Last Thursday brought the start of this years Eurogamer Expo, we had team members attend the Expo on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and will soon be posting a lot more about the event. I attended on the Sunday along with Anthony and here’s my recap of the event.
Me and my wife left our hotel and headed for London Bridge Tube Station, we enjoyed breakfast at Bill’s in Covent Garden and had a wander around for about half an hour. We then made our way to Earls Court.
We both arrived at Earls Court station amongst a swarm of nerds and other gamers, at least we knew we were in the right place.
Luckily the Early Entry queue had pretty much diminished by then, so we didn’t have to queue at all. At this time there was an absolutely HUGE queue of people waiting for the 11am entrance to open (far right of the Earl’s court photo above).
Pretty much as soon as we walked in the door we were met with one (of soon to be many) people dressed up as, and walking around like zombies. There was a small gathering of make-up artists offering a full zombie make-over for anyone. It was pretty incredible but at the same time pretty creepy.
We made our way to the back of the hall to take a look at Black Ops 2, It was being played on a huge tv screen with the sound booming out of two PA speakers either side. Throughout the event players who were lucky enough to get in on the right game managed to experience first hand the CoDcasting feature. By this time, the queues were already booming for this incredible game and soon enough people were expected to wait for around two hours until they got a chance to play. Insane.
We then took a stroll through the show floor and had a brief look at a few games that were on offer like Rocksmith, Joe Danger 2, HALO, and Company of Heroes to name a few. We ended up in the Samsung area where the new Angry Birds for Kinect was being demonstrated along with a handful of Samsung devices. In the Centre of the Samsung booth was a huge screen where attendees could enter the WCG qualifiers for FIFA12.
Prior to the event I had arranged a hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. With being a huge fan of the first in the Note series I couldn’t wait to get a chance to play with this device. Me and my wife were both handed a Note 2 to have a poke at and the Samsung rep showed us through a few of the much improved features of the Note 2 (most of which you can find here). It seems as if Samsung are creating a great alternative to Photoshop on the go, and they realise this too because they’ve also included a full copy of Photoshop Touch with the Note 10.1. I asked the rep about the future for Samsung and their Note devices and he told me that they have now got three categories of mobile devices, Smartphones, Tablets, and Note. The future for the Note seems really bright, and with the vast improvements of the S-Pen for the Note 2 it seems as if Samsung are on to a winner.
After leaving our private Samsung room we made our way into the one next door where we played Need for Speed: Most Wanted on a huge Samsung Smart TV complete with an insane Samsung surround sound system. The game was on a PS3 so my attempt at trying to show off to the on lookers failed considerably and I just ended up smashing head on into a wall. Overall though, the game was just as good as the previous games, maybe a little same-old but other than that it looked great and was pretty fun to play.
In regards to the Smart TV, that feature was kind of overlooked by the game so I didn’t really get a chance to give it a try.
To the press area! Comfy sofa’s and free WiFi, what more could I ask for? Oh yeah and interview with Peter Holzapfel from Crytek! Here we spoke about Cryteks new free-to-play game Warface, a great FPS coming soon in the form of a closed beta. You can read more about this interview and the game soon!
Now time for another wander around the Expo. It was pretty chaotic and by this time most of the 11:00 attendees had filled the place out a great deal. I thought it was a good time to go check out the Indie Games area and have a look at what’s on offer. There was a huge selection of puzzle games, platformers, flight sims, and many other mobile games, but it was pretty difficult to actually find out what the games were about due to 70% of the time the game developer was nowhere to be seen and some of the games didn’t have any instructions as to what the aim of the game was. I did though, get a chance to play The Room on the iPad. It’s a pretty interesting puzzle game that revolves (literally) around a safe in the middle of a room. You must work out all of the riddles and encrypted puzzles to finally solve what’s in the box in the center of The Room.
Next I got the chance to play a new chemistry puzzle game called Sokobond. The game involves navigating a base molecule around obstacles to create water (for example). The developer assured me that no knowledge of chemistry is needed, but I beg to differ. It’s not really as simple as moving the little circle with a “C” in it around a few obstacles to touch the three other circles with “H” on the inside, like in chemistry, the layout of the atoms and molecules matters and that’s what makes this game pretty challenging.
The Rezzed area called next, this was a place full of more polished indie games that have gotten some prior exposure rewarding them with a larger booth and more systems for them to play on. I managed to snag a quick game of DV8 an awesome RTS game specifically designed for Facebook. Players are on a set coloured team (Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow) and must take turns moving around the scenario, using different bits of the terrain to hide behind, and also firing at the three other enemy teams. Players can expect to play with both AI units and their friends too, game play is seriously easy to jump in and out of and you wont be hounded by annoying notifications either.
Time for another look around. We had a chance to watch the big games being played at the Expo such as Assassin’s Creed 3, Hitman: Absolution, Dishonored, and Crysis 3. Those of us that managed to get in on a game of Hitman also received an awesome Agent 47 figure!
By 2:00pm we had pretty much explored all of the Expo, bought some overpriced drinks and some Expo t-shirts from the Insert Coin Clothing stand. Now we were heading over to the Carmageddon stand for our interview with Simone McDermott who was aptly dressed as Die Anna, about Carmageddon Funsize and Carmageddon Reincarnation. The full interview and a post about the games will follow.
Off to the Merlin Stand. These guys were great, they were super enthusiastic about their game and were handing out badges and posters to all who passed. Half of the team were also dressed up as Knights of the Round Table which was pretty cool. We’ve got a huge post to follow about this unique game based on the TV progamme Merlin (if you hadn’t guessed).
Finally we made our way back to the Rezzed area to meet with Joe to talk about his game Guns of Icarus, something we’ve recently touched upon over here at n3rdabl3, if you haven’t yet played this game, I highly recommend it. It seemed to be well received at the Expo with all four players immersed in the game too much to actually give any feedback!
We decided to have a final schmooze around the Expo to see if we came across anything we’d missed, though we ended up just circling around for about 30 minutes at one point. It was very confusing! We finally left with our bags full of free stuff and made our way back to the hotel.
Overall the Expo was an incredible experience, a little overwhelming and a bit chaotic with everything and everyone being everywhere. I didn’t get a chance to play the WiiU like I’d have liked, nor the PS Vita but hey ho! I had a hell of a lot of fun and I’m now absolutely shattered (Me and my wife decided to spend a few days after the Expo to explore London).
Did you attend the Eurogamer Expo? What did you think? Have you been before? If so how did it compare? Leave a comment and let us know!
Keep an eye on our site over the next few weeks as we’ve got a selection of things from the Expo to give-away!