Eurogamer Expo has grown into Britain’s largest and most prestigious games event, with this year’s show being an indisputable knock-out. Patrick Garratt gives his impressions of the first two days.
and David’s looking pretty much like he’s on strong weed, as is Tom Champion, wide-eye-slit-eye in the organisers’ office with their Moonie smiles and monosyllables but they manage to hand over an exhibitor pass so I
The colours have gone off, but Mark assures me it’s all intentional, that they’ve spent a lot more on lighting this year to eliminate all the dark corners. From up high in the Earl’s Court press centre Eurogamer Expo’s purple white and Rupert’s standing next to a station wrapped in plastic at the front of the hall looking as though he’s not having the best time in the world, red-eyed and shaky thanks to a security alert which pushed the entire set-up population out into the front of the building to stand disconsolately next to the gunless zebra policemen and a stickyback Carmaggedon vehicle Matt reckons health and safety will have a fucking fanny over, what with its bladed wheels, and David’s looking pretty much like he’s on strong weed, as is Tom Champion, wide-eye-slit-eye in the organisers’ office with their Moonie smiles and monosyllables but they manage to hand over an exhibitor pass so I can get Dave in before Sam turns up half an hour later moaning about his hotel room and something about Halo DLC and a cancelled interview. Internet’s expensive as fuck, some eight quid for four hours, but we can sit in the speckle-vision press room and rock into the official connection which is part of a 1Gb Mark made up but it’s fast and he reckons each stand gets four-to-eight-meg but he really has no idea, and what Rupert’s really shitting it over is his early morning live BBC interviews and the responsibility of showing Kojima round the show on a personal tour before his Metal Gear session in the morning. I tell him to wear his best jumper, but I don’t think he finds it funny he looks great on the telly in the morning and so does Ian and I’m
honestly proud of those guys and I can’t believe I used to work in Rupert’s garage when I see him later at the show before he does his Radio 5 interview he’s finally beaming says it happened quickly a bit of a blur and the lady from the BBC in the pinkest jacket in all the fucking world is cougar-dominating the pre-showshow they really hate the fuckingcarpet fuckingcarpet fuckingcarpet apparently you have to carpet every show every year because the actual floor of Earl’s Court is so disgusting it’s not fit for human feet and the carpet gets laid then thrown away every year and costs some kind of absurd amount of money and that’s probably not so great if you have to pay for it but what are you supposed to put the pods on Kev’s looking pretty much delirious trying to find some space for nine boxes of posters he’s having to sardine them into the madhouse of jokers there are some fucking tired marketing departments in here this morning; so I go to play Far Cry 3 first because Far Cry 3 has to be one of the most interesting games releasing anywhere on anything but I throw a grenade on the hang glider and the hang glider doesn’t explode which I don’t really get because surely if I actually did that I’d have bits of wings as opposed to wings but it’s a game so what the hey and letting the bear go to eat all the men seems to work especially because if you try to take them all on alone you get dead quickly even if you hide in a shed, and f’real? straight up? to be honest? there’s enough Far Cry in there to instantly make me feel happy so the whole don’t leave the mission area and the fact all the diamonds aren’t diamonds any more and everything’s just kind of on the map although I didn’t get to play it from the beginning so it may not be that way from the off and the constant XP notifications when you kill people is kind of fine because there’s awesome swimming and it looks fucking beautiful on the highest settings and I get shown the entire map which is obviously large but there’s no GPS but then I can’t really blame them because they’re in the business of selling video games and they had to balance the good stuff from two with
the fact that people like Call of Duty up and down up and down every time I pass the window there appear to be more people on the stairs an endless snakes bulging swallowing an antelope slowly pushing it through don’t film the screens MGS Rising is so addictive immediately there’s a load of story bullshit I don’t give a fuck about but Kojima made it so it’s hardly surprising though the combat itself is slicing targets tacked onto Platinum kicking flying attached to a remote controlled rocket characters so fucking stupid and it stops you every 12 seconds to speak really slowly at you but the Raiden design and that intro sequence when she lands on the beach is awesome but quite why they need all this fucking moral nonsense is beyond me it’s for children I mean seriously we’re all fucking grown ups yeah and if these people were really people they’d hardly be discussing the moral implications of chopping people to pieces in a fucking combat zone but as I said it’s Hideo and Hideo’s Hideo so everyone has to stand around talking for 400 fucking hours while the enemies wait for you in the next street Tomb Raider is one of the most engaging demos I’ve ever played and without doubt one of the most intriguing concepts we will have seen in the last few years in console gaming and it’s got fuck-all with Lara having tits and far more to do with the fact that Crystal Dynamics is trying to go all-out in creating a genuine survival story from the ground up with everything you’d expect from Lara in terms of jumping and other movement aspects and my hair stands up and I feel adrenaline and that’s no small feat in a room full of 6,000 people while you’re being watched by a queue so engrossed was I in fact that when I finished the demo HUNTING DEMO FINGERPRINTED TO EUROGAMER EXPO which was apparently the same
code seen before in which Lara kills a deer and ends with a run-through of the E3 trailer that Kojima seriously can’t be 50 years old but he is and he’s wearing a sparkly t-shirt and he watched the moon landings live. Zeroes looks better on a large screen with large speakers, as you’d expect, than it does on YouTube shakycam and Dave got a bunch of new stuff out of it he reckoned level-based is open-world and it sort of isn’t we’re kidnapping the rules and taking them the france we’re punching the rules in the face and getting them tattooed on our necks we do two now i’m french no problem i’m PR Ellie does a great job of the session and Expo in general seems higher stakes than in 2011 the livestreaming works Frank O’Connor can’t watch himself on video and can’t bear to listen to himself speak so I joke he has an acute confidence issue and I don’t think he finds it very funny. That’s life. Kojima’s a rockstar rockstar rockstar in sequins talking about the future of games and big enough to mean it says he’s making the next MGS online component in LA and you can build bases in Zeroes, which is a big deal apparently, but the footage is all TGS despite its super-quality and the session’s for the London Games Festival opening and drinks reception full of people I don’t know and a few I do including Andy OBE and his purple jumper who’s as charming as ever and Matt and Rachel and Dan and Mark from Warner who’s going on a fishing trip and may have to kill a fish onto the opening of the LGF and Keith Guardian and Stuart MCV doing the GamesAid stuff and Cat giving out cheques and a lady from a benefitting charity who makes us sit then stand and, to be honest, my legs are pretty much rigid from working the show all day and it hurts to do so: I have to hold an empty orange juice glass for the entire presentation and clap a folded hand on the top of my arm instead of clapping my hands together for the speakers and charities end up drinking far too much Diet Coke and eating soggy spring rolls and some kind of fried balls of meat which have no structure and are full of fat scare the shit out of Rachel with Ellie by recounting birth-based horror stories and meet the US GI guys then day two the ZombiU line’s oneandthreequarter hours already and it’s only elevenoclock it’s Colin and Joe who couldn’t get into the Kojima session James said they turned a thousand people away in the end but he was pissed and not sure if he wasn’t a bit upset about having to be the guy that didn’t let people in conflict conflict conflict he called me an arsehole under his breath and told me the wrong day no idea what’s going on there you need an editor conservative creativity publishing can’t get the fucking band off and no idea how to get into the show there’s so many people outside make my meeting with seconds to go then forty minutes of politics there got it off so now this woman opposite speaking a crazy mix of Arabic and English playing solitaire on her iPad we’re in the tunnel to France and she’s finally fallen roamless 3G je reviens.