Mike’s Game Of The Show EGX REZZED 2014

ALIEN ISOLATION

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With the largest area in the arena devoted to this game and a lot of build up, Alien Isolation really needed to deliver. We all remember how the Alien brand was tarnished by Colonial Marines and even though this is a completely different developer, I still had my doubts. We were treated like covert agents being snuck in the back avoiding a good hour of queuing and sat in front of screens in a darkened room filled with smoke. I really liked how the developers have made it so that anything in the game looks like a 70’s vision of the future. One thing in particular that stood out was how the intro video looks like a VHS tape that had been watched 1000 times before.  Stagbeetle and Deanoward were playing on Xbox One whilst Einfang and Dave opted for the PC build.

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The game looked fantastic and the way that focusing on different areas shifted the focus point on screen really added to the atmosphere in game. The demo we played had a few jump scares but these were not what really got me (although I did jump a foot off my chair at one point), its the atmosphere and the build up to the scares that really made this game feel scary. I myself did not finish the demo as I was struggling to find objectives due to an Xbox bug that stopped the map loading after the first time you had used it (obviously this will be fixed by final build), dying too many times and I also felt bad for being on a little too long. I shouldn’t have cared though because this spurred the phrase of the day which was #wheresdave as Dave was the first person to go in and after 20 minutes of waiting for him after we had all finished, we decided to leave him to his own devices.

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The lead character is Amanda Ripley daughter of Ellen Ripley the original character from the film and this gives great credibility but also explores a character that has not really been explored in Ridley Scott’s universe before. The voice acting was good but it is hard to really feel any emotion for a character on such a short play through. However, one character did get me feeling one emotion, the Alien made me feel anxious as anything and I had a constant fear that it would pop up and stick its fist through my chest at any point.

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The game really does look good and has plenty of atmosphere. I was instantly sold on the setting and when the Alien finally made a proper appearance, there was definitely a feeling that I had to avoid being seen or heard at all costs! After speaking with the team from Alien Isolation we loved the passion shown for the project and had already all been converted to believers. Not since I was a young lad playing Resident Evil at far past my bedtime have I felt the same presence and tension that I did playing this game. We look forward to seeing more from this title and have high expectations for what may bring back  the Horror genre!

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Final report of the commercial starship Nostromo, third officer reporting. The other members of the crew Leon, Dean and Dave are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier in about six weeks. With a little luck, the network will pick me up. This is Stagbeetle, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.

Alien Isolation comes out on October 7th 2014 on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. For more information about the game visit their website.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO ITS A F”*#%NG TITAN!

Titanfall

Here it is! The game that could possibly bring Xbox One back into contention with the PS4 for sales and also perhaps change up what has become a somewhat stagnant FPS genre.

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So what are we liking about Titanfall? Well firstly Mechs, 3 of them to be precise with many customisation options for how they can be used (although many would say this is not enough) and a dynamic system that mixes Pilot combat (when outside of your Mech) and Titan combat (inside of your Mech).

The way that this game has managed to balance the fast paced Pilot combat with the big blasting Titan combat is very impressive! A good player can take down a Titan in one on one combat as well as getting crushed underfoot (or blasted to bits with one good shot) and this is where Titanfall really has got things right.

What they have also included is basic level AI which serve as cannonfodder and a way to see how the flow of the battle is moving. Yes, many people say that they would prefer just PVP. However, I am a fan of how “Grunts & Spectres” move around the map giving ample opportunity to shoot or even sneak behind and snap a little bit of neck! By killing opponents your Titan is effectively built faster and once this is achieved, can be summoned from the sky by activating Titanfall (ahhh man they used the name of the game for what happens! That’s so cool).

The player then has the option of either jumping inside of this giant Mech to start causing mayhem, or use them more defensively as a guard or a follower much like a big brother looming over the shoulder of a 14yr old ready to pound the face of any would-be bully.

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The Burn card system has been implemented as a new type of perk system where by playing the game you will collect useable cards to be used in later fights. These vary from the useless and stupid, to upgraded versions of weapons all the way to calling a Titan instantly in or giving double xp. I like the system I would not call it perfect however I definately like it and find myself saving certain cards for when I know I can get the most out of them.

Quick action is the name of this game. Jumping in from a drop ship players run towards the other team opting to attack AI opponents, reducing build time towards the all important Titanfall and you getting into your giant robot of death. There are of course various play modes available for you to decide on how you want to bring carnage to the battlefield.

 

RocketfirePersonally I find myself playing a mix between Attrition (which is your classic death match), Last Titan Standing (which is a team based battle between 6 Titans and the last man standing wins) and Capture The Flag. The parkour elements of the game really gives this last mode a bit more of a twist on the classic type of game play and can make for some crazy matches!This is not saying that the other modes are bad, just that I have found my time split mainly between these modes. Out of all of them, I must say I have fallen in love with Last Titan Standing.

The bad bits???

While the gameplay is brilliant, it does feel rushed as there is certainly a lack of dynamic game modes and no private servers! Customisation although there is a little bit is limited and we are yet to know if the season pass which they have kindly charged us 20 bucks for will have anymore weapons or content or just more maps!

AND THE MAPS! The maps do well mixing up terrain and areas so that there are places to move out of sight and mix the Titan VS Pilot game up. I was however hoping for a little more out of a next generation title. One level has Dragons (or Alien creatures that look like Dragons)that you are told to watch out for but all they really do is randomly gobble up an AI unit not really affecting the player in anyway.

Also this is next generation! Now completely destructable maps would ruin the gameplay (as all you would do is level the field and just Titan up), but I would love to see some elements in the map that change as the battle progresses. I guess we will just have to wait till later instalments to see if we receive such wonders!

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The Game doesn’t look amazing at certain times on Xbox One where there is a definite wobble on the screen, but this is mainly at the beginning drop screen and doesn’t really affect when actually in the game play itself. I cannot speak for PC gamers, but it does look pretty nice on the screen shots that I have seen.

The campaign is a joke! You are forced to do it to unlock two extra Titans and regardless if you win or lose on a map you still go through to the next mission. Overall, each factions campaign can easily be done in less than 2 hours! The story line itself is weak and you have no real interest in what is going on in it as you are trying to concentrate on the gameplay itself rather than the silly voice overs, cinematics and people giving up their lives for the sake of doing the right thing (this isn’t even really a spoiler as you will care as little about the story line as I did).

IS TITANFALL THE ULTIMATE FPS?

The simple answer to this is no. While it does bring something totally new to the table, there are big parts missing. No doubt this game has done well and Xbox must be happy with the 96% uplift in console sales due to this game, but after a recent announcement Titanfall 2 will be cross platform and I am sure a lot of the things you could do to add to this entertaining game will be saved for the second installment.

If you had to describe Titanfall in one word, it would have to be fun! This genre has become quite stale over the years and Titanfall brings new ideas and mechanics to the FPS genre that it was longing for! Burn cards are a nice twist on a perks system but need fine tuning. Many of the cards really are pointless such as cloaking as a spectre which actually does not help the player at all.

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In short, this is a great game that unfortunately was rushed to market. That does not mean you should not get involved with it, far from that I urge anyone with a compatible system to pick up this game and have hours of multiplayer fun shooting from Titans and jumping wall to wall throwing grenades at packs of AI. This game is exactly what the Xbox One needed, a game to actually make people want to buy the next generation of consoles and so far is showing to have worked. 

I do not remember the last console game with this much hype. It certainly was not in 2014 and this has the chance to get in early as a contendee for game of the year. Will it win? Well probably not, but just having your game associated with such prestige is certainly a very good thing.

Now if you will excuse me, my Titan has just fallen and I need to jump in and start blowing stuff up again. If you need me just hit me with a Plasma shot as that will certainly get my attention!

GRUNTS, MOVE OUT!

 

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Most anticipated games for Game Over Yeah

2013 was a year with some pretty big titles released. Now with the current gen bad boys of Xbox One and PS4 well and truly up and running, it’s time for some even bigger games to come out in 2014. Titanfall has certainly done very well in leading the charge, but what else is out there that will make you start scrabbling under the sofa cushions for extra change?

The awesome foursome have shaken the magic 8-ball, consulted the wise and mysterious internet and put together their most anticipated games for 2014.

 

MIKE’S PICKS

WATCH DOGS

We couldn’t do a list for most anticipated games of 2014 without the most anticipated game of 2013 that was postponed to 2014!

Watch Dogs was due for an end of year release around the time of the Xbox One and the PS4 launch. However, the developers were not happy with the state of the game and instead choose to push the release date back to “Spring 2014”.

 

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Well Spring is here and Watch Dogs is around the corner! The game follows Aiden Pearce, a hacker and former thug with a history of crime that led to a violent family tragedy. Watch Dogs is set in Chicago where a central network of computers does a Kevin Bacon and connects Everything Everywhere (EE joke). Armed with futuristic hacking technology, Aiden can pretty much control the city whilst he journeys on his mission to bring about his own form of justice. Think GTA but with control of everything around you in a sort of Terminator 3 robot esque way and you are starting to paint the picture of what Watch Dogs is meant to be all about.

 

Why do we want it? Well last year’s E3 trailer had everyone drooling and the team even went to an event at the local cinema to see an early build in the flesh and it looked tasty! Best thing eaten all year tasty not just that week! While recent press releases and videos have certainly not looked quite as good as original, we are yet to set judgment on Watch Dogs until it is finally released on May 27th.

This is another title that the next generation of consoles really needs to show the difference between the new and old and really push people to purchase these devices. GOTY? Possibly? With a game like this it is very hard to live up to the hype it has had building for 3 plus years but Ubisoft didn’t rush it out and this we hope is going to show in the final build. Oh and did we mention that it has 50 plus hours of gameplay! We like that amount, we like it a lot!

 

EA SPORTS UFC

So ok maybe only one person on the team is really looking forward to this title, but it is starting to look like a title that could again push the next generation of consoles to where we want them. Using the Ignite engine used by EA to make Madden 25 and Fifa 14 on Xbox One and PS4, EA have been leaking snippets here and there of how the game looks and it looks bloody brilliant! Characters really look like the fighters and in-cage antics have been mirrored into the screenshots and videos that we have seen.

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Whether it is the custom way Anthony “Showtime” Pettis throws his flashy kicks or the intensity of a Cain Valasquez takedown, the game really does look good. Building on the success of EA MMA and now having the license away from THQ (rest in peace), they look to put on a show that may have all the spectical of a live UFC event. Is this the next generation of fighters? Will it be able to attract fans that are not MMA or UFC fans already? EA have said that “Its as real as it gets” and from everything we have seen so far, I hope that this is true and not some rubbish to build up a flop of a game. One bit of good news is that it sounds like they are going to use a 2 year release on new titles. This hopefully means changes will happen unlike some of the other sporting franchises that they have done work on in the past. And in the words of the infamous Bruce Buffer announcer for the UFC “IIITTTTTTSSSSSSS TTTIMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEE” or at least it will be soon!

 

DEAN’S PICKS

RIME
This game was showcased at E3 as part of PS4’s conference but no one seems to remember it, I can’t seem to forget about it. It’s the only game on the roster that got me excited about the current gen. It looks like the visual beauty from Flower mixed in with elements and story taken from Ico or Zelda.

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The world gives the impression of being massive and unique which is refreshing. The story line is supposed to be that a boy is trying to escape the island because of a curse. There is also meant to be narration, so I’m feeling that it might be similar to the narration from The Stanley Parable which I personally loved. Now not a whole lot has been shown in the E3 trailer so it could all change. We know too well games completely changing from when we’ve first seen them showcased (like Alan Wake and Alien Colonial Marines), but I look forward to seeing more footage from this and getting my hands on it later in the year if it indeed does come out in 2014.

 

THE EVIL WITHIN

I’m still a little torn on whether this should go on this list. While there seems to be a little bit of hype due to Shinji Mikami of Resident Evil fame, it could go either way with this one. I’m excited because the game play so far has looked pretty good and stayed with being a true “survival horror” game. I also really enjoyed Shadows Of The Damned and that seemed to have a great feel to it, a mixture of comedy and suspense.

EvilWithinScaryEveryone seems to complain about the Resident Evil games losing the Survival Horror element these days and instead comparing them more to action titles. If this title does return on track, it might suggest that maybe the shift of focus was the studio and not the creator, which could then lead to more debates.

The most recent game play trailer for The Evil Within, explains that the main character in the game is Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who rushes to a scene of a murder with his colleagues and then all hell breaks loose.

The game play reminded me a lot of the Saw series as there seemed to be a lot of traps around the place and it’s seems to have scares around every corner. If this is truly a return to survival horror I think this will be amazing game in 2014, but time will tell. This could either be a massive game or a massive flop.

 

LEON’S PICKS

DESTINY

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Coming from Bungie (the creators of the extremely successful franchise ‘Halo’) and being published by another giant in the FPS scene Activision (who published the valuable ‘Call of Duty’), this game is hotting up to be one of the big FPS games of this year.

Coming out on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Playstation 4, this maybe the game to compete with Titanfall for FPS of the year.

Here’s a quote from their website:

‘Destiny features a compelling story line, competitive multiplayer, cooperative gameplay choices, wide open public combat destinations, and third-person community spaces where you can repair and rearm before going out on your next  adventure.’

 

ALIEN ISOLATION

Alien_IsolationAfter the failure of the last Alien game (Aliens Colonial Marines) a lot of people I have spoken to have been skeptical about this title. However, when the trailer dropped for this game, I saw the true survival horror feel that we have not experienced within  the Alien universe.

This game is due to come out late this year and will be released on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. This is likely to be the last big game to come out on the old generation of consoles.

Here’s a quote from their website:

‘Discover the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a survival horror set in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger. Fifteen years after the events  of Alien™, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda enters a desperate battle for  survival, on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother’s disappearance.’

 

DAVE’S PICKS

DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN

DivinityOriginalSinLogoAs I already own this on Beta, I feel my first choice of anticipated game is cheating slightly.

Way back in 2002 Larian Studios released one of my all-time favourite games, Divine Divinity. Now 12 years on, they have early released their third Divinity installment through Steam for eager fans to play and provide feedback.

The game itself is your standard RPG fare. Beastly creatures stand between you and your reward of gold, shiny items and renown across the land. You can play as your usual variety of classes ranging from the spell-slinging Wizard to the muscle-bound Warrior. However, you can tweak your classes slightly allowing for less rigid templates.

Where the series really stands out is it’s writing. The previous two games contained excellent story telling in the form of humour, heart-warming moments and at times, a little sadness. The story in Divinity: Original Sin is no exception and as an added bonus, this game comes with an editor allowing those among you who love writing stories as well as reading them, to spend many happy hours designing your own adventures for friends to conquer.

Combat is turn-based and very solid. A big plus goes to the ability to interact with your environment when fighting and this is especially noticable when spell casting. Is your foe standing in long grass? Burn him out with fire! That dastardly creature too quick for you? Freeze their path with ice! It’s a simple touch, but comes across incredibly effective.

While it is still very much in its Alpha stages, it still looks and plays incredibly well and I for one cannot wait for the full release later this year.

 

CHILD OF LIGHT

ChildofLightLogoContinuing with the RPG theme and going back to Ubisoft, Child of Light is my second choice of games to watch out for. It looks absoultely gorgeous and could be a strong contender for RPG of the year. It’s also coming out really soon!

If you’re not already aware of this title, the premise is simple. You play a girl who wakes up in a strange land and have been tasked with the simple quest of returning the Sun, Moon and stars from the evil Black Queen. It plays like a cross between LIMBO and Rayman but with Final Fantasy style combat. Add to that a crazy big levelling up system and the ability to craft a massive range of items, this game will keep you playing for many hours.

Did I mention it’s coming out really soon? 🙂

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