Eurogamer Expo 2012 has closed its doors for the year, boasting over 50,000 attendees, a brand new home console showing and almost every major upcoming release being playable. Over the next 2 weeks expect to see Previews and coverage of the latest and greatest titles from the Parable team!
The Eurogamer Expo is the largest gaming event in the UK and has been for the past few years, increasing in size and stature each year. This year the Expo saw over 50,000 attendees each eager to test out the latest games and take in the atmosphere, with the event being a roaring success overall. As you’ve probably noticed, the Parable team was in attendance at the event and since returning has been Previewing and covering the largest upcoming titles from the back end of 2012 and beginning of 2013. We each have our own opinions on the titles we played and in this article we come together and talk about which titles stood out the most to us personally.
GAME OF SHOW: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – I’m an absolutely massive fan of the Metal Gear Solid series, but up until I got a chance to play it this new Raiden-centric outing left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. A focus on high octane sword combat and almost complete removal of stealth elements is an extremely far cry from anything I would have expected from a Metal Gear title, but after playing it my fears have been quenched. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was my Game of Show at Eurogamer 2012 by a noticeable margin and it completely stunned me.
Platinum Games really pulled out all the stops in creating possibly their best looking title yet. The graphics are phenomenal, combat is possibly the most fun I’ve had with a video game in years and the entire package reeks of polish and more importantly, style. It also included just the right amount of difficulty in classic Platinum fashion, with the end of demo boss posing a big challenge to a lot of the people in the queue ahead of me. If the demo is a good depiction of the entirety of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, I can see it being a real contender for GOTY 2013.
Rayman Legends - I really didn’t expect to be impressed by this one. Rayman Origins was obviously a very high calibur title and one that was almost universally adored when it dropped last year, but I didn’t feel the same magic I think my peers did while playing it. Legends looked set to follow suit from the original release by being a title that was really great, but the true enjoyment would again elude me. How wrong I was.
The Wii U demo was 2 player co-operative, with one player manning the Gamepad and assisting the player with the Pro Controller that was controlling our character. The world was charming, controls were tight and reactive with both control methods and the Gamepad and Pro Controller worked perfectly in tandem, allowing the two players to interact and enjoy their time together while each maintaining and important and consistent part of the gameplay. It felt like the demo session was over all too quickly as we completed the level and were showered by praise by both our Rep and the game itself, and I’m more than eager to bring a friend and sit down for a more complete session. Rayman Legends is the first must have title on the Wii U.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II - No doubt my selecting a Call of Duty title as one of my Games of Show will come as no surprise to anyone and will evoke a loud groan from all involved, but I was genuinely really pleased with what I saw and played. The Black Ops II area was by far the best at the event, with a round table mainstage, commentators and almost 50 gameplay terminals set up for Multi-Team gameplay. It was Call of Duty at its best, in a setting that the majority of players wouldn’t be familiar with: LAN.
Many of the mistakes that previous entries in the series had made have been ironed out, with killstreaks being less prevalent in matches, maps returning to a more symmetrical format, classes being more customisable but balanced and the weapons having weight and heavy recoil to punish spraying. Nothing massively broke the mould from what I played but I almost felt the same magic as when I originally booted up Call of Duty 4 all those years ago and for me, that’s good enough.
GAME OF SHOW: Rayman Legends - I haven’t really followed the Rayman series in the past and I didn’t find myself wanting to play the new game at Eurogamer. However, I decided to give it a try it, more to see how the Wii U played rather than Rayman itself. It was in the que to play the Wii U where I found myself drenched with a sudden urge to play Rayman. I have played many other Rayman games however they failed to engross me. It was different with Rayman Legends, I really did not want to stop playing.
The game has taken me by surprise and turned out to be high on my list as one of the most enjoyable games at Eurogamer. Legends focuses heavily on multiple players working together, and it wasn’t just playing on the Wii U controller that was enjoyable, the traditional controller for player two was just as fun. Player 2 controlled the character that had to run through the level, and player one had to help by holding enemies down or pulling objects so the other player could jump across gaps. This created a whole new level of fun that the other Rayman games failed to offer, with a much larger focus on the multiplayer aspect of the game.
Hitman: Absolution - I was incredibly excited to playtest Hitman as I had many fond memories playing Blood Money as a young teenager. Its been a long time since the previous Hitman game so I expecting something more than minor tweaks, but IO Interactive have improved Hitman more than I could have imagined. I was surprised at how much the new Hitman had changed, and with better mechanics and a revamped AI system it’s hard to say which aspect of the title isn’t a definite improvement on it’s predecessor.
The change in graphics had really impressed me, and it gave Hitman the facelift that it needed from its predecessor six years ago.The game’s surroundings wowed me, and it was much more realistic than the Hitman that I adored. The graphical upgrade from the previous game was much better than my mind could’ve comprehended, which I noticed as I walked around the packed Chinese market on the demo. The booth that I played on had a print out that showed me different ways that I could complete the mission and seeing that showed me just how much the game had been thought through, but to be different I had to find my own way.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - Having been a big fan of the Need for Speed series, I was eager to play the new addition to the Need for Speed series. The first Most Wanted game was released in 2005 and I spent many days sitting inside enthralled in it, which lead to hours of consecutive playtime, and now Criterion have had a second go at a remake. The game seemed to introduce features from Burnout, a game previously developed by Criterion Games, which I felt heavily improved the enjoyment factor when playing Most Wanted, and added more to the gameplay than simply racing and completing objectives, like other games of its kind.
Criterion Games has created changes within Need for Speed, without taking away the great aspects that the series already had. The developers have added takedowns which I feel add much in terms of gameplay, rather than just simply racing, and taking down your opponents drastically improved the enjoyability when racing. The game has a much higher element of realism with cars stopping at red lights, this is something that I feel Need for Speed needed within the series and helps to create a living, breathing city rather than something that feels manufactured.
You can catch Previews of all of the above titles and a whole host more on the Parable website over the course of the next 2 weeks so stay tuned!
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