As I’m sure you are aware that some of us at Zath have recently visited the Euogamer Expo’s at both Leeds and London, and this is the second of a few posts having a look at some of the games I got to have a go on at the latter event and picking out some of the best ones just in time for Christmas – in the Eurogamer Expo Games Review: Part 1 we’ve already seen what ‘Avatar’ and ‘Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box’ had to offer and now here’s a couple more of the ‘most wanted’ games out there.
To cheer you up on what has been, for the most part, a fairly drab and wet week as winter descends upon us I thought it would be good to look at two of the games that gave me the biggest surprises at the Expo: “Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time” and “Lost Planet 2”.
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time (PS3)
First up we have Ratchet & Clank: ‘A Crack in Time’, that’s right everybody’s favourite Lombax and robotic compatriot are back with more weird names, tongue in cheek humour and light gameplay that have made it a success in the past. But does it live up to the precedent set by previous games? Definitely.
The reason this surprised me was that it had been a while since I had sat down and played a R&C game, and to be brutally honest I was anticipating that as I had grown up I would have left them behind and it would really be a reappointment. But really there is a winning formula that the makers have totally nailed which means no matter how many times you play, no matter how old you are you will always appreciate smashing up boxes, robotic soldiers and small aliens with a wrench.
That is not to say the game is in any way solely one dimensional, rather that it continues on the strengths of previous games with a genuinely involving plot, more puzzles and weapons to get your head around and a slightly differing gameplay allowing you to fly your ship around to planets of your choosing (to complete side missions etc) which is a nice addition and can help to break up the monotony of too structured levels. Oh and it’s funny, which is something much lacking in the wealth of serious games around at the moment.
So if you’ve played R&C games in the past and think that this will just be a repeat your kind of right, but that in no reason not to get the game as it’s as great as it was when it was originally released in 2002. And if you have never played it before, why not?
Lost Planet 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)
And now for something completely different: Lost Planet 2. Having played the original (Lost Planet: Extreme Condition) but so long ago I’d kind of forgotten what it was all about I came at it not really knowing what to expect, and it was great.
Set 10 years after the previous game, it’s set on the same fictional planet — although now the snow that dominated the last game has melted revealing a lush and expansive jungle world ready to be fought on over T-ENG (thermal energy).
Whilst I cannot comment on the main 1st player part of the game I did have the opportunity to play on the multiplayer mode with 7 other willing volunteers (not to be confused with the 4 player co-op which will also be available) and once you’ve got your head around the slightly confusing acronyms and wealth of customisation (and that didn’t include things like body colour which will be available on the full game) you were ready to be launched into the world of Sci-Fi FPS.
The single player campaign will have a more varied formula than the previous game and will focus on six different characters which you will play in different ‘episodes’ and whose stories will combine at the end. Unsurprisingly enough these different characters all represent the different classes that are available in the multiplayer mode, and it was this that I was able to play on and enjoy.
The first thing I noted, and this appeared to be a common theme at the Expo with games like Avatar and Assassins Creed 2, was that a lot of work had obviously been done on the environment which was both very impressive visually and easy to navigate around which was great for a beginners of the game such as myself (having said that my team did win!).
I don’t know whether it is the only method for gameplay but the one selected at the expo was a ‘control point’ one, which similar to most out there offered a variety of points to be fought over and captured, and it did work very well even with the relatively small numbers we were playing with and the variety of turrets (and strange large armoured suits) which is a credit to the game.
As far as actually playing the game goes that’s where I was most impressed — it was smooth, easy to get the hang of and most importantly very fun, and although it would be a jump to say there was a wide range of weapons (seeing as I didn’t get a chance to check out the whole range) there was certainly enough variety to keep you interested!
So overall the multiplayer was very impressive, and I’d of thought this trend will continue with the single player option — although we’ll have to wait until February when the full game is released to see whether or not Capcom manage to pull it off!