The ones that got away
The most high-profile game that I wanted to see and failed to was The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It – was - there, hidden away in a single covered stall, and was so successfully obscured I didn’t notice it until well into the afternoon. With easily the biggest queue for any game at the Expo (they had to rope it off eventually), Skyward Sword is the game I was saddest to leave behind. Since my press pass allowed me early access I was kicking myself all day. Still am.
Fallout: New Vegas will be in the visual preview I will post later, even though it had the largest number of playable booths for any one game at the Expo. I actively chose not to play it, partly because it’s out soon, but mostly because it’s really not a game to “have a quick go on”.
You will also notice that I didn’t try a few high profile games like Infamous 2, Gran Turismo 5 and Fable III. The truth is that I simply wasn’t interested in them, but a lot of other people were. I’m not going to fight to play a game I couldn’t care less about.
Enough excuses – let’s play!
One of only two games that I went back twice to play. I was overjoyed to see the PC version there alongside the 360 booths (well, tucked down the side in the shadowy part a fair bit away from the Xboxes, but you get my meaning), and only the PCs had single-player. And it hugely impressed me.
For starters, it was hands-down the best looking game at the Expo. The attention to detail in the levels and the sharpness of the graphics are equaled only by Killzone 3 and Rage, but Crysis 2 beats both by being in a recognizable urban environment. Normally if you compare a real-world city to a game version, the game usually has a lot less clutter and only a few bits of trash lying around. Not so here. This is the first game to actually make me feel like I’m properly fighting in a believable current-day city. It blows away the likes of Modern Warfare 2 in this regard. What’s more, a lot of it is interactive. Sure, it’s pointless to pick up an empty coke can and throw it at an alien death tank, but it does add a lot to the believability of the game.
The demo was clearly based on unfinished code, as there was the occasional crash, a fair few bugs, questionable enemy AI and, um, Xbox button prompts. It was still fun to play and looked astonishing, well creating the intense panic, destruction and chaos of being on the ground during a War of the Worlds-like alien invasion.
From my short play-through, Crysis 2 is the FPS to beat for me in early 2011, but the one problem I have is that at the moment it’s feeling closer to the more confined action of Call of Duty rather the gigantic choose-your-own-path environments of Crysis or Far Cry. I guess we’ll find out early next year, as it’s definitely on my shopping list.