EB Games Expo 2013 Sydney

Hi folks, my name is Alex (game name Macus) and I recently had the opportunity to check out the EB games Expo 2013 all the way over in Sydney Australia. Once again the expo has me pumped for what’s to come from the gaming industry, with two of the more obvious highlights being the new gen consoles, Xbox one and PS4 to be launched at the end of November. There is so much I want to say and wish I could convey on what I played and saw roaming around the expo (shout out to all the gamers that were there, whooo!), but given my poor memory and my word limits I’ve mentioned only a few games (not necessarily the best ones!) below with a paragraph on what I loved, hated and challenges I foresee in its future. But first a brief spiel on each of the new gen consoles and their presentations.

PS3_dualshock_systemThe PlayStation 4 (PS4) presentation started with a look back at previous advertising campaigns and features from the last generations (interesting… but eh). Eventually we got a look at some of the gameplay footage for one of the primary titles to be launched next year, Infamous: Second Son, which managed to pull off the amazing ability of looking great (like high tier computer processing great) and running smoothly… at the same time! (almost mind blowing stuff for console users, I assure you). A real concern for the PS4 currently revolves around whether any of the launch titles for it will actually be any decent (very dependent on Killzone and this is not a good thing). The controller, while still feeling quite fragile, now looks and handles a bit better. It has a new touch pad that I didn’t use while at the expo, and the triggers feel better to press in comparison to its predecessors, if not by much.  More info can be found at http://au.playstation.com/ps4/

Xbox oneXbox one overall had the better presentation, with three games as opposed to one shown off over the hour and with only a very brief mention of its ‘revolutionary’ (please note sarcasm) T.V function. Forza 5, Ryse: Son of Rome and Dead Rising 3 certainly looked great and ran smoothly on the platform. While none of these games are slated to be game of the year (of either this one or next), there are sure to be a large group of gamers who eagerly, and rightfully so, await their release. On the controller, the triggers have now been moved to the top, very similar to the PS4 model, which for me personally is a bit disappointing. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Short of this little changes have been made, and it still stands as my preferred console controller option for the next generation. More info can be found at http://www.xbox.com/en-AU/xbox-one/xbox-one-games

TF_Lagoon_Pilot_TitanTitanfall was the most popular game on show by far (even with my express ticket almost had to wait an hour for a hands on play!). Started by a lot of the people who worked on the Call of Duty (COD) franchise, Titanfall brings a fusion of future tech, gunplay, giant mechs, campaign and multiplayer so well that it is simply mind-blowing. You will be double jumping onto walls, only to than sprint across them and dash about climbing buildings and ambushing others. Also if you weren’t already impressed by the words ‘giant mechs’ they handle brilliantly and feel like a real powerhouse without actually being overpowered. I can see this as being an extremely addictive and enjoyable multi FPS, especially for fans of Halo or COD, my most highly recommended! Challenges for the game will come down to how well the Single player is implemented and whether the game will have the longevity to provide all gamers with hours upon hours of great gameplay. More info can be found at http://www.titanfall.com/au

Ryse Son of RomeRyse:Son of Rome is, simply put, a gladiator game that will have you parading around in armour (or lack thereof), slashing apart barbarians and roaming about both in and out of the arena. Single player follows the story of Ryse (although I know little about this). The Multiplayer on the other hand will have you fighting co-operatively in the arena, dodging a variety of traps and fighting waves of enemies in order to entertain the crowd. The controls reminded me at first of Dark Souls (especially rolling), however differences, such as parrying use the “A” button on the Xbox controller is a big change. My biggest concern at this point in time for the game is the camera which, while getting you close into the action, can also be a major pain in the butt, almost literally, as your butt tends to block out parts of the field of vision (FOV) in front of you. Certainly worth keeping an eye out for although I will admit it is not prioritized on my “to buy” list. More info can be found at http://www.crytek.com/games/ryse/overview

Elder Scrolls OnlineFor Elder Scrolls Online I should immediately start by saying I have had no hands on experience for this game and my thoughts are drawn primarily from the Bethesda presentation, however the beta is currently up for those eager enough to check it out. From what I did see though, I got to say it looked pretty sweet, from the high level of graphics considering the game is set to be an MMO, down to the potentially enormous world the game is set to span in. Perhaps one of the biggest changes is the elimination of selecting from servers and instead being placed into one massive server that operates on a level I have yet to comprehend. There are still so many questions raised though, will combat function smoothly, how well will this new server system run and will this just be one of the many MMO’s that fail to topple the king World of Warcraft from its rightful throne? However I still eagerly await its release and pray Bethesda do it the justice it deserves. More info and beta can be found at http://elderscrollsonline.com/en

bf4-dd-heroBattlefield 4 is perhaps one of the most anticipated games of the year, again set to host some of the biggest action packed shooting that we expect to see from a Triple AAA title (article on the beta will hopefully be up over the next week). Things look even prettier now (if you can believe it) and environmental destruction from what I have seen has been taken to a whole new level to the extent they created a buzzword for it, ‘levolution’. Some of the best examples of this include seeing giant destroyers crash into islands, a skyscraper collapsing onto the ground, and a flood barricade being broken which than consequently floods the streets and forces players to traverse much of the area via boat. I got to do a hands-on play through, playing on a massive map made up of smaller islands while fighting for control of a single bomb in an attempt to blow up bases belonging to the enemy team. Halfway through the match, an in game storm kicked in and it made for some really nice environmental effects especially when splashing about in the many boats made available. It was overall great fun and that was only with around 16 players, 64 players should be enough to blow minds. My fears for this game revolve around whether the changes shown at the expo are really enough to differentiate it from the previous titles such as, on a personal note, whether the speed of progression in unlocking new gear in multiplayer (especially the ability to shoot in jets) has been improved. More info can be found at http://www.battlefield.com/au/battlefield-4

On a final note (other stuff I couldn’t remember well enough, didn’t get time to check out or didn’t have room to fit in this article), there were so many games that I was able to see and pay through including a very early Dark Souls 2 gameplay demo, Zelda Windwaker HD, Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Watchdogs, Need for Speed Rivals, New Super Mario Bros 3D land WiiU, Mario Kart 8 and so much more. I only wish I could go through all of these in the level of detail they deserve, but I will say again that I am pumped for the end of 2013 and start of 2014 as it brings about a whole slew of games worth sinking many hours into. If you have any questions on the expo or the stuff I did check out, be sure to leave a comment, I may not be able to go into depth on everything in this article, but comments are another matter, happy gaming all! For those who are curious, the EB games Sydney 2013 expo info can be found at http://www.ebexpo.com.au/