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OXCGN’s EB Expo 2012 Snapshot: Upcoming Games Previewed – Day One

OXCGN’s EB Expo 2012 Snapshot: Upcoming Games Previewed – Day One

Quick thoughts on the latest up-and-coming games.

by Daniel Geikowski

©2012 Daniel Geikowski

Every gamer (and budding gaming journalist) dreams of going to E3 in Los Angeles. Getting their hands on and playing the most anticipated games.

However, like most people, I’ll take what I can get.

Here in Australia we currently have the EB Games Expo. While it’s not as big as E3, Australians like myself get a chance to check out the latest on games we’re all looking forward to, often with later builds of games shown earlier in L.A.

Over the next three days, we’ll be providing feedback on the latest, greatest and everything in between that we manage to get our hands on.

The following are our impressions from the limited time we had with each game, and are subject to change over the course of each game’s development cycle.

Impressions are judged with the following rating:

Green: game looks fantastic, polished and basically a guaranteed winner

Yellow: game looks great, but there’s a bit of uncertainty or something that didn’t quite work right

Orange: game is shaping up, but needs some work.

Darksiders 2 – Wii U

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Optimistic

Thoughts: Having already been released on PC, Xbox 360 and the PS3, the Wii U version of Darksiders II is shaping up to be a worthy launch title.

Controlling Death with the Wii U controller comes easily thanks to the standard button and trigger layout that most consoles have adopted over the years.

My preview involved playing through the Argul’s Tomb DLC, unleashing Death’s powers upon many hapless enemies.

The build I played was missing many of the finished title’s and console’s features, such as the ability to switch the  gameplay from your TV to the Wii U’s gamepad screen.

The Wii U’s gamepad screen detailed Death’s inventory, which saves time from pausing the action to shuffle through items.

The frame rate tended to slow down, even to a complete freeze on a couple occasions, when a lot of action was taking place on-screen.

While it was hard to gauge the position of Darksiders II due to the lack of the Wii U’s features, the game looks promising.

With more development time, Darksiders II should work out the kinks, and maybe even provide some new features for those who purchase the Wii U.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Preview: Hands-On with single player

Impression: Outstanding

Thoughts: With only a couple of weeks to go until the game’s October 25th release, Medal of Honor: Warfighter looks amazing.

I got my hands on a section of the single player campaign. The mission involved traversing through an area toward an enemy stronghold.

The combat felt visceral. Weapons carry impact and sound meaty in the heat of battle.

The many years of playing FPSs had me running out in the open trying to mow all enemies down while taking fire. You can’t do that.

To survive in combat, players need to take patience and time to line up shots and take out enemies with the least amount of risk.

With my newfound success, I made my way to an enemy stronghold, where I was then put into the shoes of a helicopter gunner. After mowing down countless enemies, I was told my time was up.

Even though the game has the dark palette seen in recent FPSs, it ran smoothly, with no graphical or audio errors. Warfighter looks to be on the money to mix it up with the competition upon release.

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Optimistic

Thoughts: Our hands-on with Injustice involved going head-to-head with players in Versus mode. The demo allowed for selection of only a few DC characters.

While I’m not a big fan of the fighting genre, I had fun using the multiple heroes and villains from the DC universe. You can finally knock that smug look off Superman while kicking ass as Batman.

The ease with which players can unleash special moves will allow for some great battles.  Rather than having to enter a matrix of commands, players need only to press both triggers.

While the action looks fast-paced, the sound effects seem lacking in my opinion. Punches and kicks don’t deliver that satisfying thud that they should when delivered to someone’s face.

The graphics need a bit of polish as well, as playing on the 360,  character models are a bit jagged with all the quick movements.

Fundamentally, Injustice is solid, and with a bit more polish, I have no doubt it will be a must by for any DC or fighting genre fan.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Preview: Hands-Off/Demo walkthrough

Impression: Mixed

Thoughts: Don’t get me wrong. Splinter Cell: Blacklist looks fantastic. My feelings are only mixed due to the fact that the demo shown was the same as E3.

Being a big fan of the series, I was waiting for some new information, holding out for some new gameplay.

The demo was hands-off, and featured Sam Fisher infiltrating an enemy compound in order to capture a man known as Jadid, for information on the Blacklist.

The demo showcased the ‘Mark and Execute’ feature seen in Conviction, as well as the Assassin’s Creed style climbing.

While the demo didn’t reveal anything new, seeing Blacklist in action was fantastic. The visuals were slick, and the game ran smoothly with no issues.

Hopefully in the near future, we get some new gameplay footage of Sam and Fourth Echelon in action.

Far Cry 3

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Outstanding

Thoughts: Far Cry 3 is shaping up to be a necessary purchase for fans of the open world and/or FPS genres.

My hands-on with the game involved me starting off in a random village, with the goal of…..leaving the village.

After taking a few steps and completing that exhausting goal, I was free to explore.

This is what Far Cry is about. I could go where I wanted (within reason).

I decided to make my way to a radio antenna with the aim of restoring the power. Along the way, I took out some enemy goats that I felt were threatening my existence.

As I was climbing the tower however, I saw something.

As I looked down, I saw more goats run through the area. They were running from something. Wolves.

I just sat on top of an antenna in the middle of a tropical island, watching wolves chase goats. Those little touches add so much realism.

After snapping back to reality, I restored power and then took a zip-line down to an ATV. A short trip later, I found a hang-glider.

Being adventurous, I attempted to fly it, but crashed into a enemy jeep. After dispatching the enemies, I was told my time with the game was up.

Far Cry 3 is a fantastic game for those who love open world games. The graphics look great, with stunning views of the tropical paradise.

There was a bit of fuzziness and excessive blur when picking up speed that I believe should be addressed in the time prior to release.

The weapons sound satisfying, and the multitude of ways to approach locations will appeal to gamers who prefer both action and stealth.

With a couple of months to go until the game releases on November 29th, Far Cry 3 should receive further polish, and provide stiff competition in the already packed FPS market.

Stay Tuned…

With another two days of the EB Games expo still to go, be sure to stay tuned in order to see our upcoming previews and interviews coming up in the near future!

You can read DAY 2 of the EB Expo previews HERE.

©2012 Daniel Geikowski
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About Daniel Geikowski, 2IC (41 Articles)
Like many of you out there, Daniel has a great passion for video games. So much so that he quit his day job to complete a Bachelor of Arts: Games and Interactivity degree. As 2IC of OXCGN.com, he's not satisfied with covering the basics of gaming, but the issues and topics many games raise in today's society. Follow him on Twitter @Deus_Exer

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