Gravity Rush 2

As seemingly the only person in the country to have played the PS Vita exclusive Gravity Rush, it’s been hard to find a forum of discussion for my excitement at the second instalment. Gravity Rush 2’s presence at EGX was a very welcome surprise as it wasn’t announced as a playable game at the show.

Truth be told, it’s very similar to its predecessor, albeit on a much bigger scale. The demo I played guided me through how to play as Kat and use her gravity manipulation powers. I have to admit, Gravity Rush 2 was a much easier game to play with a controller.

Flying through the skies, changing the gravity to jump from building to building and using Kat’s gravity powers to beat the crap out of monsters was even more fun than I remembered. Hopefully the sequel’s move to Playstation 4 will bring Gravity Rush the audience it deserves.

Gravity Rush 2 launches on Playstation 4 on December 2, 2016.

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World of Final Fantasy

Truth be told, I didn’t really get much from the World of Final Fantasy demo that was at EGX. I was given 20 minutes to play it, but it’s a game that was teeming with information and game systems, and a time constricted demo at a gaming convention was probably the worst way to experience the game.

I’m not saying it’s bad, just ill suited to learn while there’s a queue of people behind you and an invisible timer counting down until you’re finished. There are definitely some interesting gameplay mechanics at work here. The game opts for the turn-based, action points system of older Final Fantasy games, rather than following the real-time, action-RPG example of the upcoming games.

There’s also a Pokemon-style side to the adventure, with creatures being captured by the protagonists and becoming available to use as Summons in combat. It’s just unfortunate that I wasn’t able to really give the game the time it needed to explain itself to me. I’ll just have to wait for the actual release.

World of Final Fantasy launches on October 28, 2016 on Playstation 4.

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Tales of Berseria

The first thing that struck me when I played Tales of Berseria at EGX was that it was very reminiscent of last years Tales of Zestiria. The demo tasked me with exploring an underwater dungeon that looked like it actually came from Zestiria. I had to run around and solve a series of connected puzzles in order to open all of the doors to progress.

It was only as the demo went on that I began to find the changes and improvements made to the game. For starters, the protagonist Velvet is a lot more serious and grounded than the protagonist of Zestiria. Though my encounter with a patented Tales series skit showed me that she’s still surrounded by an…eccentric supporting cast. The skit I saw now came with more complex animations set in comic-like panels.

Combat feels both familiar and new in Tales of Berseria. The camera is now freely controlled by the player on the right analogue stick, for starters. All four of the controllers face buttons are now utilised in attacks, rather than the two buttons previously. Combat revolves around assigned artes (special abilities) to these buttons, with the idea being to set up the combos to your preference. Unfortunately I didn’t really get a chance to try this out to its fullest, as I fought smaller enemies through the entire of the demo.

Tales of Berseria is due for release on PC and Playstation 4 sometime in Q1 2017.

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Endless Space 2

There isn’t anything I can really say about Endless Space 2 after playing it at EGX. The demo that Amplitude brought with them was short and mostly just a tutorial, designed to teach players the mechanics and how some of the more basic gameplay elements work. It was intriguing and kept me interested in the game, but I didn’t really learn anything from it.

Other than the fact that space battles have changed somewhat. The demo guided me to attack an enemy fleet, and to my surprise, the card-based system from the original Endless Space was gone. Where in the previous game you would assign cards to each phase of the battle, which could counter enemy cards (or be countered by them) for big advantages, now you simply select an attack pattern and watch the result play out.

The cinematic style battles are still a treat to watch, though, almost looking like a movie as the two fleets engage one another in battle.

Endless Space 2 launches on Steam Early Access on October 6, 2016

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Motorsport Manager

Motorsport Manager is a surprisingly deep simulation game. I say surprisingly not because I imagined it would be a slight experience, but because of how much depth it packed into a single race, which was all I experienced while at EGX.

I participated in a single race in my demo of the game. My drivers were starting in 7th and 10th and it was up to me to figure out how to get them further up the field. I started by crafting a race strategy – taking on what my team had learned from practice and qualifying sessions to tune the cars and selecting starting tyres, trying to figure out how many pit stops I should make.

My interaction didn’t stop when the race started. Throughout I was able to issue orders to my drivers – balancing the wear of their cars with the health of their tyres, fuel levels and a need to get them past cars ahead or defend from cars behind. Whereas other simulators are passive experiences, I was very active during every stage of the race in Motorsport Manager. And race days are just one part of the game experience.

Motorsport Manager is coming to PC sometime in 2016.

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