October 6, 2014
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So I’m almost done covering this year EGX, however there’s still a couple more experiences to get out from 2 gaming franchises that are actually more similar than initial appearance would have you believe. Their core gameplay both center around hunting down and taking out your target. With each iteration they expand in characters and weapons to try, which then may or may not be used on said characters. Both franchises have more trouble keeping to one timeline than a series of Doctor Who. I’m of course talking about Assassin’s Creed & Super Smash Bros. One, a collection of historical figures and an unrepentant murder fest, requiring a careful approach for the most satisfactory of kills. The other, Assassin’s Creed.
Standing tall against oppression and unnecessary business hashtags.
Starting with Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft had erected (don’t giggle) a private exhibition space to show a presentation on Assassin’s Creed: Unity. But before any of that, the first thing I spotted was “#UbiEGX” printed all over the outside walls. It took the following 24 hours and a google search for me to realise who they honestly thought would genuinely tweet that incredibly corporate hashtag. Ubisoft Employees.
Once in the 80-or-so strong viewing area we were shown the trailer shown at e3, a live demo of a single player mission to kill a Monsieur Sivert (we were reassured this could be played in multiplayer too), and an exclusive-to-EGX voice actors trailer going into the characters behind the main cast of AC:U. Though nothing was playable details would still be learned, but failing that at least we got to see a guard get teabagged in a cathedral.
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October 4, 2014
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It’s an odd sensation to be somehow get shocked and be not surprised in the slightest, but that’s the kind of emotion Microsoft seems good at evoking recently. One week, they buy out of Minecraft, next time they decide to skip Windows 9, a Microsoft decision is always an occasion. This time it was because Microsoft pulled the same big box, closed exhibitions set-up they used last year. Several of their big games had large black-curtained perimeters, restricting queuing space and stopping people from actually seeing the game. As someone who came interested in seeing Sunset Overdrive, if I could peer over another player’s shoulder and experience the game through some sort of little sibling-like vicarious osmosis, I’d feel more comfortable dedicating myself to the 30+ minutes queuing it might take to play it. The amount of space it and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s sections enclosed were so large, they could have hosted a deathmatch IRL and you’d never know. It all seemed a little unfair that while Sunset Overdrive was closed off, FIFA 15 was OPEN TO THE WORLD. It was everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. It was so everywhere you could see people navigating a forested fantasy labyrinth in Fable Legends or a treacherous monster-infested mountain-side in Guild Wars 2 or…hosting a Twitch stream, and less than 3 feet away someone would be arm pumping a chip shot over the keeper.
He’s looking at all the people who came to play FIFA 15 more than Sunset Overdrive.
Sony’s exhibition space on the other hand, was a stark contrast. While the Xbone hive brain ensured cluttered aisles making certain paths inaccessible thanks to closed demo areas, Sony’s open plan layout made their entire area a congested mosh pit of body parts and hylian shield backpacks. It was a lot more welcoming but between the stage, the 200+ bodies and the electric blue lighting, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d arrived at the ministry of sound rather than Sony’s entertainment expo. Read more of this post
October 2, 2014
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Although I’m not often in the habit of writing sequels, after 12 months fate seems to have returned me to London’s Earl Court for EGX London (formerly known as Eurogamer Expo) to experience the sights, sounds and delightfully shorter-than-expected queuing behind this year’s video gaming feast. If Los Angeles’ E3 is Show & Tell, London’s EGX is playtime! And I guess GamesCom is like a happy free period in Cologne, Germany. And Tokyo Games Show is like a favourite lesson in Japan, maybe? And then there’s the Game Developers Conference, and Comic-Con…even Paris have a game festiva-…But anyway, here’s a suspiciously lengthy recount (really glad I didn’t commit to tweeting this again) on my short time at EGX. And believe me, it was short. Note to future self, even though you happened to have an hour or two to spare last year, do not opt for the mid-afternoon entry. You’ll make a personal promise to come back to the indie developer/student games design projects after you’ve seen other stuff. Plot spoiler, you didn’t.
Once again, I started at Nintendo’s area. Less because of a predisposed affinity with Nintendo, more due to the 30ft tall Pac-Man & Mega Man posters visible right at the entrance. Like a moth to an 8-bit flame, I was hovering around a queue, on pause to play Masahiro Sakurai’s latest offering to the fighting genre, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. There was buzz that the Nintendo (Treehouse? Unleashed? Super Smash Staff?) team were running a competition where, at the top of the hour, they’d take the winners of 4 separate Smash Bros. 3DS matches up to a stage to play the Wii U version of the game in front of a crowd of screaming Nintendo lovers and bewildered parents. Having endlessly played the demo and watched enough Twitch streams Charles Xavier couldn’t get Villager’s merciless stare out of my mind, I thought I could give the contest a go. So I left Smash Bros. to better time my spot in the queue.
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