The problem with gaming conventions is that you never get to spend as much time with a game as you may have liked. Whether it’s down to queues or brief appointment slots, you only really get a glimpse of what a game is really all about. It’s also the worst place imaginable to try and figure out an RTS/strategy game, something that I realise every time I attend a con.
EGX Rezzed 2018, however, was a particularly difficult place to sit down and have a real dive into an upcoming release. As well as it being fairly busy, a lot of the games at the show were from smaller scale developers, which meant that they weren’t quite so polished or even just a rough idea of what the final product would be like. You can’t, and probably shouldn’t, make a judgement call on a game that early on in its production.
Here are some games from EGX Rezzed 2018 that I am going to be keeping an eye on in the future.
1. State of Mind
I had a long talk with Lisa, Daedalic’s community manager, about State of Mind: a low-poly puzzler/adventurer with a hook sure to please Black Mirror fans. Players will transition between a dystopia and a utopia through neural uploads. It looks lovely and sounds interesting, so interesting that I never got a chance to play it — there were always people at its station whenever I tried. I will find out when it lands on all platforms this Summer.
One of the most innovative shooters in years, at least since Superhot came out. Cerebros has a very neat gimmick for an FPS game in that you switch between colours to shoot enemies of different colours; similarly coloured enemies will also heal you. It’s unique and very hectic, though the demo supplied was rather limited. Here’s hoping they build on it before its release later this year.
3. Harold Halibut
Probably the prettiest game I played at Rezzed, it’s a shame that the gameplay itself is some ways off being ready for public consumption. I encountered a few bugs as I travelled around a space station as the meek Harold and ended up having to start over twice, but if they can add some meat to its beautiful, claymation-esque bones, Harold Halibut could be worth keeping an eye on.
4. Immortal Unchained
Any Soulsborne fans will feel right at home with Immortal Unchained: an action RPG featuring firearms as well as traditional melee combat. Its story is shrouded in secrecy and was very rough (I had to walk away shortly after the second crash) in its pre-alpha form at the show, though there might be a gem at its center just waiting to be shined. Look for it later in 2018.
5. Hello, My Name Is Nobody
A game about being at a party while wanting to be alone, Hello, My Name Is Nobody is designed for the anxious among us. Featuring dialogue mechanics similar to Telltale (while actually, you know, having any kind of impact on the overall story), Hello, My Name Is Nobody looks beautiful but it was hard to gauge the game as its demo was so short. Early signs are promising, however.
6. SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption
Another game with a debt of inspiration to FromSoftware’s hugely successful action RPG games, SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption is going to appeal to anyone who needs to feel like a useless asshole. I was totally spent when I played it right at the end of the day, but SINNER looks like being novel twist on the well-worn formula. Rather than increasing your stats, SINNER actually “levels down” the player, just for the maximum sense of masochism.
7. Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn has no right to be as fun as it is. The sequel to one of the worst games ever made is obviously a superior game from the first frame and while it certainly became a little repetitive after about half an hour, A Legend Reborn is a side-scrolling fighter that could tide you over when it launches in June until something meatier comes along. Shaq is baq.
I went with fellow Vulture Will to Rezzed and he schooled me in PS1 racers while we were there pretty handily. For anyone who has fond memories of the cult favourite Rollcage, Grip is the spiritual successor that brings it into the next generation. I finished in last out of all three races we shared, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless. I died quietly inside, but in a fun way.
From your very first glance, Above from the small team at Mighty Moth might appear to be just a twee little game. Once you sit down to play it, however, it morphs into something utterly unique. Featuring some of the most intuitive controls I’ve ever used, monsters, and some really unexpected themes, Above is a tiny game with a big future. The only thing holding it back? The name. If you Google “Above game”, all you get is a lot of stuff not related to it at all.