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This weekend I was lucky enough to get a free weekend press pass to the Euro Gamer run games convention known as Rezzed. Spanning over a weekend the convention gave the chance for indie developers to show off their newest gaming creations, but also gave some of the big guys like Twitch, Microsoft, Capcom, Retrogamer, Blizzard, and Nintendo just to name a few, to reaffirm their place in the gaming world. I took some time to check out some of the games that took my interest this weekend.
Hidden behind a secret black partition in the center of the hall, there was a hint of mystery behind the long queue waiting to get in to the Alien: Isolation booth. After a tenuous 45 minute wait I managed to get behind the scenes and check out the new offering from Creative Assembly. The first part of the playable demo is set halfway through the game that perfectly captured the atmosphere, graphics, and total feel of the game. It played really well and is based upon Ridley Scott’s classic 1979 film. The game devs explained how Alien: Isolation‘s environments are modeled only out of pieces and materials that would have been available to a Hollywood set designer in 1979 in order to make the game feel totally realistic and true to the scene. This is going to be a game I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into even though I’m not a big fan of the series. Alien: Isolation will be available on next and current generation consoles, as well as PC from October 7th.
Hotline Miami 2 is another game that I popped in and checked out the new playable demo which apparently has changed a fair bit from Eurogamer 2013, well so the dev told me. The playable demo is the standard Hotline Miami action game with lots of blood and action and some high octane death scenes akin to the original title. The game which reminded me of the original GTA series on the playstation is an upcoming 2D top-down title and the sequel to Dennaton Games’ Hotline Miami: Wrong Number that takes place before and after the events of Hotline Miami, and focuses on the aftermath of the protagonist Jacket after killing off the entire Russian mafia. Hands on it felt okay to play, but to be honest I got bored after around five minutes and realized it’s not the game for me. People said that the version on the Vita was hard to play and worse than the PC version, but due to the queue I didn’t get a hands on chance with the Vita. The game will be released on all Sony consoles and PC in Q3 of 2014.
Techland had previously showed off Dying Light’s new engine and narrative and when the developer took the stage at Rezzed, the objective was to talk about the game’s open world and the show off the game to the huge queue of fans that had waited in line. Dying Light is a zombie apocalypse-themed game set in an open world similar to South American slums and cities. During the day, players traverse an expansive urban environment overrun by a vicious outbreak, scavenging the world for supplies and crafting weapons to defend against the growing infected population with a heavy focus on free running mechanics which was shown off during the tech demo. Players also can customize the four characters in the game that contains a dynamic day and night cycle. The player has to go out and scavenge for supplies to send back to the safe zones. They can also set up traps, save random survivors, and make their way to airdrops. The infected are slow, allowing the player to simply make their way past them, but their danger grows in numbers. Luckily, the player could stay up on roofs of buildings to stay out of harm’s way.
Lead developer Binkowski went on to detail how Dying Light’s open world would pave the way for emergent gameplay and on-the-fly decision-making, revealing some of the game’s unscripted events. In one instance, a horde of zombies was advancing towards the player until a rustling in the distance got the horde’s attention. The player then whacked the gas tank on the back of a hazmat zombie, leading to an explosion that took out the entire pack. Dying Light is expected to release later this year on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC but theres no 100% concrete release date. You can check out a replay of the Rezzed presentation here.
Now to a game I got my teeth stuck into a little more than the rest. During filming I was stopped by one of the developers who explained that filming wasn’t allowed. Undeterred I stop the lady for a few minutes and had a great chat about the game before playing a quick demo on the Xbox 360. Murdered: Soul Suspect is an upcoming action adventure title developed by Airtight games and published by Square-Enix. The events of the game are set in Salem, Massachusetts, and focus on Detective Ronan O’Connor, who gets slain by a brutal and relentless killer. Ronan returns as a ghost and will not rest in peace until he solves his own murder by using his ghostly powers and at the same time combats demonic creatures, who wish to eat his soul. Along the way to finding his killer, Ronan is also helped by Joy, a girl who not only witnessed Ronan’s death but can also see and speak to Ronan’s ghost.
The whole concept of the game was new too me and it was refreshing to see a new styled title in the genre. The game played really well on the Xbox and the demo’s whole feel and narrative was exciting and interesting. The developer said, “This isn’t your average ordinary mystery game as there are a number of different supernatural elements to the adventure, giving it a pretty revolutionary feel in a world where the First Person Shooter is dominating,” and I agree. The whole detective element along with the supernatural premise make this one a very interesting title and one I’ll be keeping my eye on. Murdered: Soul Suspect is due out on the Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 on the 3rd of June 2014 in North America and 6th June in Europe.
That rounds up some of the titles I saw this year at Rezzed. It was a really exciting event and I got to meet a lot of personalities within the gaming scene. below is a video I recorded detailing some of the highlights for the weekend. I’ll be back at Eurogamer in September so I’ll be sure to bring you more highlights when I’m there!