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OXCGN’s EB Expo 2012 Snapshot 2: 10 More Upcoming Games Previewed

OXCGN’s EB Expo 2012 Snapshot 2: 10 More Upcoming Games Previewed

Even more games to sink your teeth into.

by Daniel Geikowski

©2012 Daniel Geikowski

Day Two of the EB Games Expo gave gamers another opportunity to wait in line for eternity in order to play the latest games for a few minutes.

After braving a few lines, as well as using stealth and cunning, I managed to weasel my way to the front of the queue in order to bring you readers out there the latest previews.

Much like OXCGN’s Day One Snapshots, my impressions are rated as follows:

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.

Let’s get into it shall we.

God of War: Ascension

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Solid

Thoughts: I don’t own a Playstation, but I have always enjoyed the God of War series. I have played the previous iterations, and Ascension plays in a much similar fashion.

The demo involved Kratos doing what he does best, kicking ass as violently as possible along a port.

Standard heavy and light attacks feel solid, as well as the melee attack. Grabbing enemies and ripping them apart lends to the visceral gameplay.

After clearing enemies at the port, Kratos climbed along a cliff-side to head further inland, only to encounter more enemies.

Quick-Time-Events (QTEs) return when finishing off mini-bosses, such as repeatedly stabbing a weird Elephant-type enemy, before slicing out its brain.

The demo ended with the emergence of a Kraken-like serpent and Kratos leaping towards it before the screen faded to black.

Overall, the graphics and sound were top notch, however the gameplay will feel familiar to fans of the series.

The game looks ready for release, but hopefully the gameplay and story offers something different to keep Ascension feeling fresh.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Preview: Hands-On with multiplayer

Impression: Impressive

Thoughts: After playing through the single player demo yesterday, today my friends and I got our hands on the multiplayer offering of Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

The demo involved a 6v6 Capture the Flag.

Players were able to choose from 6 different classes, each containing various weapons and stats, down to different run speeds and reload animations.

Medal of Honor’s Creative Director Kristoffer Bergqvist told us that Danger Close wanted to incorporate Co-op into multiplayer.

They achieve this with the introduction of Fireteams. Each Fireteam consist of a two man squad, who work together throughout the game.

Fireteams are essentially a team within a team, gaining bonuses on ammo, respawn time, etc. when sticking together instead of running of by themselves.

This enforces the notion of teamwork, the core aspect of MoH’s multiplayer.

The Capture the Flag rounds are quick, as each player is only given one life, and the game ends once all players on one team are killed, or a flag is captured.

Levels feature an abundance of cover within close quarters, leading players into choke points.

Overall, the multiplayer was enjoyable, and aims to support competitive gaming with the ease of creating and maintaining a platoon with your friends.

I believe that the 2+ years Danger Close have spent playtesting Warfighter will give players an enjoyable experience that will give Call of Duty and Battlefield a run for their money.

Crysis 3

Preview: Hands-Off

Impression: Optimistic

Thoughts: I managed to work my way to the EA booth to have a look at the singleplayer of Crysis 3 .

Being Crysis, the graphics look absolutely stunning thanks to CryEngine 3, and no doubt most of our PCs will be struggling to run this come release.

The gameplay is fairly similar to that of Crysis 2, with the Nanosuit’s powers divided into Cloak, Speed and Power. Nothing new stood out, with the exception of the Bow and Arrow.

The environments in Crysis 3 look amazing. Nature reclaiming New York looks stunning, with the water effects the stand out.

The game had a few minor bugs such as clipping issues, and the A.I seemed to charge mindlessly toward the player, but these are minor gripes.

With plenty of time before the scheduled 2013 release, Crysis 3 should have ample time to work out the kinks, in order to be what should be a fantastic game.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Optimistic

Thoughts: Need for Speed: Most Wanted is shaping up to be a great addition to the series.

The demo I played allowed me to drive around the world at my leisure. This allowed me to get a feel for the handling and physics of the car.

The downside is that I was unable to take part in any races, which is obviously a major component in the Need for Speed games.

In any respect, cars handle great. Controls are responsive, and are easy to pick up and play.

The graphics also look great, with motion and blur adding that real sense of speed and danger when taking a corner at 200kph.

Just as you’d expect, taking a corner at such high speeds usually involve crashes. Let me tell you, they look fantastic.

The guys at Criterion have utilised their experience with the Burnout franchise to deliver some visceral and impactful crashes.

I had very limited time with the game, and wasn’t able to test out the game’s core features due to a technical issue the EA Booth was having.

However, what I saw and played was enjoyable, and can only assume the game will be even more so when being able to go head to head with friends.

Company of Heroes 2

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Enjoyable

Thoughts: I’m not really a big Real Time Strategy (RTS) player, but I enjoyed Company of Heroes 2.

The demo I got my hands on had me assaulting a town in order to rid it from enemy occupation.

The controls were simple and easy enough for an inexperienced RTS player like myself to pick up and play.

I was able to control basic infantry, engineers and heavy machine gunners. Upon clearing the town, I was tasked to defend the area.

Setting up the heavy gunner made light work of Nazis, along with using grenades for good measure.

Flanking was paramount to advancing through the level, and I was gifted a special air strike ability to help me along the way.

After defending set points, I was tasked with securing a tank, before using said tank against enemy German armour.

The demo ended once I defeated the German tank.

While RTS isn’t my favourite genre, I really enjoyed CoH 2.

Controls were simple enough for me to attack and progress, but there are deeper and more complex actions for fans of the genre.

The graphics were great, with levels and units looking quite detailed. Unit animations look great as they crouch from cover to cover, going prone to advance on targets.

Scheduled to be released in 2013, Company of Heroes 2 is already shaping up to be a worthy successor to the original.

Tomb Raider

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Optimistic

Thoughts: The Tomb Raider reboot is heading in the right direction.

The demo placed us in the shoes of Lara Croft, having just escaping capture, searching for friends from her expedition.

Running along the coast, Lara runs and jumps along in an attempt to find shelter, stumbling upon her friend’s belongings, including a radio.

Once finding shelter and a fire, I was tasked with finding some food. After spotting a hanging corpse with a bow, I knew I had to retrieve it.

Once obtaining the bow, I was now on the hunt for food. Clicking the Left bumper, Lara used a kind of Eagle Vision to identify food and other important items.

I spotted a deer up ahead, and managed to kill it. Upon reaching the deer, Lara showed discomfort in delivering the killer blow.

However, I now had meat, and returned to camp. A friend of Lara’s radioed through, and told her to be strong, because she needed to make her way to them.

This promptly ended the demo.

I quite enjoyed the reboot thus far. It’s shaping up nicely.

Lara now has a skill menu that players can spend points on as they gain experience hunting and exploring.

Crystal Dynamics have really nailed the feeling of a young, timid and defenseless Lara Croft, slowly becoming strong and self-sufficient.

The graphics look great, although there was a bit of framerate stutter as I played along.

Overall, Tomb Raider is shaping up to be yet another must-have title come its 2013 release.

Rayman Legends

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Outstanding

Thoughts: Rayman Legends is looking like a great Wii U launch title.

I was able to play through the co-op demo, where the Ubisoft staff member played as Rayman, while I played as his little sidekick.

As Rayman ran through the level, I had to use the Wii U Gamepad’s touchscreen to lift, grab and cut objects in Rayman’s path.

Two players really need to work together in order to proceed.

I had to grab ledges to raise and lower them for Rayman to progress, while attacking any enemies nearby.

I also had to use the Wii U controller to rotate spiked pillars around so Rayman could pass.

Rayman Legends demonstrates great utilisation of the upcoming console’s features. The graphics look amazing, with vibrant backgrounds and character animations.

The game already looks virtually complete, and looks like another great platformer. Keep your eyes on this one if you plan on getting the Wii U.

Forza Horizon

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Optimistic

Thoughts: Forza Horizon has gone in a new direction. The game now is following what seems to be the current trend of an open world setting.

The demo involved me free-roaming the countryside. Much like Burnout: Paradise or Need for Speed: Most Wanted, players enter events by driving up to them.

Along with events, there are a vast number of side objectives to complete in the game world.

Each of these events earn you points. It’s all about style. Players gain points for Near Misses, Drifts, Burnouts, Sideswipes, Speeding, etc.

The sense of speed is very similar to Most Wanted, however the handling is quite different. After playing Need for Speed, I felt that the cars in Horizon felt substantially heavier to control.

This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a bit jarring to hit a fence at 300kph and come to a complete stop without flipping or trashing your car.

The environments look OK; a bit plain and static compared to the cars, which look amazing.

There were no graphical errors to speak of, and with a bit more polishing and tweaking of the environment and car physics, Forza Horizon will no doubt please fans of the series.

Assassin’s Creed III

Preview: Hands-On

Impression: Outstanding

Thoughts: Assassin’s Creed III looks certain to be yet another blockbuster entry into the series.

The demo consisted of a section of the single player campaign, where new protagonist Connor was tasked with infiltrating a coastal prison, in order to retrieve a section of a map.

The controls will feel natural to anyone who has played the previous titles.

Along the way, Connor ran and jumped through the prison, taking out enemies with his trusty Tomahawk.

The assassinations feel and look a lot more fluid, and more context-based. For example, I assassinated an enemy near an alcove, and Connor dragged him around the corner to avoid being spotted.

Upon retrieving the map, the prison was then under attack. With only a limited time to escape, Connor had to run through the burning building before it was too late.

The free-running looks as fluid as always, however Connor would occasionally decide to run up and jump off things I didn’t want him to.

Upon escaping the prison, the demo ended.

Assassin’s Creed III is the Assassin’s Creed we know and love, yet seems to be more polished and innovated.

The game looks ready for release at the end of the month, and I for one can’t wait to get my stabby-stabby on.

Halo 4

Preview: Hands-On Multiplayer

Impression: Outstanding

Thoughts: Halo 4 will not disappoint fans new or old to the series.

Our hands-on involved us battling other players in various multiplayer games, where I played a Conquest-style game, capturing points from the enemy.

Gameplay is true to the series, and the controls will come second nature to any Halo fan.

Maps were quite large, consisted of various weapons new and old, as well as everyone’s favourite vehicles.

All weapons feel and sound meaty, and it’s as enjoyable as ever to melee an unsuspecting enemy in the back of the head.

Halo 4 now has increased options for experience points, gaining them from kills, assists, completing objectives, killstreaks and comebacks.

The mulitplayer is what fans know and love, with new features and maps that continue to keep the game fresh.

This isn’t just a new coat of paint. Characters, as well as environments, look great and highly detailed.

It’s just a shame that I couldn’t play Spartan Ops, or even the Campaign, because if the multiplayer played this well, I can’t wait to get back into the Chief’s boots.

There is no doubt Halo 4 will be another must-buy for any Xbox 360 owner.

Stay Tuned

Well that’s about it for games on Day Two. Stay tuned to OXCGN to check out the latest from the EB Games Expo!

You can find Day 1’s previewed games 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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