This year marked the largest ever Eurogamer Expo at the Earls Court Exhibition centre in London and me and my partner were lucky enough to have been given the chance to go for the third year in a row!
Now I should give you a bit of background on me as a gamer and me at the show in previous years, first of all I have been an avid gamer for going on 17 years now and I’ve gone through many of the what we now call ‘Retro collectable consoles’ such as the Sega Mega drive and Master system, the NES and SNES from Nintendo, original Gameboy, Gameboy colour, advance…and from there I now own the PS3 and Xbox 360 and I have pre-ordered a PS4 which I will receive before Christmas this year (so excited!! and you will see why later on in this post) So basically I LOVE gaming and I continue to be so exited by new release games and consoles that I annoy the heck out of my family because all I want to do is buy these new and exciting products!
So that is a little background on me as a gamer, now to explain how my last two appearances at the Eurogamer Expo went.
Now to be totally honest with you my first appearance at the show was an extremely daunting one so I didn’t get much of a chance to play the games that were there because I was quite worried about queuing up for things so my time was spent mostly watching other people play the games, which in itself was an experience that was enjoyable and also informative too because I knew what to expect from the following year. Now in 2012 my expectations were even higher than the previous year as this was the launch of the first ‘next-gen console’ if you could call it that! it was the year of the Nintendo Wii U and I will be honest the queues were insane! and from what I’ve seen of the console since its launch I have to wonder why?! Anyway 2012 marked the point at which I started to want to queue up for the games I wanted to see, so I spent most of the first day queuing! But I eventually played some superb games like PES 2013, Fifa 13 etc. My point about telling you all this is because both of the years combined initially made me very confident of seeing the worlds greatest games in 2013 and more importantly the two brand new Next-Gen console offerings from both Microsoft and Sony, The Xbox ONE and PS4 respectively.
There was one huge flaw in my confidence though…and that was the 69,998 other gamers who wanted to see and play the consoles and games over the 4 days of the expo! So as you can probably imagine the queues for almost everything were like something from downtown New York during rush hour! There was at least an hour wait for the top games on the current gen consoles but double sometimes triple that time to see the PS4 and Xbox ONE, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to play the PS4 at all over the two days that I was at the expo which was a huge shame as that was one of the main reasons I went to the show but I just couldn’t put my body through nearly three hours of queuing so my plan from this was to watch other people playing the PS4, which actually was a great experience too, I mean yes I’d have enjoyed it more had I been able to play it for myself but seeing DriveClub up close running real time on a PS4 console just blew me away! The sheer awesomeness of the background graphics and smoothness of the car on screen were mind boggling so after watching a guy play the whole demo of DriveClub I decided to try my best to compare it to the current gen brilliance of Gran Turismo 6 and the Xbox One offering of Forza motorsport 5.
I played Gran Turismo 6 four times to accurately gauge what it was like from a car enthusiasts perspective and I have to say that this game stole the show for me, it’s the best driving simulator I’ve ever played on a games console, for PS3 the graphics are the best from a car game throughout its lifetime and the car physics destroys its competition as particularly playing on an actual simulator with steering wheel and pedals I properly felt like I was in the car driving around the actual Silverstone Gran Prix track! Superb from Polyphony!
I did also manage to play the Forza Motorsport 5 demo on an Xbox One as well as was also suitably impressed with the graphics…to a point though as yes the car looked absolutely incredible but the background didn’t quite look as good as DriveClubs offering on PS4, I can’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with it but lets just say that I hope they sort that out when the game comes out alongside the console in late November. Actually driving the car though was superb! This I put down to great car physics and the brilliance of the new Xbox One controller with rumble triggers, the rumble triggers work when braking for a corner to make you feel the car braking and I have to say that this feature impressed me the most about the Xbox One as a console too, plus unfortunately the controller is the only good looking part of the new console as the actual console itself is three things: 1-way too big, 2-Glossy black which lots won’t like and 3-according to specifications it weighs a whopping 3.18KG which is roughly the same as the original Xbox 360 back in 2006/07 and is a very boxy product that could well put many people off the product.
I was allowed to take a couple of photographs of the console itself at the Expo which I will show you now, but in advance I apologise for the quality of the image as I took in on my Galaxy Note 2 in low lighting but hopefully it will give you some idea.
Here also is a photo that should hopefully give you an insight into how huge the queues were most of the time:
As this was clearly the largest Eurogamer Expo on record I really wanted to see as much of it as was possible for me and my partner, the issue with that plan though was 1-the queues and 2-some of the best games at the expo were either in the wrong place or simply covered up within a dome so I was unable to see such games as Call of Duty Ghosts, Dead Rising 3 the Xbox One exclusive title, Ryse: Son of Rome another Xbox One exclusive. I mentioned that some games were in the wrong place…what I mean by that is there was an 18+ section upstairs where games like Assassins Creed 4 and Titanfall were so why not put Dead Rising 3 and Ryse upstairs instead of segregating them both into such a small section where the Xbox Ones were?! it just seemed really illogical to me.
Anyway that’s enough of the moaning, lets talk now about the games that I did manage to play starting with Lego Marvel Super Heroes on PS3. This is the latest and greatest from the team at WB games that have brought us some super games previously such as the two Lego Batman games and Lego Lord of the Rings which were big hits globally, well now the team has chosen to take the best super hero franchise and turn it into a super fun game for all the family. What was so awesome about this game was the fact that I was able to play it co-operatively with my partner which for us was a first at the show and this simply added to the enjoyment of the game demo that we played, we could choose between two levels from the game, one shorter one and one quite long one well for the purpose of time so not to hold up the queue we chose the shorter one. The demo took us roughly 20 minutes to complete fully and it was really great to play, extremely easy to pick up and play for anyone I would say even! We played as the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and towards the end Spiderman too and all of these characters have their own abilities to choose from, for anyone who knows the Marvel Universe you will know the abilities of these three characters but for those who aren’t aware I suggest viewing the trailer for the game below as its definitely worth checking out.
As is always the case with the Eurogamer Expo there was a Retro games section where you were able to play all of the classic games and games consoles from the past such as things like the Dreamcast and Sega Game Gear and to be honest there’s too many to tell but at this expo it only really scratches the surface of what Retro greatness is on offer but it certainly offers a diverse range of games for retro fans to get their hands on, a personal favourite of mine is donkey Kong country for the Gameboy colour but there were lots on offer such as the PlayStation One classic Gran Turismo and the many Sonic games on Nintendo. So for a retro games fan this section was a must see definitely.
To finish this post I think what needs to be said is that my experience isn’t necessarily the way it goes for all attendees as I am confident that many gamers over the four days thoroughly enjoyed it and got to play most if not all of the great games on offer but from my point of view this was almost an impossible task, and with that comes great sadness because the Eurogamer Expo 2014 may not see me walking through the door as I’m not sure I could deal with those queues ruining my time again but we shall see next year! But finally from an avid gamers point of view I would say that the expo this year was a huge success as the selection of AAA games on offer was second to none so I think the organisers can pat themselves on the back for managing to bring those games to the floor.