rAge, the biggest gaming exhibition in Africa, took place over the past weekend and all major gaming distributors were there to showcase some upcoming titles for the holiday/Christmas season.
The highlight of the expo was the showcase of the next-generation consoles with both the Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on show.
My first impressions of both consoles were that they are absolutely incredible, with a significant step-up in graphics and power. I liked the controller of the Xbox a bit more, but I suspect that it’s because I am familiar with the original Xbox 360 controller.
It was hard to judge the game selection, as the biggest next-gen titles were not showcased. The fact that Titanfall, Destiny, and Second Son were not at the show, and with Watch Dogs and Call of Duty: Ghosts being demonstration only, was a big disappointment.
That being said, there were a number of games that did peak my interest. Here are my top 5 demos showcased at rAge:
5. Forza Motorsport 5
Forza was the only title at rAge that truly showed off the power of the next-generation consoles. The cars were stunning, the courses were beautiful and in true Forza style, the driving mechanics are unrivalled. It will be released when the Xbox One comes to South Africa.
4. Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse is an action adventure game set in ancient Rome. It is a typical hack-and-slash game but the potential for a strong story, gore factor and next-gen graphics set it apart. It will also be released when the Xbox One comes to South Africa.
3. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
In Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, we follow the story of Edward Conway, father of Haythem Conway from the previous title, in the golden age of piracy. The game holds true to its core parkour and combat mechanics but adds in new weapons and gadgets and a bigger focus on naval missions.
2. Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman’s third entry into the franchise is an origins story. Like the second title, Batman has to navigate the entire city of Gotham fighting escaped inmates and supervillians. While the environment hasn’t changed too much, the movement, combat and gadgetry is significantly improved. Most impressively, with the return of the Joker as a main villain, the story returns to the darker roots of Batman.
1. Watch Dogs
After a long anticipated wait, Watch Dogs will be released at the end of November. The mission demonstrated at rAge shows the vigilante Aiden Pierce being able to hack electronic devices at will. Gameplay is a mix between the stealth mechanics of Splinter Cell and Hitman: Absolution with the innovative puzzle dynamic of being able to hack electronics. This is definitely the must-have game of the Christmas season.
Notable exclusions that almost made the list:
- Dead Rising (next gen Xbox only)
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Battlefield 4
- The Crew (next gen only)