Eurogamer Expo 2013: Ten Ton Hammer Awards

Eurogamer Expo 2013 may have come to an end, but our coverage hasn't! Join Lewis B. as he shares his list of what was hot and what was not this year.

Eurogamer 2013 was a bustling show that had dozens upon dozens of games on show. Some were popular, some less so but when it comes down to it, there are always some games which stand out for one reason or another. After a good night’s rest and plenty of thought, below is a list of the best and worst that the show had to offer as well as some curve balls we really weren't expecting to be anything special. 


Best of Show – Titanfall 

Without question one of the finest games I've played in years and the king of the show floor. Polished with slick presentation and incredible gameplay, Titanfall stood out from the moment you sat through the tutorial video. The drama of ejecting from a mech cockpit as you're fired 500 meters into the air only to traverse. With Battlefield 4 showing next to it, the two products couldn't be further apart in terms of modernisation. May cannot come soon enough.

 

Best Use of Piano – Doom 

Quite possibly the most hilarious, surreal moment of the entire show is seeing someone play Doom on a piano. With piano keys determining movement (strafing, turning, using and switching weapons) it was a comical endeavour that served to entertain the crowds. The tunes created while playing might not have been pleasant on the ears, but it drew huge numbers and left everyone smiling. What we're now waiting for is for someone to write a score that accurately moves you around the level, from start to finish, while killing all enemies. That would be something special. 

Most Charming – Tearaway 

Papercraft taken to a whole new level, the premise of the game – please bear with me – is that the protagonist is to deliver a message. Although the demo didn't go into too much detail, your mission is to aid him in this in a beautifully crafted world. From the droplets of rain to the music, all of it was wonderfully presented. The hand crafted aesthetic is instantly appealing and charming.

 

Most Impressive Queue – Pokémon X and Y 

With one of Nintendo's biggest franchise (if not the biggest) I'm still in disbelief at the fact they only had 3 DS that you could play it on. With queues in excess of 2 hours (unsurprisingly) it really deserved better from Nintendo. Thankfully for them, the game looks and plays brilliantly and was well worth the queuing time. 

Most Unexpected – Framed 

This is a game that is hard to explain. Played on IOS or Android, you aid an individual escaping a scenario. To help him, you rearrange a series of panels of a comic strip to ensure he escapes each “page” successfully. For example, one puzzle sees you running down corridors to which you rearrange the exit doors that the protagonist uses to escape. Some panels feature police officers who are intent on stopping you, but if arranged incorrectly will ensure your demise. With great animation and visuals, it deserves a look.

 

Most Wanted T-Shirt Award 

Titanfall seems to be getting plenty of mentions here today and rightfully so. I lost count at the amount of people asking for T-Shirts only for the staff managing the lines unfortunately having none to give. We can forgive Respawn Entertainment for that. Considering the queue size minus the cotton wear, we'll settle for no T-Shirt if it means a fantastic product. 

Most Forgettable – Watchdogs 

Lauded as the game of the show in the official Eurogamer 2013 programme, Watchdogs just misses the mark. With an approach to hacking involving nothing more than pressing square, there's very little here in the way of interaction of innovation. Appearing more as a re-skinned Assassins Creed than an original entry, the mechanics and play were just unexciting. The crowds and I quickly moved along.

 


Best of Indie – Xenolith 

Similar in graphical style to Comet Crash by Pelfast on PS3, Xenolith sees you pilot a shape-modifying ship. With 3 shapes available to transform into (triangle, square and hexagon) the object of the game mode I played was to match your ship shape to the incoming enemies and projectiles. Match incorrectly and your shield takes damage before you eventually die. Match correctly and you'll score combo points. Addictive and wonderfully presented, Xenolith kept me going back for more. 

Best MMOG – WildStar 

Although traditional in its structure, WildStar is a charming and polished entry into the genre. With fantastic animations and charming race designs, I really hope it does well. The humour is genuinely funny and the game world expansive and deserving to be explored. I do have some concerns about its quest structure, but I'd be willing to forgive it for that when everything else seems so good. With raid content (so desperately lacking in the genre) it has a strong framework for those seeking something more hardcore.

 

Most Pointless Demonstration – Driveclub 

With only pre-alpha code available, it looked rough and was not worth public consumption. In light of recent footage they clearly have a newer build. This is no stab at Evolution but it really wasn't going to sell itself against the likes of Need for Speed Rivals and Forza 5 (we suspect Sony pushed this onto the show floor). On that premise, why bring it to the show floor? 

Best Local Coop – Android Assault Cactus 

A twin-stick shooter with 4 female assault androids in morphing arenas with waves of enemies, it’s all about blowing things up and chaining combos. The game is full of personality and has some seriously solid animations and sounds. An Alpha demo is available on Steam right now and is well worth a look for anyone who likes score based bullet-hell.

 

Most Awkward Booth Placement – Battlefield 4 

With crowds being forced to scream for T-Shirts or being stood centimetres away from a 42” TV to play the game (to say it made your eyes blur was an understatement), Battlefield 4 felt generic and predictable. Graphically unimpressive (we weren't allowed to take footage of screenshots) and unfortunately for them, being sat next to the debut product of Respawn Entertainment was never going to end well. Titanfall was a triumph of game ideas over marketing, new tech and IP familiarity. With queues triple that of Battlefield 4, it's clear where player interests lie. 

Biggest Disappointment – The Elder Scrolls Online 

In need of significant polish and improvements in almost all areas, The Elder Scrolls Online was a product I was giddy to play but one that left me bitterly disappointed. With ropey combat and a strange mix of MMOG gameplay coupled to Skyrim, it's hard to know where exactly this product sits. Although the quest system plays well, it isn't enough to hold it together at this time. Here's hoping the build on display at Eurogamer is way behind the internal version.

 

 

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