As the curtain closes on the first day of the EB Expo, I look at the day’s events with satisfaction and a small amount of excitement for what’s lying in wait.
Our day started with a short drive, as opposed to a long flight, which many of the gaming community had to endure. We arrived at the Gold Coast Convention Centre and went to collect our tickets, and the first thing that hit me was all the people, they were everywhere! The foyer was crowded with a very long line of people collecting online purchased tickets, and after a short wait we headed inside to see the Grand Opening event.
The hyped up atmosphere during the opening was so thick that you could stick a fork in it and have a late breakfast. We expected it to have a considerable amount of EB brain washing included, and there was some elements of “Come work with us at EB, it’s awesome” but that didn’t last too long. Next we were treated to a montage of clips of what we were to expect from the day. The music was deafening and the screen was so large you needed to focus on sections rather than try to take the images in as a whole, but it was extremely impressive. The Grand Opening was concluded with a show from the Kawasaki Motor Cross team, with jumps and tricks, fast paced dance music, pyrotechnics and more short videos taken from trailers released up to six months ago.
As soon as the Grand Opening finished people started pouring onto the exhibition floor to get a crack at their favourite upcoming game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Saints Row the Third were the headline acts of the show however I personally think they were outshined by some equally well known games that didn’t get the air play of the other two. Mass Effect 3 was amazing and it was only a pre-beta demo, Need for Speed: The Run looked awesome and handled amazingly, as did Forza 4 displayed across three screens with a Blue Mouth feedback racing seat and Logitech G27 steering wheel. The game of the show, simply on numbers waiting to play it (and awarded as such by the EB Expo team) would have to go to Battlefield 3. The line was massive, and on a number of separate occasions during the day I heard other vendors at the show complaining that the line was impacting on their designated line areas.
For all the ups there were some downs. Microsoft had Kinect Star Wars playable, which was atrocious, many people tried it and many will not buy it simply based on the few minutes they played here. For all their great games and very large supporting crowds, Ubisoft dropped the ball when they had Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 set up for people to play. I couldn’t think of a worse choice to have playable at an event similar to this, although I did see one man working up a sweat with the demo, and in a pair of thongs no less. Activision had Golden Eye playable in split screen on a small TV, but it looked very simple and had sub-par graphics. Having said that, many of the demos were early releases of the games, so they shouldn’t be judged too much for any short comings.
Matt and I spent most of our day talking with developers and marketing teams about the best parts of the games available and their thoughts about the Expo. We got hands on with many of the games we set out to play and were able to watch all the pre release videos available. Over the coming days we will share more info on the highs and lows of the Expo, through the eyes of drop bears. Let us know in the comments if you have any specific titles you want covered and we will try to include them in the rap up. So far the EB Expo has been a great success and I`m already looking forward to day two. Don’t forget to check out episode 22 of the DBG podcast when it is released, which will have our thoughts on the Expo, and all our interviews with developers.