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EGX REZZED Round Up — Part 1

In the idyllic backdrop of the regenerated Tobacco Docks, a modest crowd of passionate gamers queued up on an unusually sunny day to see the wares of a host of indie developers. We were fortunate enough to grab press access on day one of EGX Rezzed in London, which is the indie-lite version of the monumentally huge version of EGX that was run in September of last year.

From indie giants such as Devolver Digital and Team 17, to the likes of PlayStation and ID@Xbox being heavily represented, there was also a motley bunch of smaller games, and the Leftfield Collection down in the vaults had a variety of interest experiments in VR and other gameplay elements. We played everything we could, and here’s a quick rundown of all the delights we got hands on time with.

Enter the Gungeon

PS4/PC/Mac/Linux – TBA 2015

This is the lovechild of a good old rogue-like dungeon crawler and Rambo, essentially. Coming to PS4, PC, Mac and Linux (sorry, Xbox owners) Enter the Gungeon is a descent into a procedurally generated bullet hell endless dungeon filled with loot, traps, bosses, and the Gundead, a group of enemies which essentially consist of cutesy ammunition.

Dodgeroll games have also loaded the dungeons with a slew of weapons, with an incredible variety of bullets and firing modes. From our hands on time with it, Gungeon is an addictive and difficult game, sure to appeal to fans of The Binding of Isaac and it’s ilk.

Flame Over

PS Vita/PS4/Steam – Out now on Vita, coming soon to PS4 and Steam

Billed as a “pyroguelike” with “squirt-em-up” action, Flame Over is the classic randomly generated rogue-like formula applied to the dangerous art of fire fighting. Rescue people and kittens in a variety of environments while dousing a range of blazes. Super Mario Sunshine proved that squirting things with water is fun, and Flame Over confirms that scientifically accurate theory.

While the incredible difficulty left our play through short, the upgrades and random nature of the game make it compelling to return to quench a few more infernos.

Amplitude

PS3/PS4 – TBA 2015

Amplitude is a reboot of the much-loved 2003 title of the same name. While the version on display at EGX was an Early Alpha, the game had a selection of six songs across four difficulties, and was wonderfully polished.

Harmonix have always been the poster child for great music games, starting with the genre spawning Guitar Hero and then later going on to define the very genre they created with their Rock Band series. With Rock Band 4 having just been announced, Amplitude might have trouble finding space in the spotlight despite its former glory, but for the ardent fans of the original, this is what they’ve been waiting for.

Volume

PS4, PS Vita, Windows, Mac – TBA 2015

Mike Bithell is the king of the British indie scene at the moment, and he was impossible to get anywhere near during EGX, but his upcoming project Volume, speaks volumes (sorry) for his talent. Thomas Was Alone was an astoundingly understated and excellently crafted meditation on life and loneliness with a gorgeous soundtrack, and Volume takes this music and visual design a step forward.

The game is a lot like those VR missions from the older Metal Gear Solid Games, with a pixelated, unique appearance. It looks like the world of Supergiant Games’ Transistor and with the same narrator used from Thomas Was Alone, it seems to borrow a few motifs from the noted indie developer. The early missions on display promised a stylish stealth game that might be very special indeed.

Titan Souls

PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC – 14th April 2015

A game that was picked up from a Ludum Dare prototype by indie producer supremos Devolver Digital and turned into one of the most anticipated little titles of the year, Titan Souls lives on the design ethos of you only have one. One weapon, one arrow, and one HP, for you and the bosses.

Shadow of the Colossus in gorgeous 8 bit, Titan Souls is a slew of brutally difficult, nuanced and balanced boss battles in a strange and mysterious worlds. Incredible, and incredibly difficult, this is one for fans of the Souls games. The titles are pure coincidence, the developers insisted at a forum during the Rezzed event. The cease and desist letters from From Software might have got lost in the post.

Deep

Oculus – TBA 2015

Billed as a “meditative and psychoactive VR game that is controlled by breathing.” Deep tells us that we’re been breathing wrong our whole lives, and aims to rectify that with an incredibly unique experience that is hard to describe. Players don an Oculus Rift headset and a strange controller that pins around your waist to monitor your breathing.

You’re plunged into a beautiful and ethereal world, which you explore by turning your head to change direction, breathing deep to float, and exhaling slowly to gently lower to the ground. Even surrounded by the crowd at EGX, it really felt like we were in another world, and it was an immensely relaxing experience. A clever and unique use for the Oculus, and definitely one to watch.

Roto VR

October 2015

Not so much a game in itself, but an interesting VR experience that launched its Kickstarter at EGX Rezzed. You’re hooked up to an Oculus Rift with a controller in hand, sitting on a chair that swivels and turns by pressing on pedals. As you turn on the chair, you turn in-game. Simple, yet incredibly immersive.

We got hands on with the early prototype and things were rough around the edges. While you could turn with the pedals, you had to use the controller to move forward, which could be awkward as the Oculus obscures the view of your hands. The game they decided to show off with the prototype was Alien Isolation, which is terrifying enough without the Rift and excellent headphones, and was a perfect showcase for the possibilities of Roto. If they can smooth the rough edges and make their Kickstarter a success, Roto could be the next big thing.

Don’t forget to check back soon for part 2, featuring some fantastic titles, including a game that involves climbing into a coffin, a space shooter mixed with VR, and an exciting narrative driven game that’s a mix between True Detective and Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series.

 

Cover image via

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Categories: Video Game News, Video Game Previews

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