This last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend the EB Expo on the Gold Coast, while I have attended many conventions before and given my full-time job as a worker in a hotels conference department, I have been behind the scenes of many conferences and expos in the past, the EB Expo was something on a whole new scale.
Over the two days that the show was open I spent a lot of my time in queues or standing back and watching as people played games all around me but I did not spend all my time in idle thought. I was extremely lucky to be able to play a good number of the biggest titles coming out in the next few months. While a couple of the triple A titles held no appeal to me, there were enough other games to keep me more than busy.
Since I am fond of lists, I will do a quick list of my personal highlights at the expo. Some of these games are coming out very, very soon and a couple are still a few months off, all of them were excellent.
— Resident Entertain.. (@ResiEntertain) October 8, 2017
Wolfenstein 2: A New Colossus
Bethesda have been going from strength to strength with their first-person shooters, the company previously only known for Elder Scrolls and Fallout now have a solid reputation with both Doom and Wolfenstein to their name. In this case, the good reputation is well earnt.
The gameplay is just as smooth as Wolfenstein: The New Order and the gore is all there as well. This game is not for the faint of heart. In fact, the booth at EB Expo was a closed room that was restricted to people 18 and over. While I think that might be a little excessive personally, if you don’t want your young teenager to very graphically tear digital enemy’s limb from limb then perhaps get them a different game.
The demo I played, I believe, was the same one shown at E3 earlier this year, so no new information about the game was given out, but that’s ok. Wolfenstein 2 launches in Australia on the 27th of October. I can’t wait to see what happens after the cliffhanger that they left me with.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 is the only Ubisoft game that I could bring myself to play. Partly because of the enormous lines but also because after my experience with ‘Watch Dogs’ I have been a bit sour on the studio. I feel like most of their games are just clones of the previous one, except with maybe a slightly more powerful graphics engine and a new story. Far Cry 5 was not massively surprising in its execution, meaning that it was nothing new.
Playing it reminded me a lot of my time playing the first game back when I was in high school. The aiming felt clunky and the movement controls were very normal. Nothing about Far Cry 5 stood out to me, but about 90% of the crowd at EB Expo would probably disagree with me. If you like the previous games, then Far Cry 5 will probably not disappoint you.
Ni No Kuni 2
Ni No Kuni 2 is one of the handful of games that I was very excited to get my hands on and it did not let me down. I love the aesthetic of this game. Not only is the art amazing but the controls are easy to understand and very smooth to play. Instead of the exploration and boss fights that were available to play on the demo, I decided to try the new feature that has been added to the game.
It’s something of a RTS/Beat em up mash up that reminds me of the paper/rock/scissors method of gameplay in a lot of games these days but with a touch of Dynasty Warriors style of smashing away huge swathes of enemies. I’m told this new mini game is how the characters travel from region to region, probably for the first time, as the story moves along. It was great fun and an excellent addition to the franchise. I look forward to playing Ni No Kuni 2 again soon.
The return of sonic to the major consoles is a huge thing. Not only that, it’s a well-done variation. For the last decade Sonic fans have had to make do with older games or the honestly sub-par releases from the primary studios. But now, finally, a Sonic game that lives up to the previous ones is on the verge of release.
Of course, my judgement on the game is a bit skewed. I was never very good at the original sonic games and Sonic Forces is no different. The boss level that I was playing on, destroyed me. A lot. It was embarrassing. But since the original games did the same thing, while I could progress a decent amount in some of the more recent releases, I think they have managed to capture my Sonic nostalgia very well.
I look forward to hearing what more rabid fans of the franchise think.
Detroit: Become Human
From the studio who gave us the masterpieces of ‘Beyond: Two Souls’ and ‘Heavy Rain’ we get yet another highly cinematic game. Quantic Dream never fails to amaze me with how gorgeous their games are. The scene that I got to play was just a short part of the game, hardly even 5 minutes long, depending on how much time you took it could be longer. I was told that that one scene has six different endings, everything from a ‘happy ending’ all around to a ‘very, very bad end’. I got somewhere in the middle I am happy to say.
The controls on this game are a bit strange but not so stupid that it requires a long time to figure them out. My only possible complaint it about how the camera follows and controls but hopefully in the full game there is some customization there. Overall though ‘Detroit: Become Human’ is probably going to be one of the biggest names in early 2018, if you enjoy the heavy story type of game then it’s a must have.
Super Mario Odyssey
I had to get in very early to play Super Mario Odyssey, and with good reason. The lines for this game was on par with the Ubisoft lines, because this new Super Mario game is amazing fun. It was my first time using a Nintendo Switch and I was able to figure out the controls almost instantly. Not only did it play extremely smoothly but it looked amazing. This game is going to be a great addition to the library of any Switch owners, it’s fun gameplay and the portable nature of the Switch put it miles above any Mario game on the DS.
After playing Super Mario Odyssey I am now sorely tempted to get a Switch. A financial move I was not even considering before last weekend. That’s just how good this game and the console are. This comes out the same day as Wolfenstein 2 in Australia, so it’s a great alternative pick up for anyone who doesn’t want to bath in the blood of their enemy’s.
Overall, EB Expo was great fun. The chance to spend a couple of days playing games that are not even released yet, some of which won’t even come out till next year, is something that I never thought I would get without first going to the United States. So EB Games bringing a small taste of E3 to Australia shores is something of a dream come true.
I can’t wait for next year, I will do my best to attend, regardless of where it is going to be held in 2018. I can’t wait to play more exclusive and meet more amazing people.