Day three was the day that we finally made use of the the press entrance. The problem was, was that we planned on going straight to Halo 5, but that was basically the furthest ‘big’ game away from the press entrance so we basically ran straight to Halo as soon as we got in.
Halo 5 Guardians
The queue was already at about an hour by the time we got to it which wasn’t too bad as we knew that previous days it had got up to around 3 hours or more.
The demo on offer was the new 12 vs 12 multiplayer mode Warzone, which also features AI controlled characters. The objective of the game mode is to capture objectives and eliminate the AI characters to help earn your team points. You can also engage with the enemy team and capture their bases.
Warzone offers up requisition (REQ) points, these are gradually earned over time and can also be earned by scoring points in game. What they give you is access to better weapon loadouts and vehicles during the match.
I’ve seen a few videos on Warzone already and really liked the look of it. Actually getting hands on time with it was great. Everything about the game felt really good – the movement and controls felt solid, the gunplay was great and it all looked fantastic too.
What I liked about Warzone is that if you aren’t the best at online shooters, or sometimes get a little frustrated by getting killed by other players you can focus on taking out the AI characters and it will still contribute to your teams win. It’s just another option for you to have and I think that’s a great approach.
I managed to earn decent amount of REQ points during the game and got to play with the new Ghost, which feels a lot like any other Ghost – although it looks a little different now. I also got to try out a handful of weapons, I have to say that it all felt very Halo to me – even with the addition of sprint and the ADS. It felt like an evolution of Halo and in a good way. I’m sure there will be some that aren’t too keen on the new additions, but personally I like them and I feel like it adds to the game.
Okay so I wasn’t overly keen on Halo 4. In fact it’s the only Halo game I’ve owned and not completed at all, never mind completing it on Legendary. So 343 had some work to do to impress me with Halo again.
Now since my betrayal to Microsoft and my face turn to become a PS4 gamer I’ve not really followed anything the XboxOne has to offer. Not even Halo, so this was all new news to me. In honesty I was a little wary of playing it as we were approached by Microsoft press people to partake in an interview after our time with the game. Having not played an Xbox for 2 years and a Halo title for more than that I knew I had to try to pay attention to Halo 5 when playing it.
So first up, I’m not rusty at it, which was a major shock. I’m not saying I was ever an elite Halo player but I could certainly hold my own online and I’m happy to say that somethings don’t change. Of course I got a couple of deaths but I generally had a good session. There was one point Will and I were both on ghosts annihilating the blue team that stood before us. It looked orchestrated and was good good fun. I acquired enough points to unlock and use a mech. Didn’t catch the official name for it, but it was pretty damn amazing to use. And I owned in it. Unfortunately at the end of the demo you weren’t able to see your score which was a shame as I was pretty certain I did well.
Overall experience of the game? *sigh*… I enjoyed it. What’s happening? I went to EGX and actually came out with positive thoughts and feelings about select XboxOne games and accessories. What’s happening?
Shuhei Yoshida Q&A Session
So when we checked out the developer session list prior to EGX, I had to double take the name of one session on the Saturday. Shuhei Yoshida was going to be at Birmingham and talk about 20 years of PlayStation. He was scheduled to start at 1pm, so naturally we started queuing at 11:30 for it. Will was forcibly dragged to it, but I think he enjoyed it. Plus side queuing up as early as we did turned out to be the right move as we were front row for the Q&A session and by 12 the queue was already massive.
The session seemed to be over so quickly and I was taking in a much as I could while tapping frantically at my iPhone notes section. The session covered the dawn of the PS1 right up to the PS4. Some of the highlights from Yoshida were:
Seeing the first game running on PS1 which was Jumping Crush and Moto GP 2
He mentioned about his first role within the company being an account manager and managing the accounts and relationship with Namco & Konami. He said how Namco were the first company they targeted due to their arcade experience.
He listed his generation defining games for PS1 and the birth of some of the most important franchises which included Ridge Racer, Tekken, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider and the importance of Final Fantasy 7. He said Wipeout was a huge game at getting the attention of older people to play games and lose the tag of gaming being for kids. He finally said that Metal Gear Solid V is his favourite from the Metal Gear franchise.
When the PS2 came about he said this was the hardest transition in his time with Sony as they were making PS1 games right up to the launch of PS2 so resources were stretched. But he was pleased that there was full publisher backing due to the momentum from the PS1
His defining memories and moments for the PS2 were GTA3. He couldn’t believe the scale of the game. He mentioned that seeing sandbox games prior in the likes of Tony Hawks or Driver then the leap to GTA3. This was the largest impact of the PS2 to him.
With regards to PSP, he didn’t see entering the portable gaming market as a risk what so ever.
Biggest leaps in gaming peripherals and technology, he truly believes that the VR wave now is the biggest step in the industry.
When asked if he could go back in time and tell himself one thing, he chose going back to the PS1 to PS2 transition and wished he could have known more about the difficulty there would be to make that transition.
He looks back most fondly to the PlayStation 1 as he had the most fun memories during that time. He revealed he was employee number 32 for the Sony gaming division.
His favourite game he worked on was the localisation of Crash Bandicoot for the PS1. When it came to getting hands on his favourite game to work on was Ape Escape as he was more involved with the creative side.
From then he was asked questions by the crowd, Some of these were pretty odd questions in which they should have known he couldn’t possibly answer. But he did give Wipeout fans hope by saying “never say never” with regards to a new Wipeout. But going forward they try to balance out bringing new IP’s to us as well as working on existing IP’s.
Unfortunately as the majority of the questions that were asked were not allowed to be answered he couldn’t say too much more. He did reveal that Nintendo Wii U is his favourite none Sony console.
And the question that got the biggest laughs of the session involved the once planned Sony disc add on for the SNES. “Where would that product be now if Nintendo hadn’t backed out?”
The answer was short and sweet – “We have reason to thank Nintendo for doing what they did”
And with that he show was over.
Sigma Theory Wills Thoughts
In the near future, scientists make a discovery that allows mankind to develop world-changing new technology.
Suddenly the world’s superpowers realize they could have the power to destroy the global financial system, wipe out entire countries or even gain access to immortality.
However, this discovery – called “The Sigma Theory” – can only be harnessed by a handful of scientists.
You are placed at the head of your country’s intelligence agency. Your objective: world domination by any means necessary, using the power of the Sigma Theory.
To achieve this you will have powerful resources at your disposal: special covert agents, tactical drones and, of course, your skills of diplomacy.
It’s a cold war out there, one in which mankind must face up to its future. A future that leads, ultimately, to the technological singularity.
The game is being developed by Mi-clos. It’s a really interesting concept, with a great style to it and was pretty good fun to play – although I rushed through the demo pretty quickly not really thinking about it.
What you have to do is send out your spies over the world to track down these scientists, they will report back on mission progress, and this can then lead to a little mini text based game to either help the escape and area or capture their target. I only played one part where I was trying to escape. It was fun and I’d like to see a more complete product as we were informed it was only about 10-20% done.
Riot: Civil Unrest Wills Thoughts
I had my eye on this game before we went and wanted to try it out. I managed to grab a seat on it on day three and give it a go.
Riot Civil Unrest is a real time strategy game that places you in the heart of some of the most famous riots. You can play as both the police and the rioters.
During my demo I was playing as the police. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was meant to be doing as the ‘rioters’ weren’t really doing a lot, they were just standing around, I’m even sure they were having a riot. Never the less I still dealt out some swift justice and sent my riot squads. Your riot squad are split in to teams – which I think you normally get to pick at the beginning, but I didn’t as it already started. You can then control each team and move them up in formation to try and keep things in order.
I’m guessing the idea was to try and split the groups in to smaller groups and then arrest the rioters as I manged to do that with a few people. But I think I pushed most of them back too far and they kind of disappeared off the map… I don’t know if this was a glitch or just me not playing properly.
I’m keen to try it out again and actually have a proper look at it with a tutorial or something. It’s a really interesting concept – the level I played was quite small, but it looks like there is the potential for some really huge scale riots. You can check it out on Steam now.
Finally we were able to meet with another blogger, Tom from What Rhino Said – we spotted him in the queue for the Shuhei Yoshida Q&A Session and had a good chat. It’s always good meeting up with other bloggers and it’s starting to feel like we have a little community growing.
We left a little early on the Saturday, one because we were pretty tired and two because we wanted to be home in time to watch the rugby!
Roll on EGX Rezzed in April.
-Will & Murr