Eurogamer Expo impressions and anecdotes
Although the event by this stage is well under way, with so many people planning to attend this weekend we thought it would be valuable to provide a few tips on the best things to see over at Earl’s Court!
Actually, before you get there, it’s probably worth mentioning that you might have to walk around the tube station to find the expo for those of you who aren’t familiar with that area of London. The directions given by Eurogamer (or rather, the amusing lack thereof) have become somewhat of a running joke between journalists who attended yesterday, with several of us taking some time to figure out that we perhaps hadn’t left the station through the right door. (Upon checking the directions again they seem to be a lot more detailed than I remember. Maybe we just all have really short attention spans?)
First and foremost, if you get there early make sure to check out the OnLive booth. For those of you interested in cloud gaming, you’ll get the chance to try out the system for yourself. Skepticism about the future of the service (and uncomfortable controllers) aside, it’s impressive to see how far OnLive has come from concept. Also, if you register your interest in the service by signing up already on www.onlive.com before you head to the expo, you might just walk away with a free console – meaning the full micro-console package, controller and all.
The advantage of this giveaway is twofold in that it’s been bringing the queues down across the show floor. Despite yesterday (Thursday) being the quietest and least-attended day of the show, those of you wanting to try out Skyrim will still need to head over there as fast as possible if you want to have time to try everything out. However, getting a chance to try out the character creation, and some early gameplay on console, is well worth the wait.
Another title with perhaps less expected long queues is Arkham City, with many of the attendees yesterday deciding to wait for it in preference to games like Modern Warfare 3, or Battlefield 3. Not sure if that trend will continue across the weekend with so many European fans of the major titles flocking to London to give them a try.*
As their advertising all over the Earl’s Court tube station states, Square Enix have brought along Final Fantasy XIII-2 (not Versus XIII, or any other confusing this-gen Final Fantasy title), and it’s playable on the show floor for the first time in the UK. Even those of you who aren’t the biggest fans of Final Fantasy XIII might be pleasantly surprised – a lot of the issues players had with XIII have been addressed, namely some changes to the fluidity of the battle system, and a few new additions. You can read PSU’s preview of the game here.
Aside from the expected Uncharted 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations multiplayer, there remains another honorable mention; the HD collections. Both the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and the Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection are playable at the expo.*
For us, the most surprising thing about the Eurogamer Expo is how non-corporate it feels. The emphasis on the show floor is definitely to focus on allowing as many people as possible to try out the titles – not on individual companies or developers trying to showcase their might with flashy booths.
Although, if that's your thing, there are plenty of those too (read: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary celebration stand). Jokes aside, this year seems to be a real attempt by Eurogamer to make their Expo known as one for gamers, rather than business people.
Written by Matt Whisker