It is here, the weekend we all wait for in SA, it’s the rAge weekend. Games, gadgets, free stuff, competitions, cosplay and more! I attended the expo yesterday as a day to do whatever I wanted to do, this is what went down.
I played a couple of games at this year’s rAge Expo, some of these stood out more than others but it was great to play them nonetheless. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo had stands with Nintendo’s stand lacking out of all three of them. They clearly overused Splatoon, and had very little else to show, they should of put Super Smash Bros Wii U in place of Splatoon.
Megarom showed off Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which was a snooze fest for me given that the game is just another cash cow waiting to be released. NBA 2K15 was available to play and everyone wanted to play it. The Crew was pretty popular as well as Assassin’s Creed, I do believe that South Africans love Assassin’s Creed.
My most anticipated Xbox One game of the year didn’t let down, its fast combat and over-the-top weapons were everything that were promise. The game saw me sliding on rail and blowing enemies up, all I can say is that it was crazy. One thing I did notice was that the game is clearly not running at 1080p with noticeable visual defects. It looks like a game that you play on your PC on a lower res because the higher res does not work that smoothly.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
My experience with ACU was great, I attending the screening with the legend that is Lesley-Phord Toy, and played the demo on display. The demo saw me exploring Notre Dame and tracking down some guy and killing him. This guy was of no importance right then because it was demo. The gameplay is fluid with Arno climbing about with ease, dropping from great heights and grabbing something on the way down to stop his fall. As a life-long Assassin’s Creed fan the game really wowed me, but there was one issue. I don’t know if it was restricted to the demo, but there were some serious frame rate issues that I noticed, the game would jutter consistently especially when moving the camera at a paced pace. Let me also be honest and say that the 900p issue is present and quite visible during the demo, I hope this is smoothed out before release.
I was lucky enough to play the alpha of Bloodborne, so when I played the demo at rAge there were quite a few elements missing. The demo lacked items like the Molotov cocktail, and the pill that allowed regen to your character. This definitely effected the demo’s gameplay making it increasingly difficult compared to the alpha. But let me just say the Bloodborne is looking great, its Dark Souls combat and unforgiving enemies are a testament to the franchise and I cannot wait to play the full game
Mortal Kombat X
I have never been a Mortal Kombat fan, but this game is looking amazing. Playing Mortal Kombat X against my brother, who decided to spam grab attacks constantly, was awesome. The characters have clearly been the main focus of the game with each of them extremely detailed. The environments are alive and you can see that this is the next generation of Mortal Kombat. I won at the end which proves that using the same move over and over again will be your downfall
Far Cry 4
One thing is clear with Far Cry 4, it looks breath-taking. The landscapes and surroundings are just beautiful, and when the shooting starts things get even more spectacular. The demo I played saw me riding an elephant and then exploring the area with my saw-buck shotgun. There have been a number of improvements in the game from how you get into a vehicle to how you explore the mountains. There are also new additional ways to infiltrate a base, you can kick the roof in now and jump through the top of it too.
There is something about rAge that we all love, it is the mixture of all the freebies, the noise, the people standing on your feet, the gaming deals, and the games. All of this gets mixed in to create an energy that you only experience once a year. On stage this year we saw The Witcher 3, Evolve, Project Cars and more. I got to see a demo of Tom Clancy’s The Division which changed my mind about the game completely.
Walking around the show floor you see everything from booth babes to gaming deals, overclocking, FIFA championships, and a ton more. I also bought a few goodies, because what is rAge without sending your entire pay check. I picked up The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition for R599,00 from BT Games, which was a steal, got a Gears of War 3 beanie, a Pichu hat, NBA 2K15 plus a t-shirt, and because BT Games are that awesome they gave me a Destiny shirt. Besides my deals there were also a ton more around, CNA were selling the PS Vita for R799, they had hundreds of Alien Colonial Marines Collectors Editions on sale for R150, and Incredible Connection sold out their 15 PS4s at R4999 before 11:00 o’clock.
Every now and then you will bump into a cosplay, do not feel frightened by these people, they are awesome and you should ask for a picture with them. I saw characters from Lara Croft, Scarecrow, to a hunter from Destiny, detailed to the tee and rocking every moment of their personality.
You had your typical rope-in schemes by Telkom and other companies where you could “win” something if you put your name on a piece of paper, but we all know it is for them to build a client base and call you next week to offer you ADSL and contracts. I left with around 40 leaflets after people started shoving them at me because I did not want to take anymore. But hey that’s rAge.
Altogether my day at rAge was exactly what I wanted it to be, I did very little work, enjoyed the games, bought a ton of goodies, saw all my fellow journo friends, and left there at 17:30. Sure there was no hype of new next gen consoles this year given that they are all on the market now, but the games made up for that. There were plenty first time demos on the floor and deals galore, I can’t wait for rAge 2015
From age 12 Marco has spent every waking moment playing games, or thinking about playing games. Marco also suffers with gaming FOMO, and so now he is a gaming journalist as an excuse to play everything. He writes for a number of local and international publications.