WASD 2023 is finally upon us! This year located in The Truman Brewery, it has returned bigger and better. Which is why I’m covering it differently from last year. When I went previously, I did one big long video covering all three days. Something I regret. It was a massive effort but one that was probably not as digestible for viewers. This year I’m breaking everything down into stages. Let’s talk about WASD London 2023 Day One!
WASD London 2023 Day One
To begin, come and read my written highlights, the first of which you are reading now. There will be one for each day. After they’ve been written, and I’m safely at home, I’ll start bringing together all the video footage I’ve captured and make a video for each day too! Look at me with a plan!
Street Fighter 6 and Dead Island 2
Yeah, so I went in on the big main games very hard. Being able to play both Street Fighter 6 and Dead Island 2 was an absolute treat. I can’t share much information about Dead Island 2 and was not allowed to take any photos or videos. I can say that it’s shaping up to be one hell of an interesting game. Hell-A indeed.
Street Fighter 6 on the other hand, I can talk a little bit more about. Sitting down, I engaged in a one-vs-one match with the AI. The gameplay was ridiculously smooth and stylish. It does feel like a very modern, neon-drenched game now, something I really like. I was able to kick Juri’s butt as Guile, albeit at a slightly easier difficulty setting than normal.
I’m always a bit of a sucker for management games. Which is why I immediately fell in love with Moviehouse. Very reminiscent of Lionhead’s The Movies, this indie game lets the player become the boss of a movie studio, developing and filming scripts, hiring actors and all manner of other film-related activities.
For someone who played The Movies back in the day, having a more modern equivalent to that game is pretty desirable. It’s pretty hard to get running on modern systems and I believe is only available physically, so Moviehouse looks set to fill my film studio management needs for sure.
Alien Hominid Invasion
As someone who has never played the original Alien Hominid, I don’t really have anything to compare Alien Hominid Invasion with. I’m told it is a reimagining of the original game.
It plays well, the gameplay is solid and controlling the weird little aliens is fun. I don’t think it’s one I’ll be keeping a close eye on personally, but it’s great that fans of the original get more content to dig into it.
Now this is something much more to my speed. Apparently, pretty much everything in Horticular has died, and it’s your job to rebuild and replenish the land. The game itself has a bit of a slower pace, something intentionally designed. There are some variables to change how the game plays out but overall it really is meant to be a game to digest slowly.
This might put a certain type of gamer off, but I think the game does have a target audience. The developer himself was explaining that both his sister and himself worked on the game. A neat little package of a game without a doubt. For me, it was the highlight of WASD London 2023 day one. I dig the pixel art-style, and the slow chill vibe. Also, the name is a portmanteau of Horticulture and Particular. So, like Horti – cular. Horticular. Well, I thought it was a good play on words.
Ah yes, another cult classic that I never got around to playing. Until today of course. The booth team were giving away t-shirts to anyone who could survive 20 minutes of the demo. Clearly, I had to play until I won one. Got one on my second try. Quite proud of that. Even got myself a cute little garlic-shaped stress ball.
Having played exactly two rounds of Vampire Survivors, I now see exactly why it became so popular. An addictive gameplay loop, coupled with some pretty intense combat, especially when the entire screen is full of enemies. Not bad at all.
I’m finding Girl Genius: Adventures in Castle Heterodyne difficult to define. I want to call it a buddy platformer collect-athon with puzzle elements. Is that right? I’m not sure. There’s no jumping. It just kinda gives me early Ratchet and Clank or Jack and Daxter vibes. Weirdly nostalgic.
Artstyle is nice, with the animation of the characters being full of life and appealing. Based on a series of graphic novels apparently. Seems to be an extremely competent, well-translated example of moving a property from one form of media to another.
The last game I briefly checked out was Park Beyond, which was actually the sponsor for this event. Gonna be honest. Don’t think I’ve ever heard of this game until today. I had a quick go on the first of two levels available and, I can’t believe I might have missed out on this. As the name suggests, it’s a park management game. Although with a massive emphasis on the fantastical.
I only really scraped the surface, but it seems to be a game packed to the brim with imagination and creativity. Outlandish locations, and madcap ride designs. All very exciting. The first level had me building a roller-coaster through a packed city block. Might try the second level tomorrow.
Bits and pieces
There were also a bunch more games I came across including Scars Above and Anger Foot. That’s the best part about gaming though. There’s a massive amount of variety in games to play and WASD London 2023 Day One really represents that. I actually left the event early as I’d been travelling pretty extensively for a few days beforehand. I was pretty much spent by that point. Onward to day two!