Thursday, 14 October 2010

Eurogamer Expo, Earls Court

At the beginning of October, I headed on down the Earls Court for this years Eurogamer Expo 2010. A whole roomful of fun, many teenage geeky boys and a handful of bored looking girls tagging along after them. Ok, I'm being sexist, there were some girls like me who went to actually have a go on the games, but the majority of the crowd were the boy variety.

This was a chance to see what's up and coming on the gaming scene, to oooh and aaaah at the graphics and to try on some of those silly 3D specs, which actually were a big improvement from the ones you get at the cinema.

I'm not a big fan of playing shoot-em-ups, I find the whole thing rather time consuming and dull and a bit repetitive, but it was obvious that a big focus of the show was the latest Assassins Creed game that took up the most floor space.

One of the more interesting games for me was seeing Killzone 3 with the 3D gaming. It being my first experience of 3D games, I popped on the glasses and watched one of the other guys having a go. It was a pretty immersive experience, but I'm sure that, like with most of the 3D games I saw, you have to be close to the screen and also that you couldn't play this for any long period of time as it's just too in your face. I tried out the GT5 game for PS3 with the 3D glasses and it was a similar story, really good for a while, but I think it'd get tiresome. However, looking at GT5 without the 3D was a pretty impressive experience. The graphics looked amazing - smooth and sleek, and this will definitely be a game that I buy. When it finally comes out.

Other driving games on show were F1 2010 and the new Motorstorm: Apocolypse, which, if I'm honest just seemed really frustrating - half of the time it was impossible to see where you were driving, so I felt that the only way to win at this game was to learn what obstacles appeared where, which takes the fun out of it a bit.

However, by far the most spectacular demo of 3D was with Starcraft II for the PC. Oh my word, the clarity and the popping out of the screen, I just wanted to put my hand out and touch things that weren't even really there. It stood out way ahead of any of the other 3D games.

I also had a go on the Playstation Move, playing table tennis. To me, it seemed a lot like playing on the Wii, and seeing as I already have one of those, I can't see myself investing in the PS Move any time soon.

The similar offering from Xbox, Kinect, has no controllers, you control it with your body. This made for some interesting demos, as I watched people playing table tennis with their hands, driving a car with their hands but no steering wheel, and jumping up and down in some water rafting game. Not very impressed with this, I like the feedback that I get from holding something in my hands. However, there was also Dance Central, using the same equipment, which looked huge amounts of fun, and was a game that I could really see this tech working for. Having said that, the kit is pretty expensive at £129, I doubt I'll be likely to buy it until it comes down in price or until there are more games that I want to play with it.

Saving the best for last, the new kit for Rock Band 3 was on show, with the extended drum kit (now 4 pads, 3 cymbals), the new keyboard, and of course the guitars for the Pro version. My word the guitars look complex. not only do you now have to hit the right colour, but you also have to hit the correct button (e.g. red 5, blue 3 etc). I'm more a fan of the drums myself, but I'm only just levelling up to medium, so it'll be a while until I get anywhere near pro. All good fun though, and I fully expect to buy RB3.

Most ridiculous looking game of the show I think had to go to Def Jam Rapstar - I imagine if you like rapping it might be quite good fun, but it had me in hysterics even at the idea of it, let alone the couple giving it a go (even though they were quite good!) Just a step too far for me!

Overall then, the show was really interesting and gave me a lot of ideas for what I'll be looking out for in the coming months. Its always nice to go and try out the new stuff, the show was really well organised, with a separate area for the over 18 games, everyone was well behaved and the queues weren't too big for any of the games. There were also some workshops and developer sessions, although I didn't attend any of these. And for £8, I thought it was an absolute bargin.

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