EGX Rezzed 2017 – Our Games of the Show
Now EGX Rezzed 2017 has come to a close it’s time to reflect and look back at some of the standout moments and indie games. Personally it was my first time at Rezzed and the event lived up to all the hype and expectations. What really stood out to me was the quality of content that so many small development teams could produce, and how much fun and joy came from such simple ideas. The Indie genre has gone back to the roots of gaming, to it’s beating heart, Couch Co-op. So here are a few of my top picks from EGX Rezzed 2017:
Mayan Death Robots: Arena (Sileni Studios)
A great name for a great game. Sileni Studios is a very small development team that took the well-known style of Worms, re-created the genre and created a beautiful game. This fast-paced, chaotic and absorbing game will leave your heart racing as the rockets start flying.
The concept is simple, pick your Robot and destroy your enemies power-core. Each player can choose from a roster of 10 robots, each with their own unique abilities and weapons, aided by their own team of worshipers. One of my favourite features, and what makes the game a fast-paced, unique experience is the simultaneous turn system. Each player will be taking their turns simultaneous which creates a sense of chaos and confusion as you must quickly decide whether to; protect yourself, protect your Power core, attack the enemy, or attack their Power Core…the tension mounts. During your turn you can either place Tetris style blocks to act as defensive barrier, use a choice of several attacks to bring the fight to your opponent, or jump your Robot out of danger and into a better firing position.
If fighting against your friend is not for you then Mayan Death Robots has it’s own take on Mayan history in their multiplayer campaign. Play alongside your friends and coordinate your strike to take down an increasingly difficult and involved AI and defeat the Mayan Gods.
This game is for Steam with local Multiplayer options, Mayan Death Robots: Arena will be seeing an Xbox One release and has been updated with Online multiplayer options as well.
Gang Beasts (Boneloaf)
Hands down one of the best multiplayer and Couch Co-op games I’ve played in recent years. The game is stupid, it’s ridiculous, it’s hilarious, it’s brilliant, it’s a must have. It brings button mashing back to its core of having no idea how to do anything. However once you learn the controls the game becomes even better, as you lift, punch, head-butt, kick and throw your friends off precarious ledges and into various death traps. You will accidently fall off the map, which is the only guarantee; the rest is a pot luck.
Pick your favourite gelatinous, adorable but vicious character and join the brutal and chaotic fight between up to 8 players.
The rules of the game are again simple; last one standing wins. Then the players can choose a score to reach before the map switches. The maps are one of the greatest aspects of this game, each carries its own perils, such as; giant fans, incinerator pits, moving vehicles, train tracks (with arriving trains) and heights. Fight and fling your opponents off the map or into the various death traps to claim victory as top blob. The game has a very realistic physics engine, which almost makes the game even more ridiculous as you can end up dangling an opponent over the edge as they cling to you for dear life, engaging in a long game of trying to shake them off. The majority of the environment can be interacted with or destroyed, meaning watch out for swinging doors, traffic signs, falling containers and broken glass.
Very few games can have me in tears of laughter whilst being terrible at playing the actual game, but regardless of skill level the enjoyment does not lessen. A truly great Couch Co-op game for everyone to enjoy and will leave the room a cacophony of confused screams and battle cries as colourful gelatinous forms drop from the map. So choose your tactic, either stand off and wait for everyone to eliminate themselves or go for total domination.
After a long period as a Steam Early Release title Gang Beasts is on Steam and PlayStation 4 and VR.
Serial Cleaner (iFun4All)
Serial Cleaner is almost a spiritual successor to Party Hard. The games are made by different developers but here you clean up the mess instead of making it. In this highly addictive game you play a cleaner who goes around a crime scene hovering blood, disposing of bodies, collecting items (such as weapons) and avoiding the cops and bystanders. The game uses Real-World Data to modify the gameplay according to the time of day in each individual player’s location, setting a realistic mood.
Each small map is covered in blood, evidence and bodies. It is up to you, the Serial Cleaner, to tidy up. As you are the hero this crime scene deserves, but not the one it needs right now, so you will be hunted. This game is such great fun as you work through the levels using trial and error to find the best method to cleaning up whilst using cupboards and other locations to hide. This fast-paced game may seem like you go through the levels quickly, but be warned you can easily spend hours trying to perfect this game. With a unique art style and top down perspective, Serial Cleaner stands out amongst the crowd as a great game with a simple concept.
Serial Cleaner is available to buy from Steam.
Yooka-Laylee (Playtonic Games)
Nostalgia is a powerful thing, especially when it comes to video games. We keep the games we loved as kids on pedestals, shiny reminders of a better time. Banjo-Kazooie is one of those games for me. The hours I spent with that bear and bird combo are some of my best gaming memories and I was blown away by the huge amount of personality the game created through its characters, worlds and music.
I had seen gameplay footage of Yooka-Laylee and while it looked like Banjo-Kazooie brought to current-gen consoles, I wasn’t sure if the people over at Playtonic Games would be able to re-create the magic that so many of them conjured as Rare back on the N64.
That all changed when I put on the headphones and picked up the controller. A big stupid grin instantly spread across my face as the whimsical music so reminiscent of Banjo filled my ears. I then spent my time running around a world of ice, collecting feathers, talking to an assortment of wacky characters and fighting baddies.
I didn’t play enough of the game to be able to make any kind of grand statement about what the final product will be like, but what I can say is that Yooka-Laylee is a charming throwback to one of my favourite games ever.
Luckily we don’t have long to wait to find out if nostalgia is enough to make Yooka-Laylee a must play as it comes out on PS4, XBOX One and PC on 11 April 2017.
Redeemer: Violence Awakened (Sobaka Studio)
If you were looking for the game at EGX Rezzed that was furthest away from Yooka-Laylee in tone, Redeemer: Violence Awakened would be the place to start.
You play as Vasily, a bald, long-bearded monk who was obviously taught anger and violence at the school of Kratos and you proceed to murder a whole bunch of soldier looking types who have invaded your monastery.
The top down view of the action is what makes the game stand out and it’s really satisfying to kick, punch and shoot your way through enemies from that perspective. The game also pulls into an over the shoulder cam for close-ups on particularly brutal finishers. The environment plays a part in your sweet dance of death as you can impale enemies on trees and shove them headfirst into fireplaces.
The action is smooth and responsive and I’m looking forward to ripping apart a whole bunch of enemies and finding out exactly why Vasily is a wanted man when the game comes to Steam later this year.
Sonic Mania (Headcannon/Pagoda West Games)
The past 15 years haven’t been smoothest for the blue blur, being a child of 90’s who was brought up on the Sega side of the 32bit console war it’s not been a pretty sight, watching a cultural icon being dismantled and mishandled by rushing out incomplete games (Sonic 06), adding unwanted gameplay mechanics (Sonic Unleashed) and awfully conceived character redesigns (Sonic Boom).
Although it hasn’t been all doom and gloom for Sonic, Generations seemed to be a step in the right direction and even through the flames that Sega seemed to both start and temper themselves a passionate and sizable fan base continues to drive for franchise forwards. Sonic Mania is a passion project with its roots in an unofficial fan-made HD remaster of the Mega-Drive/Genesis classic Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Having hands on time with Sonic Mania I’m much more hopeful that the game will be a successful milestone in a franchise that is overdue a bit of positivity, it teleported me straight back to the early 90’s, with slick controls, multiple routes through levels, new mechanics that add value to the experience and an overall level design that has an emphasis on speed. The overall presentation and sound design was just spot on, delivering a familiar setting that slots right into Sonic’s golden years. So far so good, Sonic Mania feels much more the game that truly recaptures what made the original series as iconic as they were.
Super Arcade Football – (OutofTheBit)
Football games have come a very long way in 30 years, as much as it’s easy to hate on EA for pumping out an annual football video game for the past 20-25 years, for monetizing it further with pay to win player packs or for having a monopoly on football licensing, you still can’t deny that they’ve created a very high quality series with FIFA that doesn’t leave much room for competition.
Super Arcade Football is a game the brings us back to the before FIFA time, when the framework of what a football game should be hadn’t fully been cemented, when games like Italia 90, Sensible Soccer and Virtua Striker were still bouncing around. Offering a top down view, and fast kinetic gameplay Super Arcade Football delivers a package that so separated from what FIFA has morphed itself into that it exposes the charm that the triple AAA title has left behind. From the slightly misspelled players names that sidesteps the licensing issues, a simple 2 button system that doesn’t rely on simulation to determine the outcome and a purely skill based experience where a skill move isn’t about twidling an analogue stick and hoping it’ll do something cool but is just about spinning on the spot to keep the defender away from the ball.
Developed and published by the 4 man team OutOfTheBit, Super Arcade Football is currently half price on steam early access and is easily one of the best games you will find for £3.50.
Developed by Polish studio Reikon Games and published by Devolver Digital, Ruiner was definitely one of the most visually striking games at EGX Rezzed. The combat is super slick and the futuristic world feels like Blade Runner the game. Cyberpunk visuals mixed with top-down Hotline Miami style gameplay made by people who worked on the Witcher? Yes please.
Rob Beckett19 Posts
Volunteer writer, poor mans excuse for a grown up, and certified panther rider... I'm told I have far too many consoles that i'm convinced come to life and have endless series comedy capers when the house is empty. Sort of like Toy Story, but really poorly written and every character is voiced by Jai Courtney... a bit like that...