RIOT – Civil Unrest– This was an interesting one to say the least, Riot simulator some might say… ok a lot might say. The game still has a few months to go so we saw quite an early playable build, where you can select differing amount of Rioters, Riot Squad and equipment that is used by both sides. After selecting your two hordes of upset individuals they will load into an area of your choosing and start throwing items around, bashing shields and more for your evil eyes to gain some entertainment from.
Developed by someone who experience rioting first-hand might be a nudge in their favour but it does seem to be over-exaggerated at some points, either to make the game more… well game-like, or the game just glitches out. The animation and cutscenes are where most of the emotion lays its rest, with epic portrayals of rioters attacking structurers and walls of armed police, or the police bringing in heavy weaponry and forklifts.
Depending on the price this game might not be worth it, due to it mostly being about Riots and not seeing a lot of the deeper parts of the game. The cutscenes show moving levels, with destructions and unique scenarios, showing some story behind the riots themselves but until I see a bit more on that side it’s hard to say anything about the final quality of this game.
Thank for MergeGames allowing us to speak to the developer and giving us their time
Thea: The Awakening – Similar to Civilization, if combined with games like FTL and Darkest Dungeon. You control a small village comprised of several village characters with varying skills, some are better at gathering resources, others at crafting while all are somewhat capable at fighting. There are offensive characters that are on the front lines dealing and taking the damage, with support using abilities to stun enemies or buff your allies. As villagers fight it out with the wild animals, eventually reaching Dragon stages, they will take wounds which are basically their health, with a chance of them dying if they are low on hp.
As you control your village and characters you will be keeping an eye on different types of wood, food and minerals to craft new items and buildings for your villagers and village. As well as resources you will also encounter random events and treasure events whilst your “expeditions” are out exploring, similarly to FTL they can sometimes be unsuspecting in their display but can bite you in the ass with disease, curses and ambushes, or they can reward you with healing, resources and loot.
The game is played in turns, with almost every action taking several turns to complete, very similar to Civilization, as the game goes on the Darkness encroaches ever closer and you must stay ahead in technology and defence so you do not succumb to its difficulty.
Thanks to the developers for giving us their time and patience
Assassins Creed: Syndicate – I got to play this game, though the line was a bit long, for about 1 playthrough and a half of the mission that was shown in the 3rd walkthrough online with Evie Frye. With around 4 different ways you can go about it, helping an insurgent to get in close for an assassination, save a man to get the guards to do it for you, stealth assassination like the other games or simple go in swinging your beautiful cane/sword/stick of doom. With the zip line in full effect, the level was easy to get around with not much time needed to scale a building or cross from one to another.
I wasn’t one for some of the earlier entries to the series, especially with the mishap of Unity, however this game has revived some hope for the franchise. Attacks are more fluid, fast and deadly with finishing off an enemy leading you into an even more visceral animation, Evie being so brutal it can make you shake a little. Donk on the dome, to the side, kick in the stomach, club around the head a few times, hit them against the environment then slash them till they fall down all in a quick final attack.
There wasn’t much on offer with the short demo as it only lasted about 10 minutes or so, I wasn’t keeping track I was trying to stay stealthy. I can see the appeal like I did with the previous games but with the increased pace and speed of the game I think it will bring in a wider audience. No longer do you have to spend ages climbing a wall or looking for a rope to shoot up, you have one in your wrist now no looking needed… well you do need to look for available ledges but there are everywhere.
Thanks to the great PR of Ubisoft for allowing to skip the Q’s and play the games
Xenoblade Chronicles X – I am not one for WiiU games, Xenoblade is one of the few exceptions to that statement. I loved the first one, due to its immense size, both in world and in quests, and was sorely awaiting a new release similar to it. With X they swap out the Manado for a Phantasy Star Style character system of 2 weapons sets, ranging from big swords and guns to dual pistols and rifles, which I feel was a bit too much of a shift. I had a sort of attachment to the Manado and it meant our character was a bit more unique then the rabble that ran around us, but now we get to customise our character, so it isn’t all doom and gloom.
The gameplay is quite a bit different then the last game, with skills acting very differently, charging up overtime to deal more damage, though I wasn’t able to test out the mechs or ultimate abilities. We were given a squad of 3 people, with the main character having a big sword and rifle, so I didn’t get to test out a lot of the different styles though I did spy 3 of them in the class system on hand.
HITMAN – After what some people thing to be one of the best Hitman games, Absolution, HITMAN follows Agent 47 yet again but with the full backing of the agency. This time you will have access to even more routes, equipment and targets to take out as you traverse the world. The areas you prowl now seem to have more life in them as well as looking more lived in. I got to go to a behind curtain talk and video showing off some of the new areas and gameplay for the game and right now it is looking very snazzy.
The video took us through a mission to take out a Fashion Show owner, with the presenter walking us through it at every step. They talked about how they want to aim for a Tourist style approach to level design, allowing the player to feel as if they are really visiting that part of the world. We got shown some finishing moves with katanas, miscellaneous objects and some guns as the level went on, as well as different approaches for guns blazing, accidental hitman style deaths and sniping.
Thanks to our main contact over at Prem for hooking us up with David Bateson aka Agent 47
Deus Ex Mankind Divided – Another game with a demonstration behind a curtain was the new Deus Ex game, where we were shown another level with a somewhat hybrid approach, combining stealth, combat and technical skills. With the augmented people becoming outcasts there is a bigger emphasis on dynamic characters as not everyone is going to be walking around and be able to talk to anyone they want.
The hacking system is back again, which looks better aesthetically and mechanically especially with the ability to remote hack from a distance. There were plenty of opportunities to show off the new skills, from a shooting blade from your wrist, a blink style dash, shockwaves and ground pounds. Decisions continue to make an impact on the game, with the leader of a group of Augments being angered at the player for killing his guards over just sneaking in.
Thanks to our contact over at Square Enix for the sweet goodies we got
Tom Clancy’s The Division – Another game that I got to play a bit of was the Division, with a short little mission with teams of 3 players. We had to secure a weapon and get to an extraction point to get it out of the Dark Zone, though with several other teams of 3 there was some battle at the extraction point. Using scanning, med kits, grenades and turrets we had to gun our way through some NPC enemies as well as other players through the post-apocalyptic streets.
While fighting NPC enemies felt great and required some planning in your team when you are set against other players that kind of got thrown out of a broken window. Player’s take so many bullets to get down and don’t always show you clearly who is an enemy, on your team, or a friendly player until you either shot them or they have shot you. I would say the “single player” part of the game is pretty good however multiplayer needs quite a bit more work on it. It might also be better when I can hear my teammates more clearly in a quiet room.
Thanks to the great PR of Ubisoft for allowing to skip the Q’s and play the games