I recently attended EGX Rezzed in London and got to play some upcoming releases as well as some crazy, off the wall stuff too. While I didn’t quite get time to play all of the games I would have liked, here’s some of my highlights worth keeping an eye out for through the rest of the year.
Codemasters pedigree in the racing genre is well known, but this racer steps away from the more sim-like nature of F1 or Colin McRae to provide some intense arcade action. There’s no car setups, tyre management or the like, just pick a car or bike that looks cool and off you go. Racers are split into two teams of up to six, with the goal not to cross the finish line first but rather something more akin to Battlefields ticket system. Each side has a timer counting down and passing through gates will add a few seconds to the clock. Once it runs out you lose, the mode I played had best-of-three rounds in action.
It’s also a very physical game, with players encouraged to slam, crash and swipe out at the opposing team in the aim of taking them down. Reminiscent of Burnout, you’ll gain points and boost from doing so and also fill up your Rush meter. Once this is full you gain access to an even faster boost, capable of obliterating opponents and sending you literally flying around the track. It was super fun smashing through the pack and wracking up time with Rush, though I probably took myself out just as much smashing head first in to the track side obstacles. Everything about OnRush just screams adrenaline and action and it’s a welcome sight to see a racer throwing back to more arcade sensibilities. Learn more right here.
Continuing the racing theme, Grip is a slightly more straightforward one compared to OnRush, but no less focused on fast paced, intense action. The vehicles wheels are big enough to allow you them to flip over and carry on racing, which is done at breakneck speed. Shades of F-Zero and Wipeout come through, the speed and soundtrack working together to create a real adrenaline buzz.
Sections of the tracks allow for driving on the walls and ceilings too, leading to some crazy battles as cars swing around and over each other before exploding out of the end. Weapon pick ups feature too, with rockets, guns and boosts all adding to the carnage. Occasionally it got a bit too hectic, taking a corner too fast or hitting a bump sent me flying out of bounds a few too many times, but generally wherever you land you can just keep racing thanks to those huge wheels. Learn more right here.
I think that developer Chucklefish may have, just maybe, played a little game called Advance Wars. I’m not sure if it’s the art style, gameplay, or the way the screen splits in two when an action is performed that gives it away, but something reminds me of that series. Not a bad thing by any means. A turn-based strategy game, moving your units into positions to attack or defend sees a split screen come up with the action one side and the result the other.
You control your chosen faction’s commander and it’s them you need to protect while trying to defeat the other sides’ one. In my demo, it was just my commander against a small army, but other scenarios will feature armies on all sides, with support for up to four players. I only had a brief time to play, and promptly got taken out, but even just that small slice was enough to catch my attention. Learn more right here.
Now, I can’t say that this was necessarily a good game, but it certainly was memorable. Set up like a crazy Japanese game show, you choose from a cast of oddball characters (a highlight was the old man dressed up like a school girl, closely followed by the lady in a lobster outfit) and race to the finish line. Controls are iffy, the visuals are of early 90’s CGI quality and the animation is basic at best, but it left an impression so strong due to the sheer stupidity of what was happening on screen.
Everything is physics based in the race, and you’ll find dogs chasing you will trip you up, swing beams and rolling barrels will knock you down and a myriad of other hazards all make reaching the goal a challenge. Some weapon pick ups add even more madness into the mix, with a pineapple (yes) helping you float over gaps and some projectiles sending everyone flying. My favorite part, though, was the dive.
Jump and press X and your character will go rigid and stretch out straight, I guess to help cross the finish line but it was so hilarious to just do it in the middle of the race, getting in others way and just causing chaos. Get too far ahead and the action resets after a little animation, normally straight into the path of a fish slinger or poisonous mushrooms. Much like Takeshi’s Castle, most of the time I have no idea whats going on, but I can’t look away and am enjoying it all the same. Learn more right here.
Do you have any games that you’re keeping an eye on this year? Get stuck into the comment section below and let me know.