I had a decision to make when the doors opened on day two of EGX. I knew the queues would be longer on a Friday. The decision was what to go for first. The longest queues on Day One were for Shadow Of War and Battlefront 2, but the former was decided upon as I think everyone else went for Battlefront 2!
Even though I went straight there when the doors opened the queue was still 90 minutes long!
But I persevered, took ownership of another months free Game Pass and had a nice chat with Nas (who was manning the adjacent Super Lucky’s Tale booth) who is not a gamer, so working at the show raised a lot of questions about the industry.
And the 90 minute queue was worth it. Shadow of War was running on the Xbox One X and looked awesome. Let’s face it, every game on the new machine looks awesome! I was struck by how many characters were on screen at once as the demo had me attacking a fortress with my army. I died, as it’s always a struggle jumping into a demo as it doesn’t take into consideration your lack of familiarity with the controls. However, the depth of enemy personality is still present, like its predecessor and I witnessed such lines as “I’m gonna put your insides on the outside!”, with a nice cockney accent! The demo lasted 20 minutes, and I had some time just running around the open world, climbing towers and taking out orcs with my bow. Overall, this has just cemented my decision that this will be a purchase or (hopefully) a review copy!
After a quick drink break it was onto Assassins Creed Origins, again on the Xbox One X. Yes, you guessed it, the game looks amazing in 4K! It had a Black Flag vibe to it, with the demo set in a small town on the coast. It required you to find two golden statues, one in a shipwreck and one being guarded on a ship. After sneaking onto the ship the game crashed, and the staff had to reboot and fix the dev kit, although I then was given the opportunity to take part in the next play session meaning I had about 35 minutes in the world. No crashes on the next session and I was able to infiltrate the ship and steal back the statue.
It’s an Assassins Creed game in name and nature. It does have the new eagle game mechanic which allows you to scout the location for enemies and loot before you head into battle. Fans of Assassins Creed will be delighted although I’m not convinced Origins will attract the doubters back over.
After lunch I had a prebooked PSVR appointment and once again I was failed to be impressed. Whether it’s just my eyes (as I am a glasses wearer), but games always feel blurred with a real lack of clarity. The game I played was a cutesy puzzle game called Moss. In Moss you take control of a mouse called Quill and have to guide him around the world using the PS4 controller. The VR element comes into play when you manually manipulate elements in the scenery to open new paths. Enemies can also be manipulated, for example, to stand on switches that open the path for Quill to proceed. Like with other VR demos I’ve played there didn’t seem to be any need to have this game in VR. It would have been just as good an experience as a standard PS4 game.
One game that’s the “In” thing at the moment is Player Unknowns Battlegrounds which was also being shown on the Xbox booth. I queued for an hour and was severely underwhelmed.
During the ten minute snippet of gameplay I encountered no enemies and saw no action. I collected a weapon, found a car and as I was on my way to a designated point on the map the time was called to move on. A very strange experience indeed. There really could have been a better way to demonstrate the game. But I am sure it will sell by the bucketload anyway! It was also running on PC, but apparently it is the Xbox build thats running on those PC’s.
Project Cars 2 had a PC Demo that ran on Samsung C49HG90 Curved monitors that were a bit special. Running in cockpit view allowed a width of vision unlike I’ve ever seen. The game looked and sounded phenomenal, but it’s doubtful I’ll ever have £1500 to spend on one of these monitors! It’ll be interesting to see how well Project Cars 2 does against Forza 7 on release.
Day 2 ended with Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Far Cry 5 demos, which I will cover off on the Day 3 review, as time is pushing on and I need to take down a full english before heading back to the NEC!