MCM London video game preview special
Between 24-26 October the biannual London MCM Comic Con took place, welcoming thousands upon thousands of pop culture enthusiasts who were either looking to try out the latest upcoming game releases or satisfy their lust for nerdy merchandise.
As well as managing to see everything I wanted and spending far too much money in the process, I got my hands on some of the biggest upcoming games. I’ll be giving you guys my impressions of some of the biggest games I had the opportunity to play, away we go!
The Order: 1886 (PS4)
I suppose I should get the most disappointing of the bunch out of the way first, by that I mean The Order 1886, the PS4 exclusive shooter by Ready At Dawn studios.
The short segment I played was incredibly underwhelming. I was forced through cramped and claustrophobic streets to take down bland and generic enemies who put up a decent fight, but simply weren’t any fun or satisfying to defeat.
I was hoping to be put up against the terrifying and supernatural creatures that populated the E3 demo where I would have to use my wits and the environment to avoid or outsmart them.
Instead I was treated to a bland and unimaginative third person shooter. The visuals and art design are fantastic however; the unsettling Gothic streets of Victorian London make for a fantastic setting that I can’t wait to explore.
The characters themselves also seem quite interesting, and the dialogue between them reminded me of the charming banter I adored in the Uncharted series.
Although, from my initial playthrough, I don’t see this living up to any of Naughty Dog’s efforts and previous offerings, especially with Uncharted 4 being right around the corner and being released some time next year.
Having been in development for over four years now, The Order 1886 is slated for release early next year on February 20 as a PS4 exclusive.
Far Cry 4 (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC)
I loved Far Cry 3. It gave me an immense open world to explore with plenty of secrets to uncover and activities to partake in.
Unfortunately the experience ran out of the steam long before the end. With the special exception of Vaas and a few other brilliant characters, I had little reason to care about the narrative’s conclusion.
Far Cry 4 could make the same mistakes if it isn’t careful, as it plays almost identically to its predecessor. Being so similar isn’t exactly a bad thing, especially if the environments are as fun to explore and vastly populated as before.
Ubisoft has a habitual addiction to repetition, with many of its most popular franchises adopting the same tried and true formula, stifling any chance of innovation.
The brief demo I played allowed you to approach an enemy outpost by using either assault, stealth or air. Each of these options equips you with vastly different weapons, as well as spawning you in a different location.
Being able to approach any given situation however you like is exactly what Far Cry does best, and it has been expanded upon here to an incredible degree.
I decided to hop onto a nearby elephant and storm the front gates with a heavy machine gun, blasting away everything in my way until the outpost was mine. Alternatively, you could sneak around the outside and make your way through the derelict buildings, disabling alarms whilst silently taking out each enemy individually.
There is no perfect way to play Far Cry 4, and the ability to play by your own set of established rules is what makes it so exciting.
Far Cry 4 is out on November 18 for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
Assassin’s Creed Unity (Xbox One, PS4)
Before playing last years AC: Black Flag I was finding it difficult to get excited about this franchise anymore.
Releases were becoming so frequent and uninspired that it felt like all of these games were just being pushed off a generic production line, made purely to build upon an already established franchise that guaranteed a profit.
But Black Flag was a much needed breath of fresh air, injecting the fun back into the franchise by giving you a vast world to explore and plenty to do within it. It no longer felt like a bloated mess of irrelevant game mechanics and convoluted plot threads that nobody cared about.
Hopefully Ubisoft have learnt their lesson by injecting Unity with enough innovation and flair to pull the series out of its currently stale state, and judging by the demo I played, they have done just that.
After a short cutscene that appropriately sets the tone you are given a target to assassinate and thrust into the confines of Notre Dame, where a number of guards are waiting to tear you apart the second they see you.
The first thing I noticed was how different combat feels in Unity. The basic framework of the previous games is still present, but combat itself feels more fluid, varied and dynamic than before, and is no longer a case of spamming counter to win every fight.
The parkour mechanics however, haven’t received the same treatment. Climbing and traversing is still satisfying though, and Notre Dame acts as an excellent playground to see what your character can do.
My only major complaint about Unity so far is the performance issues I encountered. The frame rate on the Xbox One I played on was atrocious, and remained a constant annoyance.
Everything felt quite choppy and inconsistent, and with the November release date moving even closer I’m praying things have improved by the time release comes around.
AC: Unity is released on November 14 for Xbox One and PS4.
This was my star of the show, and easily my most anticipated game of the next six months.
If you enjoyed the cult hit Demon’s Souls and its spiritual successor Dark Souls then I can’t stress enough how much you’ll love Bloodborne, especially with Hidetaka Miyazaki reprising his role as director.
Bloodborne is a third person role playing game with a particular emphasis on exploration and precise combat that is particularly unforgiving on those who are careless with its mechanics.
At first it seems like a stark departure from the games that inspired it, taking place in a terrifying city infested with angry residents and hideous monsters, clearly inspired by Gothic literature. But once you start playing it feels remarkably similar to the likes of Dark Souls, with some notable differences.
Bloodborne seems to place a larger focus on the movement of your character in order to survive, as shields are no longer an option when it comes to defending yourself.
This change amongst many others allow Bloodborne to feel both familiar and refreshing to veterans whilst opening up an approachable avenue to newcomers without being a hindrance to the challenging nature people love about the series.
My only worry so far is whether or not the entirety of the game will take place in one city. The idea is highly unlikely considering how varied From Software seem to be when it comes to environmental design, but at the same time they’re also highly unpredictable.
Bloodborne is scheduled for release early next year on February 6 as a PS4 exclusive.