Not everything we saw at Eurogamer Expo warrants its own page on the site. Presented for your delectation are the best of the rest.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to see much of the latest instalment of Ubisoft’s epic Assassin’s Creed Revelations. On show was some basic multiplayer footage that looked pretty much identical to the content shown last year for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, back when the idea of Assassin’s Creed multiplayer was new and exciting. Sadly there wasn’t much to say for the demo, the only noticeable differences were the new characters and new loadouts. Its very possible that there was some hidden depth to the new gameplay mode that was beyond our time with the demo to comprehend but for an A-list game so close to release there was woefully little to get excited about.
Ninja Gaiden 3
Since the departure of leathery rock star developer Tomonobu Itagaki from Team Ninja following Ninja Gaiden 2 (and some inappropriate behaviour with a female member of staff), many wondered if Ninja Gaiden 3 would follow the same path of bastard-hard difficulty and severed limbs. The short answer is: no. Ninja Gaiden 3, at least in the demo I played seems a lot easier, and opponent’s limbs have an unsettling tendency to stay attached to their bodies. There are still gallons of blood spurting about in true Samurai movie style. The game is no less graphically slick than its predecessor, and the animation and combat are still smooth.
The developers have spoken about making Ninja Gaiden 3 more accessible than the series has been to date. Hopefully they will still cater for those that crave extreme difficulty in their games (myself firmly not included), as everything else looks to be business as usual in Itagaki’s absence. Apart from the sexual harassment.
Do you remember Power Stone? Because Platinum Games certainly do. Anarchy Reigns is a throwback to arena-based brawlers that tended to set up home on the Dreamcast (Spawn being another similar title), with players taking on the role of one of twelve (for now) colourful brawlers. The fighters are the usual mix of big ‘n’ strong, small ‘n’ quick, and everything inbetween. The combat is straightforward, with 2 attack buttons and a grab making up most of your attacks. Power-ups drop into the arena periodically and… well, that’s really it. The characters are totally insane (the most restrained ones are the cast of MadWorld, which should give you an idea about the rest), the graphics are nothing sensational, but the whole experience is smooth and straightforward.
We didn’t play for long enough to see if Anarchy Reigns has the depth or staying power to challenge Street Fighter IV’s online popularity, but if you have a hankering for some nostalgic brawling, it might be just the thing.
Super Mario 3D Land
Nintendo’s 3DS hasn’t had the best of starts, and a lot of that is down to an unimpressive software lineup to date. While it has seen some remakes of N64 titles (if you like that sort of thing), there has been very little in the way of original first-party software on the system. The end of this year sees the first new Mario game for the console, Super Mario 3D Land – and while it might not be enough to shift too many systems, it’s a great game in its own right. In terms of appearance and mechanics, it’s heavily influenced by Super Mario Bros. 3, with old favourites like the Tanooki Suit making an appearance. The important thing for a Mario title though is that it feels right; and in this case Nintendo have nailed it. Control is precise and with a decent sense of weight, and the 3DS analogue nub proves responsive enough to provide movement as accurate as the home console titles. The display is a little different to the Super Mario Galaxy games; while it’s still in full 3D, the camera tends to fix to the side or back of Mario. It’s not a big deal, but it’s noticeably more limited than the Wii versions. Still, it’s looking extremely promising, and for once the 3D effect seems spot on.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword is a strange thing to play. On the one hand, almost any new Zelda is good Zelda. On the other, despite all the inventiveness and great design work that has gone into the game, it just looks like the Wii isn’t up to scratch any more. And it’s a huge shame, because at a glance Skyward Sword is incredible. But if you’re one of the (doubtless many) who have been keeping their Wii purely to play this, the jagged graphics and low resolution textures make what should be fresh feel old. The better news is that the game implements motion controls that aren’t distracting or badly-implemented, and the old-school Nintendo spark (the Nintendo that makes proper games, not Wii Music) is clearly there. What I played was fun – it’s just hard to shake the feeling that Skyward Sword is 2 or 3 years too late.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
What the hell happened here? Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has been on the verge of release a couple of times, only to slip back each time. Based on this showing, it might be delayed again.
We were introduced to the multiplayer section of the game. It plays out far more like Rainbow Six than previous Ghost Recon titles, albeit from a third-person perspective. It’s still a cover-based shooter, but it feels far faster and less tactical than previous games in the series. Graphically it was genuinely sub-par, with blurry textures and poor draw distance. Crashes were also frequent. Hopefully this is because the game is a way off from release. Currently it’s due next March, but it’s hard to see how the multiplayer component could be polished to a playable state by then.
If your thirst for previews isn’t slaked, you can check out our other coverage from the show: Battlefield 3, Saints Row the Third, the UK launch of OnLive, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, and Rage.
And if reading’s not your thing (well done on on making it this far down the page!) you can also hear what we thought directly out of our own faces. Enjoy!