On September 27th, I attended Eurogamer Expo, in London. It was my first real games convention, and my first experience covering something I’m interested in as a journalism student. I attended as a member of the press, for Indie-Love.com, and spent a lot of my time looking in the indie section of the show, and saw a lot that I liked. I also went and looked at the AAA-games, and while I didn’t get hands on with anything (the lines were ridiculous), I did get a good look at games that I’m interested in, such as Titanfall, the new first-person science fiction shooter by Remedy Entertainment, Dying Light by Deep Silver, which is a zombie game that seems to use what they learnt from developing Dead Island, and massively improves on it, as well as my first proper look at Watch_Dogs, which I believe looks to be an interesting open-world game with a modern-day Splinter Cell style stealth system thrown in.
As I said, it was my first video games convention, and I didn’t know what to expect going in. I met up with a friend there, and we more or less just dove in. As I said before, I was there to cover the indie games arcade for Indie-Love, but apart from that we didn’t really have a goal. She wanted to go and say hi to the Yogscast crew, which was our first stop, and then go and see the Watch_Dogs presentation, which was our second. After doing both of these, we pretty much just wandered the con. I wanted to take a look at the HD remake of The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker, but the line was ridiculous, so I decided I’d rather just wait till it was released. We went and played Just Dance 3, or at least I watched her play it, and that was fun. I could see myself playing it if I was at a friends and they had the game.
I also took a look at Rocksmith 2014, the new release by Harmonix, which is similar to Guitar Hero, only it uses an actual guitar (either regular or bass) and uses a tuner to tell what notes you are playing. From what I played, and I have a very basic level of bass guitar, I feel like it could really teach somebody to play the songs that come packaged with the game. I definitely felt as if I was really playing the songs, and it definitely felt great. It did appear to have two major downsides, however. Firstly, to play the game, you do need to have an actual guitar, and decent guitar is a pricey thing indeed. You can look at that as an investment, however, because by the time you’re playing the game on the higher difficulty levels, you will pretty much be able to play guitar or bass. The other downside is that before each song you have to tune your instrument, but again, that’s something that both happens in real life, and that you will have to do before playing your guitar anyway.
What I didn’t expect was for the convention to be on the scale that it was. The only other convention I’ve attended was Dragon*Con 2012, and it was massively different. Dragon*Con was very crowded, and you couldn’t really get a good look at anything you wanted to see. It felt claustrophobic, and it wasn’t really that much fun to walk the show floor. Eurogamer was very different. There was a lot of space, and you could move between exhibits really easily. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One exhibits were a little crowded, but that was to be expected, especially seeing as their release is very soon. I definitely enjoyed this show more than I did Dragon*Con, especially if I was to base it off what was being shown, and the ease of navigating the show floor.
I think my favourite part of the convention, apart from meeting up with my friend (which I thoroughly enjoyed), was meeting with indie developers, playing their games, and talking to them about the design process. I played more than a couple of games by indie developers that I really liked, and I’ll talk about them each in their own posts.
My game of the show was Foul Play, but you’ll have to wait for the post about it to learn more about that 🙂
Thanks for listening to me babble about Eurogamer, and hopefully I’ll see you there next year!