Sunday, 6 April 2014

Gaming: EGX Rezzed

EGX Rezzed is an exhibition hall filled with games from absolutely everywhere. From the universally popular FIFA, to indie games on their first outing. It's basically the perfect destination for any gamer, or somebody like me who dearly wishes they were able to sit down for hours and play through the latest fad.

There was a lot even for somebody like me, the 'casual' gamer who tends to only play Counter Strike or League of Legends. The sequel to one of my favourite titles, Hotline Miami - which is the Humble Weekly Sale at the moment - was on show. A terrifically gory, completely insane, surreal top-down action game. You have to clear levels with whatever weapon you happen to have, and masks which give you some sort of boost. It was very clearly stationed within the '18+ area'.

Obviously part of events like this is to find a new favourite game, and Roll7's Not a Hero could well be that. Not such a different concept from Hotline, but this time having to - for example - clear a building of special agents before planting your bomb. Obviously, not your typical hero storyline. The little things in this game are great; I found the reload animation particularly fascinating - which was apparently transposed from a friend actually reloading an air rifle. The gameplay may be infinitely frustrating but also always leaves you wanting more. I was told that they were aware the game was pretty difficult, so added in an easier beginning - only for people to get stuck afterward.

Going away from the perfectly over-the-top pixel shoot-em-ups I wandered over to Enola, which is an emotionally-driven horror that doesn't need monsters to unsettle you. I played through the opening, which seemed incredibly dark, and was reassured that as it progressed the content became even more bleak. I actually put my money where my mouth was and ordered the game and, although it's only on version 0.11, I'm excited for how it progresses.

One of the most interesting games from EGX would, in my opinion, be Vagabond Dog's Always Sometimes Monsters - where your decisions affect the game. The demo could be slightly slow but this game isn't about fast paced gameplay, it's about what you would do if the woman you loved was marrying another man and you have thirty days to get from one side of the United States to the other. It's an incredibly interesting notion that brings something different to gaming, and is obviously reminiscent to PS3's Heavy Rain.

This was positioned right next Gods Will Be Watching, a game by Deconstucteam which is playable online. A game all about minimalism, all you do is give orders to characters and keep them alive for 40 days until you're rescued. I'm pretty sure I'm not motivating enough because all of my colleagues kept running into the forest, never to be seen again. Definitely worth a look on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Just a few more games that looked pretty cool from the exhibition that I haven't the space to mention in full: Obviously Prison Architect isn't a new phenomenon now, but it's always worth a shout-out. A similar concept was taken up by War for the Overworld - one of the team conceded they were influenced by the same game as the Architect guys. It's a different take on dungeons, where instead of having to clear them to complete quests you actually build the dungeon. In my brief play I actually really enjoyed it. Another of the free online games, War Thunder was great fun as I tried to take out as many planes as I could. I'm pretty sure my flying skills were far superior to some of my team, so a few more hours will see me become completely pro. Sidenote: EGX was my first look at a PS4, and I'm incredibly taken. Finally, although I never got to play either so have no real insight both Murdered: Soul Suspect, and The Swapper both employed really cool concepts that I'd really like to delve further into.

Overall it was a really good day out, and away from the games there was a whole load of developer talks as well which can be watched back. I haven't even touched on some of the best attended games of the weekend: Titanfall, Hearthstone, and Dream. Plus I finally got my hands on Fez. Video games are looking more and more enticing as a potential career path. Although maybe I'll just destroy my revision by playing some of them first.

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