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EGX 2015: Power Up Gaming Diary – Day 4

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The queues on Saturday and Sunday were very long as more and more people attended the event leading to games like The Division and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst having waits for over three hours. For this reason we spent the majority of the day in the indie area of EGX.


Need for Speed

To kick the day off we tried our hand at the new Need for Speed game while the lines were low. The mode we played featured 8 players in a series of events. The winner of the event didn’t necessarily win overall though, as it’s about reputation (rep) which is earned by tricks. These “tricks” include causing destruction, driving on the wrong side of the road, flips and speeding amongst others. It’s similar to how Burnout Paradise worked in that you’re rewarded for driving dangerously but driving well and keeping control of your vehicle in intense circumstances. The handling was great, the night streets were beautiful and the detail of the cars was impressive, especially how you could customise everything even down to each wheel being different if you so wish. It makes the whole experience feel your own and though we only hand a short time with the game, we’re excited to see what else the final product offers when it launches on 3rd November.


Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

The much anticipated follow-up to 2008’s Mirror’s Edge is upon us. Faith Connors returns as the protagonist in this first-person action-adventure freerunning game set in the futuristic city called Glass. Running in first person may seem a little hectic as at high speeds it’s difficult to see what’s around you, but the team at EA have done a good job of helping you out. Faith’s “runner vision” highlights objects in red that can be used to get to your designated area and the use of zip lines and ledges makes the parkour movement seamless over long distances without the need to stop and start. The combat in the original game left something to be desired with the emphasis on the movement, but this time around the combat mechanics have received a full overhaul and the use of guns has been removed completely. You now use your speed and movement to your advantage with quick melee takedowns and tricks to evade your enemies. Online features include leaderboards and though there’s no direct co-op or competitive multiplayer, actions in one person’s game can affect the environment in another, though details on this are a little sparse.


Party Hard

From tinyBuild comes Party Hard, an award-winning stealth strategy game that is a lot of fun. The backstory is simple: it’s 3am and your neighbors are having a loud party. We all love our sleep, so what do you do? You get out of bed, sneak into the party and kill them one by one. The trick is to wait till guests are alone or you can tamper with the environment to force party-goers to leave the room and that’s when you strike before hiding their body in a freezer, a dumpster or something similar before other guests find out and call the cops. Released at the end of August to positive reviews, this is one game that we’re glad we managed to get a Steam key for, so be sure to look our for our impressions of the full game very soon.


Crystal Rift

Played on HTC Vive, Crystal Rift is a horror game that was designed for Virtual Reality and can also be played with the Oculus Rift. At its core it calls itself a grid-based dungeon-crawler with a great story and traps and mysteries around every corner. It also has its own dungeon creation mode so you can create and share your own dungeons online, which is a nice added feature for replayability. Naturally the whole game is in first-person so players feel they’re inside the game and get the full feel of all the jumps and scares. Funded by Kickstarter, the game from Psytec Games Ltd. has been receiving very positive reviews and always had a long line of people on each day of EGX this year. The locations increase in mystery and challenge throughout and certainly gave Power Up Gaming’s Chris Mawson several scares on his playthrough.


Beyond Flesh and Blood

Continuing with Virtual Reality gaming, Beyond Flesh and Blood is played on Oculus Rift. It’s the first third-person game we’ve tried in Virtual Reality and tells the story of the last survivors of humanity on Earth. The year is 2281 and 80 years after humans were forced to leave the planet after a Global War for resources. Now we want back in but scavenger aliens have adopted Earth in our absence. Using VR to control “Tactical Frames” (or robots to me and you) Ethan Cunningham attempts to rid our home of these squatters within 24 hours before a meteorite strikes humanity’s space-home. It’s not going too well for us in the future but since the machines we’re controlling aren’t manned, we’re allowed to upgrade and switch between units at any time. We’re not sure Virtual Reality works as well in a third-person game than it does in a first-person one when you feel like you’re actually living the game, but it’s an interesting idea that the team at Pixelbomb Games are trying to achieve.

So that’s the end of EGX for another year. The amount of extra people at the weekend was predictable but still unbelievable, making it difficult to move or play the more anticipated games. Make sure you keeping checking Power Up Gaming for all the fallout and first impressions of the games we’ve listed in our diary entries in the very near future.

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