Tech Talk: Eurogamer Expo showcases this year’s hottest releases


Over 75 games from across the spectrum were on hand for visitors to get their grubby mitts on.


By Jordan O’Brien

There’s no denying video gaming is a huge industry. In fact it’s the UK’s largest industry from the country’s entertainment sector.

With £1.93bn in sales in 2011 it beat DVD and other video formats by £0.1bn and music by almost £0.9bn.

The gaming industry were out in full force at the UK’s largest and most prestigious games event, the Eurogamer Expo. 

Over 75 games from across the spectrum were on hand for visitors to get their grubby mitts on, ranging from sequels such as the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, revived series Tomb Raider and brand new games like ZombiU and Wonderbook: Book of Spells.

I was on hand at the Expo to check out this year’s hottest releases and my first stop was EA’s long-running series, Sim City.

Sim City is probably one of my favourite childhood games, and when I heard that Maxis were making the fifth incarnation of the main game, I felt like a five-year-old all over again.

I was greeted by EA staff manning the booth singing the praises of the new game and eager for gamers to get to grips with the brand new game engine, Glassbox.

That engine didn’t fail to impress, showing off elaborate 3D graphics with impeccable detail. I was a bit disappointed that the citizens of your town were a little pixelated when you zoom it, but that’s just me being pedantic.

The game mechanics for Sim City really do throw you in the deep end, especially if you don’t follow the tutorial meticulously, and I found myself becoming rather confused with some of the new features very quickly – despite finding it relatively easy to pick up and play most games.

That may have been because the software is only in Beta, but hopefully by the time the game is launched in February 2013 there will be a little more direction.

If you’re used to the Sim City Series you don’t need me to tell you that the game isn’t really geared towards quick thrills (for that you should probably skip ahead) but it’s more aimed at long-lasting satisfying game play.

What isn’t satisfying about creating a thriving city? Boris Johnson does it for his job and I bet even he would enjoy free-reign without those pesky politicians getting in his way – Thames Estuary Airport anyone?

The second game I got to check out was another sequel, but this was a sequel that has consistently disappointed by development delay, especially since this game was meant to be out on September 6.

If you haven’t guessed, that game is indeed Far Cry 3.

Some of you may not have heard of it but I urge you to check it out when it finally hits our shelves on November 29 – hopefully!

The third iteration in the open-world game finds you on a tropical island that is all but a quaint getaway.

The goal of the game is to escape the island, but that’s easier said and done when its inhabitants are people who are a little, for a lack of a better word, insane.

It’s a first-person shooter so in true FPS style it’s full of guns and knifes galore – oh and a little bit of nudity. It’s not for the faint hearted.

While the single-player may be all action and adventure, it’s not even my favourite part of the game, it’s the multiplayer – despite not being on show at the Eurogamer Expo.

Ubisoft has revealed all the juicy details relating to multiplayer, including a cool co-operative mode in which you and up-to four mates can get into the action of the single-player, together.

The most exciting thing about the multiplayer though, is being able to create your own map and then sharing it with the world for you all to play, a key feature in previous Far Crys.

“It will be Far Cry 2’s map editor, but a lot bigger and a lot better,” said Ubisoft.

I had a lot of fun, driving around the map, completing missions and generally killing bad guys, but unfortunately half way through a particular mission the game went black upon respawning.

While that’s a massive issue, it would explain the delays in development and as a gamer myself I would much rather them to release a completed game than one that is plagued with problems.

Despite the issues and delays, Far Cry 3 is still my most anticipated game of 2012 and I’ll be one of those people grabbing a copy on day one.

After visiting Far Cry 3, I darted off to Square Enix where they were itching to show off a game that is hotly anticipated to be a resounding success when released in 2013.

The game in question is the reboot of gaming mega-fame, Tomb Raider.

While Tomb Raider may be a very British series this game was created in San Francisco by Crystal Dynamics development studio.

I wasn’t as eager to play Tomb Raider as much as I was to play Far Cry 3 or Sim City, but I’m glad I did.

This game is simply fantastic.

If I were to point out a flaw it would probably be that Lara Croft has suddenly become invincible, failing to die at anything you throw at her.

Make her fall off a cliff or out of a tree and she’ll survive.

Heck, the demo Square Enix were showing off had her in a situation where she had survived a plane crash and tasked us with hunting down the rest of her crew.

I’m not sure if that is a flaw though – I enjoyed this game without having to endure the constant respawning you’re likely to find in other games, and the graphics were simply stunning.

This game promises to be full of thrills, spills and possibly even the odd automobile.

Unfortunately you’ll have to leave Lara and gang off the Christmas wish list though, as it won’t be hitting shores until March 2013 – maybe a late valentine’s present for your partner instead?

I’ll be back next week to give you the low-down on fan favourites such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and ZombiU.

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