2014 is the third year of the Gamer Networks PC & Indie show Rezzed, now rebranded as EGX Rezzed. This year it was slightly less indie than in previous years due to the ‘Next Gen’ moniker being added to the shows tag line, but it was still a great showcase for some of the biggest, and smallest games around.
It’s best to start with the biggest attraction this year, the decidedly un-indie Alien: Isolation. Announced last year, the title from Creative Assembly, and Sega has been heralded as a return to the tense, horror qualities of the original Alien movie, as opposed to the gun-toting wise cracking marines of the later series. Attendees to Rezzed were some of the first members of the general public to go hands on with the title, and for the most part it impressed.
There is definite tension, and the level design reminds us of those early days on the Nostromo. The only negative we found, and discussed with others was the instadeath that follows a run in with the Xenomorph. If the titular alien finds you and you can’t escape then its game over and back to a designated check point, though we found those check points were a bit further away than we would have liked. The game is far stealthier than previous titles have been.
The other big name as yet unreleased title was Square Enix’s Murdered: Soul Suspect, an interesting take on the standard detective game. You play as Ronan O’Connor a detective, who at the start of the game is murdered by a serial killer, but can’t pass over until he resolve issues surrounding his untimely death. The immediate comparison is to Rockstar’s L.A. Noire, and while Murdered: Soul Suspect does feature a very similar clue/accusation structure, after playing the lengthy introduction it is clear that Square have populated Soul Suspect’s world with more to see and do than was in Rocktar’s 1950 build of the City of Angels.
From there, past the PlayStation stands for inFamous: Second Son, and Microsoft’s Titanfall section, there were plenty of small games, which have been lucky enough to find publishers. Murasaki Baby, by Ovosonico is an absolute gem of a puzzle game on the PlayStation Vita, a wonderfully designed touch controlled title that feels like a Tim Burton dream; and we mean good Nightmare before Christmas Tim Burton, not Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton. . Unfortunately the release date for this Vita title is still unknown.
Two of the more beautiful exploration games on show were Ether One and Dream. Made by White Paper Games, and Hypersloth respectively, both games are Myst style exploration puzzle games, and both attracted large crowds, in no part due to Oculus Rifts that were stationed at each stand. Ether One delves in the human mind and presents two paths to follow depending on players inclination towards puzzles. Dream takes place, as the name suggests, in the dreams of Howard Philips. By solving the game’s puzzles and secrets you will find the meaning, and direction to Howard’s life.
Both games take place in beautifully constructed worlds, and both developers should look forward to a lot of praise for these titles.
Another title that caught our eye was Gods Will Be Watching from Deconstructeam. This interesting take on the relatively new ‘survival’ genre asks players to survive through six different scenarios that will challenge you mentally and morally. The game has surpassed its indiegogo crowd funding of 8,000 Euros closing at over €20,000 after 2 months. Definitely one to watch out for.
Finally, no visit to a Gamer Network show like Rezzed is complete without a walk through the Leftfield Collection. This selection of uber-indie titles are often the most interesting and exciting games shown. Examples this year include the brilliant Private Eye from Slacker Games, a Rear Window esque Oculus Rift title; Salvaged which is a second screen based tactical shooter from Opposable Games, and Terra Tech by West London Games, an open world resource gathering game with an almost Lego style building aspect to the vehicles.
This is the third year that Rezzed has been on, and each year the show grows in confidence and scope. If the show can still retain its indie credentials, in contrast to the Eurogamer London (EGX London) show that takes place in September, then it has a strong future ahead.