Eurogamer Expo 2012 was amazing. It was just as amazing as GAMEfest and the previous two Eurogamer expos I attended. Did anyone really think any different? Don’t be silly. I travelled to London the day before to attend the Women in Games Conference with a friend from work and stayed an extra day for the expo. It’s the first time I was let loose by myself to wander around (I admit it, I got so distracted by all the shiny games I forgot to meet up with my friend), which was an interesting experience. I’m normally a pretty shy person, so I would normally let other people do the talking or just sit and wait my turn. But I actually found being a lone girl wandering around that the people running the booths would come over and talk to me more whilst I waited and occasionally snuck me into queues (ZombiU WOO!!). I didn’t play everything because some of the queues were INSANE. I don’t even want to know how long the queue was for Black Ops 2, but let’s face it.. there was no point queuing for that when we all know it’s going to be pretty similar to the CoD before that.. and the CoD before that.. oh, and the CoD before that. But I played everything I wanted to. Here’s a run down of my top five games I played..
Considering Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was possibly more hyped up than all the previous Call of Duty’s, and took more than ever during the first five days (over $775 million), I expected more than what I got. “More than what I got”? That sounds like I bought it. HA! No chance. No offence Infinity Ward but I’m not spending £45 of my hard earned cash on a game I completed on Hardened in 8 hours. Yeah that’s right.. 8 hours, and that was with all 46 pieces of Intel. There’s no doubt it was a massively intense and action packed campaign, but it felt exactly the same as the past two Modern Warfare’s.
I’m not one of those gamers who lives and breathes for Call of Duty. You know.. one of those. I worked the midnight release of Modern Warfare 3.. I saw PLENTY of those gamers. But I do enjoy a good FPS which makes me feel I’m a badass with a gun, and Call of Duty happily fills that slot. I’ve played every Call of Duty since the first one back on PC (yes.. I’m a hipster CoD player.. but that’s talk for another article), and I’ve enjoyed the way they’ve progressed. But I’ve always predominately been a single campaign player. Every now and again I’ve jumped on multiplayer with friends and giving all those zombies and 12 year olds a good beating, but there’s more to games than multiplayer. Which is something those gamers and even the developers need to understand. I haven’t even touched the multiplayer for Modern Warfare 3 and I don’t have the intention to. I don’t even care about playing Spec Ops on this one whereas I CANED it on Modern Warfare 2. So this review is going to be entirely about the single player campaign. Sorry.. I’ve never even prestiged once.
Sat in a computer lab. Surrounded by cheering programmers. Solving puzzles and playing with physics. It was a couple of days before the release of Portal 2 when I completed Portal for the second time. Although a fairly short game (it only took me two hours), the prequel to Portal 2 was an absolutely fantastic masterpiece. It was funny, innovative and had just that right amount of difficultly to make it satisfyingly frustrating. Valve are geniuses. So does Portal 2 live up to the high standards set for it. Umm.. YES, duh. It’s better. Much better. You don’t just interact with GLADoS, the hell-bent, science-crazy AI, but Wheatley, BRILLIANTLY voice-acted by Stephen Merchant. (OMG, Nolan North voices some characters too!!!) You delve deep into the vast caverns of Aperture Laboratories, where you’re held as a captive test subject. Learn its history. GLADoS’ history! Even a bit of Chell’s history! I couldn’t put it down.
As I’m still making my way through the co-op campaign (which is as much a delight as the single campaign), I’m not going to talk too much about. Not when I have plenty to say about the single campaign! If you haven’t played the first game, you should still be able to dive straight into the storyline and not feel so lost. Wheatley does a lot of explaining for you about what happens in the first game.. minus the cake. Yes.. there’s still no cake. There’s something better. But I’m not going to tell you what. Spoilers. The storyline revolves around you having to solve GLADoS’ many, MANY test chambers. And there are ALOT of test chambers. But you also have alot of alternative areas to make your way through too. I’m not going to go into detail about any of them, because discovering them for yourself is amazing. For a lot of the “story sequences” when I would transition to new places, or a character would do or say something, I was sat with my mouth hanging open. And experiencing them for yourself is much better than reading them on some girl’s blog.
Who’d have thought sitting all day playing games would be so exhausting? I sure didn’t. And I don’t mean a normal gamerwhore session. I’m talking about the Eurogamer Expo 2009!! Nine hours of playing pre-release and new-release games and chatting up developers and reps. It was alot of fun. Let me explain..
It was the second day of the Leeds expo. We’d queued for maybe only half an hour. And we were let loose into a room full of Xbox and Wii pods and giant TVs with that other console attached to. We played games such as Avatar, AvP, Rabbids go Home, MAG and Blue Toad Murder Files. We also went to a Splash Damage talk on their new game Brink and made friends with some guys who work at Ubisoft over paninis. Unfortunately I had a full-on geek attack in front of them, but they seemed to like us anyway. Being a games programmer wannabe too, I talked to some guys from Ubisoft Reflections on getting placements in the industry and they were wonderful and lovely and helpful! It was a lovely and exciting experience!
Chantelle’s Top 5 Eurogamer Expo Games
1) Assassin’s Creed 2
Apparently the demo we were playing was a few months old, so our new Ubisoft friends didn’t think it was as awesome as what the final build is (yeah they’ve already been playing it). But after waiting for ages to play it I totally loved it! The free-running was very similar to AC1, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with that! The fighting followed the same principle, but the new weapons and disarming ideas were fantastic! I saw Ezio disarm a guard with an axe and then planted it straight in his balls. Awesome. Then I managed to break it. Ezio fell through a patio and kept falling, and falling.. and falling. Whoops. But I got to have a second play through because of it!
I also got shouted at for taking a picture of it. Tee-hee.
Well as it happens, I seem to be getting a lot of hits with people trying to research Left 4 Dead: Crash Course. So I thought I’d try and answer some of the questions. My source of intel are various bits and pieces I’ve read all over the internet and heard through the distant chatter of Xbox Live.
1) Initially I was told Crash Course was coming out the beginning of September by the Valve twitter. No such luck. According to multiple sources AND Valve twitter.. it’s the 29th September. Fingers crossed it doesn’t fall through! I don’t know if it’s official.. but word must have come from somewhere!
2) Yes. I do believe there will be achievements coming with it as well. Unfortunately I only know what one of them (possibly) is; attain a gold medal on survival mode. That means last 10 minutes against waves and waves of zombies. Yes.. I’ve had to tackle two Tanks, Hunters, Smokers and millions of common infected all at once in survival mode. I screamed and was thrown into a wall. Bad times. It’s not easy. I don’t think I’ve even made it to silver before. That beast better be worth some hardcore G.
3) And in other zombie-related news.. come October 27th Valve are releasing a Left 4 Dead 2 demo!! I’m really excited about this as it’s going to be demonstrating the new melee system! I may have squealed when I heard about it!!
And there we go. Three small bits of information I hope keep you going for the next week. Mmm.. zombie killing.