Eurogamer 2012 – Earls Court

Angelo and I attended Eurogamer Expo 2012 at Earls Court on Thursday; the expo is held once a year and lets you get a glimpse at forthcoming games releases weeks (sometimes months) before they go on general release.  Going to the expo has become something of a tradition for both of us and it made a refreshing change going midweek rather than at the weekend.

With all the casual gamers (who blatantly only turn up to play the latest Call of Duty game) waiting for the weekend, Earls Court was saturated with hardcore geeks!  Yes, I know that’s rich coming from me, but I felt positively ‘normal’ compared to some of the people there!

Eurogamer 2012 was a surprising improvement on the excellent expo last year; Call of Duty Black Ops 2 was the headline game along with Nintendo giving a sneak preview of  their impressive looking WiiU console.

Call of Duty Black Ops 2
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is an exceptional FPS, the frame rate and textures look so clear and smooth compared to previous outings.  Personally, I’ve not enjoyed a COD game since World at War and am a little reluctant to invest in such a money grabbing franchise; I doubt I will buy a copy when it comes out, regardless of it being a very good game.  Battlefield 3 forever man!

WiiU
The WiiU stand was absolutely heaving with people and I did my best to peer in and have a look at the games rather than queue up.  The ZombieU game looks very atmospheric and the launch titles look like regurgitated N64 games.

Nintendo 3DS XL
I also had a quick look at the Nintendo 3DS XL console which I am thinking of buying, the screen is impressive and the clunky build feels a lot more reassuring than that of the PSP Vita; the Nintendo games catalogue looks WAY more appealing that paying £200 for a portable console just to play Fifa on?

My highlights of the expo included:

X-Com – Enemy Unknown
The remake of the ‘X-Com Enemy Unknown’ game looks brilliant, I absolutely can’t wait for this to come out as I still play the original game now.

I really enjoyed having a go on the PC version but a quick comparison shows that the Xbox conversion looks spot on as well;    Turn based games hark back to my days playing Warhammer 40k and I hope this breathes new life into the genre.

Strike Suit Zero
I found this little gem whilst Angelo jumped around with all the other prats on the rather good looking Halo 4.  Strike Suit Zero is a space based simulation which is clearly inspired by the the Wing Commander series and looks to fill another forgotten genre.   Shame it didn’t have a more prominent location as it was tucked just behind the Indie section.

I chatted to one of the developers for a while after getting my teeth into the game and I told him how much it reminded me of Colony Wars and Blast Radius (two games that I loved on the Playstation One).   Definitely one to watch.

Company of Heroes 2
PC gaming is definitely on the rise, Company of Heroes 2 is a gorgeous RTS game which reminded me a lot of Blitzkrieg.  You play the Russians during WW2 and you have to give the Nazi’s a good slap!  I did just that in the demo and thoroughly enjoyed using the flamethrower squad member to torch the racist scum.

Medal of Honor – Warfighter
This was the big shock for me, what a fucking toilet game this is.  It moves like a cardboard box, the badly rendered marine characters look like they’ve been snatched from ‘Pitfighter’  and the whole thing was just AWFUL.  No wonder they didn’t want me to film it.

MOH Warfighter is probably the worst FPS that I have ever seen; the hit detection is terrible (I watched time after time as Angelo put a full clip into someone for them to turn around and take him out with one shot).  Shocking, especially when you have something ‘perfect’ like COD BO2 to compare it to just down the hallway?

Retro Section
Absolutely loved how they expanded the Retro section this year to include a timeline of consoles and games throughout the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.  The MAME cabinets were a nice touch; I absolutely smashed up the retro section’s crew guy at Streetfighter before reminding Angelo who the fucking Daddy is (stop pulling that face Ang).

Chill out areas
The chill out zone was a sight for sore eyes after we’d walked around for about 5 hours.  Plush armchairs and mood lighting.  Perfect for when you’re almost 35 and you need to put your feet up after a hard days gaming.

18 years or over section
Makes Angelo laugh every time we go, especially when you see kids being turned away before they can play Call of Duty.  Waaaah waaaah!

So there we go, I have ordered the X-com game along with Resident Evil 6 and look forward to seeing a peek at next gen gaming in Expo 2013.

 

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