EGX Rezzed 2016

Last year I came, I saw, I forgot then I wrote about some of the games I played at EGX Rezzed 2015. Oops, I did it again, I played with your heart, got lost in the game. These games to be precise.

TOKYO 42

toyko42impression

I was pretty intrigued about this one after seeing the slick announcement trailer put out just before the show. It looked like a modern take of Syndicate with a little bit of Fez styling, and that’s exactly how it played too. There were also nudists, which I don’t remember in either of those games.

The movement feels right, the fighting is fresh and interesting. Really all this needs is more levels added as the ground mechanics and aesthetic themes are pretty solid right now. The devs seem very eager to focus on a multiplayer mode, which at once seems exciting but I’m personally wary of due to how much extra work that’ll be. I’d hate for it to distract from them delivering the full potential this game has as a single-player experience.

THE WORLD IS FLAT

OMAN

The Leftfield collection is a great space at Rezzed that does lots of non-traditional development and game interaction. Last year there was a coffin, this year there was a knife that chopped at people’s fingers.

But the knife machine was broken every time I went over to try it out, so I ended up confirming how shit my geography is. The World Is Flat is controlled using a giant exercise ball, which you spin around as your “world prop” to find whatever country you’re prompted to within a time limit. It was actually good fun, and I think it has real educational possibilities.

I mean, I can now tell you where fucking Burkina Faso is for one.

OVERCOOKED!

overcookedoversad

There were lots of local co-op games this year at Rezzed, a trend I quite like to give more variety to a party than Gang Beasts and Mount Your Friends. Lacking the swinging dicks of the latter title, Overcooked is great for turning your friends into swinging dicks.

It’s Cook, Serve, Delicious! only now with multiple people helping to prep each dish as it comes up for order. So up to 4 people now have to juggle chopping, cooking, cleaning and plating dishes which can either lead to a lot of shouting and chaos, or one time when I played with 3 strangers a strange harmonious silence where we nearly beat the top score. More often setting the kitchen on fire and shouting though.

JUST CAUSE 3: SKY FORTRESS

I’m not sure what a DLC expansion to a AAA release was doing at a primordially Indie event. There was a whole room dedicated to Just Cause 3: Sky Fortress, a room that was nearly the size of the ENTIRE Indie Games section. Here it is by comparison on the supplied map.

RezzedmapcomparisonSMALL

At no stage do I understand how this was worth it for Square Enix. It felt out of theme for the rest of the event celebrating PC/Indie/VR/Alternative Gaming, plus was the only area with lots of unplayed consoles at any time. I went up to try a version, and it was merely the full Just Cause 3 with no indication on how or where to start the DLC bit. It was odd and confusing anomaly in an otherwise excellent show. I got a fridge magnet though so 9/10 GOTY + Best in Show + I Accept Wire Transfer.

TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER

I love Warhammer. Back in my teen days hanging out at Games Workshop, Warhammer Fantasy was the more thoughtful and mature game about big men with weapons hitting big creatures compared to the more populist Warhammer 40K’s big space men with weapons hitting big space creatures. When 16 year olds around me were discovering other people could touch their genitals for them and go to gigs I was very excitedly hoping to roll a misfire on the first barrel then a six for the Hellblaster Volley Gun.

I’d hoped to get a little play of this in, but I’m terrible at being patient at these expos as I want to fit lots of things in. The one machine I sat down at to try it out had frozen so I gave up, but the bits I watched of other people playing this game makes me very excited. It’s looking to be a very good Total War game with Warhammer Fantasy daftness thrown in that the teen me always wanted (and installed mods trying to replicate).

General Event Thoughts…

Tobacco docks is still a brilliant venue, light and airy plus when you get tired of it all you’re a short walk away from all the cool things and food London has to offer. I don’t think I’ll bother with the main Eurogamer Expo again now it’s moved to Birmingham, being trapped on a show floor 30-60 minutes away from the City Center’s bars and good food last time killed the social reason I go to these events.

I met some great and lovely journos, devs and people this year, but some of the press side seemed especially cynical of the whole event and games in general. Back when I did it proper, Games Writing was lowly paid and highly competitive, a situation that has become worse. I can’t help but be a bit saddened over hearing folk seeing PR as their only way ‘out’, but that’s not too different to 5 years ago looking back on it. Still, when I’m job hunting myself and games continue to seem a fun thing to cover, it’s a mood killer seeing people in fortunate jobs feeling trapped there or that they can’t go on to other fun things due to the pressures of getting older.

Speaking of press at these events it feels weird to see barely any Print Journos about any more. Instead, there’s swathes of Youtubers pointing cameras whilst rollicking around the show floor that don’t interact with the traditional/online press in any form. It’s as though the Press side has a disparaging view of this medium and shuns them as unprofessional, whilst the Youtube side are either ignorant of the role of press or equally dismissive of them in turn as an outdated/’corrupt’ old guard. I’m just talking out of my arse here really.

All the VR stuff looked really exciting but I couldn’t be fucked with queuing or signing up to an appointment, and a show floor felt the wrong place to  fumble about in so it’ll be a mystery unchecked for now. I will say though that for Expos, the wet-wipeability of the HTC Vive and Playstation VR are a big plus compared to the fabric fitting of the Rift. 250+ people’s sweat all mingled together, a nice little sponge for your forehead.

I’m happy that an event like Rezzed exists where punters and small-time Indies can interact, and though I grumbled a bit about Just Cause 3’s presence I think having a few big ‘mainstream’ titles there helps ticket sales so long as they’re not dominating. If more people come to play those, then stick around the rest of the day to discover the other brilliance on offer then I think that’s a good thing.

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