A diary of sorts, wherein I moonlight as a games writer. Under haphazard construction.
Weeks have slipped by, and this is now very, very late. xD
So the weird thing about Eurogamer this year was that I’d already played the game that was at the top of the billing for me. My chance encounter with Evolve at MCM left me looking over the rest of the games on show, trying to work out what else I should be getting excited about spending hours queuing for. Alien Isolation? NOPE. Not after Rezzed. Far Cry 4? Meh. Borderlands 3-not-really-3? Maybe? This year’s Assassin’s Creed, whatever the hell that is by this point? Meh.
I found plenty of cool stuff over the two days I was there, but I felt like I was actively hunting for it more than usual, rather than vaguely knowing in advance what it was probably-more-or-less-likely-to-be, and then finding the odd surprise along the way. This was fun, because after I’d spent the first few quiet hours of Thursday queuing up for Evolve, Far Cry 4 and whatever the hell this year’s Assassin’s Creed is (the demo felt exactly the same as the one I played at Eurogamer last year!), I didn’t really know what to do with myself next.
I spent most of my time trying all the interesting-looking stuff in the PC area, because of course I did, but found lots of cool stuff outside as well. My favourite game of the show took me completely by surprise, as did my biggest letdown. So yeah, here’s the stuff that was noteworthy for me in the entirely arbitrary order of whatever springs to mind:
It feels kinda hard to believe that Rezzed Expo was the better part of a month ago now. I’ve been meaning to write something about it in some shape or form for what seems like forever, but for some reason inspiration for exactly what to write about just hasn’t come easily.
Unlike last year, where I had a clear list going in of all the stuff I wanted to try- the Oculus Rift, Sir You Are Being Hunted, Wildstar, Space Hulk all spring to mind- this year there wasn’t anywhere near as much on the billing that particularly interested me. I’d be tempted to blame that on the show’s acquisition by Eurogamer (which totally transformed the small, PC-dev-focused, and almost entirely “gamer culture”-free atmosphere of 2013 into something more resembling Eurogamer’s loud, commercial, mass-market celebration of the whole medium), but going in to Eurogamer in the Summer I’d had a hit-list of games as long of my arm. Must just have been me, then. Or the games, I suppose. I mean, I can count nearly half a dozen with single-word titles on this page, all with logos of sans-serif black text-on white background, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you what a single one of them was about. Art, I expect.
But yeah, I digress.
Going in without much of a list of things to see was fantastic, particularly given how few of the titles I’d really heard of before. I wanted to try out OlliOlli and Broforce, and had just been reading about 10 Second Ninja and Cloudbuilt the day before, but unlike my first ever chance at playing with a Rift at Rezzed last year, or the opportunity to finally see Titanfall in the Summer, they didn’t evoke much excitement. Rather than making a beeline for them straight away, I was content to just wander, stopping at anything and everything that caught my eye. I was far from methodical, and was somewhat put off by large queues and crowds, but it made for a fantastic experience. I can only imagine what it must be like for the folks who don’t follow the gaming press and would be encountering everything for the first time. Even outside of the Leftfield Collection’s alleyway (the traditional home to all the bedroom coders and self-funded nearly-theres), and despite the show’s change in tone with the inclusion of consoles, the indie heart of Rezzed was still beating strongly, with all kinds of interesting and unusual stuff on display. I think pretty much all the games that I enjoyed most were ones which I discovered there on the day.
The advantage of having left it so long to write, I guess, is that rather than writing about what was there, I can instead write about what stuck with me. This will lead to something that’s more of a reflection of myself than of the show, but that fits far better with the nature of this blog anyway. My favourite things of the show, in no particular order based on what I can remember of them four weeks later are:
Mighty Tactical Shooter
One Spear Arena
There Shall Be Lancing
When I arrived at Leisure Games in London for their Tabletop Gaming Day event last weekend I was wondering whether anything would justify the £15 train fare and lost Saturday morning. I’d almost bailed on going at the last minute, thanks to visions of a tiny, overcrowded store, full of nothing but full, already-in-progress games and nowhere to sit or stand. When I was greeted by exactly this as I stepped in the door, my heart sank. Quinns could be heard busily conducting a game of One-Night Werewolf, and I was immediately terrified by the prospect of making a gibbering arse of myself to him, but with the exception of that it didn’t look like there was going to be much else to do. I mean, the first game I got a chance to sit down and play was Ticket to Ride and that’s about trains.