The Eurogamer Expo was held from Thursday-Sunday last week, taking over a larger venue than last year. I’d say that it was an improved experience all round, so props to the organisers.
As Danie says, computer gaming expos are very different in tone from gaming/ sci-fi conventions. You walk into a huge darkened hall, there are posters hanging from the ceiling, and the main source of light is the flickering of hundreds (thousands?) of screens running demos. It all feels very Bladerunner.
You wander around, decide which games you want to queue for and which you’re content to watch over someone else’s shoulder, keep an eye on twitter for when any giveaways are announced, and go off to explore. It’s not an ideal environment to meet people socially, so I do apologise to anyone else who was there who I failed to meet.
The games which I found most eye catching were the ones which immediately feel more different to the standard RPGs/shooters. Journey in particular had me and my partner absolutely mesmerised – and that was just watching other people play it. It’s a sort of platform game which has the look of a Studio Ghibli film.
We decided not to queue for Skyrim, GW2, SWTOR, Arkham City or Dark Souls; I’m not big on standing around for ages just to play a demo. My beloved did win a tshirt (for me :) ) in a giveaway by knowing that Catwoman used to be a hooker though – I knew there was a reason I married him!
The Indie Arcade was also a huge amount of fun. I didn’t have time to try all of the games, but This Robotic Heart of Mine and Molecat Twist were both very engaging puzzle games of the type when you look up and blink and wonder where two hours went. (The molecats are also adorable and they should make cuddly ones!) Rimelands: Hammer of Thor was also a fun little turn based roguelike which actually shows the dice rolls when you are in combat.
All recommended: I’m sure the others were good also but didn’t get a chance to play them.
The other big news of the convention was that Bioware announced the release dates for SWTOR: 20th Dec in the US, 22nd Dec in the EU. More on that tomorrow.