Hands-on previews from the Eurogamer Expo

Hands-on previews from the Eurogamer Expo


All this weekend the London Eurogamer Expo has been raging, and the number of attendees was staggering. There were many great games and an entire hall filled with people who love games.

Dragon Age Origins 2

I loved Dragon Age: Origins. On PC. It was a game clearly made with the Baldur’s Gate crowd in mind, and despite the seemingly quick turnaround I’m looking forward to the sequel too. On PC.

The console version on the other hand, which was the only version I’ve played, was awful. The story could be superb, and I’m sure it will be, but playing as a straight Champion sword-person the gameplay consisted of tired, generic hack-and-slash against Orc-like Darkspawn. Maybe there will be more to it when people get to sit down with the game itself, but for now Hunted: The Demon’s Forge is looking far more enjoyable – and innovative.

I’m also not too keen on the new art style. After Dragon Age was criticized for having a bit of a boring look, Bioware have responded in their time-honored fashion of ditching it altogether instead of trying to improve it (see lifts and the Mako in Mass Effect). Dragon Age 2 now sports a stylized, almost cel-shaded look, and I’m not sure I prefer it. The first game may have had trouble carving out its own identity, but at least its Ogres were fearsome. Now instead of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings we’re getting the Ralph Bakshi version.

I still hold out faith for Bioware… but I’ve never been as worried about one of their games pre-release as I am now.

Hands-on previews from the Eurogamer Expo

GoldenEye 007

The other game I went back twice for, hidden as it was in the very center of the Nintendo booth. Got a couple of goes with standard deathmatch using, to my relief, the Classic Controller (which I didn’t realize has to be ridiculously plugged in to the Wiimote, making some bizarre remote/game-pad hybrid) and I’m pleased to say that it played like deathmatch.

What, you want more? Well, we played four-player split-screen on a stupidly small TV, which itself brought back more memories of my youth than the game did. Graphics look pretty good for the Wii, and while the maps are all new they did play very well (including an Archives-alike map). While there’s no jump button, you can now slide over boxes and leap over banisters, which rather surprised the guy playing Baron Samedi I landed behind and butted with my rifle. Oh yeah, there are melee attacks too now.

The whole thing feels solid and fun enough, although I’m disappointed I couldn’t get a go on the single-player as well. It’s also a shame that Blood Stone wasn’t at the show, which I have to say I’m looking forward to more than GoldenEye. Oh well.