I’ve already told you about the indie games that blew my tiny little mind at EGX 2016, but that lot consisted of titles that I had never previously heard of – or at least wasn’t previously fussed about.
But alongside those, which were the games already on my radar which screamed ‘buy me, buy me’ throughout the four day gaming extravaganza?
Well this little lot need some serious consideration…
Sniper Elite 4
Yep, it’s hard to imagine, but Sniper Elite 4 is indeed an indie title. Albeit one with a larger team behind it and decent sized budget to boot.
With three Sniper Elite titles already behind Rebellion, and the outstanding Zombie Army Trilogy bringing some of the best cooperative action I’ve ever experienced on Xbox One, Sniper Elite 4 has got some big shoes to fill.
The half hour or so that I managed to spend with the specified section that Rebellion provided, completely and utterly filled those shoes.
As you would expect from a game that focuses much of its time on being a cold hard killer, a slow, stealthy approach is the real way forward, with each shot carefully planned, lined up and concealed behind environmental hazards. If you want to live the life of a sniper, then I’m not sure there is going to be anything better.
You can of course ditch the long range shooting for some up close, real messy running and gunning, but if you’re a long term Call of Duty fan, you may just find your usual approach will need reining in slightly. By all accounts, you’ll be able to get away with going in hard and fast, but you may not ever get to see SE4 for what it really is.
But that said, Sniper Elite 4 should be awesome and all being well, will appeal to a wide range of gamers. It was great to get hands on with the game at EGX. In fact, I may just go as far as say Sniper Elite 4 was my game of the entire show.
Mantis Burn Racing
I’d read previews and I’d seen the odd video, so Mantis Burn Racing was one of the titles I flocked to on day one. And day two. And days three and four for that matter.
A top down racer that has obviously been inspired by the likes of Micro Machines, Supercars 2 and more, Voofoo Studios supreme graphics have replaced the old visuals of yesteryear, added in numerous tracks and dropped in more than enough content for you to want to shake a stick at. A very big stick at that.
But it’s not all about looks with Mantis Burn, and a full well-worked physics engine ensures each and every car that you get the chance to get behind the wheel of handles beautifully well. A full championship with gameplay hours stretching well into double figures, one off local races and the ability to take your speed thrills online could well see Mantis Burn Racing come out as one of this generation’s finest top down vehicular based titles. It may not have the humour of Micro Machines, but if you’re on the fence worrying that the latest racers are too hardcore for your feeble skills, but still want to harness your speed demons, then Mantis Burn Racing will hopefully deliver.
The only thing that is missing in fact is the option to throw some guns on and go hardcore. But then, when you create something as beautiful and appealing as Mantis Burn, you don’t really need weapons.
Well, at least Voofoo Studios are trying to prove that you don’t. Let’s hope they succeed.
Jump Stars was one of the small indie games which had a starring role on the Xbox stand way back at EGX 2015. It’s come a long way in those 12 months!
A party game which is releasing on Xbox One, PS4 and PC just in time for Christmas, Jump Stars sees you and your friends control brilliantly realised boxed characters through a series of mini games, as they work together for the good of the team, but also attempt to come out as the top individual as they do so.
Created from a small game jam, Jump Stars is nothing short of over-the-top ridiculousness, containing more than 20 strange characters and 10 unique mini-games to master across the brilliant 2-4 player madness.
It’s completely frantic but its pick up and play mechanics, super bright visuals and cleverly created mini-games should ensure it’s the go-to game for those family Christmas moments.
If only so you can leave your Nan in your wake!
Super Dungeon Bros
I’ve been keeping a beady eye on Super Dungeon Bros ever since it was first announced, sometimes up close, occasionally from afar. This was however the first time I had managed to sit down in front of it, co-op partner to the side and controller in hand.
And my god I’m glad I did.
A randomly generated dungeon crawling basher, Super Dungeon Bros may look from the outside like a hardcore Castle Crashers, but artwork can be deceiving and I’m pretty sure the four heavy metal heroes who you will get to go hands on with – Axl, Lars, Freddie and Ozzie – would be absolutely devastated to even be compared to a set of puny knights. These guys are the best of the best, and both React Games and Wired Productions have obviously taken a huge amount of care over seeing them succeed.
With couch co-op and an online offering in place, you’ll get the opportunity to wield weapons and dish out a whole load of devastating destruction in your search for the epic loot hidden within the darkest dungeons. And it is that co-op theme which will need to be utilised as you team up and drop in with tag team tactics to become the ultimate bro-force!
Just remember Bros B4 Foes!
There is no debate. Mad Fellows are onto a winner with Aaero.
A small indie studio, the team at Mad Fellows are lovingly creating a musical on-rails shooter that just oozes quality.
As you would expect from a game which focuses so much time and effort on the audio, the soundtrack will be awesome, and that is complimented superbly well with stunningly bright visuals that will ensure you continue to head on in time and time again. They may be minimal, but the sheer speed in which the action takes place ensures that simple turns out to be highly effective.
If ever there was a game that could utilise the brilliant colour of a backlight kit like DreamScreen, Aaero is it. And from where I’m sitting, anything that works well with that is a nailed on winner. I’ll tell you this now, you may just be surprised with what Aaero will bring!
So there we have it. I had already known about the five games listed above prior to arriving at EGX 2016, but by the time I had left, they were emblazoned in my mind forever more. Did you check them out? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.