With the gaming industry being worth double that of film, we headed down to EGX to check out some of the newest and best games on offer. Whilst there were many titles on display, these games stood out in terms of enjoyment and interesting features.
1. Gang Beasts
By far our favourite game on display, Gang Beasts presents a great take on the local multiplayer party game. Developed by three brothers who wanted to create a game the whole family could be good at, Gang Beasts achieves this with its ridiculous physics and scrappy melee fighting. The game is simply a series of arena fights between the players, with the victor being the last man standing. Players are put in control of colourful little fighters, and need to punch, kick and throw the others into the constantly perilous environment around them. What really makes this game compelling is the ease at which both players and spectators can get emotionally invested in it – watching the characters as they struggle to avoid being tossed into a pit of fire is both hilarious and heart breaking.
On the face of it Clonespace behaves much like a clone of the arcade classic Asteroids. Whilst this may be true of the very basic flying and shooting mechanic, there is actually much more to the game than we first thought. Players are able to create a fleet, fully customising the appearance and load out of each ship. It is also possible to have various interactions with the alien races in the game, such as trading or boarding their ships. The game does suffer from quite boring and simple graphics that don’t do enough to draw the player in, and in the little time we had to play Clonespace, it didn’t make a lasting impression. But it is still early days for the small British game, and we wish it all the best.
Another of the couch-multiplayer games on show was Swordy, an arena based physics brawler. Each player is in control of a warrior who can pick up a large variety of oversized weapons, and use them to bash the coloured blood out of the others. What makes Swordy particularly enjoyable is the use of the right analogue stick to control the swing of the weapons, giving a really natural feel to the game and making the experience of killing your friends extremely rewarding. Swordy has a lovely blocky graphical style, and looks fantastic once the colourful blood starts flying everywhere. It also has one of the prettiest rain effects that I’ve seen in a game. But in order to get the most out of the game, it should be played with as many people as possible. Swordy allows up to twelve players to fight it out in the different arenas, so if you manage to find that many friends you will have a great time.
4. LA Cops
Top down shooter LA Cops produced mixed opinions. An interesting blend of Black Dynamite and Police Academy, the game is one big cop film, and is for the most part quite charming with its minimalist art style. In each level you’re given control over a crime-fighting duo as you assault various buildings and drug dens; these cops can be upgraded and customised in the menu beforehand, allowing you to improve your assault. The game is difficult, but not necessarily for the right reasons. While your partner can be ordered to lay down cover and hold positions, they always end up reacting slower than the enemy, and die too soon. The game then suffers from the unpredictable nature of your partner and the seemingly random amounts of health that each enemy has, making for a rather frustrating experience. It is begging to be a great tactical shooter, but just doesn’t have the consistency required for that.