GAMEfest 2011 kicked off in style on Friday 16th September 2011 and ended in equally spectacular style on Sunday 18th September. It was full of thrills, giveaways and more swag than any one man could carry, and of course……GIRLS, GIRLS and more GIRLS!
However that is not what you want to hear about so the following is a rundown of my time there and the games I played and saw, followed by my opinions of them.
Friday started at 10am to the sounds of hundreds of footsteps charging towards the Modern Warfare 3 booth (of which I was not one of them). I instead started my day with the mighty Battlefield 3.
Now I think the best way to start this is with one simple word…….WOW! The Frostbite 2 engine is phenomenal, the game sounds superb and plays like a dream. Graphically this game is stunning. It looked very clean and crisp on the screen, I dare say it but it looked almost perfect.
The demo we got to play was a 15 minute game of rush Rush and the difference I felt in the game was immediate, not only because I was playing it on a ps3 so was not used to the controller or control differences, but because the pace of the game was a lot quicker than Bad Company 2 and the atmosphere created was intense. There were bullets flying everywhere and bits of cover being blown off from all over the place, it really did give you the feeling that nowhere on the battlefield was safe.
The guns made an incredible noise (I felt lethal playing the game) and that sound was only equalled to the sound of bullets bouncing off stone and metal, whilst I cowered in cover waiting for it to feel safe to poke my head around the corner to return fire with an explosive blast of fire that rattled my ear drums as I laid waste to the enemies trying to plant explosives on the M-COM station. The animation has been not only improved but added to, in that now upon approaching an obstacle rather than pressing ‘A’ to jump over you now vault over to keep the fluid motion going plus, you can also press the right stick whilst running to slide into and hide behind cover.
This game was by far the best game I played that weekend and I just can’t wait for October 28th.
Halo: Combat Evolved HD
The demo showcased for this was a 10 minute free for all 8 player slayer game on ‘Battle Creek’. The only notable difference on this map was the addition of two teleports at each end of the map allowing you to quickly teleport behind everyone and get the drop on them. The gameplay is you typical halo experience, no real change in the controls or the feel of the game (however they did keep the silent kill option from reach).
Graphically as you would expect from a game using the Reach engine its hugely improved, but it still has that Halo: CE charm to it that you had seen 10 years ago when you first played the game on the original Xbox, so even with the improved graphics after time you don’t notice it because it just felt like the game had always looked that way. I stopped thinking of it as a re-release and started thinking about it as the original game.
In my opinion I feel that this re-release has done the original justice and fans of the series will embrace it with open arms as they once again get to grips with this masterpiece of a game.
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
Now despite the title this game isn’t actually centred on Spyro the dragon. He is just one of 32 characters that the player will eventually get to play with.
The demo showcased was a small piece of single player/co-op action, now the one thing that amazed me with this game is that it is the first fully cross platform game. The way it achieves this is that only single player campaign data is saved to the console, all character data is saved on a chip at the base of the figurines that are used with the game.
The way the figurines work is that they are placed on to what was referred to as the ‘power portal’ this is a device that is plugged in to the console via USB and it allows for the player to simply take their figurine from their portal and put it onto another portal regardless of what platform it is attached to and that character is instantly transported into the game at the same level they were on your console. Now all this comes at a price. I believe RRP for the game was £59.99 but with that you get the portal, game and 3 figurines:
• Trigger happy
• Gill grunt
Each of these characters has their own elemental type which will be required to complete the game, there are 8 elemental types in total and additional figurines can be purchased at a later date. I can’t remember the exact price but I believe they said they were £5-£7.
Now obviously as you can already tell this is one for the collectors among you and it is also one for the kids. Whilst playing the demo I heard at least 20 families fall in love with the game and make a pre-order (so this is almost a guarantee to be a big seller at Christmas) however even though its clearly aimed at kids I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see more on it in the weeks to come.
TLOZ: Skyward Sword
Now there isn’t really much I can say for this game. Graphically it didn’t look any better than the previous Zelda outing on the Wii, the controls were the same, and music was typical of a Zelda game. I guess what I’m trying to say is this just felt like your typical Zelda game. Is this a bad thing? Of course not!
This game still had plenty of the challenge that you’d expect. Epic dungeons, the puzzles in the demo made you think, the mini boss battle was tough and took me a couple attempts to defeat it. This game is possibly the only reason I would consider getting a Wii again (however due to the girlfriend having one there is no need) and is going to be a sure fire hit for Nintendo.
Mario Kart 7 3D
Again nothing much to say on this one as it was you standard Mario Kart game, which again is far from a bad thing. It was thoroughly enjoyable and the additions of your karts transforming into a sub and glider were a great.
Graphically it has obviously improved from the last outing on a DS and the 3D wasn’t too disorientating so it didn’t make you feel too ill when playing it.
Again another sure fire hit for Nintendo!
I went into this demo not really knowing too much about the game other than it had been dubbed ‘the hardest console game EVER’ and after playing the game I could see why it’s been called that. The boss battle was epic. You fought a HUGE stone gargoyle and half way through the battle a second one (clearly bored of watching the other fight you) decides to join in, which considering you’re on a rooftop doesn’t make the already hard battle any easier.
Visually this game is great, the lighting effects are beautiful, and you are made to feel that you actually are exploring a dark, wet, cold dungeon. This game has got plenty of potential and if you’re a hard core action/adventure hack n’ slash RPG fan then this will be one for you
There however were a couple of downsides to this game, the controls did feel very slow at times which kind of ruined the fluidity of the fighting, the camera angles as well at times were not great and as a result ended up in me getting swamped by 4 enemies that then proceeded to butcher me silly.
That being said they are just a couple if in my eyes ‘minor’ tweaks that need not take away from what could be a great game full of challenge.
Modern Warfare 3
In contrast to Battlefield 3 I can only really use one word to describe this game…… Disappointing! Visually this game was no different to Black Ops, played no differently to Black Ops and sounded no differently to Black Ops. At times I actually felt like I was playing Black Ops.
I have to say that I feel Activision is pushing this whole call of duty franchise too far now and they are finally starting to crack. This is shown in MW3 by the way that it just felt a bit too arcade like when playing the spec ops mode that was playable.
I also had the chance to see a couple of the single player levels played in a 20 minute presentation and again I have to say I wasn’t blown away by it. At some points I did think “Yeah, that’s cool” but for the vast majority all I could think was how weak in comparison to BF3 it looked and it just seemed somewhat lazy by Activision. This is a shame because up until now I have been a fan of the CoD franchise.
In my honest opinion I think EA have the edge this year with Battlefield but unfortunately I don’t think the right game will win the crown because Activision are going to be saved only by the fan base for this franchise alone (this was shown by the 4 hour wait by midday on every day of GAMEfest).
Author: ll DirtyJim ll