With day one of EGX done and dusted, it was off to the discomfort of our hotel beds for a few hours’ sleep before heading straight back to the NEC in Birmingham to do it all again. There was a lot of standing in queues this time around, as we decided to try our hand at some of the triple-A games that eluded us yesterday.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Close to two hours passed between joining the line for the timed Xbox exclusive and actually getting a chance to play it – but was it worth it? On first impressions, we’re not so sure. The game looked almost identical to Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – even down to Lara’s clothing – and little in the way of new features were shown to build on the success of the 2013 reboot. The demo wasn’t very helpful in terms of what to do, either. Maybe if we had played the levels leading up to this one we’d pick up more on the subtle environmental hints of where to go next. Generally it felt like more of the same, though that may just be enough, given we scored the previous game an excellent 9 out of 10.
PlayStation VR Developer Session
Our first developer session of EGX 2015 was an interesting one about the journey and history of PlayStation VR and what the future may hold for virtual reality gaming. The director of SCE Worldwide Studios’ Immersive Technology Group, Simon Benson, answered questions from the audience on subjects including what will set PlayStation VR apart from the competition.
Homefront: The Revolution
Following THQ’s bankruptcy in 2012, Crytek purchased the rights to the Homefront franchise and we got to give the game a try ahead of its Spring 2016 release window. The original game was released to mixed reviews, but the sequel boasts new features, enemies and weaponry, and looks to give gamers a truly immersive experience.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
Boasting the series’ first transgender character and allowing players to choose between a male or female character for many of the main missions, Syndicate is looking to elevate the yearly-released Assassin’s Creed franchise to new heights. Despite some audio issues early on, we managed to have a play with the upcoming Ubisoft title to see if there’s still some life left in the franchise, or if it’s starting to get a little stale on its ninth entry in the main series.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Perhaps the most popular game at EGX this year, especially when measured by queue length, is the highly anticipated return of Battlefront. The demo sees two teams of twenty battle for control of several recognisable planets from its movie counterpart.
Just Cause 3
The explosive third-person action shooter returns with protagonist Rico Rodriguez now donning a wingsuit to accompany his grapple hook and parachute, which can all be quickly interchanged for seamless transitions. It’s still over-the-top and highly entertaining but whether or not the novelty soon wears off remains to be seen.
It was a long day of standing in line but we managed to cover some triple-A games that the majority of fans are excited for. Tomorrow is a new day with Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Worldwide Studios, hosting a presentation on 20 Years of PlayStation before Naughty Dog tell us about the history of the Uncharted franchise.
Following our ‘heads-on’ with PlayStation VR on Thursday, we were keen to play even more of the virtual reality experiences on offer at EGX. Situated in the corner of the Rezzed zone, we spent some time with Viewpoint Games’ debut entry, an old-school kart racing game, running in conjunction with the Oculus Rift. Taking the genre back to basics, we had a lot of fun during our one-track demo; look for a full write-up in the coming days.