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Published on October 4th, 2012 | by Guest Contributor

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Blog: HGR (formerly HGR) @ Eurogamer 2012

Please take note

Before I get started please remember that I was an avid gamer who bought loads of magazines and scoured websites for gaming news until two years ago I had a serious bike accident and damaged my natural arm (left orientated) and long story short got back in to my drawing and have since become so busy with that I don’t keep track of games so my views in this post will be honest and from someone who hardly tracks games or gaming news so I hope it provides a nice view on what I saw and you enjoy what you read. I only attended on the Friday and Saturday so I tried to get as much coverage as I could for you guys.

My Eurogamer Expo history

I Have attended the Eurogamer Expo for the last three years and this year’s looked to be the biggest Expo yet. Way back in March I was undecided if I should go or not and was trying to persuade @toeknee to come along with me to represent us and try also to get some swag for the site and write a blog post. He never said yes… Then two guys I used to run a game site with called Console Ninjas got chatting to me on Twitter about getting access of the old Twitter account which I provided and signed over to them then they explained they had ideas to revive  Console Ninjas in a different form, a Podcast, which has now been going since and I think at the time of writing they are working on their 10th episode, the post Expo one.

So anyway long story short they asked if I was going again this year as they were going and it would be cool to finally meet as we had gamed for well over 4+ years together so meting the real person behind the gamertag seemed a cool idea so I booked tickets.

The Eurogamer Expo golden gates (well a huge aggressive car anyway)

So fast forward to September 29th I make my way to the Expo and it’s heaving with people inside and out but the first thing that hits is the huge Carmageddon Range Rover outside Earls Court…

Carmgeddon Range Rover

I make my way in and I’m confronted by another two cars, this time more gorgeous, GRID 2 and F1 2012 cars…

GRID 2 car

F1 2012 car

F1 2012 car view 2

So I then decided to scope the place and look around for the next few hours just to see what pulls me in… to be honest the amount of people there was a bit too much…

Inside Eurogamer Expo

Inside Eurogamer Expo

The next things that grabbed my attention… More cars, ladies in hotpants with QR codes on their asses, guns, soldiers, zombies and aliens. Then there was the retro zone which was the first place I headed to before having lunch!

Queues… and more queues

Queues at Eurogamer Expo 2012

Queues were silly and time on big games was capped, for instance I took one look at queues on Assassins Creed III and Black Ops 2 and just never bothered queuing to play those but I did watch others play them, the queues only wound down towards closing time but they were still the busiest games there until closing. I headed to the helpdesk and grabbed a copy of the show guide and it had a plan of the layout of the venue but only listed the big games, there were lots of things omitted from the plan like games on the Playstation Vita (LBP) for instance. The picture below shows the plan of the layout from the event guide

Expo layout inside Expo guide

The games I played and my thoughts

Below I have put together a table of the games that I got my hands on and what I thought of them, there was 5 main zones (and a few others) I have covered, just click the tab titles to switch to those sections.

Zone 1 games

Dead or Alive 5
Good fun fighter and was a very popular area of the show, play pods were never empty and there was always a gathering of people wanting to play. Good fun and got me thinking of how good the game was on Dreamcast all those years ago and how far the game has come. Not a day one purchase for me but might be for others, good fun overall.

Dead or Alive stand

F1 2012
I’ve never been a fan of this series and it’s not really fair for me to give the game a pasting because it’s not my type of game, that said I did give it a go and had a bit of fun on it but it’s very unforgiving, it was a very popular game too with lots of people queuing to get a go, the rig was nice too! A game I have never really been fond of but from what I played I may be tempted to try it at home in demo form and see if I still enjoy it, give it a go you might like it.

F1 2012 stand and rigs

F1 2012 stand and rigs view 2

GRID 2
This is one of the games I was very keen to see let alone play, It is gorgeous and more of the same and if you are like me that makes me smile! A game I have a soft spot for but again once the demo is released please give it a go and judge for yourself. It’s one you need to play to judge if you like it enough to buy it. That siad I will not buy on release.

GRID 2 rig

Hell Yeah
This game is madness in a platform game, it really did grab lots of attention, people were just wandering over due to the madness on screen. It’s like Mario and Sonic got together with nuclear condoms and this is the offspring. It’s a mad title and very frenetic. It’s a comic spin on Pokemon that stars a skeletal rabbit running through the depths of hell encountering over 100 wacky creatures and then ripping each one to pieces! This is a game I did not pay much attention to until my second day at the Expo, I saw it gain lots of attention so I gave it a go on the second day and was surprised how much fun the game was, it is truly mad and worth a demo try at the very least. It was a surprise for me, I had not heard about this one at all prior to the show.

Hell Yeah stand view 1

Hell Yeah stand view 1

The Cave
This is a very special game, it represents the fruits of a partnership between Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions and game supremo Ron Gilbert (if you have never heard of those tow names google them!) and was one of the games I left the show remembering the most. It looks like an XBLA game but it will be a full release but that should not detract from how good the game demo was, I’m not sure when it is out but I have asked @toeknee to keep eyes on this one for me as I will review it if we can get it. It is a great bit of old skool platform fun but with loads of strategy involved. You control a trio of plucky heroes as you explore a complex environment, using objects from one place to use in another and solving strategies to progress further. I love this title, it’s beautifully thought out, designed, crafted and animated.

If not for other games this would have been the title of the show for me, it’s a great game and I enjoyed the demo so much I wanted it to carry on, it was a bit on the short side but it depends on how quick you can solve puzzles and use the objects you find. I also got a little figurine I’m sending to @toeknee for a giveaway. Please give the demo a try when it drops on Xbox Live and judge for yourself and try not to fall in love with it.

The Cave stand

Zone 2 games

FIFA 13
I buy this game every year but my interest has been waning for some time and I decided to call quits FIFA/Footy games after the last FIFA not because I don’t enjoy them but because they eat all of my free time, FIFA is the only game that gets me aggressive and angry due to the way people react when you win or lose and then there’s the quitters! Then I played FIFA 2013… it’s so clumsy, I thought the demo was a let down but the game at the Expo was finished and I found it less enjoyable to play than FIFA 2012 and it seems PES 2013 has surpassed it this year for fun at least. In any case I stand by what I decided and I will no longer be buying footy games. This is a personal choice of mine and it will allow me to keep playing other games and also get on with stuff I need to get on with. Sorry bit of a rant there. Download both FIFA and PES demos and see which you prefer.

Zone 3 games

Fable: The Journey
I expected this title to disappoint but was surprised how much fun is was to play. Not sure I’ll buy it but will be worth a purchase at some point. The whole on-rails- argument did not seem to be apparent on this demo and it used Kinect very well but you were only permitted to play it for 20 minutes so combined with the queue it was a long wait to get on the game but I think it was worth the wait just to experience it.

Halo 4
This demo was a bit of a let down for me, the game was in MP form when I wanted to play some campaign (probably save the best for last) and the queue was huge and the play time was 5 minutes only. So imagine you have not played Halo for a very long time, well online MP that is, and you are thrust in to a competitive lan match with other guys who seemed to play Halo online all the time, yes you guessed it I got obliterated but I did manage two kills by being suicidal with my grenades! I need to give it a chance but being thrown in to competitive MP having not played Halo for a while was not the best experience. That said the game does look gorgeous  the new weapons are… er… new and it looks amazing and MP is frantic. I’d need to play campaign to provide proper judgement, I suck at Halo MP so I cannot judge the game on that but like I said it plays and looks gorgeous.

Lost Planet 3
I liked this demo, not many people were queuing to play this, I got on it after only 5 minutes waiting and had a good 25 minutes on it, the demo is very long indeed and also very enjoyable. The new enemies or more of the same but if something works why break it. the new mechs are huge too, great fun to play and I’ll probably buy this long after it is released as I still have to complete the previous two!

Zone 4 games

Crysis 3
This, like Halo, was another MP demo and I never got on with Crysis MP so was not sure how I would feel playing MP on a game that is not launched and also a sequel to a game with MP I never got on with. Like Halo it looks gorgeous and plays smoothly but it’s MP and I just did not enjoy it as much as I enjoyed SP but I will probably pick this one up a little bit after release, Crysis 2 was great so if they can improve on that with bigger enemies and set pieces then I am all for that.

Crysis 3 stand

Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Now this was a shocker for me, I never thought another game would come close to Burnout Paradise but this game has enough of the elements to keep Burnout fans happy, for now. It looks and plays great and is fast. It’s just good fun so if you like Burnout/Criterion and want something that’s more of the same but a little different give the demo a go when it drops on Xbox Live.

Forza Horizon
Great little racer but was like playing Dirt 3 but with a Forza makeover. Not sure this game needed to happen but no doubt Forza fans will take to it and love it! It looks and plays gorgeous just a little de ja vu for me.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
Much like my FIFA 2013 rant earlier I think I have very much fallen out of love with footy and footy games, I just don’t feel drawn to them any more. That said I much prefer PES 2013 over Fifa 2013 this year, it seems Konami are catching up and I would love to see PES return to former glory, it’s great to see each year the game is improving but I very much doubt I’ll buy another Footy game now. Give the demo a spin and try for yourself, download both FIFA and PES demos and see which you prefer.

18+ games

This was the main go-to area for everyone at the show over 18 because most of the big titles were in this area and security was very tight here so if you did not look over 18 and did not have ID you were relegated to the main show area only.

Aliens: Colonial Marines
This game could be huge online, of all the MP games I played at the Expo this one was by far the most enjoyable. It’s been a long wait since this was announced and to be honest I had given up hope of ever seeing this in any other form than demo video. The queue was long and I waited over 30 minutes to play this one but I have to say it was worth the wait. It’s tense gripping gameplay and it gets you looking behind your back all the time. Marins have guns, Aliens have speed, ability to crawl anywhere fas and huge arms with claws that rip marines to pieces, I know which one I prefer haha. Time and time again I saw one marine kill an Alien for another two to play with the Marine drawing him in to traps. I probably have not done this game justice by what I have wrote but it’s a title that tempted me to pre-order but this was not the one.

Dishonored
I had never heard of this game but after playing the demo I think it is special! Remember moments in gaming that capture your mind? I have had many in several games over the years but the game Dishonored reminds me off the most is Bioshock, now why do I mention that? This game has style, substance and depth. I queued for over 35 minutes to play this game but I was on the game demo for closet to 40 minutes with no chance of getting kicked off as others seemed to get bored or wanted to see other games, I just let this game draw me in and it did so with such ease. The combat system is very different but just works and I just fell in love with this game the more I played it. It’s one of those games that you can invest time in to it and it’s made by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. You are let loose in an industrial city called Dunwall, a place where infernal machinery of Steampunk hell has erupted. I won’t say anymore than that as there is plenty on the web so go take a look for yourself.

Dishonored stand

DmC: Devil May Cry
This is one game I heard about some years ago but have not been keeping track of it. It seems Dante (the white haired dude) is not in this one, he has been replaced by a younger darker haired Dante. The way this game plays is different to the previous DMC games but for the better. The camera is no longer locked like it was before but there are a few instances of ‘annoying camera’ but I think it plays better than previous games but it is also more of the same which in my mind can only be a good thing. I played this for a good 25 minutes and enjoyed every minute of it so this will probably be another purchase long after release. When the demo hits Xbox Live give it a go!

Devil May Cry stand

Devil May Cry stand view 2

Doom 3: BFG Edition
Gah… 3D gaming… HATE! Joking aside, the 3D was a nice touch but it does mess with your head a bit if you can not climatize to it. I tried to walk a straight line after playing this and failed. That said it does suck you in and makes you jump when you don’t expect it, I’m not sure I like these games it’s like they encourage a false sens of security and when you think ‘ah no more demons’ it all kicks off again. It’s almost like the lulls or the more confident you play the game the more it creeps up on you and then throws shit in your direction. To be honest it was not my type of game and this is from a guy that loves the Dead Space series. Maybe I would have preferred it in 2D!

Doom 3 BFG Edition stand

Far Cry 3
Never been a Far Cry fan until the second one came along, the visuals were glorious but I never got on with the controls and how ruthless it could be. This was a big change up and seemed more fun to play. I’m not going to say much more than that on the gameplay as I was not 100% I liked it much, maybe the other games were more on my mind at the time of playing it, it did not pull me in like other games in the 18+ managed to. It’s a gorgeous game and moves quickly and the controls were easy to follow too. Give the demo a go when it lands on Xbox Live.

Far Cry 3 stand

Gears of War: Judgement
This was a MP demo that did a great job of showing off the new gametype ‘Overrun’ where you have COG vs. Horde and you have to defend your generator, you have fortifications but you can’t build new ones so when they are gone that’s that.

Gears of War Judgement stand

It really is good fun to play and may be worth buying just for this game type. Part of me also thinks that this could have been DLC for GOW3 but that’s only about this game type  I have yet to play the actual SP so, again, it’s difficult to judge a game on one MP mode.

Hitman: Absolution
Now this is a special game, I loved the demo and the variety of ways with which you can kill a person. In this demo there was six different ways to kill a person and I enjoyed it very much. I queued to play the demo four times (mainly because I was tasked with getting a Hitman figure for each senior member of HGR!) and I tried a different way to kill the target each time, the fourth time I got the top rating of Shadow which means you made the kill and was undetected.

This is not a game to go all guns blazing, believe me I tried and failed differently 3 times! I could go on about this game more but I have been doing a bit of research on this game and it was the one I decided to pre-order after the show. I’ve not been a huge fan of the Hitman series but this game grabbed me and of all the 18+ games I played this was the one I liked the revisit the most and became very fond of it.

Hitman Absolution stand

Metal Gear Rising: Revengence
Special game this one, there was a prize for those that finished the demo in 20 minutes, I did it on the Friday but they had ran out of prizes and on the Saturday I failed, I have no idea why I could do it one day and failed the next… ho hum! Anyway this game is gorgeous but they have turned Metal Gear in to a button basher, not sure if that is a good or bad thing but for 20 minutes I enjoyed it. The only strange thing was the manual aim of the sword, very difficult to adjust to but it’s also a key part when fighting bosses as it allows you to cut them to pieces and set up set-piece take downs (hit button x then button y etc etc.) much like God Of War series if you have played those. Overall a good demo and good fun but not sure how it would last over several hours, hopefully the gameplay changes as you progress through the game.

Resident Evil 6
I have never got on with Resi games due to the way in which they play, the gameplay/camera seems so awkward to me, it just does not feel right. The camera makes me think the game should play like Gears of War but it’s so slow and when you have to reload the whole ‘stop play bring up menu to select bullets to reload’ does my head in and then there is aiming… I just don’t get on with Resi games and that’s my honest opinion. One other thing that messed my mind up while trying to get my head around this, little did I know that around the corner from the demo there were people getting ‘make-up’ to look like zombies but they had to act like a zombie too… so there I am struggling with this game then I feel a hand on my shoulder turn around and almost crap my pants… they was doing this all day!

Tomb Raider

This game surprised me in that it seems to have too many set pieces and not enough free play but it was also a short demo I think around 10 minutes. That said it was a fun ride but I wanted to know how she ended up where she was and wanted to keep playing so the fact it got me thinking that means it got my mind thinking about the story and the potential of it. I may buy this game once I have seen a bit more on it. If a demo becomes available I would definitely download it as these were clearly marked as Eurogamer specific builds.

Tomb Raider stand

Tomb Raider stand view 2

What I missed out on

I was absolutely gutted there was no showing of Dead Space 3 having read there would be which was a huge let down as it was one of the titles I wanted to play. As you can see I covered lots for the two days I was there but I did miss out on some big games but to be honest I was not fussed with them in the first place. the games I never played but were of interested to many were:

Assassins Creed III
Now to say this was a popular title would be an understatement, the queue was always over an hour long and the play time was not even a quarter of that due to the length of the queue so seeing as I had not got past the first Assassins Creed game I gave this a pass.

Assassins Creed III stand

Assassins Creed III poster

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
This was arguably the most popular title on show along with Assassins Creed III. I’m not the biggest fan of the COD series or the FPS genre for that matter but would have liked a blast on this game but the queue/play time could never be justified. They also had a tournament going on all the time and had a big screen showing the gameplay with speakers booming out the gameplay sounds and the commentary. It looks better than MW3 and has new weapons and maps but it reminded me too much of MW3 and I just was not interested but the crowd and attention it had must say something about the game.

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 tournament

My top 5 games of the show

My top games of the show might surprise a few of you but they were not the big hitters (COD/ACIII etc), I even pre-ordered a game I was not even interested in before going to the Expo! If money allowed and my buying decision was based on the demos I played I would happily buy all of the below games in the list below, all great demos, all great fun:

  1. Hitman: Absolution
  2. The Cave
  3. Tomb Raider
  4. Metal Gear Rising Revengence
  5. GRID 2

Some more of my pictures

Aston Martin at the Samsung stand
Aston Martin at the Samsung stand

The beautiful Halo 4 Xbox 360, WANT!
Carmgeddon Range Rover

The Eurogamer Expo 2012 daily Tournament
Eurogamer Expo tournament

Outside Xbox video coverage of the show & Eurogamer Expo Developer Sessions 2012

DId you want to find out more and if like me you are interested in the coverage and developer sessions please check them all out on the Eurogamer YouTube channel, some sneek peeks and interesting stuff in those videos but also some spoilers, you have been warned!

I got me some swag

So as some of you may have seen on my Twitter (@PixelsPencil) I landed me a nice bit of swag from the two days I was at the show and some of this will be up for grabs. Unfortunately the Tee, figurines and poster have been claimed but I landed plenty of codes to giveaway.

The swag I landed

Summary

I had a great time there was just a bit gutted I was alone flying the flag for HGR but hopefully my post has encouraged some of the HGR crew to join me next year and we can all contribute to a post or maybe even video and then beers! Hopefully our team will be bigger and better than it currently is with 5 main guys running the show, I’ll get Tee’s made, we can mingle, represent HGR, have a great time, have dance offs and throw up HGR gang signs (As PJ would say).

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