and Doom 3: BFG Edition and in this post I thought I would finish you off with the other games I managed to have a blast on between rounds of Halo 4. Read on to hear my incredibly noobish opinions on games I don’t fully understand.

The Unfinished Swan

I thought I would start with this little number which I think was probably the most original title I saw. I didn’t even get a go on it as there was only a couple of monitors with it on but I couldn’t help just watching, mesmerised by the concept. This PS3 title was a first person title where the player starts with a totally white screen unable to see anything except some yellow footprints presumably made by a swan, that is until you start throwing clods of black paint all over the shop which helps reveal the level bit by bit. As the player hoys the emulsion about the maze is slowly unveiled to help you find your way with the end goal of catching that elusive hissing bird. From what I watched I was quite taken aback by the cleverness of the concept. I would happily propel paintball’s in this manner for a year. Definitely one to keep an eye on this one as it seems like to me like a sleeper hit in the making. It comes out on the 23rd of October in the USA and the 24th in Europe on PSN, but if you have Playstation Plus then you can bag this oddball adventure on October 16th in USA or 17th in Europe.

Crysis 3

Out of all the games I played at the expo this is probably the one at the top of my shopping list. Having never played any of the previous iterations this one made me feel like I had really missing out. As soon as I got my hands on it I was immediately blown away by the quality of the graphics. I haven’t seen anything that really holds a candle to it, fair enough it was running on a monster rig of a PC but still it looked amazing. The new engine is apparently a real PC melter but obviously you can turn the settings down to run on a regular PC, but where’s the fun in that, I mean who would want to look into the uber realistic water only to not see your enemy reflected in it. I went for the keyboard/mouse combo over the control pad and jumped in. The gametype I played was very team orientated with the objective to capture an area and hold it whilst the enemy super jumped and invisified up to your location to oust you from the hill which is not exactly revolutionary but it doesn’t need to be. It wasn’t quite as frenetic or as frequent as I thought it would be but maybe I was unconsciously shying away from it at times, when trouble did found me though it was very battlefield in the way the guns handled and I even managed to drop a couple of people – which was nice, the gameplay was more disciplined and ‘realistic’ during engagements. I did die a lot though which I put down to my utter noobishness, thankfully I made up for points by getting to the objective which others seemed to ignore. The other game mode I saw being played but didn’t get a shot on was the new hunter mode which involves two players being armed with crossbows and the signature predator like shimmer invisibility going against the rest of the players as they shit themselves trying to work out where the shots are coming from. As I say this was my first game of Crysis I ever played and I really enjoyed it despite my lacklustre performance and for a game to impress me despite being fragged countless time is quite a tall order. Needless to say first impression goes a long way and I will be getting this when it comes out next February.

Farcry 3

Yet another franchise I have never got into (damn you Halo) but as I was on a promise to one of our readers I thought I would give it a go. It did look lovely and I could certainly see the comparisons that others were drawing between this game and the world created for the new Tomb Raider. Being an open world game I just went for a bit of drive, tearing aimlessly through the lush jungle, which was fun for a while but then a guy on the stand told me to activate a radio tower to see the rest of the map. Once that was done he pointed me toward hang glider “sweet” I exclaimed “I am gonna hang glide the shit out of that hang glider!”. So a blasted my 4×4 all the way up this mountain full throttle….only to make to the top a crash straight into the hang glider and smash the shit out of it. My mourning period was immediately cut short when a bunch of terrorists streamed out, which to be honest were pretty easy to drop. Later I found the same when I took on a group of arseholes on a beach, sure they hit cover where possible and tried to make it to mounted guns when they could but I found the AI fairly basic, a little disappointing but on the flip side I did feel like rambo when mowing down these poor saps. Overall I had a pretty good time and am sure the full game will be a varied experience and hopefully the AI will get better on a more difficult setting. If open world shooting is your thing cop this on November 30th

Carmageddon: Reincarnation.

This game has always held a special place in my heart as a wee lad. My teens were punctuated with the sound of engines and the alarm of pedestrians come dog food so when I spotted this I had to have a go. A crowd sourced project that brings an updated version of the driving gorefest to the mobile gaming world and it hasn’t lost any of its charm. With new levels, tweaked car mechanics and most obviously tablet adapted controls this still played just like the original, fast, fun and filled with death. On being presented with the cars to choose from I immediately went chose my go-to Carmageddon ride – Vlad the Impalers Annihilator. As in previous games this is still the fastest shit off a stick and if possible has even less turning ability. I basically straight line wheelied the whole course only turning when a wall forced me to, but boy those mugs in the road near the wall were done for, tasting their own intestines before they knew they had been minced. Thoroughly good fun. Meant to be out before the year is over on at least iOS, keep your engines hot and your spikes sharpened.

Here at TBoD we would like to hear your precious thoughts on any of the games we have mentioned here or in previous posts. Will you be getting any or all of these? Or do you have your hard-earned cash for something else? Thanks for reading and we look forward to reading your views!

-MS Dosser

(In)Decent Expo(sure) Part 1

You may have noticed that we had a bit of a hiatus last week because myself and a couple of my fellow tea baggers were attending the first two days of the EuroGamer Expo at Earls Court, Laaandan. We had an epic time and chatted with some equally epic people who were kind enough to take our promo cards and share their thoughts about the games on show. Oh yeah there were games there too and we managed to get round quite a few of them. Other than Halo 4 which will get its own post here are my first impressions of the games I managed to play.

Tomb Raider

So the first game I tackled on the Friday was the latest incarnation of Lara Croft, a re-imagination of the lady adventurer by developer Crystal Dynamics and publisher Square Enix. I spoke to a couple of people on the floor about this game and one made the very good point that Square Enix really should make movies, which pretty much summed up how I felt about this demo. In my opinion it was extremely cut scene heavy, I found myself watching in-game cut scenes more than I did actually playing the game. Personally I found this to be pretty damn annoying, I don’t need to see Lara whimper and scream with every single ledge she drops off or log she walks across. I do get that they are trying to drive the narrative and move away from the breastically enhanced super hero feel of the previous games which I think it certainly does but for me personally it was a bit overkill. She’s inexperienced and fragile I get it, but that’s enough. Having said that I do want to get this game when it is finally released, it looked bloody nice, the controls and action animations were smooth and the camera placement was spot on and the story will be a fresh take on the croft canon. I just wished the demo had offered a touch more action.

Hitman: Absolution

Next one on the cards was the latest Hitman which I have to say was only marred by my lack of skill. The colour saturation was pretty damn gorgeous, its set in a chinese market you really get the feel of authenticity from the level of detail that has been added to this environment, whether it be the neon signs or the more traditional building designs. The crowds react when you bump into them and even stare at you if you hold still for too long making you feel rather out-of-place as you stand about in that familiar suit that Agent 47 favours. As I say I probably would have enjoyed this a bit more if got the hang of it. My mission was to kill ‘The King of Chinatown’ who was located in a pagoda and on my first life I thought I would try to do it sneakily. I approached the pagoda and a few of his goons blocked the entrance in there, so I moved on and was given a rather vague hint about brittle chains but when pressing the button combo whilst pointing at it nothing happened, so I whipped out the guns and shot at it. Needless to say people started screaming and loads of people started shooting at me and dropped me like a sack of shit. Next time round I took a more direct approach and shot my target in the head straight off the bat. This went down like a cup of sick and soon SWAT were all over the shop, I managed to procure a police uniform but was recognised fairly quickly so I retreated down some dirty stairwell and hopped in the nearest dumpster. This is where I spent most of my time after that, I would get out and garrote a dude get his clothes and try to blend into the crowd to escape….except the crowd was now made up entirely of SWAT/Police/Gang Members so I would continously get spotted and have to leg it back to my faithful bin. This occurred for about 20 minutes until they saw me get in the bin and shot me to bits. I bet James Bond never had to put up with this shit. As I say I would probably enjoy this game if I was any good at it but any fans of this franchise will certainly dig on this a lot.

Doom 3: BFG Edition

I know this isn’t a new game it’s a remake but with added 3Dness. If you like Doom then not a lot else needs to be said really. With many games nowadays having more complex mechanics in it I could see this prehaps lacking for some players but on the other hand if you are looking for simple run & gun monster shoot em up then pick this up. The 3D effect itself was pretty sweet although it did suffer a little bit from the usual darkness you get with 3D games, you could look at this as adding to that horror element that was great in the many other iD games which I guess it did at times but I found it annoying not being able to spot where the enemy who was attacking me. The staff on this booth did push the value of buying it though, not only do you get this 3D remake but you also get every Doom ever made except Final Doom. Having just googled the price it seems they were right as its at most £25, so you are a hardcore fan and looking for some nostalgia this could be right up your poorly lit corridor.

So what do you reckon? Are you planning on getting any of these titles? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Come back and check out Part 2 where I will be voicing my rankly amateur opinions on The Unfinished Swan, Crysis, Farcry 3 and Carmageddon. Thanks for reading.

-MS Dosser