EGX 2014 Square-Enix Press Gameplay Session – Round-up

Myself and Cyburn had the pleasure of being invited along to the EGX 2014 Square-Enix Press Gameplay Session. This took place a stone’s throw away from Earl’s Court (the EGX venue) at the cosy Atlas Pub. With it’s high-end rustic menu and medieval-tinged decor, the Atlas is the kind of public house you might expect to come across while playing a title in the company’s best selling franchise ; Final Fantasy. And those sorcerers of Square-Enix were, as you might expect, present in their droves. We got to meet Will, Sophie, Ian and saw Ed and Phil.
The swanky event was complete with free canapés (which were amazing!) and all-you-can-drink orange and cranberry juice. Now, on to the info you’re actually after, our impressions of the games we got to try!

 

Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen is an upcoming title for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Steam. It is a hack and slash action role-playing game, not dissimilar to cult Namco Bandai classic Dark Souls. The demo version I got to try (which I admittedly didn’t get too far into as I’m frankly a bit crap at games) took place in what appeared to be a cathedral. The character was clad in a very elaborate armour set that reminded me of that worn by the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed (except that it looked way cooler). As with any good hack and slash the combat felt incredibly satisfying, with our hero swinging his surprisingly offensive sceptre to devastating effect. Menu screens looked like something out of World of Warcraft, which was a welcome addition given that it shares the same fantasy theme.

 

lords

XBone/PS4 and Steam players disappointed on missing out on Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2 ; fret not! This gritty hack and slash should go a long way towards tiding you over

 

Executive producer Tomasz Gop spoke to Official Xbox Magazine in January and revealed that the game features choice-driven dialogue plus the oppurtunity to influence the game’s proceedings simply by how you play. This is further facilitated by a range of multiple endings. Exciting stuff indeed!
After giving it a whirl I would certainly recommend the hack and slash fans among you who happen to fans of the aforementioned consoles to check it out. It comes out on the 31st October.

 

Life is Strange

We were taken into a conference room with the other press members who were about at the time to see a presentation of intriguing new title Life is Strange. We were then treated to a playthrough viewing. Although an amalgamation of many things I’ve either seen or come across before, the way Life is Strange ties it’s components together is thoroughly original. Its characters, music, pacing and vibe are typical of generic 1990s American dramas such as Dawson’s Creek. Which I hated. But taking a story with such premise and making it interactive? Suddenly I start to take an interest. Suddenly I want to take in those surroundings. Suddenly I begin to give a damn about what those whingey teenage characters have to say! And this newfound regard paid off, because what those whingey teenagers had to say proved to be both entertaining and thought-provoking. To the point where I actually really want to buy the game now to see what happens next!

 

Chloe : easily one of the most intriguing video game characters we've come across this year! We cannot wait to discover more about her...

Chloe : easily one of the most intriguing video game characters we’ve come across this year! We cannot wait to discover more about her…

 

The best way I can describe the gameplay is like a fully 3D version of Hotel Dusk on the Nintendo DS. Players of that old classic would be surprised at how much more choice and freedom that extra dimension adds. In addition the protagonist has the power to turn back time at any point. So if you’re in your friend’s room and you knock over some of her stuff you can turn back time so that she won’t be annoyed at you. Or you could be evil and leave her to fume… One thing I was dying to know and hence asked the developer in the accompanying Q & A session was whether you could only rewind time once, as was the case in each of the time travelling shown in the playthrough, or whether you could cycle back through every decision you’d ever made. He told me that there were checkpoints in the game, so you’d be able to rewind as much as you like until you hit the last one you passed.

The game will be released in five episode, to further help replicate that TV show feeling. Episode 1 will be coming at some point in the near future to PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC

 

Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris

The lovely Sophie invited us to try the cooperative multiplayer mode on Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris, the latest offering from the iconic Tomb Raider protagonist. Myself and Cyburn teamed up with two other journalists (who’s names/publication we never managed to get… please do feel free to leave a hollar in the comments section if you’re reading this, guys!) to take on the roles as Lara, her rival treasure hunter Carter Bell, and Gods Horus and Isis. There are two different control sets depending on whether you play as a God or a treasure hunter/human. Gods can, for example, surround their bodies with spheres, which they can use to help shield the treasure hunters during battle. Hunters, on the other hand, have the ability to span ropes, which can be used to scale buildings and walk tightropes

 

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Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris is already gaining a name for itself as a surprisingly enjoyable multiplayer romp!

 

As you may have guessed the game is set in Ancient Egypt, and the ultimate story objective is to defeat the evil god Set. The visuals are of a high standard, extremely high resolution and complete with lots of lovely lighting effects. I was also pleased to see that Lara’s rocking her original outfit. Although I’ll always maintain that she’ll never look quite the same now her boobs have been reduced 😉
The game is set to released shortly on Windows PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

 

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

The last game we tried was Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. Having both played the original (quite extensively in Cyburn’s case) we already had a good idea of what to expect. For those of you who haven’t tried it ; Sleeping Dogs is like Grand Theft Auto meets Shenmué. It’s a gritty open world, third-person action-adventure where an undercover cop sets out to infiltrate the Sun On Yee branch of Triads.

 

The Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition logo

The Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition logo

 

I will point out that it certainly looks noticably better than the old version. In addition, as Ian pointed out to me, this version has had more time invested in things such as facial expressions. There are also a wealth of extra pedestrians, which was music to my ears as interacting with the highly characterised inhabitants of this mini Hong Kong (not always in the most noble of ways!) was one of the things I always enjoyed most about the game.

Visuals aside, the Definitive Edition includes every piece of DLC that was ever released for Sleeping Dogs. Quite impressive considering this includes not just a wealth of new outfits, weapons, vehicles, missions and fight move sets, but also 3 side stories. These side stories, entitled ‘Nightmare in North Point’, Zodiac Tournament’ and ‘Year of the Snake’ were similar ideas to Grand Theft Auto 4’s ‘Ballad of Gay Tony’ and ‘The Lost and Damned’, although shorter in both length and scope. Given that it’s all included here at absolutely zero extra cost however (unlike the Episodes from Liberty City, as the GTA4 DLC is otherwise known) means you’re getting a hell of a lot of bang for your buck.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition will be released on October 10th in Europe on PS4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

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We would like to thank Square-Enix for inviting us along to their little shindig. We had a fabulous time meeting you all and trying your frankly wicked games. Any time you want to invite us along to another we’ll be there with bells on.

 

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