So, I’ve just got back home after a properly manic weekend. Run by the fine chaps over at Eurogamer and Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Rezzed featured everything from upcoming AAA games like Far Cry 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines, to indie titles like Trash TV. On top of this, various developers and industry figures ran hourly presentations on a whole host of subjects, including legends like Peter Molyneux.
To save myself from writing one long ramble, I’ll separate my more interesting thoughts into longer articles, probably appearing either here or on Gaming Daily. Instead, for content’s sake, here’s a quick off-the-cuff list of my general thoughts and impressions.
Best ‘Triple-A’ Title: Borderlands 2
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the playable demo was the longest – Far Cry 3’s was enjoyable, but short, with no real ability for the free-form approach that is the series’ trade mark. Aliens, meanwhile, was restricted even further – a multi-player demo, but attendees could only play as the marines, and only for one short round, being kicked off for the next lot at the end. Borderlands, meanwhile, gave players a decent chunk of mission to explore co-operatively with other nearby players, as well as an arsenal of randomly generated guns to fiddle with. Generally, it seemed to be taking itself a lot less seriously, and blasting enemies to tiny bits with acid-firing shotguns is still just as fun as it was several years ago.
Best Developer Talk: Introversion/Prison Architect
The easy answer here would’ve been Peter Molyneux. And yes, he was fantastic, totally original as always, and I’ll certainly be writing in detail about what he had to say, but the Introversion guys intrigued me for a different reason. Their talk gave a wonderful insight into the process of actual game creation, and why they abandoned their previous project. The lead programmer even opened up the last build of Subversion, their now-canned tactical infiltration game, and explained exactly why it wasn’t any good, and how its best ideas are being worked back into Prison Architect. The video is definitely worth watching, whether you’re a budding developer or just interested in the medium, and I’ll update this post with the link when it’s available.
Surprise of the show: Hotline Miami.
This game blew me away, most likely because I’d never even heard of it before I found the booth. It’s a top-down brawler/shooter, very reminiscent of the original Grand Theft Auto in its style. I’ll definitely be writing more about this one – it’s endearingly yet brutally difficult, very violent, and incredibly good fun. I remember being genuinely upset when I had to leave the demo PC to go see a developer session, and the booth was almost always full of onlookers, giggling like children (including, at one point, the inventor of games journalism, Kieron Gillen).
Biggest disappointment: The rotation of the earth
Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the working day. It was, sadly, physically impossible for me to see all of the talks that I wanted to see and spend time with each and every one of the games on the show floor. For example, the Prison Architect booth was constantly rammed after their talk, so I never got to play it for more than a few minutes before something else that I needed to see came along.
All in all, Rezzed was a fantastic experience, especially considering it was my first gaming event of this type. As I said, more detailed opinions on interesting topics should be forthcoming as and when I find the time to write them, so please do stick around if you fancy some of that.