Being Grumpy at Rezzed 2013

Within the dark dingy abyss that is Birmingham, this years Rezzed (A PC and Indie games show for you who have yet to embrace the “True Path”) has come and gone over the past weekend. As this is a new blog (Yeah..I don’t really care for personal blogs but fuck you, I’ve had alcohol and I may as well.)

Lets get this out of the way first. WHAT THE FUCK? Seriously, what the fuck happened? Rock, Paper, Shotgun alongside Eurogamer put on a hell of a show in the less dingy, but equally wasteland-like (This is Britain after all…) Brighton. This year, things seemed to have slipped a bit. Granted, the interesting talks hosted by the charming, huggable, handsome, (Please give me traffic), John Walker, featuring the likes of Ragnar Tornquist and Chris Avellone (Two personal favourite game developers of mine) were funny, interesting and insightful. Their game talks were of course also of interest. Yet..the lineup seemed weaker than last year. The fact that Introversion had their own talk on the success of Prison Architect (Blatant pimpage to no-one at this stage, but an awesome game) cancelled in favour of the first of TWO Rome II: Total War live code displays was very disappointing, especially in light of the fact that both games were bloody playable on the show floor. But all those grudges aside, lets move onto the show floor itself.

Well…..errm….shit… It was…acceptable. Very much weaker than last years lineup in terms of content and space, and as others noted to my drunken idiotic self, Ubisoft seemed to take up half the damn floor. Sir, You Are Being Hunted was, rightfully, the most popular game on show as far as I was concerned, only falling behind the obvious attraction of the 2 Oculas Rift stands (One being a single station of many for the hilariously frustrating Surgeon Simulator 2013, the other for an undersea exploration game that peaked my interest, yet I unfortunately did not get to experience it’s majesty rather than standing at the sidelines like a cross eyed chimp.)

Other highlights include Space Hulk, which appeared to retain not only the atmosphere, but the faithful top down view, ruleset and everything else that made Space Hulk the boardgame (And original videogame from Ye Olde Days) so pants-browningly entertaining. Of course, it still had its noticeable rough edges, yet being and Alpha, I’m refusing to reveal these hideous deformities until the game becomes it’s more attractive older sister upon entering late Beta.

Redshirt (Apart from being RIPE for spelling mistakes that denounce the poor thing), was definitely a hidden gem that didn’t get nearly enough column time compared to the big muscly fuckers throwing their weight around. If you don;t know about the game yet, go get educated ( Pointing out here, that in no way is this blog bought or paid for by ANYONE. Not even free swag (Although I did obtain a badge and a sticker they were giving out). Essentially it’s a game played through their equivalent of “Facebook” (Shut up.)

(Seriously, stop that groaning.) Where you dictate your career and success by interacting, “Friending” and “Liking” your fellow space bloggers. It’s an interesting, and surprisingly intuitive game, that is worth keeping an eye upon.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted. That is all. Go watch videos. Including their charismatic presentation at the event. Yeah. Gentlemen robots hunting you throughout several islands based upon the British landscape? And tea? Fuck yeah. (No, I don’t drink tea… but…Ra Ra!)

Other madness included a new Worms game (Yeah, you’ve probably played them, but it’s Worms, and still one of the best multiplayer games on a whisky fueled rampage) complete with one of their promo team abusing people in a giant worm suit (Much hilarity there when someone doesn’t notice a giant pink thing (hehe) approaching from behind (HAHA).) alongside a VERY surprising store that happened to have REASONABLE prices for merch. Shadow Warrior was a fun little throwback to 90’s shooters (Such as it’s namesake), but still didn’t ring any bells that suggested a MUST BUY! Hotline Miami 2, whilst the original remains awesome and I do crave more, you can read much more about on more prestigious sites than the ramblings of an aging gamer (Was damn good fun…like the original.) Prison Architect on the other hand… I LOOOOVE the game (Yeah I have my sock-robbing name in the game. I enjoyed it that much when I played last year), but its stand was a bit bare. It seemed to be the same demo shown last year, without any of the new stuff that has been added since. This will probably hurt Introversion (Unfairly) as they probably planned on showing off their progress in their scrapped talk on the Saturday. Still a game to check out if you’re fan of the old (Pre-Electronic Arse) Bullfrog games, despite its price point.

Most Surpisingly Hilarious Game of the Show Award:

This goes to a complete unknown project called Teeny Wanya Teens. NOT a game for the CoD or “Serious business Manshoot” gamers, it appears at first to be a cutesy 2d “sidescroller” (It’s not in the same sense you’re thinking) party game with a joystick and roughly 20 coloured buttons. These buttons link to an action you’re asked to perform on screen to compete with your fellow player. Sounds simple? How little you know… Starting with 1 colour, then more being added with each action, this is not about memorising which button is a certain colour, the colours randomise every so often. This can lead to moments of hilarity, when actions such as “Pee”, “Fart”, “Shower” and “Confess” (love to a female NPC) are involved. One such incident involving to the two people in front of me in the queue, featured them both going up to confess to the aforementioned NPC. One pulled down his pants, pissing over her shoes, whilst the second player was the other side of her taking photographs of the events (possibly for blackmail…I never asked). This. I want this. When I have my fellow grumpy gamers over and we’re hitting the hard stuff after watching MORE of the same “OMGSCIFIMODERNWARMANSHOOT” game announcements, I wanna turn that shit off, and start being naked in front of big muscly men whilst a friend uses a baseballs bat on his arse cheeks (And in the game).

Grumpy Game of the Show:

Sir, You are Being Hunted. Not only does it offer a refreshing setting and a sense of humour in an otherwise overcrowded genre that consists of “Big tough man go kill different colour slightly-less-tough man”. it seems to offer replay value by the fuckton (Scientific measurement). Yeah, I don’t care that can only enter certain buildings. Do you know the work that would take? Fuck, you can only enter one in ever 15 buildings in DayZ, yet that managed to take off like a bastard. You only hear people complaining about that when they refuse to realise this a 3 man team developing a game, primarily from their own money, using the Kickstarter funds to finish the damn thing. Check this shit out. Seriously. And drink your fucking tea.

Games Already Being Played Yet Were There:

Planetside 2 being the obvious one. I’ll have a write up about that seperately. Mighty Quest For Epic Loot – Gonna have to check if there’s an NDA in effect before I divulge more than what was shown at Rezzed.

Highlight of the show:

The post show drinking. More so because I spoke to Chris Avellone (Obsidian, Black Isle) and ended up with him hugging me and giving me his card (Yeah, showing off, don;t care, my blog) As well as chatting with Ragnar Tornquist, a few other developers (One of which from Mode 7, creators of Frozen Synapse and Frozen Endzone) and being a group of 6 or 7 people that ended up being kicked out of the bar after they’d closed and we still were sitting outside chatting and drinking.

Overall, a good show still, not as much as the hilarity of last years show (Finally got my hug from John Walker) and the lineup was a bit weaker thanks the Ubisoft and Creative Assembly (No, I’m not talking Rome II, I’ll wait till release for that) taking over most of the floor. And would it really kill them to widen the always intriguing Left field collection? Personal space was not possible in that thin corridor…

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