The EB Games Expo comes around every year and with it the we get to glimpse and experience some of the latest games and preview others yet to be released. So what does 2016 have to offer? The end of year line-up is somewhat dismal to be honest, however while limited there are still some titles to get excited over.
The small array of games left over seemed to impact the size of the expo itself. All the big names were there, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and even Bethesda but all of them seemed to simply have less on offer than previous years.
Nintendo did have a lengthy playable demo for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but these were only available to a select few winners of a completion. I was disappointed there was no Pokémon Sun and Moon sneak peaks as it is due for release in November. While there was none of the new game to play there was certainly a whole dedicated Pokémon store which I certainly found myself emptying my wallet at.
Sony did have its new VR on display but with currently limited game options for the system there were only minor games available to experience. There was dedicated section for Drive Club VR experience but this didn’t really catch my attention.
There were a few games of note however. The biggest and most interesting would be the new IP Horizon: Zero Dawn. Having seen a demo of the sci-fi open world RPG with the developers at E3, it was one title I was very keen to get some hands on time with. Thankfully I did and managed to experience everything the demo had to offer. I have to say the gameplay available in the demo seems solid and I enjoyed what was there. The team did showcase a bit more of the features of game and it all looks stunning from the mechanical dinosaur like creatures to the concepts of the universe that are all definitely intriguing. The various components of combat seemed natural and the crafting system was also simple and intuitive. I really hope the rest of the game lives up to this small snap shot and I look forward to more of it.
The other game of interest for me at the Sony booth was Resident Evil VII. Unfortunately, I never got around to getting any time with this title. There were some other minor titles available but none that really otherwise grabbed my interest.
The Microsoft booth definitely held some interest as the next Gears instalment, Gears of War 4, was available to play. Both a small amount of story and the new and improved horde mode. Both, while still maintaining a reasonable amount of the same gears we know and love, also offered enough new and interesting aspects that I found quite enjoyable. I sincerely can’t wait to get my hands on the full game.
Having already obtained an addiction for Forza Horizon 3, I didn’t sit down and play it but I was glad to see it available at the Expo. Dead Rising 4 also made the showcase floor and showed off pretty much more of Dead Rising 3, if you had told me I was playing DLC, I might have believed you. Sadly, one game I would have liked to try, despite a less than positive reception, was ReCore but this was nowhere to be found.
Ubisoft did have a section with the most noticeable game on display, Just Dance 2016. Can’t say I am a big fan if this series, but there seemed enough gamers lined up to give it a go. Ubisoft did provide a playable demo for their up-coming title For Honour, a medieval combat type game that, as an observer, ran smoothly enough but lacked any game defining features.
Bethesda had a single booth set up dedicated to Dishonoured 2, which sadly due lines of 2 hours +, I did not get time to play but I look forward to playing this title on release as I am a big fan of the first entry.
The EB games mega store, in combination with Zing, had quite the array of nerdy merchandise. So there was plenty to lose your money on.
The highlight for me of the EB Games Expo was actually the Xbox Presentation who featured none other than the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer himself. While most the Xbox Presentation wasn’t anything new, a bit more of Gears of War 4 was showcased and Phil Spencer made comment on the direction of Xbox and the new consoles to be released, respectively the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio.
The EB Games Expo is an opportunity to get a sneak peek at the games around and the games to come. While I was certainly glad for the opportunity to play some of these games I feel this year’s EB Games Expo was certainly lacking luster that some of the previous years have provided for the gaming community.