Screamride Demo Immediate Impressions

Screamride CoverMicrosoft this week unveiled a demo for the upcoming sim game Screamride. At last year’s E3 Screamride was one of those little surprise games that looked like it had lots of character, and could end up being a nice diversion game this year. So having a demo show up this week was a great way to get a feel for how the game will play. So I gave it a go last night and thought I’d offer up my two cents.

The demo is relatively limited – featuring one level of each of the three styles. But that’s honestly not a terrible thing – it’s a demo after all. It does show a good idea of the potential scale for the full game. It reminds me a lot of other puzzle based games – Trials comes to mind. In order to progress through the levels, you’ll need to earn enough medals to open up the further ones. Which means finishing as many internal challenges within each level as possible to increase your score. Some of the challenges are pretty easy, others will definitely require a bit more trial and error. So far then, nothing particularly outside of the norm for a puzzle game.

Which brings me to the actual gameplay now. Screamride has three different style levels – Screamride, Demolition and Engineer. Each has different gameplay mechanics behind them. Screamride levels put you in the shoes of the riders of the roller coasters. Your task is to ride through the track as fast as possible, building up turbo and balancing as much on two wheels as possible. Demolition is just what it sounds like – you’re given a swinging ride, to toss the cabin at the buildings. You have to do as much damage as possible to the structures, with the limited cabins you’re given. Finally, Engineer has you build those roller coaster rides, making them as exciting as possible with your pieces. Each mode does feel unique and presents different challenges. That said though, it really deosn’t strike me as a full, $40 priced title. It’s much more akin to a downloadable title, that would fit perfectly on the Xbox Live Arcade. Of course, Microsoft has forgone the distinction between Arcade titles and not, so it’s just another game. I’m not going to write it off entirely now, since this is just based around a demo, but it does feel a little sparse. I likened it to Trials earlier – I do see a lot of similarities between the games. But Trials was $10 cheaper. As for right now, it’s a game I’m still interested in, but it might be one I wait for a while.

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Gamescom 2014: Trailer Roundup

E3 gets a lot of the hype every year for being the main place that developers unveil their new games and news, but in reality there’s a bigger show held every year in Germany – Gamescom. Gamescom always draws a larger crowd, but because it’s not held in America, developers tend to bring the bigger reveals to E3. That said however, Gamescom always also has a ton of major news, helped by the fact that it’s held every year close to the fall release window. Since there’s always a ton of info that comes out, today I thought I’d run quickly through some of the new trailers that have come out of the show so far.

CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE
I already talked yesterday about my thoughts on the new Call of Duty, and the trailer they shared with us hits the highlights. I think showing the game in action really helps understand the new mechanics. In yesterday’s post I shared the Multiplayer trailer – today, instead of rehashing it, I’m going to share the entire conference, because they know way more about the game than I ever will.

BATTLEFIELD: HARDLINE
While EA’s upcoming entry in the long running franchise was recently delayed till 2015, they did unveil a new trailer showing off the single player story. In the trailer we get a little bit of a taste of the actual story, but they do show off some of the new mechanics that we’ll get to use, including the “Freeze” system and the Scanner.

SCREAMRIDE
Screamride is a game that totally took me off guard during the Xbox press conference. Taking the real fun from Roller Coaster Tycoon (trying to destroy the rides in crazy manners) as the heart of the gameplay, Screamride looks like it should be a nice, mindless bit of fun.

DESTINY
In case it wasn’t obvious during the beta, but I’m definitely excited for Destiny. At Gamescom, Bungie showed off a little bit more – including some of the PlayStation exclusives, as well as the timing of the first expansion for Destiny, which will drop in December. Trailer-wise however, Bungie gave us a new trailer showing off the Crucible, detailing more of different competitive modes.

HALO: MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION
The other game that I’m probably the most amped for this fall is Halo. As a long time fan, just about any news about the Master Chief Collection just gets me giddy. It’s a franchise that is near and dear to my gaming heart, and at Gamescom we saw the announcement of the updated Sanctuary map from Halo 2, one of my favorites from that game. In the Halo 5: Guardians trailer I also noticed another old favorite – Midship. The trailer they showed off also showed my one of the best levels in Halo 2 – Delta Halo.

Gamescom is a bit like a second E3, so there’s a lot more to talk about. I’ll do my best to hit the highlights over the next couple days.