PAX East 2015 Preview: Verona
Verona was definitely one of the oddest games that I got to play at PAX East.
Don’t take that as a bad thing, because it’s not. I dig odd stuff: games, movies, everything. As the name implies, Verona is a Shakespearean tale of sorts, a tragic story right from the beginning. Basically, the planet is falling apart, and all the wealthy and important people have fled earth to build colonies in space. They keep the poor people on earth and pay them to mine materials from the planet’s surface, which is a dangerous job because the terrain and environment have become lethal, and looters are taking everything they can, including what the miners are there for.
You take control of one of a few people who have been sent to the surface to scrounge for materials and items, as well as running other, more in depth missions. The mission that I played in the demo involved you and your team searching for a canister of lethal gas that was rumored to be somewhere around an old excavation site.
Verona is a third-person cover shooter, and you’re given a few abilities such as sonar so that you can see enemies through walls, and a little drone that you can detach from your back to get a better view of the field around you. You can also use the drone to get in places you couldn’t normally get to, including vent shafts and underground tubes. The drone can also hack doors to let you into locked buildings and such. It may seem like just a regular shooter at first, but once you start exploring the abilities, it starts to set itself apart.
I didn’t see any weapons besides the basic pistol and a sniper rifle, which was fine, but I felt the sniper was pretty underpowered, for being, you know, a sniper rifle. Anyway, after playing the demo for a bit, you find out that there’s more than one canister of the lethal gas, there’s hundreds, and after you find that out, you have to dig them out from under a giant statue. This introduces another new mechanic in the game, one that I’m sure will be prominent later on, which is mining. You have to excavate holes under the statue to lift it up off the ground. It’s basically a mini game where you have to try and keep a small circle inside a big circle, and if the small circle breaks out, you break your drill, so that’s frowned upon, don’t do that.
After you lift the statue, you fight a boss, three mechanized bulls that try to ram you and spray the lethal gas at you to knock you out. You have to keep away but still shoot their armor off to destroy them, it’s not too hard, but don’t take it for granted, because they will mess you up if you slip up. It’s definitely a game you should check out if you’re into story driven games, it’s fun, not overly fast paced, and it’s got a good variety of gameplay styles. Keep an eye out for it!
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