Whilst this website will be primarily for music, I will be putting the odd post up about my other musings; in this case, the Eurogamer Expo!
Eurogamer Expo 2012
Last Sunday I was lucky enough to attend the Eurogamer Expo at Earls Court. Much like a trip to a theme park, one queues up for a while and gets ten minutes on the attraction which, in this case, is all the latest video games coming our way this Christmas. Over the next few days I will be posting up some accounts of what I saw at the show, so do enjoy!
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Back to the same old future.
In the programme for Eurogamer 2012 the main reassurance about Call of Duty was that, this time, it would be different! Treyarch, the game developers, were reinventing the franchise, trying out brand new ideas and, most importantly, “not playing it safe”. In other words, it was to be a Call of Duty experience like not other. From what I saw, yes, the futuristic setting and some new multiplayer modes do spice things up a little. Players are introduced to high-tec guns and airships, and a look into the future of warfare. For me however, this looks like the same old COD engine with a new, futuristic lick of paint. Despite not seeing the campaign, I would bet my Xbox and guitar on it being roughly 6-7 hours long, with “cinematic” set pieces (oh, how I’ve grown to hate that word) and a linear level design. Surely, in terms of gameplay, firing a chain lazer gun out of an airship is still the same as firing a regular chain gun out of a helicopter or harrier jet. I may be a grumpy bastard, but COD being relocated to the future isn’t quite sufficient to get me excited enough to fork out fifty pounds. But as we all know, COD isn’t about the single player at all. In fact, it may as well not exist. Treyarch have arguably developed the simplest, most perfect multiplayer FPS experience out there, which despite not doing anything new or drastic, still continues to entertain even the most cynical gamers like myself.
Of course there is also the Zombie mode, which I did not get to see properly, but it does looks as though it will provide a larger map with a more varied experience, plus an interesting feature which allows players to take a bus across the map. There are now three zombie modes: the classic ‘survival mode’ (which we all know and love), plus ‘grief’ and ‘transit’. I am most excited about transit as it reportedly involves a more open-world approach to zombies, featuring a huge map which players can traverse either on foot or by bus, adding a plethora of interesting tactical and exploration elements to the formula.
So, zombies, as always, sounds terrific. The rest of the game, as always, feels very similar. But that may not be a bad thing. Maybe in COD’s case it’s the familiarity that we all love. Maybe I just love to bitch and moan about things. Either way, you can’t beat a classic, delicious piece of cod.
Also, as this should really be an account of the Eurogamer Expo and not a game review (or should it? This is a first for me) I will also mention that the royal round table of cod was undeniably cool. Sadly I haven’t moved into the smart phone age yet so do not have a picture. Sorry folks.
Doom 3: BFG Edition
Classic impending Doom from ID software.
Few games have made blowing the shit out of demons from hell more entertaining than the Doom franchise. Often regarded as the first truly great first person shooter, it has more than earned the legendary status it has today. Doom 3, whilst not without its flaws, was a fantastic, and often terrifying, update for the franchise. At Eurogamer this year, eager gamers got to try out the much anticipated BFG edition – and as part of a section for which one didn’t have to queue, it was a welcome addition. This version doesn’t bring too much new, but offers slightly enhanced graphics and faster gameplay. It does, however, bring one thing which works wonderfully; stalking dark corridors, with a pistol and torch, in 3D! I’ve never been a fan of this gimmick in gaming or cinema, but with a game like Doom 3, 3D is put to fantastic, pant-pissingly good use. Especially when you add headphones and your bastard mate continuously grabbing you on the shoulder from behind whilst playing. OK, that bastard mate was me. Sorry Ash.
As well as all of this you get both Doom and Doom 2 to go with it; a pretty great package if you ask me.
Another controversial classic! Carmageddon caused outrage for its violent driving gameplay which awarded players points for knocking down pedestrians causing an awful, bloody mess. At one point the game was edited so that the pedestrians had green blood, which apparently made it all OK. But, sick minded gore hounds rejoice! Carmageddon is back in all its red-blooded glory on iphones and ipads – so now, cartoon mass murder can be played on the move! God help us. Honestly, I thought this little application having its own stand at Eurogamer was a bit unnecessary, but it did provide a nice nostalgia trip, a reminder of the games that parents used to go ape about, once upon a time. Compared to the realistic violence we have nowadays, Carmageddon is like a video game of wacky races. In terms of gameplay, this version runs pretty much the same as the old. Whilst it seemed slightly awkward to me, I am sure that players more accustomed with touch screen gaming will have a blast.
More Eurogamer talk to come in the next few days!