With one of the biggest presences at the EB Games Expo this year in Sydney, Xbox Australia is showing off 21 games over in their very green booth. Last night, Stevivor staffers had a chance to check out some of the games you’ll expect to see there. Here are a few of the booth’s highlights.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Luke’s take: Sledgehammer Games has been working on this latest instalment of Call of Duty for the past 3 years and is the first studio to move to the now-standard 3 year franchise development cycle. With that comes some big changes which looks to have rejuvenated some new life into the game. Over in the multiplayer, gamers will get a chance to take a look at the new exoskeleton suits, which changes the way players move around the environment. The multiplayer has always been a fast paced experience but the addition of the exo suits now allows you to move even quicker by dodging, boost jumping, or even combining the two and dodging in mid-air. This allows for a new type of verticality that we haven’t seen a lot of in the multiplayer before. Along with a new range of customisable options for your character there’s also the addition of the supply drop system that will give you loot based on the amount of time you’ve played the game. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is looking amazing and is at the top of my list of things you should go see over in the Xbox area.
Stuart’s take: Advanced Warfare has certainly taken some ideas from Titanfall, but it still feels very much like Call of Duty. The double jump features of the Exo suit don’t give you as much control as the same feature in Titanfall, but do make CoD into a more vertical game than it has been previously. I found myself missing some jumps I felt I should be able to make and received an ‘out of level’ warning when trying to get on top of buildings, but there are still plenty of spaces for Exo jumps and shortcuts around the level. It feels like a positive addition to Call of Duty multiplayer so far.
Luke’s take: This new open world shooter from Insomniac Games looks like a cartoon movie had a massive night on the town with a video game. The art style is exaggerated, crazy and screams out fun in big letters. I had the chance to take a look at their 8 player co-op mode where we as a team had to defend an area against waves of enemies. While this is co-op you’ll still want to try and beat the other players on your team, so to do this you’ll have to score more points than them to end up on top of the ladder. This can be done by taking out the enemies in style, like grinding on rails around the environment or setting traps for unsuspecting foes. In true Insomniac style, Sunset Overdrive has a variety of insane weapons that you’ll get to mess around with but along with the art style this title looks like a load of fun.
Stuart’s take: Sunset Overdrive is about as crazy as expected, with the co-operative mode being highlighted at the Expo. The weapons are what stands out here, you have a huge variety of firepower available and combat had a very satisfying feel thanks to the chunky enemy design and liberal use of explosions. Movement doesn’t take long to get used to although I didn’t find myself using the grind features as much as expected. The co-op mode itself looks fun but the difficulty level wasn’t at a point where true teamwork was necessary in my brief time with the game. There were some framerate issues but it would be foolish to make judgment on that before the final release. I found combat to be more satisfying than I expected, but offset by movement not being as intuitive as I hoped.
Minecraft: Xbox One Edition
Luke’s take: Players are able to combine items together to craft a ridiculous amount of other items to bring into your world. This small indie title is sure to be a big hit. Your children will probably love this game… like a lot.
We recently reviewed Minecraft on Xbox One.
Forza Horizon 2
Luke’s take: If you’re uncertain about Forza Horizon 2, you’re a hard person to please. This game looks absolutely gorgeous and the handling on the cars feels fantastic. Forza Horizon 2 improves in just about most aspects of the previous game so grab a bunch of friends, gather around the controller and see who can pull out the quickest lap times.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Stuart’s take: Halo 2 holds a special place in my heart, so The Master Chief Collection was my first port of call. Microsoft are demoing the remastered Halo 2 levels, I spent time on Lockout, Ascension and Sanctuary. The first shock I had was simply playing Halo 2 at 60fps; it looks fantastic. The setup seemed to suffer from some input lag unfortunately but it is unlikely the game is at fault there. Gameplay in the remastered mode felt like Halo 2 should and I’m curious to see what proves more popular at release: these remade levels or the originals.
We went in-depth with Halo: The Master Chief Collection at E3.
What else is on offer?
In addition to the games we’ve listed above, Fantasia: Music Evolved, NBA 2K15, Dance Central: Spotlight Edition, Project Spark, Fantasia: Music Evolved, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (one of Stuart’s personal favourties), Ori and the Blind Forest and more are all on the show floor at the Xbox Australia booth. Head on over and check it all out.
With additional reporting by Stuart Gollan.