Highlights from EGX Rezzed 2014

EGX Rezzed 2014 in Birmingham is over and here is a quick overview of what we saw and what got us excited for the year ahead in the world of gaming.

We started off by getting in line for Alien: Isolation, probably the most anticipated game at the event. You can read our full review of the demo here but to put it bluntly it has great potential and we’re excited to see how it turns out. It remains to be seen though whether the sneaking about and little scares can still be effective for a full playthrough or whether the novelty will wear off after a few hours.

A small crowd was gathered around a multiplayer party game from Bone Loaf called Gang Beasts. The game involves four players battling it out with their doughy characters and rag doll physics to throw and punch the other players off buildings, into flame pits and through meat grinders to be the winner. It’s still in the very early Alpha stages and is currently available on PC with a console version to be released at a later date. Though it’s early in the development cycle it certainly has potential and will be a fun little game to play with friends.

We went to a Development Session to listen to a talk from a game designer who’s currently working on Dying Light. An open-world zombie game with a dynamic day and night cycle, free-running and powerful melee attacks. You read an overview of the talk here. Although there’s no release date yet and it may sound like a lot of other games out there right now, this definitely looks like something to get excited for.

Also on Display was Dream from HyperSloth which is currently available on Steam. Though the game’s been out since August of last year, what made this version different was it being demonstrated with the Oculus Rift VR headset. Dream is a puzzle game that’s set in the dreams (and nightmares) of Howard Phillips, the protagonist of the game. These VR demos however were only the developer kits and not the newer versions that boast a higher resolution. For this reason they also had motion blurring which after a while left players feeling a bit of motion sickness, especially when sprinting. Also available on VR was Ether One, both games being very similar in terms of genre. We’re still a little scepticle whether VR is the future of gaming or simply a novelty but from what we saw there’s still quite a bit of work to be done.

It’s already been released but on show was the indie, 2D battle royale Towerfall Ascension. It’s a simple four-player fighting game where archers battle it out across 120 maps which has been released to critical acclaim. Its weak single player and co-op modes let it down as fighting waves of AI enemies gets repetitive and boring but fighting it out with friends will keep you entertained for hours, though it will have to be split screen as an online mode is not included.

A puzzle game that looks right up our street was found in FacePalm’s The Swapper. Out now for Mac and coming in May to Windows, PS3, PS4 and PS Vita, The Swapper sees players solving various puzzles by playing as an astronaut that can clone himself up to 3 times. Each clone, as well as the original character, is controlled by the same pad meaning they all move in the same direction at the same time, forcing players to think and plan how to solve the challenging puzzles that lie ahead. Side-scrolling puzzle-platformers are nothing new but FacePalm have done a great job of building on a popular mechanic. combining it with a beautiful atmosphere through the visuals and effects.

Who doesn’t love ninjas? GameDesignDan does which is why 10 Second Ninja is coming to consoles later this year. Players have 10 seconds to destroy a certain number of Nazi robots from space using your sword and shurikens. On the day there was a competition for who can finish a certain level in the quickest time, it would have been nice to have a go but every time we wandered over the same guy was on it despite several people asking him politely to p*ss off. From what we saw though it’s a good little puzzle game that will have players spending hours just to do the level a hundredth of a second quicker than their friends.

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