2014 has certainly lulled consumers and their spending to merely cursory complicity, with both “new” consoles laurels appeared to have a proclivity for apathy while sipping Mai Tai’s on a Mediterranean beach and toasting each others success. It’s the new hardware’s subsequent lethargy that has generated evocative stagnation rather than adapting the quality “next-gen” experience that was solemnly professed. We’ve tolerated grievances, remasters and the conventional subordinates of gaming such as Killzone: Shadow Fall that command modest respect for its vestigial prestige. I had all but giving up on a year that in its infancy pledged far more credible content. Perhaps it was simply bad luck that content has been so scarce, it is still early days after all. Maybe the developers struggled to suitably apply the advanced hardware granted to them; though I’m inclined to believe that both Sony and Microsoft felt content to play the derivative waiting game. Or maybe they were both concentrated on evaluating the expeditious proceeds solicited from shiny new machines. But praise, commend or offer sacrificial gifts of your copies of Watch Dogs to the virtual deities, for finally appeasing our sustained persecution and granting us the collective salvation in the form of the enigmatic Eurogamer Expo! The singular harbinger for a litany of affluent demonstrations that finally rescind the banality of this generations ineptitude.
A little exulted I’ll grant you, but it feels good knowing there is light at the end of a very dismal tunnel. This particularly exhibition, the certified saviour of consumerism, commenced with the usual convergent of gamers and varying mixture of divisive cynicism, differentiating priorities but with a collaborative affection for the industry as a binary entity, rather than a nebulous institution. See that’s the thing I love about it, the communal society formed from the individual exchanges between people you may never see again, which began in earnest. Upon arrival I was ushered straight through without molestation, where the formalities of my entry were adhered and treated with a worrying degree of civility like someone of reverent prestige (they must have mistaken me for someone else?). I must profess that I was a little surprised to then be prompted to what can only be surmised as a cellar, which when considering the attentive publicity lavished upon “The Evil Within” was slightly disconcerting. Of course my fears were allayed as we soon departed this drab temporary residency in favour of the repressing iridescence and arching vibrancy resonating through the displays of sultry seduction and mirth of this expansive vestibule.
“The fortified hub full of games, cues and idle standing. Lots of standing!”
CHARGE! It’s every man, woman, child, cosplayer and glaring Sackboy edifice for themselves, as large quantities of humans disperse in ubiquitous synchronicity. It’s with fortified ambivalence that you must negotiate the assorted plinths, congested pavilions and booths with brief reconnaissance to ascertain the most efficient way to utilise the benefits of early entry (thanks again for the press passes) before the mugals impede your perusal’s. Once you’ve acclimated to the initially jarring sensation, you do begin to synthesis the rhythmic conduction of the event. And that’s my story. Hope you enjoyed it…….Oh, you actually want to hear about the games? Really? Well, I guess I could do that. It is a gaming blog after all.
Well I, being the big kid that I am, latched immediately onto Sackboy. Though I just want to clarify that Sackboy is a fictional character in the Little Big Planet series, and that I’m not some sexual deviant! The cannily dubbed Little Big Planet 3 (because it’s the third) is as adorable as ever. Though I had to recruit additional assistance due to the numerous controllers already preset, that helps introduce new equally charming critters, it was clear that LBP still retains the same endearing quirks we’ve seen before. Though it is worth noting that new addition “Oddsock” was less Sackboy aberration and more “Hi! I’m a registered sex offender.” Annnnd we’ve come full circle. Next up was Far Cry 4, a series I have never played (I know, I know). Due to my directly influencing ignorance of the series, my preliminary association largely consisted of peering at the guy in front, observing his methods before applying my own stratagem, with discernibly deficient results. Despite my latent proficiency its clear that Far Cry 4 will do rather well. Its dramatic, challenging, situated in a resplendently rustic setting and you get to gate-crash a fortified militia base with an elephant. An Elephant! I’m sold. My initial intention, once I’d endeavoured to embarrass myself on Far Cry, was to accidentally provoke colonic irrigation by playing the “Evil Within”, but when propositioned to participate in “Alien: Isolation” instead I felt obliged to comply. If there is on singular piece of advice I can give you when playing this particular entry is never, under any circumstances, even under intense duress. Never. Ever. Run! You will die. Isolation Lives up to its preface by capturing its adapted cinematic contemporaries, atmospheric intensity and detached vulnerability. Your required to be very conscious of your surroundings, utilising the handy detection device that blips that same auditory frequency that still terrifies me today, and using finesse and guile rather than an arsenal of heavy artillery. You will die, a lot. Though coincidentally not as much as you will in Bloodborne.
“PlayStation exclusively announced a new boy band: Soft Touch.”
Though I didn’t have any intimate participation with this Demon Souls deviation, it was frequently suggested that only 2 people had managed to complete the demo! Much to my disappointment The Witcher 3 was a notable absentee during my tenure, despite securing a booth. Whether technicians experienced technical difficulties, or were operating out of my purview I can only speculate. The queue for Assassins Creed Unity was excessively protracted, and at my age I don’t queue for anything that doesn’t result in me purchasing an alcoholic beverage or an Ice Cream (or both!). The biggest shock of the day was reserved for Shadow of Mordor, which if you pardon the pun, was unexpected brilliance! Finally I came to a game that has held an equivocal custody over my inclinations: The Order: 1886. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, and admittedly there is still a lot of work that needs applying to really punctuate the aesthetics and nullify the repetition of the functioning, but static gun-play; but it has certainly intrigued me. The guns themselves operate on a very scientific premise, certainly technology not available during the late 19th century, but the stylistic veneer of Dickensian aesthetics somehow tricks you into believing the authenticity of these clearly spurious weaponry. My specific gun was capable of firing highly combustible projectiles that on their own do nothing. But follow-up with the inflammatory flare and watch as the thick smog ignites into a blaze of aggressive incineration, that can be accentuated by suppressing further ammunition. Though I was more interested in using my female compatriots piece, as the vibrant streak emitted branches off before its rapid curvature veers back towards its intended recipient. It was however a sparse demo, one that could invariably bespeak the declination of fraudulent demonstrations that don’t truly reflect the final product.
But forget my specious reasoning, its time for paraded celebration. Finally I can clasp a controller with eager anticipation, dispatch my ascetic countenance and once again enjoy the providence of gaming. It’s finally safe to game again!