So this morning didn’t exactly have the best start, after sleeping on the floor of the hall of the Jugendhaus (youth centre) and being woken constantly. Our tent still stands thankfully, and should last till the end of the camp. The rain didn’t seem to stop anyone from heading to gamescom today, so the lines were still huge. We got to see a few games, with a few of them being blockbusters so overall it was a pretty successful day.
There was no early start this morning. We were both tired so decided to leave it until 11 before heading in, missing the huge crowd at the entrance. We did manage to miss the rush, but the inside was still packed out. After some deliberation, and narrowly missing the Diablo 3 line, we decided on what appeared to be a relatively short line for Prototype 2 so I’ll talk about it first.
Of course the “short” line was really a 2 hour line disguised with various props, but to the developers credit setting the booth up like quarantine zones and having Blackwatch soldiers walking about harassing people felt very authentic. We were close to leaving at a few stages, but I’m glad that didn’t happen because we would have missed a unique experience. The real fun came when we made it into the presentation room, and were introduced to various members of the development team. After a short introduction with the audience playing the role of Blackwatch recruits, and being told to make as much noise as possible we watched a trailer followed by a playthrough of a pre-alpha build of the game by a dev.
Instead of Alex Mercer you play Sgt. Heller, infected by Mercer and cursed to the same fate. Straight away the game looks a lot more polished than the first, and the whole gameplay was smoother. It felt a lot like an expanded version of the first, given a makeover and some new gameplay mechanics, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The first game was a solid, fun game and could do with some updating. Of course since this was such an early build it’s hard to know how much it could change between now and release. I’m hoping the missions will be less repetitive than the last game, as most of them fell into the same patterns. First impressions are definitely good for this one, so hopefully they won’t mess up the final product.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
After a tip off from an AMD employee we met at the bus stop, we visited the LG booth to play Deus Ex again. Except this time there was no wait, as opposed to an hour! The conditions weren’t the greatest however, as it was in a cramped space and in 3D which didn’t really add anything to the game. This time it was on the PC, though the setup wasn’t ideal. It was fun though for the most part, though I got tired of constantly watching ammo supplies and hiding from enemies after a while. Really I would need a longer time to play though and get familiar with the augmentation system and some other gameplay mechanics.
Gotham City Impostors
I really hadn’t heard anything the game before, and we happened to come across the stall beside the setup for Arkham City. The wait time for Arkham was going to be 2/3 hours, and Gotham City Impostors had a much shorter line. It’s an FPS which will be released for Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and PC through digital distribution, and should be available sometime next year though I have heard different dates from various sources. The game pits a team of Batman impostors against a team of Joker impostors, with a variety of gametypes. We played was an early build, and were limited to playing on one map and with default classes as the custom weapon sets are being kept quiet for the moment. Instantly the mechanics were very familiar as they have borrowed heavily from the Call of Duty style, so there was no mystery with the controls. The action was certainly faster paced and frantic than normal, partly due to the lack of auto-aim, which I personally found quite refreshing. Gadgets also added an extra dimension; on the demo a grappling gun was available adding to the fun. I only tried a couple of classes, but both were good and fairly well balanced. Overall it is just a fun, fast paced shooter with the interesting Batman connection thrown in.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
This was one game I was really looking forward to seeing, and the lines have been huge. Most of the time there was around a 2/3 hour wait but we managed to get in after 40 minutes at quieter period at the very end of the day. With the game quite close to release I was hoping for a playable demo, but unfortunately there was only gameplay footage available. The demo footage was the same used in E3 which was a bit of a shame, as they should have had an updated version really in the months since E3. Having said that, Skyrim is shaping up to be an excellent game. The graphics look good so far, with a lot of detail in the environment. The menu system looks to be better organised this time and simplified, and the skill progression trees look pretty awesome. The ability to dual wield weapons, and spells to increase their potency is really interesting too and seems to work pretty well. Combat looked more realistic than Oblivion also, with enemies able to try multiple strikes instead of only one at a time. The addition of dragons, and an improved magic system all add more layers to the gameplay. You really just need to watch some of the gameplay videos from E3 to get a good sense of the game. All I have seen so far has been very good.
That’s pretty much it for tonight. Tomorrow is another day at Gamescom and I really need the sleep.