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Eurogamer Expo: Ginge's Impressions Part 1

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Eurogamer Expo, is an event that I have wanted to attend for a few years now.  Last year I even had my passes sorted, before real life work got in the way and I was unable to go.  But this year was the year.  After again sorting passes, this time I booked travel, hotel and time off work to ensure that I was going to be there in person.  I had everything packed, and it was only just as I stepped on the bus I realised I had forgotten my glasses.  I was in for a few days of eye strain, but I didn’t care, Eurogamer Expo, here I come to indulge in everything you have to offer.

On arriving in Earl’s Court, one game immediately stood out.  Draped all over the front of the building were huge posters/banners for Bethesda and Arkane Studios new game Dishonored.  I was looking forward to this game, but I didn’t know at the time that it would turn out to be my game of the show, but more on that in a bit.

I attended the Expo for a day and a half (Thursday and Friday) which gave me a decent amount of time to sample a fair few games.  This write up contains my brief thoughts on the games that I managed to play or get a look at.  Bear in mind that I only got 15-20 minutes with each game (a bit longer with a couple) so I only got a small look at what each game offered.

I didn’t quite realise how long the queues would be, and on the Thursday morning I found myself a fair way back in the queue.  I made sure I was there bright and early on the Friday to ensure I got to the games I didn’t manage to play on the first day.   I found myself looking on in awe as I entered Earls Court.  The place is huge, and was wall to wall full of gaming areas, trade sections (Insert Coin + Turtle Beach merch anyone?) and more.  I had been advised that queues in the 18+ section build up quickly so I headed there first each day to avoid the crowds of people – a tactic that I will employ at future expo’s.  Below (in no particular order) is the roundup of all the game that I played over the 2 days:




Genre: First Person Stealth Action Adventure

Developer: Arkane Studios

Publisher: Bethesda


Without a shadow of a doubt, this was the game of the show for me.   It’s not very often these days we get new original IP’s released, and far too many times they are quickly shot down and are sent to the bargain bucket a few months after release.

Dishonored is a first person, stealth action adventure game (with a bit of shooting rolled in for added measure).  It is being developed by Arkane Studios who helped out with Bioshock 2, and is being published by Bethesda (of Elder Scrolls and Fallout fame, along with many others).  This was the first game I went on Thursday morning, and returned a few times during the day.  I was one of the first people there and was shown the ropes by one of the helpful helpers.

I was expecting a good game, due to the hype that it was building.  But I was surprised just how much I enjoyed it.  Now I’m not a stealthy gamer by any stretch of the imagination.  I would much prefer to go in blasting away.  But Dishonored gives you so many ways to approach an objective.  I played through differently each time I played the same level.  You have a knife/sword in your right hand, then you can equip and one of a whole plethora of weapons/powers to your left hand.  And using them in combination with each other can yield spectacular results.  You can take control of enemies, quick travel short distances, wield crossbows with various tips (explosive, tranquilizer), force push, summon carnivorous rats and many more.  You can genuinely play through several occasions and do things completely differently, through taking different routes, using different powers etc (you can even possess animals!).  There are civilians you can choose to save to give you extra objectives/information on current objective, and achievements to gain if you complete the game without killing anyone.

The game controls nicely and anyone used to controlling a first person game will get to grips with them quickly.  I’m also a fan of the graphics and art style they have gone with for the characters and the world.

If you are not aware of this game yet, I urge you to look into it, and get excited.  To whet your appetite, here’s a video:



Halo 4

Genre: FPS

Developer: 343 Industries

Publisher: Microsoft Studios


After the community event the night before (check out the arcticle HERE) I was already suitably impressed by Halo 4, and as such wasn’t in a rush to play it again with other more pressing games to get to.  Saying that I did get on for a small session on the Friday, and again very much enjoyed it.  Straight up multiplayer was on the cards at the expo, and an 11 kill streak with the trusty Plasma Sword left one of the booth helpers suitably impressed (I don’t know how I get this big head through the door sometimes :P).  The maps that I played seemed well balanced and well laid out.

I’ll say the same as I did about the game in the previous article.  It plays very well from my point of view.  Some won’t be happy that they have introduced the ability to sprint whenever you please, and the killstreak bonuses may seem like they are taking too much from Call of Duty.  But, 343i are in a difficult position, where if they didn’t make any changes there would be outcry for changes to have happened, and now they have made changes they will have people moaning about them.  I think the game plays very well, and is very enjoyable.  It will be up to the rest of the Halo faithful to decided whether they like what has been done to the game, and whether they want to jump on the Halo bandwagon again.



Tomb Raider

Genre: Action Adventure

Developer: Crystal Dynamics

Publisher: Square Enix


This is the reboot of the classic series, which explores Lara’s early life as she is involved in a boat crash and stranded on an island.  We were playing the pre beta hunting level at the expo, the same level that has been seen by many being played by the developers and at other gaming shows.  I was looking forward to getting hand on with this game, because I was dubious as to whether the game would really look as good as it did in the playthroughs I had previously seen.  And it does!  What an absolutely gorgeous game this is.  There are seamless transitions from cutscene to controlling Lara, up to a point where I was sitting and watching and wondered why she had stopped moving.  I soon realised that I was now in control.  The island where the game takes place feels like a living and breathing place, with animals moving around and the rain battering down.  It’s genuinely a beautiful piece of work from the developers.

You get a real sense of desperation and fear from Lara as she is fighting for survival in a foreign land.  The control system is smooth and it’s easy to navigate around the place.  I found myself just walking around and admiring the scenery on a few occasions.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on Tomb Raider.  It’s never been a franchise that I’ve paid attention to in the past, but the reboot is ticking all the right boxes for me.



Far Cry 3

Genre: Open World FPS

Developer: Ubisoft

Publisher: Ubisoft


Having not played the original Far Cry, and getting quite bored of Far Cry 2 (despite looking forward to it), I haven’t been expecting much of this third iteration.  But, the trailers and what I have seen so far gameplay wise had me intrigued again.  I only got a very short go on Far Cry 3.  The demo puts you in control of a character with seemingly no objectives.  I went out to explore the quite frankly gorgeous looking open world island.  I soon found myself a gun and headed in the direction of a radio tower.  I didn’t know what to expect of the location.  As I arrived I quickly dispatched a couple of enemies with my pistol, and picked up their SMG’s.

After scaling the large radio tower, and fixing it, I discovered it worked in very much the same way as the viewpoints in Assassins Creed.  Once a radio tower is fixed, it unlocks more areas of the map, and new destinations for you to check out.  I went to pick up a few bits of treasure and that was me done.  Despite only having a quick blast on Far Cry 3, my expectations of it have increased a couple of notches and it now feature on my ‘probably buy’ list.   It’s going to be a huge game to be sure (land size wise), but I really hope it’s a Far Cry game that I can get into, and enjoy.  And on the first small play, and the trailers I have seen, I think it will be.



And that’s all for today.  Check back over the next couple of days for the rest of my Eurogamer Experience. PART 2, PART 3


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