Ami’s Top 5 Yays at Eurogamer Expo 2013

Attending Eurogamer this year was one of a hell ride I was sure I’d never forget. It was my first ever expo after all! There were a lot of games to play, things to see and do, and a lot of queuing up (as well as sitting down, poor feet). But what really stood out? Which games should you be expecting me to tell you to look out for? Well, my friends, you’re in luck. After much consideration, I have rounded up my personal top five favourites – which I’ll definitely be buying in the future.

5. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360)

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This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering I’ve been a major fan of the franchise ever since I first played Final Fantasy VII at my cousin’s house. However, what you might not know is that I haven’t played Final Fantasy XIII-2 yet. I’m sorry! But its predecessor had me bored at tears a lot that I just had to shelve it until I could bring myself to play it. Fortunately, I have finished the first game in the trilogy, but have yet to touch the successor. So why on earth did I play Lightning’s solo adventure if I’m at risk of spoilers?

Well, it was hard to resist a sneak peek. However, add on the fact the demo was right next to Final Fantasy X of all places. The news I’d been hearing here and there always had me interested, though. I put my fear of spoilers away in a little box in the back of my mind and decided to get on with it.

Now I have to say that the battle system has changed dramatically since FFXIII. You have to think more on your toes and hope for the best. Surprisingly enough, the demo featured Hope and guess what? He wasn’t as annoying as he used to be! I’m not the only one who despised him, though. But he seems to be proving useful this time, helping Lightning to track down Snow. I’m not sure why Snow is suddenly the enemy – or at least that’s the way I saw it – but I’m sure it’s bound to make sense when I play FFXIII-2 and not be so confused.

The fact that Lightning only has a small amount of time to save the world sounds very appealing. It means you can’t really waste time on side quests (or at least if there is any) and get to the story. That’s what I like to see, as much fun as I have with other stuff in games. I won’t be purchasing this at launch, but it’ll be on the list once I’m caught up in the trilogy.

4. Watch Dogs (PS4)

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Yes, the upcoming title of next month was at Eurogamer! However, myself and the other attendees were treated to a presentation as opposed to a demo. As you may already know, Watch Dogs is Ubisoft’s next would-be smash hit, having already conquered the gaming world with Assassin’s Creed. You play as Aiden Pearce, a professional hacker. His family was hurt in the past and are being attacked once again, so he has become a vigilante to protect them with the aid of technology, and his hacking skills.

The presentation showed a particular mission, where Aiden acquires his next target. It’s shown that you can drive cars and use your phone – your main source of hacking – to change traffic lights in your favour. Aiden can even hack into any random person for their details, empty their bank account and so on. I’m sure to have fun lining my pockets when I get the chance!

The game looks like the hacker version of Grand Theft Auto V if I’m honest, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. If GTA V isn’t Game of the Year, I’m sure Watch Dogs could take the bite (yes, the pun was totally intended there) if it’s not beaten by the likes of Beyond: Two Souls or The Last of Us.

Combat also looks fluid. You can take whatever approach to a mission you want, but it’s highly advised to remain in the shadows and let the hacking do all the work. That really sounds like a cliché, but it does work when you compare two or more approaches.

With the power of the city at your disposal, just where will the story take you and Aiden? I’ll be sure to look forward to it next month, as I already have it pre-ordered for PS3.

3. The Elder Scrolls Online (PC)

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Let’s start this selection with some honesty.

I only really got into the TES series with Skyrim, although I’m sure a lot of people would say the same. So whilst I was confused at all the aspects of the world, I slowly adapted and the game became one of my all-time favourites. Fast forward two years later and I really can’t wait to try this amazing MMORPG.

There was no time to waste when I reached my destined seat, so I began to immediately create a female Nord and get right onto the missions at hand. It’s awfully strange for me to sit there and play a game for PC. I only really have a laptop at home and the only PC games I have are Dragon Age: Origins, Age of Empires Gold Edition and Master of Olympus: Zeus. They’re mainly point and click games, although TESO is hardly completely different.

For once, I had to actually watch where my fingers were pushing. I’m naturally a console gamer and this was an entirely new experience for me, but … I quite liked it. And as it’s an online game, I naturally ran into other players sitting right beside me from time to time. Just like Skyrim, it’s highly addictive.

And sadly once I’d gotten used to it, I had to release myself and be told to come off for others to get the chance. I have thought it over and have decided I’m going to try my hand at the beta. Perhaps not the PC version, as I’m sure my laptop couldn’t handle it. Perhaps the PS4 one is in my best interests.

2. Final Fantasy X (PS3)

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So the HD remake has to settle for second place. Boo, but it’s still a pretty awesome game.

Some readers may already know my thoughts of the game from the article I previously published a few days ago, but I’ll expand and reiterate them right here.

FFX has always been one of my favourites from the series. It’s one of those that really made me feel for the characters and story, mainly thanks to the introduction of voice acting and detailed graphics. Back then, it was hard to believe that a high definition version was even possible. No one cared for what it looked like! They just wanted to enjoy the thrill of experiencing a true FF and whilst it slightly strays from what a traditional one is, it can still be considered exactly one indeed.

Although annoying at first, Tidus turns into the reluctant hero you’re all rooting for. His short adventure in the demo really lets you into this guy. He’s a celebrity, a blitzball star at that. But fast forward and you’re thrust into the imminent threat of his city’s destruction. No matter what you feel towards him, you can at least be shocked at what’s going on … well, if you’ve never played before. But even seasoned players like me still feel it when we replay.

The same magic for the game is still there. The graphics are amazing. If you’ve compared them to the original game’s graphics, you won’t believe your eyes. The battle system looks even more fluid than it did before. It’s the same game nonetheless, but it feels different yet in a good way.

And that’s why I’m still eagerly, but excitedly awaiting the release date for this and its successor, Final Fantasy X-2. Without a shadow of doubt in my mind, I’ll be playing them both for PS3 and PS Vita.

1. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4)

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Come on now; was it hardly surprising that I’d choose this as my number one game? I’d say let’s cheer it on and clap like enthusiasts, but I think an almighty “arrrrrgh!” would suffice as well.

Perhaps our new protagonist may not be Captain Jack Sparrow, but he certainly has the charm and charisma to steal our hearts. Edward Kenway, the grandfather of previous hero Connor from Assassin’s Creed III, heads the game this time in another bout in the assassins versus templar long-waging war. It’s unconventional to go backwards, as we’ve been going forwards in time ever since the Third Crusade and right up until the American Revolution. Who knows? Maybe this new formula could work.

As you know from my thoughts of Black Flag, I’m very excited for the game. I’m a huge self-confessed AC fan ever since the first one – the second is my personal favourite – and whilst the third was slightly disappointing, I believe this one has the goodies to bring it back up to the heights the series has previously hit.

It was probably a wise decision to ditch Connor if I’m honest. Whilst his story is almost identical to Ezio’s, his character lacked SOMETHING. It’s pretty easy to pick and compare Ezio and Connor, but at least Ezio had a heart and didn’t have daddy issues like Connor did. Connor seemed too focused on revenge and was hateful nearly every moment of the game. Ezio, on the other hand, was the same and yet had this affectionate charm that we all fell in love over the course of his trilogy. With that in mind, I find Connor too generic. He’s not the worst game character ever, but I just couldn’t connect to him as much as his predecessor.

Now onto Edward Kenway! What a chap. In the three demos I played, I found him an intriguing character. There were no hints to give away the story, which left me very interested in our new pirate captain. After settling into familiar sights of villages, towns and cities, a change of scenery on the sea is just what I’d love to see. And so I will get it with the new game.

As soon as it was announced, I pre-ordered my game. Why? I always get the latest one in the series no matter what. It’s a series I’m determined to see through until the very end.