Eurogamer Expo 2013: Octodad

This past Thursday I attended the Eurogamer Expo at London’s Earl’s Court. The four day event gives the opportunity for gamers to get hands-on with some of the biggest upcoming releases and to experience some indie gems that might otherwise have passed under their radar. Eurogamer 2013 featured some special guests everyone wanted to meet; the PS4 and Xbox One.

The reason I went to Eurogamer was to get hands-on with some new titles. I’d never imagined that the first game I’d play there would be the most talked about indie game of the moment, on the most anticipated console of the next generation.

Straight into the expo and my heart sank at the sight of the PS4 queue. Wanting to get my bearings a bit more, I wandered round, still in the Sony area naturally. Behind the main PS4 section where AAA titles such as Knack and inFamous: Second Son were being showcased, was a slightly smaller area of about 10 stations where some indie titles were being played. The best part? No queues. At all.

I jumped at the chance to get acquainted with the PS4, and grabbed a controller to begin the demo level of Octodad: Dadliest Catch. Before long, I was acutely aware of a small queue forming behind me. Two boys in their 20s shuffled forwards to ask me about the game, which took me aback – everywhere I look, everything I read has been filled with Octodad, it’s been everywhere in my life.

I explained the plot synopsis whilst the boys watched me play, sniggering at Octodad’s awkward movements. I passed the controller over, eager show how difficult the controls are and restore any damage done to my gaming reputation.

Each limb of Octodad is controlled by a different button; L2 for the left legs, R2 for the right legs, L1 to switch to arms which are then controlled by the analogue sticks. Movement in the game felt nigh on impossible, especially when one of the primary objectives of the game is to act as normally as possible so that the humans don’t suspect you’re an octopus. This makes for some frustrating moments as you attempt to navigate Octodad to a certain point, pick up a specific item and drop it in an exact place.

After completing the demo I walked away with mixed feelings. Sure, Octodad is a new, exciting concept to take forwards to the PS4, but damn, that man-octopus thing is hard to control. In the brief 10 minute play I had, I definitely felt some anger surfacing. On a larger scale as a full game, I can picture there being some controller-throwing moments. And boy, what a controller….

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