Rezzed 2015 Part 2 : The Games
Having spent all of Friday listening to talks, I turned up on the Saturday ready to try out the vast array of games on offer, and I mean vast. While I already mentioned it in part 1, Tobacco Dock is an amazing venue, made better by the fact that this time I was able to drive their by car easily, and park in the ample spaces for a very reasonable price ( £5 for the whole days parking in London is really very good).
First stops were the areas holding the big names. Microsoft and Sony had areas dedicated to Xbox and Playstation gaming respectively, and while some big names could be seen and played, in general the rooms were filled with smaller indie games. Of course, this isn’t to say big crowdpleasers weren’t there. Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm was playable, as was SMITE’s new Xbox outing, among a pleasing retrospective in the vein of every Total War game ever made in Creative Assembly’s area. The biggest queue of the day however was reserved for the Guild Wars 2 expansion, Heart of Thorns, which stretched and snaked around corners and at one point nearly blocked a corridor until the mob was organised into a typically British line.
Something else which caught the eyes of the masses were the items of tech on display, especially VR units, with the Roto VR chair being one of the ‘must try’ experiences of the event. The Roto is effectively a turning chair that you sit in while using an Oculus Rift or other similar VR kit. The idea is that instead of turning your whole body around, you turn the chair with pedals attached to the base, which should help eliminate some of the motion sickness that is often common with VR kits at the moment. A wide variety of games were being tested at the show, and you can play the games in question with the usual variety of controls, there’s even talk of a small table being implemented into the design so that players can use a mouse and keyboard.
Of course the main draw of Rezzed is the indie gems and the teams that make them. This year the show floor was absolutely filled with little joys, too many to mention, and even the areas dedicated to bigger publishers like Devolver Digital and Team 17 were showcasing their commitment to smaller studios and giving them the time in the spotlight they rightfully deserved. Other indies gathered in two other sections, the chillout zone, and the indie room, both of which were crammed with interesting titles that demanded a moment of your time, and developers that are so passionate and open about their creations, you just want to talk to all of them. There were even some games tournaments going on, one of which I entered and eventually won, which was an amazing rush.
Of course, indie developers also have a knack for the weird and wonderful, and the returning Leftfield Collection shows off some of the pure brilliance creative developers can come up with. The application process for Leftfield is always tough and there’s always so much competition for so few spots. This year, however, BAFTA’s Games Arcade came in to help save the day. Doubling the space by adding their own area and allowing a second group of exciting individuals and teams to get their amazing creations into the show. I was thrilled to see this was the case, as Leftfield is always a joy to go through, as you never know what to expect. The expansion of this specific kind of section into two rooms just made sense, and I hope it continues into the future.
EGX 2015 is in Birmingham’s NEC this year, and the big venue should suit the gaming megashow a bit more than it did Rezzed. I’m unsure about whether I’m able to go this year due to a variety of reasons, but I can rest assured that if I can’t make it, I’ve had a hell of a time at Rezzed this year, and I sincerely hope next year the organisers manage to keep Tobacco Dock as their venue, and also manage to pack it out with as much talent as they did this year.