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EGX 2015: Power Up Gaming Diary – Day One

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For the third consecutive year, Power Up Gaming are spending the full four days at EGX 2015 in Birmingham this year, which is showcasing many of the upcoming titles that gamers can’t wait to get their hands on. After an early start, a long drive and more free cans of Tornado energy drink than our stomachs could handle, here’s a quick breakdown of what we did on our first day at the UK’s largest video games event.

Total War: Warhammer

Due to a morning interview with senior designer Richard Aldridge from Creative Assembly, we headed straight to the Total War: Warhammer booth to give the game a try. It’s been a while since we owned any Warhammer figures ourselves, but the combination of the strategy of the Total War franchise with the fantasy tactics tabletop game is a natural fit, and one we were keen to experience. It was a difficult first match to say the least, but we could see what the developers were trying to do by combining these two separate franchises together, while making a game that’s still true to both.

We pitched questions of our own as well as those from some of our readers during the interview, and although Richard couldn’t give too much away about the future, we walked away with a decent amount of information regarding what we can expect upon its release next year.

Hitman

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Following Warhammer, we happened to pass by Square Enix’s Hitman demo presentation that was about to start, so we jumped in the theatre to fill the remaining few seats. The game looked beautiful (framerate hiccoughs aside), and, from what we saw and were told by Io-Interactive community manager Travis Barbour, allows players to really play what has traditionally been a stealth franchise the way they want to play. This is becoming a common theme amongst other games in the genre recently, such as the recently released Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the latter of which we saw a little later on.

While the Paris demo provided little in the way of new information after originally being shown off at Gamescom, Io did show off a couple of screenshots from one of the upcoming title’s other locations, coastal Italy.

Iron Fish

From the talented and multi-faceted team over at BeefJack, Iron Fish is described as a psychological deep-sea thriller. Armed only with a sonar device when outside of your one-man submarine, your task is to explore, solve puzzles and discover the secrets that lurk at the bottom of the ocean. The developers perhaps summed it up best when they said the title starts out like Jaws and ends up being more like Silent Hill. What starts off as swimming with the fishes quickly turns into a nightmare in the darkest corners of the sea bed, 11,000 feet down.

We were fortunate enough to play some of the Alpha version of the game, while discussing with the team their inspirations, what the future holds for the game and when we can expect to see it release – all of which you can read about in our forthcoming full write-up.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

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The queues for Call of Duty were surprisingly short this year when compared to previous years, when we had to wait nearly an hour to play the annualised shooter. Was it due to people finally getting bored of the franchise, was everyone more interested in Star Wars: Battlefront, or perhaps they felt they’d had enough of a taster in last month’s multiplayer trial? Either way, we jumped in and had a go. In all honestly, there wasn’t much new from the beta version we wrote about last month.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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In another behind-closed-doors presentation, we were treated to a glimpse at Eidos’ upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Besides the obvious differences, the game to us felt very much like Hitman – also a Square Enix-published title – in that you can be stealthy or go in all guns blazing in order to complete your objectives. Unlike Hitman, we got to see a full level being played in its entirety that showed off several new augmentation abilities. Rather disappointingly, it was, however, the same demo that was shown off at E3 earlier in the year. It was an impressive looking game that we’re excited for, but it would have been nice to see something new, especially given its release is now less than five months away.

It was a busy first day and although we didn’t get the opportunity to actually play many triple-A games ourselves, we did find out a lot of information on some of the indie studios, as well as get a glimpse of what’s to come next year. There are still three days left of the event, so it’s an early start for the PUG team tomorrow to make sure we’re first in line for the more popular titles like Star Wars: Battlefront and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

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