Eurogamer Expo 2013 – Our thoughts and experiences
In its sixth year Eurogamer Expo has established itself as the biggest and best public video gaming show in UK. Held at London’s Earl’s Court for what I thought would be the final year, due to the proposed planned demolition of the building. I was happy to see it returns September 2014 for what will probably be the final Eurogamer Expo there before moving elsewhere, Excel perhaps?
This year at Eurogamer; Bradley, our honorary Gamergeddon friend John and myself done a few things different. Our gaming tastes have changed a bit over the past year. We have all found ourself switching to PC gaming instead of console. Bradley and myself believe the next-gen consoles to be somewhat underwhelming in comparison to PC’s that you can buy for a few hundred pounds more. So we found ourselves taking more of an interest in the PC games rather than console exclusives. We did check out some of them, but we guessed you have read all about them elsewhere over and over, so we decided to concentrate on some of the lesser known games for this article.
Starting off with Call of Duty: Ghosts, we didn’t play it. The queues were too long and quite frankly we had better games to see than the latest rehashing of a several year old game. John did actually queue up outside from 7.30am Thursday morning so he could get a free copy of the Prestige Edition which was given away to the first 500 players. He played the PC version and said it was much the same as previous games but looked nicer, no surprise there. He came third place, we was expecting second at least, shame on you John! 🙂
The main game we wanted to see was Battlefield 4. Our excitement was slightly dampened when we found out only the Xbox One version was at the show. But it was the first time it has been playable on the console, as well as a brand new map ‘ZAVOD 311’ which was announced and playable for the first time. The map is set in a train yard area which had a good variety of buildings to use as cover and relatively open areas to send a tank into. The game seemed to run fine in my opinion, all the videos I have seen posted online is bad quality phone footage and you can’t judge a game on that. The Xbox One controls were slightly different, the Back button no longer exists, so to spot people you now press RB. Apart from that it felt pretty much like a Battlefield game which is exactly what we wanted!
A lot of hype has surrounded the Oculus Rift and after trying it ourselves we think it is very much deserved. We spent some time playing the PC indie game Montague’s Mount, a first person psychological adventure game set on an isolated Irish island. The Oculus Rift bridges that missing factor that can separate players from games. It really does feel like you are in the game, reacting to the environment such as instinctively ducking your head while going through a low doorway. Looking upwards to the sky felt surreal. We was impressed with the game and how it worked with Oculus Rift. Be sure to check out Montague’s Mount at http://www.montaguesmount.com
The eagerly awaited sequel to Hotline Miami was at the show. The original was one of our highlights of last years show and the sequel looks spot on. The game is much the same as the original (which is no bad thing) with its distinctive top down 2D psychedelic graphic style. If you played the original then you will be more than happy with the tweaks and improvements while still keeping the style and feeling that makes the game so much fun to play. Find out more about the game at http://hotlinemiami.com/
Bradley and myself spent some time on Stronghold: Crusader 2. I have to admit, I had not played the original but Bradley had so he wanted to check it out. It is a real-time strategy game, much in the same vein as Command and Conquer with medieval theme instead of futuristic weapons and aliens. It is hard to get a feel for this genre in a show environment with limited time, but the controls and gameplay felt natural and not too overwhelming. We played against each other and was given an amount of time to keep the peace, while building up a small army, before unleashing hell on each other. The battles were very good with the winners of each smaller fight going backwards and forwards between us. The game ended with a victory to myself, after a final, very closely fought battle between both our heroes which the developers had not seen been done before. We don’t know if that is good or bad, but we like to do things different! Check out the game at http://www.strongholdcrusader2.com/
Frozen Endzone is a game Bradley was interested in as he is a big fan of the American football tactics game Blood Bowl. Frozen Endzone is similar in style in terms of that it is a tactics American football game, the similarities end there. The game is set in a futuristic themed stadium where two teams face each other in a randomly generated pitch. Each player then takes turns to attack or defend while using the terrain to their advantage. The game looked quite fun and if you are a fan of tactics based games this should definitely be on your list to keep an eye on. Find out more at http://www.frozenendzone.com/
There are several more PC indie games that we played at the show including Caribbean, Democracy 3, Ethan: Metero Hunter, Redshift, The Room Two, Velocity 2X, Volume and finally War for the Overworld. We will be covering these in more detail along with the big winter titles over the coming weeks both here and on our sister site The Steam Chamber.