Eurogamer Expo – Day 2 Round Up

Hi guys – you may have noticed all was quiet on the Twitter front yesterday but I assure you I was there! My phone is old-school. It phones. It texts. It does not tweet.

I’ve had a listen to what Amaechi and Barry thought in their Day 1 Report, so I’ll come back to some points raised in that and give my own view too.

The first thing for me was the queue – it was massive when I (with my better half) arrived at 11:00. To cap it all, we were told we’d have to queue even though we had our press passes on standby. Fortunately, less than a minute later, Eurogamer tweeted (picked up by my aforementioned better half) that press were infact to go straight to the front. Hurray.

Once inside, (and here I differ from my colleagues) I was instantly impressed with the layout – for me, the single floor layout worked and at no point did the floor seem crowded. Hats off and big kudos to the staff, who were helpful and easily recognisable throughout the day. What particularly impressed me was the 18+ zone which was strictly monitored by security and no-one with out ID or who was clearly over 18 was allowed in. And people say the gaming industry has no responsibility to its audience …

Me giving Hunted a go...

Me giving Hunted a go...

Gears of War 3: I had a go on a few games and watched more being played. Gears of War Beast Mode was actually more fun than I thought – running round as a Ticker then exploding in a cluster of Gears and Stranded is surprisingly satisfying! Oh – Amy beat me on two out of three waves of Beast Mode. Not that she mentioned it repeatedly or anything. No, sir…

Hunted: As the guys mentioned – Hunted does look good. I had a quick go, though didn’t have the controls explained to me which didn’t help. Amy went on later and did have them explained … and did a lot better. Hunted is very much reminiscent of a Fantasy Gears of War, with 2 player co-op being it’s core. There’s the Swordsman and the Archer archetypes, but button combos allow you to power up your partner in the game – which is a nice little addition.

Rock Band 3:The surprise hit for me was Rock Band 3 – it’s actually innovating the series. The instruments can now be played in Pro Mode – which means new instruments… or does it? If you own a guitar or drum kit or mini-keyboard and they have a Midi-Out socket, then with a £20 adapter, you can plug them straight in to the console. Magic. Pro Mode is well thought out. For example, with the guitar has you strumming the indicated string while holding down the strings on the appropriate fret which is indicated by a number. It’s not exact mimicry of playing chords, but it’s definitely a step forwards.

Kinect & Move: For me, both of these fell flat. The moved seemed to offer nothing over the Wii with the Motion Plus in terms of sensitivity and the glowing balls on the end certainly don’t help the feeling of idiocy that comes with flailing around. I’d have liked to have tried Socom with the move – but tellingly, Sony were only showing it with the regular controller so far as I could see.

Kinect on the other hand… Well… The dancing game looked amazingly responsive and people were on it all day. Having the dancing skills of an inebriated Dalek, I stayed on the side lines. The other kinect games also seemed to work, but something is missing from having a controller in hand while playing Tennis for example. I guess you could grab something to swing to counter this, however.

Amy giving the ivories a tinkle

Amy giving the ivories a tinkle

Nintendo: Had a small presence. I was surprised how little space was allocated to GoldenEye – just a tiny monitor in a small alcove with 3 player splitscreen on display. The next Zelda Game was being presented in a booth of it’s own and had one of the three only real queues of the day. The others being Brink (which I didn’t get on grrr…) and Medal of Honour (which I wasn’t over-fussed about).

I was disappointed that the 3DS wasn’t on display at the event as well, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on one since E3.

The Witcher 2: I had a 20 minute session with two guys from CD Projekt about The Witcher 2, getting a demonstration of the non-linearity of the game and the large scale of the battle areas. I’m really looking forward to this game, though I think my PC may need an upgrade to run it. I recorded the session, but need to check the quality and check with the guys that it’s OK to put out the question and answer parts of it either as a transcript or an audio link.

Anyhoo – that’s enough for today. We’ll have more for you in our main round up episode.

GS Reporter: WedgeDoc

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