Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Eurogamer Expo 2012

Last week, saw thousands and thousands of gamers descend upon Earls Court, London for the annual Eurogamer Expo. With the expo now running in its 5th year, the popularity is going from strength to strength. Even with a serious feature on Daily Mail styled BBC Breakfast news. Maybe next year will finally see Bill Turnball try his hand at ZombiU.

On offer this year at the expo were gaming treats as far as the eye could see. The chance to play all of this winters biggest titles and Nintendo's first public play of the Wii U! So early on the Sunday morning I grabbed a mate and made him drive me to Earls Court so he too could share in the pleasure of being there 50 minutes before the doors opened.

Once through the first game we jumped on (that didn't have a queue) was the amazing GRID 2 demo. Bearing in the mind that Codemasters had brought a Pre-Alpha version of GRID 2, it is already shaping up to take the best racer crown when it is released next year. Having been a huge racer fan, I have found myself in recent years losing interest in the whole genre. GRID 2 has reignited the passion for racing games and I cannot wait to own this.

Next up the Over 18's area beckoned. Metal Gear Rising; Revengance not only has the best name in video game history, turns out the game is absolutely awesome as well. The mix of Hideo Kojima and Platinum Games has produced the most high octane slash em up ever scene. The control of slice direction has to be seen to be believed. Never has a game made slicing a melon into six slices more fun.

Aliens: Colonial Marines is a triumph. It is the first decent take on the Alien franchise since Alien Trilogy on the PS1. Even better it is the best multiplayer version ever. With expo attendees queing up to play as Colonial Marines against an Alien horde made up of the best community beta testers (so I heard). The aliens are terrifying and move so quickly and lunge at Marines from halfway across a map.

The terror continued with Doom 3: BFG edition, the high definition expanded remake (Out next week). I have a love/hate relationship with the original. It was amazing and at the same time I have never been so scared in my life. This new release brings the graphics into the 1080p generation.
 Also, some bright spark has the "genius" idea of using the latest technology so that the game now supports 3D. After a brief 3D demo on the show floor and it is safe to say the Doom 3 is not for the faint of heart.

Tomb Raider looks like it is an early contender for next years game of the year. The brief demo on the show floor barely had time to set the tone of the game. Luckily, Crystal Dynamics were on hand in one the expo's fantastic developer sessions. They showed the full  "Crossroads" demo, which shows the early stages of Lara's shipwrecked adventure. The tone and drama of these early scenes  is  incredible and I can see the "Nolan"-esque quality of this franchise reboot.

Shooters next... Warface, Black Ops 2 and Medal of Honor were all present and correct showing off their new bells and whistles. It all looked good, but the fanboy queues for these games made this old gamer decide that it was best left to the young'uns.

Hitman; Absolution and Dishonored proved that games that require stealth patience and concentration are not really the best games to play at loud, busy chaotic show. Dishonored is like a steampunk version of Thief, but you couldn't really explore the open possibilities during the demo.

Hitman looks great and plays beautifully. Agent 47 is back on form and hopefully this is looking like a high point for the series.

Assassins Creed III has to be the star of the show for me though. Except not the home versions... No I am talking about Assassins Creed III: Liberation , the PS Vita exclusive. After reading about it, watching trailers on You Tube, to finally get my hands on the two level demo of AC: Liberation was brilliant. Now I know that it is possible to get the full Assassins Creed experience onto Sony's portable wonder. The swamp based level shows an Uncharted level of beauty and fighting alligators never gets old. The New Orleans level though is what people wanted to see. To be leaping from rooftop to rooftop, free-running up walls and fighting off several enemies at a time. This is the game that Sony needs to make the Vita a success.

I should also say that Assassins Creed III is incredible if only for the addition of Naval Warfare which is incredible.

So with that, another year at Eurogamer Expo is over.... until next year!

A huge thank you to Eurogamer and its staff, the exhibitors, the developers, My mate for driving and queuing... oh and the Cos-players! See you all in 2013!

Thanks to Fresh IT Productions and Sneaky Zebra for their awesome videos.

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