In the second and final part of my look at what EGX had to offer I’ll be shooting soldiers in the face, have a look at some smaller stuff and remembering why I hate old school JRPG’s.
What better way to start a new day than a double Call of Duty whammy of Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered. Both were multiplayer demos and really showcased how the series has changed over the years. Being the more futuristic of the two, Infinite Warfare features a jumping ability with the weapons all feeling like after firing they stick to the target more, whereas Modern Warfare the guns (at least the ones I was using) all had some serious recoil to them. It was quite a shock going from one to the other.
Both games were setup with a similar mode, capturing control points on the map and despite not playing a COD game for a few years now, I did alright. Our team winning the first game despite me coming last on the leaderboard (only by a bit though!). Modern Warfare is where our team came undone though as (for those who are familiar with the Crash map) the main helicopter point was a section of pure death for anyone who entered it.
I would’ve liked there to be a single player demo, but I understand I’m in the minority when it comes to playing COD games for their campaign as opposed to the multiplayer. Still, what I played was mightily impressive and I’m very close to pre-ordering just so I can experience Modern Warfare once again. Maybe if this is a success they can start to remasters some of the other games too, I wouldn’t mind a return to Call of Duty 2.
The Do-rag is back on!
Have I just been not paying attention, or is the hype around Gears of War 4 significantly lower than the previous games? Not necessarily a bad thing as too much hype can kill a game, just ask No Man’s Sky, but for an Xbox exclusive that was regarded as one of the tent poles of the original 360 line-up it all seems a little quiet. Again though, maybe I’m just hanging around in the wrong circles of the internet, as the queue at EGX was one of the longer ones. Two queues in fact, one for single player and one for Horde mode. Horde mode was much longer (about three hours according to the guy running the stand) compared to the single player one which was roughly an hour wait. Horde mode was a nice distraction, but the single player is what I wanted to see the most, so an hour wait it was.
Good news is it’s another Gears of War game. Marcus Fenix now relegated to side character so his son can take the lead, despite taking off the do-rag at the end of Gears 3 he’s put it back on to shoot more Locusts. One thing with this game is it looks gorgeous. Amongst the shooting there’s a great set piece where there’s a massive storm, wind blowing objects across the map (including grenades as I found out when I threw one it came back in my face) and a strange unnatural lightning storm that has to be avoided. The lighting effects are simply stunning and you can tell why they chose this portion of the game to showcase the graphical effects.
As far as gameplay goes, you shoot some enemies, hide behind chest high cover and roadie run to the next objective, little has changed in its jump to Xbox One. It may sound like I’m being negative, but the combat in those games was always highly satisfying and you know what, I wouldn’t mind a current gen Gears of War game.
The Worst of JRPG’s
Later in the day at an EGX it’s normal to just give up on the bigger queues and look for the smaller ones when it’s nearer to closing time. I did this by taking a quick look at World of Final Fantasy. A JRPG throwback which seems to exist purely as fan service for those who think the Final Fantasy series is straying too far away from its roots. Unfortunately those roots contain random battles, my biggest hate of them all. It’s why I love the more modern games in the genre, they place the enemies on the field so you can fight or avoid them depending on whether you need the experience or not.
The chibi look is okay but is automatically killed when any character speaks. The voice acting is atrocious and high pitched, almost making my Tornado-infused migraine return. I did a few random battles (which despite being low level and early in the game take way too long) before I put the controller down and walked off. The worst game of the show for me sadly.
Best of Rezzed
I sadly didn’t get much time to try out what the Rezzed section had to offer. A selection of indie titles, there’s always some hidden gems there to find, most notably Gang Beasts which you can hardly call “hidden” anymore as it’s gained such a following over the past couple of years. Out of all the games in the Rezzed area, this had the biggest crowd gathered around to witness the madcap wrestling action.
A newer games I saw was The Bunker. I became aware of this thanks to a video on Giantbomb. An FMV game where you control a man alone in a bunker who has never stepped outside, it looks to be a great mystery about what really happened underground. Surprisingly good production values, it doesn’t seem to be the most involving game around, but for fans of FMV (and who isn’t?) it looks to be worth picking up.
Across the way from the Rezzed section was Team 17’s collection of titles it’s publishing. This is the part where I basically say that Overcooked is amazing and was the best multiplayer game if the show. If you have enough friends who would be interested then buy it as it is available now.
The Show is Over
And so another EGX comes to a close. Sadly despite spending two days at the NEC it was still not enough time to play the likes of Horizon and Final Fantasy XV. But from what I did see there were some definite highlights and lowlights. While a lot of the AAA stuff I saw could essentially be described as more of the same, I still had a great time chain sawing locusts in Gears of War and running around Green Hill Zone once again.
It’s definitely added a few more games to my pre-order list for this holiday season. See you next year!