By Gemma @Juicy Game Reviews
Eurogamer is the UK's largest video game expo. On September 24th through to September 27th (inclusive) I had the pleasure of attending two of those days and got the chance to sample some of the gaming industries finest future AAA titles. To name a few; Star Wars Battlefront, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Starfox Zero were worth well over an hours stand in line. Before we unpick the details of this unbelievable gaming expo let's tap in to the opportunities on offer at EGX.
For the last seven years Eurogamer had been held in the nations capital, London. This year The NEC in Birmingham played host to the likes of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo and not to mention the undeniably passionate indie community. 75,000 people attended the Eurogamer this year which is a testament to the gaming community as a whole. Me personally? I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I couldn't wait to get my hands on that Xbox One controller and start playing the demo of Rise of the Tomb Raider. We'll come back to this one later in the article.
Not only is Eurogamer for the players but Gamesindustry.biz always have a strong presence to help recruit the next budding game designer. I've attended the last three EGX events and I've always found this area to be a real asset to the expo. It says 'we want this industry to continue to grow' and that makes me fill up with pride. Long live the gaming community.
Typically I've always found that Sony have the eclipsing presence at Eurogamer. The largest games, the biggest queues and by far the better console in terms of exclusives. This year I was highly disappointed though. Most of the AAA Sony titles were already out and were sat on my shelves at home . Star Wars Battlefront had a queue that took three hours to get to the front. Major downer for me. Destiny: The Taken King was out, as was Mad Max. To be honest, that was about it for my Sony Experience. Over to the main contenders, Microsoft had The Rise of the Tomb Raider (what a stunning game. Graphics, gameplay and the voice acting were all spot on), Halo 5: Guardians, Lego Dimensions and more. Let's not forget the awesome Microsoft stage that housed talks from Bethesda and MakinGames with Raging Justice. The child inside of me wanted to take home the huge Vault Boy statue that perched at the foot of the Microsoft stage.
Close to the Indie section of the expo stood Nintendo. A plethora of colour and familiar sounds (Mario Bros and Mario Kart game sounds riding the airwaves) made me feel fantastic. Nintendo did a great job this year compared to last as their presence was immense. The only downside was that there was no official Nintendo Store this year. I enquired about the lack of store and the Nintendo rep kindly replied "we had no room for it this year" Can you believe that? THAT is how much floor space the mighty Nintendo occupied.
I was disappointed that I didn't get to play Zelda Triforce Heroes but I stood watching other players and I can report that the game looks beautiful. I've got a real soft spot for the top/down Zelda games. Perhaps it's due to my love and passion for A Link to the Past? Of course it is.
The over 18s area had some pretty sick titles this year. Titles included: Assassins Creed Syndicate, Just Cause 3 and a dev session for the up and coming Hitman game. Now I'm not sure about you but I lost touch with the Assassin's Creed series after the second title (although Assassin's Creed Black Flag had some redeeming features). I played Syndicate and I wasn't all that impressed. Nothing felt new. The parkour was the same, the stealth and the kills. Nothing really appealed so I won't be purchasing it. Will you?
I was mightily impressed with the Rezzed area this year. There are so many talented developers that deserve every success within our booming gaming industry. My personal highlights were Poncho, Unbox and Raging Justice. Poncho seemed to take inspiration from Fez in the cute, vibrant and pixelated aesthetics. The goal was to progress by transitioning in and out of the fore, mid and background. The game mechanics felt smooth and conceptually the idea was one of the best in the bunch. Unbox also floored me. Developed by Prospect Games, we are primed with some incredibly colourful worlds and characters alike whom take the form of boxes. Yes boxes that seem packed full of life and personality. Race, discover and fight your way through this amazing new world. My personal favourite was the Mario Kart style races. You must check this out. Finally, Raging Justice! Raging Justice made me want to sit at Makin Games' booth all day and play. Imagine Final Fight and Streets of Rage both tied together. The result is Raging Justice; a fast paced, action packed side scroller with immensely pleasing graphics. Raging Justice serves the gamers that lived and breathed the 16bit era and if you're not familiar with that majestic era of gaming then play it anyway. You won't be disappointed.
Overall, Eurogamer 2015 was a great personal success. I played everything I wanted to play and will definitely be returning next year.
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We're well in to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One era of gaming. Graphics had never looked so smooth and gameplay had never flowed so fluently. Let's not forget the triumphant last Generation of gaming with the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii; all of which I have a lot of time for.
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