EB EXPO 16, LiveBlog

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logo_eb2016It’s 2016 and we embark once more to Sydney’s Olympic Park (maybe Brisbane next year guys?).

This should be an interesting collection of thoughts as the day goes by in a blurry exhausted haze.

Remember to read from the bottom up.

 

17.33

Skylanders Imaginators, making amends.

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Had a play with Imaginators and while it may just another Skylanders game it is fair to say that they are bringing something really new this year.

Forgetting the vehicles of Superchargers, Imaginators lets you build your own Skylanders from hundreds of options.

So, the traditional figures are pretty much bunk. Time to throw Creation Crystals into the mix, but here’s the rub. Once you create a character it’s pretty much locked to that crystal, some people won’t like it, but I don’t mind. It makes you think about the strategy of building your ultimate Skylander and probably being priced around. .99 cheaper than the figures of 2015.

The crystals are elemental based and give access to base body types, then you can dress them up with unlockable skins and weapons. I like the system, it’s breathing life into the franchise. There will be Sensei figures that will add upgrades and experience to your creations, so there is still the need to gather some of the new batch plus you will be able to introduce your old characters too.

After that it’s a classic Skylands adventure, platform and smash and level up, with a few experience earning gizmos thrown in. In fact the selfie mode is more appealing than the Dead Rising one.

Back to Skylands? Yes please, sign me up.

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15.43

Driveclub VR hands on.

PlayStation Stand EBExpo16

Ok, managed to get into a quiet slot and jump behind the wheel of some Driveclub VR and it was awesome.

The depth of field is nice with a floaty 3D effect, the response time of the visor to the screen is good enough. Not forgetting this is a mass market product for the home. And the immersion just got me straight off the bat.

The race started and I was driving, really driving, while the VR and sound did a lot for that you have to credit the steering wheel and force feedback with som of it. Regardless, I’m so in – even with a minor problem. I am somewhat myopic and not wearing glasses with VR doesn’t work for me. As such my varifocals struggled to keep everything in focus, I may have to resort to contacts and that’s my excuse for hitting a few walls, even if I did manage to bash my way to the front and win.

VR 10 mins in? Yes please.

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14.20

Hands on with Steep.

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Steep is a mountainous playground for thrill seekers in the snow.

What more do you need, the demo offered all types of the 4 sports on offer. Controls are pretty intuitive and the visuals are really quite breathtaking, if a little white.

I jumped onto a snowboard eager to relive some1080 style skills, which almost got there, but ended up being more of a Snowboard Kids wipeout.

I might not manage being the fastest on the snow, but love the Wingsuit and Paragliding for some nice views.

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14.12

So, Phil Spencer the actual Head of Xbox came to Sydney and addressed the crowd. I have to admit initial scepticism, but the man sells a genuine story his focus is the community and exploring the best future for his brand.

I have to say I was won over by his no nonsense approach along with the rest of the crowd. The message is clear Xbox might not be launching into VR this year, but they are laying the foundations for the future.

The line up of recent and future games looks strong, Forza started the session along to the tune of “I don’t want to fall in love” – the game obviously has other ideas. It’s stunning and the social aspects or Blueprints that were demoed are a step up.

Follow that with an enthused showing of Dead Rising 4, even though it’s hard to forget the failings of the series back in my 360 days.

Gears of War looked shiny and exciting, returning to an older Marcus is the draw for me, but being without Xbox – it can likely wait.

As for the hardware, the recently released XboxS looks very nice in the flesh, more compact and sexy. However the chat was all about the Scorpio which will be raising the bar come 2017.

Now, where’s mister Spencer – I need to ask for an Xbox handheld…

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10.39

Popping Corn Theatre
Phil Spencer and Xbox presentation – imminent.

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10.02

Farming Sim

Strangely quiet over here….

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09.56

Hands on with Tombraider PS4.

Yes it’s been on the XB for a year, but this is the first time I have had a play and it look terrific. The weather effects (I was in a blizzard) are top notch and it feels very familiar to the recent reboot, amongst other third person leaping adventures.

My only concern after 5 minutes was Lara’s relentless internal monologue…

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09.54

PlayStation Stand EBExpo16

It’s been a long day so far, waking late and racing for a plan, 4 trains and now an hour into the show. I need coffee and bacon STAT.

First impressions, the show is loud and full of hands-on experiences as usual, but exhibitors do seem a touch thin on the ground. Sony have the majority of real estate with a heap of VR hands-on and queues to match, not forgetting CoD and Skylanders, as they brought Activision and partnered with Warner too.

With Battlefield 1 weeks away the absence of EA is noticeable, Ubisoft and Xbox have hefty stands while Namco/Square and 2k are present. 2K with their Mafia 3 inspired movie theatre.

Bethesda have a big Dishonored 2 showing, More on that later.

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XCOM 2 – Launch Trailer

XCOM® 2 Available Now on PS4™ and Xbox One

 Join the resistance and reclaim Earth from alien rule

 Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #XCOM2

Sydney, Australia – September 29, 2016 – 2K and Firaxis Games announced today that XCOM® 2, the sequel to the Game of the Year* award-winning strategy title, is available now in Australia and New Zealand for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, and Xbox One.

“Firaxis took the XCOM franchise to a whole new level with XCOM 2’s epic story and replayability, making it the most thrilling game in the series,” said Sarah Anderson, Senior Vice President of Marketing at 2K. “We’re pleased to now bring that experience to gamers on PS4™ system and Xbox One.”

In XCOM 2, humanity had lost the war against the alien threat that established a new world order on Earth. XCOM, formerly a secret paramilitary organization, is largely forgotten and must strike back from the shadows to reclaim Earth from the aliens’ rule and free mankind from their evil plans.

 XCOM 2 is rated ‘MA15+’ in Australia and ‘R13’ in New Zealand and is now available for the PlayStation®4 system, and Xbox One, for AUD$69.95/NZD$79.95. XCOM 2 is also available for Windows PC, Mac and Linux by Feral Interactive. For more information, please visit www.XCOM.com, become a fan on Facebook, follow the game on Twitter or subscribe to XCOM on YouTube.

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EB Expo16, Playstation Line Up

logo_eb2016There’s not really any other way to do this apart from dump a text heavy press release in the wild.

The Playstation Stand at EB’s Olympic Park Expo is going to be choc-full of hitherto untested joy, its like Christmas again.

Now – which screen will have The Last Guardian demo on?

PlayStation Brings Show Stopping Line Up To EB Expo in 2016

Players will have the chance to step into the immersive world of PlayStation®VR ahead of its highly anticipated launch on October 13 and be the first in Australia and to get hands-on with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Multi-Player

27 September 2016 – Sydney, Australia: PlayStation® Australia is giving gaming fans attending this year’s EB Expo the chance to experience the future of play and entertainment, with PlayStation®VR (PS VR) and PlayStation®4 (PS4™). The PlayStation booth will give fans a sneak peek of the upcoming, highly anticipated titles for PS4. Whether players want to enter the post-apocalyptic world and reclaim the ruins of a forgotten civilization with Horizon Zero Dawn™, or sit in the cockpit and rev an engine in DRIVECLUB™ VR, there is something for everyone.

ps4_ecosystemFans will also be able to get hands-on with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare multi-player before the Beta opens on October 15th on PS4. The spectacular line-up of games and hardware featuring on the PlayStation booth includes: PlayStation VR Powered by PS4, PlayStation VR is a virtual reality system that takes console gaming to the next level of immersion. Titles available include: ?

  • DRIVECLUB™ VR: Get behind the wheel and be transported to some of world’s most stunning locales, as this virtual reality edge-of-your-seat racing will test your skills and reflexes ?
  • Farpoint: Set off on a perilous journey into an hostile alien environment in Farpoint, available exclusively to PS VR ?
  • PlayStation VR Worlds: Step into PlayStation VR Worlds and journey through five unique and exclusive PS VR experiences ?
  • RIGS Mechanized Combat League: Set in the near future, you will pilot fast, large, heavily armed athletic sports machines in gripping matches held at incredible arenas around the globe ?
  • Until Dawn™: Rush of Blood: From the developers of horror survival title Until Dawn, strap yourself in for the most disturbing arcade-style rollercoaster ride you’ll ever take
  • EVE: Valkyrie™: Explore an intricate sci-fi universe like never before, where you will experience deep-space aerial dogfights and nerve-shredding tactical incursions ?
  • Batman Arkham VR: Immerse yourself in the Dark Knight’s Universe and redefine what it means to Be The Batman, exclusive to PlayStation VR ?
  • Call of Duty Jackal Assault: The first-ever Call of Duty PlayStation VR experience, will allow those at EB Expo to enter the cockpit and take control of a Jackal, the personal fighter jet in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare ?
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard: Prepare to be taken to a whole new level of immersive horror and terror with PS VR PlayStation 4

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The Playstation Eco-system, EBEXPO 2016

ps4_ecosystemThere’s a lot going on in the world of Playstation and VR is just the tip of it, for anybody with a vested interest then VR has to be intriguing – a next level jump to accessible gaming that raises the bar on immersion.

Personally I can’t wait, however I do find the VR label being a touch ambitious, not having had a hands on yet. My designated slot is 18:30 Friday…I understand the VR rig coupled with a headset will offer substantial ‘suspension of disbelief’ which will add to immersion, but I’d be more inclined to apply the VR badge to a full blown holodeck.

That said, I can’t wait.

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The Tomorrow Children, PS4 Review

ttcpackVideo Game designers never cease to amaze me with their ability to create games that seem so far out of left field, that I would swear that their initial brain storming sessions must have been fuelled by an array of illicit substances. Suffice to say, The Tomorrow Children’s take on a post-apocalyptic Soviet Russia is both brilliantly weird and unfortunately, painfully dull all at the same time.

Due to a Soviet science experiment going badly wrong in the late 1960s, the world as we know it has been destroyed. It has been melted down into the ‘Void’, an open expanse of nothingness. Your job is to be the cog in a co-operative machine and rebuild the towns of the Soviet Union. The set-up is that you are actually a cloned projection whos soul purpose is to toil away with fellow clone comrades, to build towns and find citizens trapped inside Matryoshka Dolls. As I alluded to before, some game designer was listening to ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, while creating this wild game premise.

The Tomorrow Children™_20160910104417 Continue reading

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