The Expo is over and now comes the busy task of writing up a bunch of hands-on impressions and previews. First though I want to take a final look back at the event, what was good about it, what was bad, what they could do with improving on and most important, my games of the event.
I have to say that I was pleased to see wider gender diversity in attendees. There were noticeably more ladies present, either with partners or visiting on their own. For anyone who says that gaming in only something for men they should take a look at the changing diversity at the Expo.
However I was greatly disappointed to see scantily dressed booth babes still present, they seemed to be last prevalent than last year, but the fact that some exhibitors feel they need to use them casts a blemish on the event. Girls’ walking around with QR codes printed on their bums was very tacky. It wasn’t all bad though as the majority of the ladies assisting at the various booths were wearing similar clothes to their male counterparts.
Further, the cosplay used by some of the exhibitors was quite outstanding. At one point I nearly walked into a towering Master Chief and only avoided getting crushed by his guide warning me of his approach. Elsewhere there was a team of Marines supporting Alien and a group of shambling snarling zombies promoting Resident Evil 6. The cosplay of the public was good too with several Lara’s and Ezio’s popping up here and there amongst other assorted costumes.
The event was busy throughout and all of the developer sessions I attended were full, though I think one or two others didn’t fill the seats. However I did hear of issues for people with VIP Press Passes getting into some of the conferences, and press entering the event at the same time as early doors pass holders perhaps could be something to be looked at for next year.
That though leads onto one of the underlying issues with the Eurogamer Expo, as it is an event being organised by one of the largest site networks in Britain today, any coverage of the event from sites not in the network basically provides free advertising for it. Further, while there were plenty of games to be played that enthusiast press and the public had never seen in person before, there was a noticeable lack of big announcements or reveals.
The Expo is still too small to get any E3 or GamesCom scale reveals, and I doubt it will unless it steps away from the direct branding with Eurogamer. While I will certainly be attending next year, I don’t expect any major changes in this aspect which is a shame.
I am struggling to think of just one game to label my Game of the Expo, there were so many different titles which I was really impressed with. As such I have chosen three titles to highlight.
First up is Dishonored, I was blown away with it when I got a decent amount of time to play it, the setting feels right and the mix of magic, stealth and traditional weapons works brilliantly. It might just be a mix of Thief, System Shock and Bioshock, but it seems to have pulled things off brilliantly.
My second Game of the Expo goes to Far Cry 3 which really impressed me. While I have been following it for a while now I was unsure how the open world setting was going to play out once more. To my surprise it came across very well largely because it felt organic and natural. It wasn’t as clunky as Far Cry 2’s open world was at times. It is a game that will likely fade away next to titles like Dishonored, Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, it deserves better though if the full game lives up to the promise in what I played.
Finally kudos goes out to Prison Architect and Introversion, it was a game that I didn’t get to play, but I watched it being played a few times and attended the developer session on it. It might only be in Alpha still, but everything I saw about it points towards a bright future.
In closing, I had an amazing week meeting some great people and playing some really fun games while attending a bunch of interesting developer sessions. I recommend anyone who is a fan of games checks out the Expo for at least one day next year.