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Xbox One and Wii U: Impressions from the Eurogamer Expo show floor


With Eurogamer Expo 2013 wrapping up and the dust settling to what was a frenzied first day, I have recovered from the shell shock to make an attempt to put down what I experienced in writing. As Joe mentioned the show was not the best when it came to organisation, pushing English sensibilities to their limits with far too much queuing and even a little kettling for old time’s sake, but putting that all aside, it's the games that we their for.

Splitting our focus, I went for the Xbox One area to get some hands-on with Microsoft's new machine. First up Forza Motorsport 5, but before I go on about the game I should mention the console and control pad as it was my first hands on. The console itself is really something you will want to hide under your TV as it is not the most beautiful looking piece of kit. Whereas in the past the Xbox 360 had its curves, this has more in common with the old top loader VHS players in bulk and presence. The Kinect also is pretty large; how this will fit on top of some of the thinner TV’s out there is anyone’s guess. The controller on the other hand is a vast improvement on previous iterations; the control sticks are very responsive as are the well placed trigger and bumper buttons and the size, though it is smaller, manages to fit well even in my spade-like hands. Back to the game itself and a bane of any new console quickly rears its head, loading times. They are everywhere, frequent and long, selecting your car then selecting your colours, each area leads to a long and impatient wait just to get to the track and even when on it I have to say I was a little underwhelmed, OK the cars look fantastic but the tracks and environments in the background felt a little “digital”(not helped with Gran Turismo 6 across the room that looked stunning). The controller was yet again the saving grace, offering tight controls and the rumble feedback being the best I have experience for a long time, really making it feel like you are working hard for those corners.

Next up was Ryse: Son of Rome, a game that after the recent expo’s didn’t get the best reaction Miscrosoft could have hoped for; thankfully with a hands on this now looks like it can be a real contender. The apparently overused button bashing moments have been put aside for a more God of War feel, this time with the game taking us through a two player co-op colosseum, fighting for the pleasure of the amassed crowds, with the visuals really showcasing what the Xbox One can do, taking in the scenery of the towering spectator areas before spotting the incoming warriors, looking to prove their worth by spilling your blood. The fierce action is quite simple in execution with you swapping from attacks and shield blows before wearing down the enemy for one of those visceral slow motion finishers. In co-op you need to keep an eye on your partner, teaming up to fight the many incoming enemies whilst also negotiating the many traps that litter the sand and blood strewn floor. Though not explained there was a crowd meter in the top corner that appeared to rise when you got into more fights or lower when you just wander around looking for something to do, possibly linked to a scoring system. With numerous objectives popping up during this huge battle and an awful lot to take in, the colosseum mode looks like it will be a treat to play come its final release.

Killer Instinct was also playable at the Expo, this hyper fast fighting game teaching me many types of humiliation, my arse being handed to me on numerous occasions with the games signature combos and over the top visual style looking great on the screen, the same can’t be said for my fighting skills. The overly large arcade fighting stick was however a treat to use and something I am sure dedicated fighting fans will want to get their hands on for future tournaments; will this replace the Street Fighter series? Only time will tell.

At this point the disorganisation began to wear my patience thin, with queues that did not want to move for Dead Rising 3, or a go on World of Tanks that was a five minute wait in an in game lobby, the worst experience has to go to Fable Anniversary, a game that's even though not finished, to meet the 2014 release and have a good game seems an impossible dream, playing like a ten your old game with slow and sluggish controls and graphics that look like they had just covered the old ones with a few new HD threads. The actual gameplay didn’t really showcase the game with a running battle though an enemy camp that got boring very quickly, just swinging your sword over and over again in different directions, now I can see why there was not a queue for this game.

Moving away from the Xbox One area I finally gave Nintendo some attention, with the new Super Mario World 3D on the WiiU looking fantastic, with four player co-op returning for some multiplayer mayhem, the standard platforming shenanigans making for familiar but fun gaming with plenty of new powerups to learn, with the cat power up looking particularly good, with Mario donning a cat suit that enables him to scamper up walls and unleash a claw attack. Mario Kart also gets an inevitable and long awaited Wii U title, incorporating many of the recent changes like hang-glider and underwater elements but also adding some F-Zero ideas with racers able to ride along walls and even go upside down on certain parts of the tracks, creating real rollercoaster races. Even with all of the new ultra powerful next gen consoles on show it goes to show that even having the lowest spec console on the market does not mean the Wii U can't create some stunning visuals.

Not one to sit in a queue for too long and opting for an over the shoulder approach to the final few games, Dark Souls 2 looks like more of the same punishing action as the previous games, with most of the players coming to some grisly ends and Destiny, Bungie's new title having a standout running demo that looks like everything that made the Halo games great, but with even more.

Queuing and disorganisation aside it’s the games that shone at Eurogamer Expo 2103, giving us all a glimpse of what to expect over the next twelve months and getting us all hyped up for what will surely be an insane and expensive November 2013. 

Words by Ash Buchanan.

Edited On 28 Sep, 2013

Comments
( 19 )
Shoozle's avatar
Shoozle 3 years ago
I really recommend you try out Dark Souls 2 if you played the first for well over a thousand hours. It felt so different but similar at the same time. I never tried out the Xbone stuff, mainly since I was only there for a day and lines looked stupidly long. I did try out the Wii U area which was sadly, very empty. Got to play Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, which looked pretty but felt like I was just playing Returns on an emulator. The levels did not introduce any new mechanics like each level seemed to do in the first game. I too got to try out Mario 3D World and it did play well, look nice. I played with 3 strangers and I was the first to get the cat power-up, so I started picking up my allies and throwing them around a bit. The level design was pretty boring though. I only played 1 level and it felt like something I would have seen in 3D Land. I played Sonic Lost World, which while fun, it played itself honestly but I don't really care for Sonic titles other than the racing ones. So maybe it was just the level or me being bad.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
I can't wait for Dark Souls 2. I'm going to be invading from the start this time
b3ddo3's avatar
b3ddo3 3 years ago
Been to the show 4 years running and I have to agree this year it was so disorganized. The queues were insane after 5 hours I got to play 2 games, Ryse and Titanfall. I was not impressed with Ryse to be honest not that I could judge with the 2 minutes I got on it. Thought that both Ryse and Dead rising could have done with moving upstairs in the 18 area and gotten a few more screens. After that it was Forza and in my opinion it looked amazing, much, much better than GT6 (That's my opinion). Couldn't fit much more into the time left just went around the quiet games like tearaway, the crew, zoo tycoon and Kinect sports rivals, which I must say rock climbing really proved that its accuracy has improved immensely.
b3ddo3's avatar
b3ddo3 3 years ago
Just to add to that, Titanfall was game of the show for me, so fresh and opposite to what I expected I loved being a pilot more so than a titan. Loved battling in a building and a giant titan strolls past a window, great sense of scale. Anyone else manage to get on it? What did you think?
Zombieflamingo's avatar
Zombieflamingo 3 years ago
How was zoo tycoon? Im intrigued but I dont know how much will be management and how much will be the silly kinect with animals.
b3ddo3's avatar
b3ddo3 3 years ago
I can't deny it looks stunning and the animals included so far also look and act great, but I loved the pc version and this just did not feel like it. Kinect does not have to be used at all during gameplay and is just there as a bonus, if you have any kids they will love feeding elephants etc. with Kinect. Each exhibit is pre made and there are only certain spots you can place enrichment items (unlike the pc version where you place everything where you want). If you are not really into sim games but love animals it is great fun for half hour at a time its the game for you. (wasn't shown challenges so can't speak for the longativity of the game)
Frimelda Lotice's avatar
Frimelda Lotice 3 years ago
Sounds like Eurogamer was slightly disappointing this year, I hope that PlayExpo in Manchester isn't the same way. So....is anyone going to that Convention on Oct 12th? :3
Dead's avatar
Dead 3 years ago
Is that the extent of your EG Nintendo coverage then, one paragraph?
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
No one here likes Nintendo besides us Gloria
Dead's avatar
Dead 3 years ago
Philistines.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
Bitch
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
(J/K)
Konakona's avatar
Konakona 3 years ago
I do.
Dead's avatar
Dead 3 years ago
There's a few of us, but our interests are at best relegated to the sidelines, or just ignored completely in favour of FIFA CoD and all the other generic looking next gen shite. The attitude represented here just stinks, they say the Nintendo space was empty and then that they could only be bothered with 2 games. They were supposed to have Bayonetta 2 there, no mention of that, they were supposed to be doing an indie showcase, again no mention, we got a better report of it all from Shoozle.
Shoozle's avatar
Shoozle 3 years ago
I did want to try out Bayonetta 2 and I did hear they had 2 systems set up with the demo, unfortunately I only ever saw 1 and the line did not move much. As a whole, Nintendo was the most disorganised. I saw Pokemon X/Y on one 3DS but it did not have a line, just a huge crowd. It was the same with DKC, Mario Kart and Mario 3D Land. No lines, just a bumbling crowd. I don't remember seeing an indie section for Nintendo. Supposedly The Wonderful 101 was there too, again, I did not see it. Either Nintendo or the organisers should have made Nintendo's section bigger as it was far too jumbled up. There is footage online of the EG Expo Bayonetta 2 demo and it does look great thankfully.
Dead's avatar
Dead 3 years ago
From all accounts the whole show was a bit of a shambles this year, not just Nintendo's area. Just had a look at the Bayonetta 2 footage ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFMmOGis1wI ) and it looks fantastic, definitely one I'm looking forward to, just hope the release date is early 2014. Cheers for the report Shoozle ;)
Ash Buchanan's avatar
Ash Buchanan 3 years ago
Apologies fort the short Nintendo coverage but the queues were beyond ridiculous by that point and with no real organisation from the booth staff I just gave up, grabbed some american candy and left.
Ash Buchanan's avatar
Ash Buchanan 3 years ago
Gloria, I am extremely pro Nintendo, as my comments were quite clear how good the games were that I played. Also made no comment about the nintendo space being empty? Must admit I did not even see the Bayonetta 2 stand??
Im Going Space's avatar
Im Going Space 3 years ago
did you guys get into dead rising 3? i thought it was ruddy epic. and battlefield 4 was running on Xbone too, very well i may add, only the knife animations seemed a little juddery, but ill put that down to an old game build (still using the E3 one!). Titanfall was so much better than i had expected. im not a big racing fan, But forza looked better than GT6, and played much much better too. (why is gran turismo still using X and Square? TRIGGERS!) annoyingly i forgot my 3DS so didnt venture over to the nintendo area much, although i did have a peek at wind waker HD. looks good ect, but theres still a lot of Hexagon shaped 'Circles'.

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