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EGX Rezzed: 10 Games to Check Out
April 19, 2016, Author: Matt Parker
Gaming expos are often all about the newest, the biggest and the best…est. EGX Rezzed is about two of those things as its focus isn’t on the biggest blockbusters, but the newest and the best of PC and indie titles. This year’s EGX Rezzed offered up a range of amazing titles that I got to play and it’s only right I tell you about them.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a couple of ‘big’ titles that looked cracking. Dark Souls III looked nice, though my time with Dark Souls II has made me certain of never playing it. Total War: Warhammer also looked great. I’m not talking about them though – here are ten games (in no order) that I really liked whilst at EGX Rezzed.
Let’s start off with a mobile game. Reigns is kind of like a medieval Tindr, but instead of sorting out a date, you’re looking to reign over a kingdom.
The Tindr analogy makes sense when you see how the game controls as all you need to do is swipe left and right to agree to demands, go on quests or marry a suitable prince / princess of your choosing.
It doesn’t look like you can ‘win’ as such, because all reigns must end and most end in death.
If there’s one thing that highlights a bad writer, it’s a lazy reliance on explaining new games based on similarities to old games.
This being said, Assasin’s Creed Black Flag + The Witcher X Sid meier’s Pirates! = Man O’War: Corsair
You take control of a ship, have a crew and from there you sail the eight seas. Actually, I don’t know how many seas there are, as this is a fantasy land that may contain many or few masses of water.
You get missions from ports and you can also hire more crew members, upgrade your boat and buy and sell goods. Combat plays like Black Flag, and although there was some early access wonk to the game, it’s a promising start.
To be fair, the wonk was quickly forgotten when I was attacked by a megalodon, and with promises of more mythical creatures and weird and wonderful Games Workshop fantasy gubbings to come.
I’ll admit to being like a moth to a flame when I walked passed This is the Police. It looks super clean and seriously stylish – unlike the job it’s trying to emulate.
You take the role of a senior police officer of some sort – a chief, a commissioner, who knows? Either way, you’re in charged. You need to hire and fire, set up shifts, assign detectives to investigations and send out cops to call-outs.
It’s not that simple, though, and is actually fairly brutal. Cut-scenes between days saw me get involved with the mafia, meaning I ignored a 911 call at the docks. I managed to get one of my officers killed as they attended a regular traffic stop. To top it off, I then had my budget cut.
Another brutal game that I’m not entirely sure you can win. Why do I do this to myself?
Imagine a game that looks like Hitman GO but plays like Hitman. You now have No Trace.
I’m being super reductive, but it’s true – and it’s great. Shifting the view to an ‘above world’ camera changes how you approach taking out targets and the low-poly, diorama look is still striking even if it has been seen before.
It’s still early days in development, so the controls weren’t what I’d call ‘tight’ or even ‘good’ but there’s real promise here. If the developers can create levels with plenty of options and ways to approach them, No Trace will have my seal of approval.
Are you sick of low-res, pixelated art styles? I’m not!
Kingdom is a fairly straightforward resource management game where you play as the laziest king in the world. Seriously, the guy never gets off his horse. You roam from left to right, and then right to left, as you find gold and bribe peasants to join your kingdom.
It’s simple (I’m saying that a lot – what does that suggest about me?) but I could see myself wandering from one side of my kingdom to the next just to build an upgrade for my wall. I’m sure it gets more intense the more you play, but those early moments I enjoyed were pretty chill.
Imagine if Phoenix Wright dropped out of law school and worked at a Wetherspoons pub instead. A futuristic, cyberpunk, Tokyo-based Wetherspoons.
Like the Phoenix Wright games, this is dialogue heavy, though enjoyably so. I only got to play one encounter in demo, but Streaming Chan (A hyperactive woman who streams her entire life through Google Glasses V3.5) had a nice little arc of being annoying, then a little bit sweet and then back to annoying.
To progress through these chats you have to make cocktails. These are incredibly easy to make and there was no stress (in demo) if you made a mistake. So it’s like a Papers, Please, where you’re tasked with a fairly menial job but without the threat of your family being sent to a gulag.
Hipsters rejoice! Here’s a JRPG just for you. Well, anyone should be able to enjoy it, but if you’re allergic to vinyl, plaid shirts and beards then watch out.
Set in a small American town, YIIK has you trying to find a missing friend with the help of a rag-tag group of characters you can level up, just like a JRPG. Instead of being knights, witches and mages, you’re a barista, an otaku and someone who looks like a lumberjack but probably lives in Zone 2 (look at a London Underground map) and actually works in IT. Unlike a JRPG.
It’s kind of got an Earthbound feel with Paper Mario RPG combat, and has a very stylish animated look. Looking forward to it.
I sat down and before I knew it, I’d played through the entire demo in 15 minutes. It flew by and was utterly absorbing.
Outreach has you docking into an ISS equivalent. You’re docking there because things have gone quiet in space and people want to know why the astronauts aren’t updating their Twitter feeds with #content or posting acoustic versions of David Bowie songs to YouTube.
The demo showed off a very small area of said space station. In fact, all I did was open a couple of lockers and then go outside to check the solar panels before everything went wrong and the screen faded to black.
What made this so great was the detail in the environments and the movement of your character. You see, moving in zero-G only works when you’re close to a surface, as you need to kick off or hold on to something, like I’d imagine real space is like. This led to moments of being out of control, helplessly drifting in a direction you thought was right two seconds ago. This is especially nerve wracking when outside the space station.
Well worth playing and I can’t wait to see how the story develops.
Turn-based strategy games are my go-to titles these days. Gone are my quick reflexes, so instead I like to have a cup of tea between turns and have a good long think about my move. This is then followed by instant regret as it turns out that my ability to think strategically has gone too.
Never mind. Despite this, I had fun with Sigma Theory. Kind of like XCOM and Invisible Inc., you control a group of spies as you try to win a Cold War. From what I saw, missions will result in different mini-games popping up, but nothing quite as involved as Invisible Inc. or XCOM.
Instead, think of this as a more of an interactive board-game. A board game where you send three agents out to find scientists only to have your agents cover blown, all three arrested by the police and the countries you were spying on now hate you.
It’s basically Sensible Soccer! It’s basically great! Basically!
Honestly, that’s most of what you need to know. A few other interesting facts are the different arenas you can play in and the fact they actually affect the way the game plays. 5-a-side indoor football has a much smaller pitch, there’s your standard 11-a-side and then there’s some others that I didn’t get to play.
DISCLOSURE – I’m highly corrupt and received a free key for this. It’s about ethics.
Thus concludes my quick rundown of ten games that I really enjoyed at EGX Rezzed. If you can attend next year, I highly recommend it.
Before I go, however, I’ll leave you with a few honourable mentions. Give them a click too.
Feature Type: Event Coverage | Tagged Climberia Pirates, Kingdom, Man O’War: Corsair, No Trace, Outreach, Raging Justice, Reigns, Sigma Theory, Sol Trader, Super Arcade Football, This is the Police, VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action, YIIK - A Post-Modern RPG