Last weekend, Britt and I attended the EB Games Expo in Sydney to check out a bunch of upcoming games and get a feel for what’s in gaming’s near future. This year, the focus was shifted from home-grown indie games to the multitude of AAA titles that were announced at E3 in June, meaning hype levels were high and lines were inevitably long. I was only able to attend for a day, but I did manage to experience some of the most highly anticipated titles on offer – even if only in the usual brief, convention-style manner. Britt had a bit more time at the expo than me, so she will probably be able to cover things in a little more detail, but here are my thoughts on what I did manage to see.
Matt’s note: I loved Zombi U but haven’t played this one–that said, I did love lots that Nick didn’t about the game (characters, setting etc.) So if roguelike zombie killing in London piques your interest, I’d still 100% heartily recommend Zombi U; it’s one my top games of this gen. I can’t praise it enough–it was a beautiful way to start off the Wii U and flew under almost everyone’s radar. I’m looking forward to getting my own hands on the update. That said, Nick wasn’t quite as fond of it, and I want to play it myself and see if it was the Wii U -> everything else transition that didn’t do it any favours, or if it just wasn’t his cup of tea. There’s no such thing as an objective review!
After getting off on most certainly the wrong foot, I was relieved to enjoy Zombi for what fun it offered, even considering the array of disagreeable design decisions demonstrated from the onset. Zombi has successfully stuck the landing in the realm of PS4, Xbox One and PC after jumping from Wii U exclusivity, but the inherent process of shedding tablet-infused high jinks during that leap has taken away the only factors that made this title distinguishable from every other piece of zombie fiction. The name change captures this notion neatly – Zombi U minus the Wii U became Zombi, a generic name for a generic game.
Ronin is an interesting revenge-fuelled(-ish) turn-based 2D action experience, with Polish indie dev Tomasz Wacławek taking smart steps to craft a much-needed opportunity to carry out the mission of a deadly, if not always stealthy, assassin. It isn’t a particularly long game (which goes well with this not particularly long review), but the simple-yet-satisfying turn-based action provides enough of a punchy experience to warrant a go, with wicked murder moments aplenty.
Dazzling 2D logic puzzle game The Bridge is making the jump to console this week, and we’re excited for the chance to revisit the gravity-defying and troubled life of Herbert- I mean of the fictional Isaac Newton, as he traverses the magnificent and ridiculous rooms of his mansion. The beautiful black and white lithograph art style is integrated perfectly into the gameplay itself, and two and a half years after first experiencing it, this title has left a lasting impression as a must-play brain teaser.
The Bridge will be available first for Xbox One on August 14th, then for PS3, PS4, PS Vita and Ouya on August 18th, and for Wii U on August 20th. I’ll be picking it up on PS4 next Tuesday, how will you be crossing The Bridge?
For more information on The Bridge and the legendary independent team responsible for it, check out this site.
For the ever-eloquent review for the PC version we wrote back in 2013, follow this link!
Sometimes, a rare gem of a game comes along that just defies true explanation. On paper, Technobabylon is a cyperpunk noir mishmash that seems to take inspiration from Blade Runner, Ready Player One and point-and-click adventures of old, but in reality it’s so much more than that. Not that the combination of those things isn’t awesome already, of course, but Technobabylon’s strengths push it far beyond awesome and into very important and progressive territory.
Daedalic Entertainment are known for their ability to provide gamers with interesting and immersive worlds, eccentric characters and lovingly crafted stories that whisk you away and force you to buy into their special brand of whimsy. These are all elements that make for an excellent adventure game, in which a good story can make an otherwise unremarkable game worth playing through to the end. However, when attempting a turn-based strategy game like the studio’s newest offering Blackguards 2 it’s a little harder for the story to act as a crutch, even when the game takes place inside the vast and already-established universe of ‘The Dark Eye’. So does Blackguards 2 prove that the developers can stray from what they’re best at?
If there’s one genre that really embraces the true potential of video games, it’s simulation. With simulation games, one can fulfil every dream they’ve ever had, from the more modest professions like long haul train driving, to the somewhat more unrealistic manager of a football club–even the downright impossible, such as an intergalactic trader in a futuristic universe, is made possible in a video game. Yet, despite their broad range of subjects, one thread tying most simulation games together is that their topics are usually things that people would love to do in real life. That isn’t the case for The Escapists, a simulation game that asks the player to plan and execute escape from gaol.