Eurogamer Expo 2011

And so, after a long night of coverage and an early caffeine infused start to the day, Day Two of the Eurogamer Expo can begin.

I chose this morning to head for one of the other top picks on everyone’s ‘must play’ list…

Battlefield 3 Multiplayer

Call of Duty’s arch nemesis and biggest threat, Battlefield 3 was being showcased on all three systems at the Eurogamer Expo, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC – I opted for the Xbox 360 version.

Battlefield 3

Starting out in Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer, my team and I were confined to an underground subway station, virtually eliminating all of the overground graphics which EA and DICE have been featuring on the television adverts and trailers up to this point.

Moving with my team we were sent into a simple deathmatch situation with the opposing team, unfortunately I think I may have been playing against seasoned Battlefield players as I found myself dying an awful lot.

After roughly five minutes of near constant re-spawning on my part I finally got my bearings and started earning some kills, opting for the ridiculously accurate pistol side-arm, even managing to impress a couple of the EA staff with my ability to endlessly barrage unwitting players with pistol bullets.

Unfortunately, Battlefield 3 just didn’t feel as inherently fun as playing Spec Ops on Modern Warfare 3 the day before. Perhaps there are different multiplayer modes which are equally as fun if not more so. Perhaps the campaign mode will obliterate Modern Warfare‘s. All I can say with any degree of certainty is that Battlefield 3 didn’t leave a great first impression. It is a great game, don’t get me wrong, and visually it is stunning, easily equal to, if not greater than, Modern Warfare 3.

Battlefield 3

After spending time with some of the helpful guys at both DICE and EA, and also talking to some of the other players at the Expo, I think that Battlefield 3 has the very reachable potential of not only being the best Battlefieldgame yet but also the best team modern combat simulator out today. One person even quoted as saying “It’s a shame people just want to run off and shoot everything and not work as a team, that would make it feel like Battlefield”

Playstation Vita

As I was passing through the Eurogamer Expo on my second day there, I realized that it was still early enough that the regular ticket holders had not entered the building yet and the Press and Early Bird ticket holders were free to play virtually whatever they wanted without fears of two hour long queues, so I took this unique moment to get a hands-on with Sony’s latest super-powered toy, the Playstation Vita!

PS Vita

Image courtesy of Eurogamer.net

After queuing for roughly thirty minutes, myself and the several people in my general vicinity were all handed little Playstation business cards at random. On the back of these cards would be the game which we would have demoed to us by a member of Sony staff. I was lucky enough to get the Little Deviantscard which was the game I was sincerely hoping for. It being the only one on demonstration which featured all off the Vita’s functions: the front and rear touch screens, the camera and the built-in, three-axis gyroscope.

The first thing which struck me about the Vita was the weight, or lack thereof! The Vita was extremely light, much lighter than it’s comparably bulky predecessor, the Playstation Portable. Granted this model was connected and subsequently chained to the desk which I was sat at by various wires so one of these could have easily been the power supply and the Vita could have been battery-less at the time.

EE2011 Pic

Image courtesy of Eurogamer.net

 

I was informed by the Sony rep, whom I was sat with, though that the model I was happily playing around with was a model in development so some components may or may not be present, explaining the absence of weight. Though they did say that the Vita was due for release in Japan this December and, in their own words “I wouldn’t expect it much later over here.”

For a full rundown of the features presented to me at the Eurogamer Expo, be sure to keep an eye out for my preview coming soon.

Rage

“The prettiest game in this generation”, “The pinnacle of this console generation’s graphics, full stop!” Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the hyped hysteria of a game when you are surrounded by people who are excited about it to the point of fanaticism, but the moment you look at Rage, the latest first person shooter published by Bethesda and developed by Id Software, you quickly realize that the general hyped up masses are completely correct.


As I mentioned, Rage (characterized as R@ge) is a brutal first person shooter developed by the grandfather of FPS designers, coming from the same software house that bought us Doom and Castle Wolfenstein 3D, Id Software have not only pushed the boat out with Rage’s graphics but bought the whole shipping yard, built the best looking boat they can and named it S.S Rage!

I started my Rage demo being given a choice of three missions to undertake. There was the Prison section, which I was told would suit people with a preference for tactical shooters, the Arena-esque section which would suit people who just wanted to blow stuff up, and the Garage section which would suit people who wanted to get behind the wheel of a dangerous vehicle and run people over. Wonderful already!

Choosing the Garage section to break my normal ‘blow lots of thing up’ mantra in FPS’s, I found myself moving through a beautifully rendered derelict building to begin with, looking for parts to a car engine.

When I say Rage is a beautiful game ladies and gents, I really mean that Rage is a beautiful, running at a smooth 60fps and quickly rendering the graphics straight from the disc. Rage is a unique graphical experience. Imagine playing Borderlands, that post-apocalyptic wasteland surrounding, and now render that with a graphics engine that would effectively make Crysis 2 blush for feeling inadequate. Now you have Rage!


Equipped with both a pistol and an automatic rifle, I moved through the level. A few bandit type enemies blocking my path were no match for my superior Expo honed rifle skills. Especially with the damage system in place, where if you injure an enemy in the arm or leg, they react accordingly.

I found one of my favorite parts of the demo had to be the combination of the Wingsticks – bladed boomerangs – and the pistol with Fatboy ammo, which blew off various body parts with satisfying visceral gore.

The hidden beauty about Rage‘s demo was that simply moving from one area to another was enjoyable. Moving through set piece battles was enjoyable because the gameplay was very smooth and fluid. You enjoyed seeing how many different damage animations I had put in for the bad guys (spoiler – it’s a lot!)

Tintin

Yes folks, Tintin! The classic 1929 comic book series which was later turned into a cartoon that taught us that journalists with ginger hair are REALLY COOL! (spoiler, I have ginger hair too!)

Ubisoft have taken the classic ambiance of the cartoon work of Georges Remi and transformed it into a part platformer-part stealth-em-up part flying sim for the Playstation 3!

The game also incorporated the Playstation Move controller to control some of the flying missions where the main characters find themselves in a vintage aircraft flying through a canyon.

Tintin seemed like a fun game that even newcomers to the titular cavalier ginger journalist will enjoy.

Uncharted 3 Multiplayer

Being unfamiliar with the Uncharted series, I did not know what to expect when picking up the Playstation 3 controller to jump into Nathan Drake’s shoes for a few rounds on the multiplayer aspect of the latest edition to the Uncharted legacy!

Uncharted 3
The first thing that strikes you about Uncharted 3 is the staggeringly beautiful graphics. This title stands up to other equally picturesque titles such as Rage on the show floor. The only let down for myself was the random and somewhat sporadic controls for the game.

Whilst being at the Eurogamer Expo it has become common practise now to almost instantly hit the Start button on whatever game I am playing and alter the ‘Invert Y Axis’ function, because frankly I like up to mean up and down to mean down, call me old fashioned but that’s just how I roll.

Changing this and also lowering the sensitivity of the game’s movement would presumably alter the jittery and slightly schizophrenic controls, but I was wrong. I’m sure that seasoned Uncharted gamers will be comfortable with this control style but this makes the game, when held in comparison to titles such as Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 uncomfortable for new users. I have no doubt that the single player campaign will be a landmark achievement for Naughty Dog, however, the multiplayer sadly did not inspire me to run out and purchase a Playstation 3.

So that’s it, Day Two of the Eurogamer Expo has faded over the horizon and it’s time for this games journalist to see if he can catch a few more hours sleep before his final day of covering the UK’s biggest video gamed trade show.