While the folks over in the UK were attending EGX this weekend, the little guys down here in New Zealand aren’t always given a lot of choices when it comes to gaming events and expos.
So when I saw that Xbox New Zealand were hosting a gaming event, I was pleasantly surprised and immediately made demands that I get invited or lethal force would be necessary. Naturally, they accepted, and I was lucky enough to get invited along with 300 or so other gaming nerds and my friend and I plodded along inside.
We went immediately for the Halo 5 section, which was 24 Xbox Ones set up for the multiplayer mode Warzone. I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to Halo, I’ve only ever played Halo: Combat Evolved and that was on PC. I only recently purchased an Xbox 360 for the sole purpose of playing through all of them to see what the fuss is about.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I really enjoyed the Warzone mode of Halo 5. For those who don’t know, Warzone is a 12v12 mode on a huge map with each teams home base and landmarks which need to be taken. There are also AI enemies that give you a chance to earn points too, as well as a requsition system to unlock vehicles and better weapons as you earn more points.
This was really enjoyable and I wish I could buy an Xbox One because it’s pretty much sold me just from playing one game of it. I always envisioned Halo multiplayer as being similar to Call of Duty so this new Warzone mode has impressed me a lot.
I then got the chance to play some Rise of the Tomb Raider, a timed exclusive for the Xbox One. I feel the same way about the new Tomb Raider as I do with the Uncharted series, both games now feel to me like standard 3rd-person shooters with some climbing, puzzles and set pieces shoved into a plot. Tomb Raider however does add crafting, skills and a more open-world-ish sense, but overall what I played was a solid experience.
After that I lined up for a game I’ve already been playing a lot of in Closed Beta on PC, Rainbow Six: Siege. The atmosphere felt great as my team-mates were right next to me and our adversaries on the other side of our TVs. The Ubisoft guy kept telling us that communication was the key to winning, so I naturally took charge with my false bravado and we ended up losing horribly.
I’m going to blame the Xbox controller for the loss since I’m a filthy PC elitist and swear blind that a keyboard and mouse should be the only way to play an FPS. The game is very fun however, I can see how it is tailored to eSports already and I would love to become good enough to play in a small tournament.
The adrenaline rush as you realise you’re the last one standing and 4 enemy operators are closing in to defuse your precious bomb. Images of an amazing clutch win go through your mind until you see Sledge smash down a bit of drywall and unload a buckshot into your face. Overall, it’s good fun with friends and I look forward to its full release in December.
That’s all the games I played, but I also managed to see some gameplay of a few games that are coming out soon. There was a Fallout 4 presentation which I was very very excited for, but unfortunately they only ended up showing videos you can access on Bethesda’s YouTube channel. I was disappointed but I should come to expect this from the tight-lipped Bethesda who have managed to (almost) keep Fallout 4 under wraps until 5 months from release. I did however get a cool Vault Boy mask and poster, so all is forgiven Mr. Howard.
I also got to see some exclusive footage of The Division which showed off The Dark Zone, which we have already seen visited previously. It’s a pity the more I see about The Division, the less excited I get for it. It’s not coming out until next year though so I have plenty of time to get re-hyped.
I also saw some Quantam Break footage which looked pretty crazy. Lots of time bending stuff and Littlefinger from Game of Thrones, there’s also going to be a Quantam Break TV show that blurs the line between television and gaming. We all know how well that goes.
At the end of the day, I had a great time and it was nice to see a dedicated gaming event from Xbox New Zealand, especially since we don’t get a lot of those over here. I would love for Sony or another large company to do something similar in future, I mean video games are only getting bigger throughout the world so it’ll happen eventually right? Right guys?