This years Eurogamer Expo took place at the true home of UK video game shows – Earls Court. I can remember going to my first games show there when I was around 13 (20 or so years ago) and while I can not remember the name of the show I still have very fond memories playing all the latest games of that time. Skipping forward few decades and Eurogamer Expo is the UK show of the year, and instead of Atari and Amiga it is now Xbox, PlayStation, Wii and PC.
In this first part of the round up we cover Fable III, Def Jam Rapstar, Dance Central, Joy Ride, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit and Crysis 2.
The first game you will notice when you entered the show is Fable III. There were a couple of stands which showed the game at various stages in the story. We tried a few of the demo’s which saw us exploring a snowy wasteland, a town and a forest. The combat was a little different to Fable 3 but still essentially a hack and slash with magic combat system. The weapons ranged from a speedy sword, to a hammer which was slower but dealt more damage. We also noticed a mini game which required you to defend an area using a Mortar weapon which was looked fun to play. The new Pause screen interface is done very well and allows you to change clothing, select missions or travel to locations and talk to your butler amongst other things. My only concern was the amount of motion blur when rotating the camera, I think it should be brought down a notch or two. Unfortunately we were not allowed to record any videos of the game.
Def Jam Rapstar
Def Jam Rapstar had a big stage presence but it appeared that not many people wanted to sing in front of an audience. Personally I can’t sing to save my life so I did not want to empty the building 🙂 If rap songs are your thing then you will no doubt enjoy the game with over 40 songs including 2 Pac’s I Get Around and Public Enemy’s Fight the Power. You will be able record a video of your performance (with Kinect or PS3 Eye) and upload them to the games website and share with your friends via Facebook. Below is a short clip of some brave participants singing Busta Rhymes’ Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See.
Dance Central also had a large stage where brave show goers could strut their stuff to a variety of tunes including Lady Gaga’s Poker Face and Lipps Inc Funkytown. The latter song was the most popular, I must have heard it 50 times over the two days and it is now permanently embedded in my mind. It looked fairly fun to play if you are into that sort of thing but it was not really my kind of game so we just recorded some footage which you can view below.
Kinect Adventure, Joy Ride and Kinect Sports
At the back of the Dance Central stage was the Kinect area which had playable games for Kinect Adventure, Joy Ride and Kinect Sports. This was my first time playing Kinect and I had previously been dubious to how well it actually works. I played Joy Ride first and I was quite impressed. The handling of the vehicle initially takes some getting used to, you will likely over or under steer for the first lap while you settle in. The handling is responsive enough to your arm movements but fine tuning was more tricky when trying to make small direction adjustments. As the game is played ‘on the rails’ there were a few occasions when you want to slow down to take a short cut or avoid another racer but you are unable to do so as there is no breaking. It was a fun game but I couldn’t help feeling how much more fun it would be with controller support as it was originally intended. Kinect Adventure and Kinect Sports were less impressive to me and basically required you to wave your arms and jump around a lot a la Wii sports. Below is a video of me playing Joy Ride for the first time and very nearly coming 1st place!
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood had a few stands which showed the new multiplayer game in action. It is something different to the usual multiplayer games which usually require you to shoot someone in the face over and over again. Instead you play as either the target or the hunter in a populated city area and must locate or avoid each other. The hunter gets to perform some pretty cool assassinations while the target can distract others with decoys such as smoke bombs. It was a little hard to get the feel of the game in the brief time of playing but it looked very interesting and it is always good to see a different style of game. I believe there is a multiplayer beta starting soon so I hope to be able to play it some more. Below is a video of the multiplayer game.
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit was my next port of call and it is a game I have been very much looking forward to playing as I was a big fan of Most Wanted. The stand was showing the multiplayer part of the game for the first time ever in public, which had eight players racing against each other to the finish line in one piece. You can play as either the Cops or Racers with a good selection of vehicles with differing speeds and handling. The races are extremely fun and action packed with the ability to drop spike traps, fire EMP’s and send out helicopters (not sure what they done though) to take down your rivals and eliminate them from the game if you cause enough damage. There are plenty of short cuts to take and some of them are quite long, almost like another track which was interesting to see. This was one of my favourite games of the show and I cant wait to play the full game! Unfortunately we was not allowed to record any footage of the game.
The multiplayer part of Crysis 2 was available to play on the Xbox 360, and the single player on the PC version. We played a multiplayer match against several other players and it was quite enjoyable. The pace of the game is fast (think Modern Warfare 2) and the levels are fairly large which led to times when it was hard to find someone to shoot in the face. The video screens were quite small so it was hard to appreciate the quality of the graphics. Not a bad game all in all but it looked like nothing new to stand out amongst the other FPS game. Videos were not allowed for Crysis 2.
That is all for the first part of our Eurogamer Expo round up, part two is now online here. We hope to add photos later today of some of the games we were unable to record video for.0