EB Expo 2015 Sneak Peak
It’s the Thursday night before EB Expo kicks off and there is a small press showing fat a few booths for press type people. I am one of the lucky group that got to get in and get hands on some of the show’s biggest titles before the show opens to the public and I thought I would share my experiences with you all.
First on my list was some time with Halo 5’s new Warzone mode. This mode has the potential to reinvent the way people think about Halo multiplayer. A beautiful combination of 2 teams of humans, AI enemies, vehicles and a massive map make this mode a must play. I played a 15 minute game where my team had to control points on the map while fighting off both human and AI enemies. A big surprise was the inclusion of driveable mechs, which instantly became a favourite of the crowd playing. Everything felt wonderfully balanced in my play time, which I think is the single most important element of this mode. It is clear that 343 spent thousands of hours getting this right. The gameplay is distinctly Halo but the setting is fresh and exciting and I must admit it is nice to feel that way about Halo again. The game looks great too and is sure to please fans everywhere. If Warzone is any indication than Halo 5 will be a cracking entry in Microsoft’s premier franchise.
Next up I grabbed my blaster and joined in a 40 player match of Star Wars Battlefront. This is a game that I have been skeptical about since its announcement. I had this horrible feeling that it would simply be a reskinned version of Battlefield. I have never been more happy to be wrong. Sure there is some Battlefield DNA in there but Battlefront is without doubt its own beast. The level I played on was Hoth and I was a member of the Empire charged with guiding an AT-AT walker to the Rebel Base so it could destroy their power source. Everything I could have ever wanted in a Star Wars game was right at my finger tips. I piloted a Tie Fighter, drove an AT-ST, shot a dodgy blaster rifle and threw a thermal detonator. The game is much more welcoming to newcomers as well and the brutal learning curve of Battlefield has been lessened considerably. I am now very much looking forward to the game’s release in November.
Finally I managed to get some good hands on with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. My first thoughts were not exactly complimentary as the game seems to be going out of its way to copy other sci/fi games. The movement system is very reminiscent of Titanfall (if not as fast) and the different selectable characters seem to be almost direct copies of other famous video game stars (there is one character that is almost exactly the same as Legion from Mass Effect). Luckily the action had me forgetting these problems quickly. Sure it is just more COD but the new features all blended well with the action and added new tactical options for combat. The weapons, even though they are all futuristic, all felt satisfyingly weighty and of the ones I used, fun to play with. In all I don’t think COD BLOPS 3 is going to be a groundbreaking title but it does have the potential to be a breath of fresh air for a series that is growing increasingly stale.
So that was it for the preview night. I will be wandering the show floor on Friday trying to get hands on as many new titles as possible. I will be back with my thoughts on those games soon so stay tuned for that and more in depth looks at various games from other members of the Player2 crew.