By MattyFTM 20 Comments
Eurogamer Expo (or EGX) was two weeks ago and I had intended on writing a big proper blog about the show shortly after. Then I got distracted. I've just sorted through the photos I took at the show and deleted the really terrible ones (although they were all taken on my phone, so don't expect great quality from any of them), so I'm just going to post those and random thoughts that go along with them.
Firstly, the Oculus Rift:
I'd never tried an Oculus before and I was blown away. First I tried out SuperHot with the Oculus, which is odd because of the abstract art style, but it was still interesting. Seeing bullets fly past your head in slow motion was crazy. Also, I learned that I suck at SuperHot. But where the VR really shined was with EVE Valkyrie. Even just looking around your cockpit as you fly around looks stunning. But where it really shines is when you start taking damage and the sparks are flying in the cockpit. For half a second I freaked out, genuinely thought that sparks were flying at me. Completely amazing experience, I can't wait until this tech becomes commonplace.
Next up, Sunset Overdrive:
I mainly went to Sunset Overdrive because the queue looked relatively short, but I ended up really enjoying it. It is really tempting to just stay on the ground and play it like a normal shooter, but that really isn't the way to play it as the movement is very sluggish on the ground. Once you start experimenting and jumping up on the rails up the top it really becomes very fun. We were playing a six-man hoard mode style game, and I came top of my team (which surprised me since generally I suck at games). I think that was mostly because I experimented with the rails and things more than the other players.
Next some Indie games:
I spend a lot of my time at the "Rezzed" indie area, because I like indie games and I dislike queueing. There were massive queues for all the AAA games and stuff like that (even things like Destiny which was already out. Why would you queue for an hour to play a game that you could walk into a shop and buy?). But the indie area was relatively queue free.
The standout indie games for me were Volume (by Mike Bithell of Thomas Was Alone) and Heat Signature (by Tom Francis of Gunpoint). I went to the "Developer Session" talks from both of those guys (along with one by Rami Ismail and another one from Jordan Thomas, a former Irrational guy now developing The Magic Circle) and they were super interesting. Volume is a 3D Stealth game that takes inspiration from things like Thief and MGS VR Missions. It has a great look to it, and it sounds like the story is going to be a really interesting story of the relationship between two characters. It is simple enough and accessible, but I can see those mechanics being used to make some really challenging levels too.
Heat Signature is a procedurally generated space exploration game from a top-down perspective. You play as a lone-wolf space-guy with his small ship. You have to sneak aboard randomly generated spaceships to either kill someone or steal something. You can then take control over the spaceship and use that for a while, or you can quietly sneak away and go steal/kill some more. It's currently pretty barebones, but It is definitely a great concept. It has a fantastic mechanic of being thrown out of an airlock if you get caught on an enemy ship. You can then use your remote controls to pilot your ship back to your body as it hurtles through space. If you catch it before you run out of blood/air, you can continue on your mission.
Also, I should probably mention that I'm currently the worlds number one Heat Signature player. They were keeping leaderboards (via pen & paper) of how many missions people survived without dying. I completed 14 missions (and felt terrible for hogging the one Heat Signature PC for so long) which put me top of the leaderboard at the end of the third day of the show, as evidenced by this tweet from the developers:
The mission record is getting crazy here at EGX, my personal best is like 4. pic.twitter.com/4IYCjJbuYq— Heat Signature (@HeatSig) September 27, 2014
And considering they didn't tweet out an updated leaderboard after day 4, I'm just going to assume no one beat it and I'm the worlds number one Heat Signature player. I AM THE BEST HEAT SIGNATURE PLAYER IN THE WORLD!!!! I look forward to the game coming out so I can quit my day job and become a professional Heat Signature eSportser (eSportser is a word, right?).
Anyways, moving on, there was a retro area that had a ton of old games systems set up that was really cool to see at a thing like this. You expect it to all be new stuff, but having a little corner where I could play Zool for the Amiga was really cool. They also had some custom built arcade cabinets, but no original cabinets or anything cool like that:
I got told off by an Ubisoft guy for taking a photo of the screens at the Far Cry 4 booth. He made me delete it and re-take it without getting the screens... But I still got the top pixel or two of the screens, so take that Ubisoft. I'm going to post this picture of a massive Far Cry 4 logo and the top few pixels of the game, and there's nothing you can do about it!!!
And here are a bunch of random photos of the show floor:
That's about it. I played some other stuff, but not a lot stands out in my mind. Splatoon was cool. Elite: Dangerous seems OK but the demo was very basic (and it took a while to get used to the flightstick controls).
One last thing that I found funny. With queue's everywhere and crowds everywhere, this is what the stand for Hatsune Miku Project Diva F2 looked like: