EGX 2017: Top 10 Games Played – Part One
It’s time for part one of my final article about EGX 2017, after getting some reviews due out-of-the-way, and getting back on top things after my time away. So, what is my final article? As you will tell from the title it’s the Top 10 games I played at EGX.
I was originally thinking of looking at Top 10 moments of the expo, but I thought I would concentrate on the games I got the chance to play. So, let’s get this underway with numbers 10 to 6…
10. Knowledge Is Power (PS4/Play Link)
This is a game I played on day three of EGX, when spending time with the people from Crave The/Your Game. As a group we have had a really good time with That’s You, the original title from the Play Link series.
If you are unaware of what Play Link is, I’ll give a little bit of an explanation. Play Link is a number of four player games that are coming to Playstation 4. These games are all party games, that can be played online or as couch co-op. In order to play the game you will also need a smart device as well as the game, with the smart device application being made on available on Android and iOS.
So, me and three others from Crave The/Your Game sat down and played this in one of the Sony areas. As you will likely guess from the title, this is a quiz game. The way you score points is by answering the question correct, if more that one gets it correct the first person who answered it correctly gets more points – it starts at 400 down to 100. There are a number of little additions, you all vote on categories, the one with the most votes wins – unless someone over-rides it the tool made available (one per game). You also get power-ups that can be used to hinder the other players, and in the process of playing I got an answer wrong trying to get the power-up used on me off the screen on the phone.
Overall we all had a good laugh playing the game as a group, as we do with the That’s You. The only issue I would say with these games is that every player has to own a copy of the game, where other popular party games like Jackbox and Use Your Words, can be joined without owning the game. Meaning if you do want to get involved with friends on these, you are all going to have to cough up for the game.
9. Super Lucky’s Tale (Xbox One X)
When this was first announced at E3, I really got excited thinking Microsoft were announcing that they’d finally listened to fans and were bringing back Conker. I thought this with the little orange tail scurrying around the screen, then it was unveiled as Super Lucky’s Tale. Straight away I thought what an odd choice, given this was originally an Oculus game.
I have played this on the Oculus as well, and outside of the use of VR it was just a generic platform title. So, seeing it at EGX I had to give this a go, and the queue wasn’t overly big. I really just wanted to see if they have just ported the VR game, without the VR option.
As you can probably tell by this game making onto my list, I was pleasantly surprised with what they have done with the game. The time I spent with the game, they have taken the character Lucky, and made a platformer around the world – but it is far more advance and enjoyable compared to the Oculus game.
The game really felt like an old-school platformer like Banjo-Kazooie, taking me back to my childhood of gaming. But, although it gave this feeling, it didn’t feel like the game was trying to, it had its own little charm about it. In the part of the game I got play, you got to explore a number of areas with the goal of finding a robot’s head to return to the body. This was then followed with a sort of boss fight – overall the game was a lot more fleshed out compared to the VR experience. Visually seeing this on the Xbox One X was really impressive, it made for one of the most colourful and crisp looking platformers I have seen to date. I can really see this becoming one of those games being added to my guilty pleasures list.
8. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch)
Back in my article about E3 2017, I listed this game as an anomaly, basically one that I expect to be good, but had a few issues with – so I didn’t want to list as a winner or loser. So, I was excited to see it was going to be playable at EGX.
You were given around 15 minutes with the game, before it popped up ‘Thanks for Playing’. You had the choice of two levels, I went with the metropolitan level. In this level you were tasked with helping to find band members, so the festival in the city could go ahead. This is where the level became very accessible, because in order to find them you had to not only locate them, but find your way to them. This made you make use of the hat to posses many things in order to work your way around the level. This wasn’t the only part required to get to the band members, there was then the Mario platforming elements.
One of the most impressive parts was going into the pixelated tubes, and the game then cutting to the 2D Mario on that part of the level. This really was a smooth transition, and was great getting to play Mario that way again. Visually the game did not look bad either, I was playing in docked mode because that was the set-up – but from my experience with the Switch it should look just as good when not docked.
The only thing I wasn’t impressed with was the use of the two Joy-Cons in one hand each, but the game used it for some features of the gameplay. I am really hoping that you can play it in the Joy-Con holder and the game isn’t required to be played by this. But, after my time with the game I would say this is one I may consider on release.
7. The Peterson Case (PC)
As a fan of horror games, it was a pleasure to get to spend sometime with The Peterson Case. As well as getting to play the game, I got to interview Josh from the Quarter Circle Games team – you can find it here.
At first I was not expecting it to be a horror game, I was thinking it was more of a detective game, given the title and the start of the part I played. However, it soon becomes clear the game is horror game, not long after the start. What I really enjoyed about the game was the approach Quarter Circle Games have taken, it’s not all about jump scares – which is the popular way to do horror at the moment. Instead they have used the sound to build an intense nervousness, like great Japanese horror movies – it was really nice to see this approach taken.
The game is basically a narrative driven puzzle game, and all the elements of the game have been put together really well. Obviously being at the expo it was hard to get the full effect of the game they have been working on, the reason being is with a horror game it’s best to play it in the dark, and alone without the general noise of the expo going on around you.
One thing I am also looking forward to is once the game is released, the team are looking at bringing in HTC Vive support for the game. From my experience playing it not in VR, and the way the sound built up the game, I can really imagine it being a hit horror game on the VR platform. I will certainly be keeping an eye on the game, and look at getting it upon release.
6. Battalion 1944 (PC)
As the World War setting seems to be making a come back in shooters, with Battlefield 1 finding success in it and now Call of Duty returning to that setting – I was pleased to be given the opportunity to try out Battalion 1944. I also interviewed Howard from the team after playing it – you can find it here.
I had arranged this interview before EGX, but the way my days went it ended up giving Call of Duty: World War II the day before – and I would like say I much preferred Battalion 1944. Battalion 1944 is an online multiplayer only game, and what I got to play was a round of 5v5 Team Deathmatch. I was a bit concerned first because the set-up was keyboard and mouse, and unfortunately for me with my console gaming past I knew I would struggle. However I didn’t do as bad as I thought and actually didn’t finish bottom of the team – which was a pleasant surprise.
As I started to get a bit more used to the keyboard and mouse controls, it soon became apparent how well the map we were playing had been designed. I chose to use the M1 Garand for my game, and it was well-balanced, if it was long distance it was very handy, but coming in close quarter combat it was certainly better to switch to my pistol. When playing it you could definitely tell it was made by a team who have a passion and love for first person shooters.
The game is going to release as an early access title in early 2018, but as discussed in the interview there is plans to increase the game modes after it’s release. I can say that from my time Battalion 1944, it has the potential and is certainly looking like it will be a solid online shooter.
So, that is numbers 10 to 6, expect numbers 5 to 1 to come over the next few days.