27th-28th OCT 2009
SAVILES HALL, LEEDS
This week saw the Leeds leg of the Eurogamer Expo take place near the Royal Armories, at the prestigious Saviles Hall. Spread across two halls, the event was packed with video game fans of all ages – with games to cater for every attendee. Nintendo and EA were the big names at the Eurogamer Expo, with smaller showings from Ubisoft, Team 17, and Sega to name a few. Also in attendance were BAFTA, Huddersfield University, Bradford University and others, all offering insight into how to break into gaming – whether via a degree course or work placements at local games companies such as the Yorkshire based Team 17.
On the main floor, Nintendo’s New Super Marios Bros. on the Wii was a particular expo highlight for many – there was a constant queue of people waiting to play, even thought the game timed out after 10 minutes! Whereas in the 18+ area it was Left4Dead 2, God of War 3 and Aliens vs. Predator that had the older gamers salivating for some play time… Disappointingly there was no showing for some of the games that were available to play at the recent MCM Expo, such as Lego Rock Band and Monster Hunter Tri; however there was more opportunities at Eurogamer to play Avatar and Bayonetta than at MCM.
As a venue, the Royal Armories was perfect for an event such as the Eurogamer Expo – Saviles Hall was the main venue for the majority of the games on display, with the use of the Churchill Suite for the developer talks and the gamesindustry.biz discussions. EA also brought along their 18 wheeler “EA Hub” offering attendees a free in-game photo or video and the chance to play Beatles Rock Band on what looked to be a 70″+ TV, along with more games on PSP’s and consoles dotted along the walls. EA also had discount games on offer in the hub, with DS titles from as little as a fiver, and PS3/360 games from £15.
The only disappointments with the Eurogamer Expo was the OTT security surrounding taking photos and videos of those games unreleased as of yet (I was told not to photograph Dantes Inferno, Left4 Dead 2, Aliens vs Predator and God of War 3 by over-eager staff), and in the choice of some of the titles on display. There were three PS3’s running the demo Wet, of which both the demo and game have already been out for some time. The same goes for Batman: Arkham Asylum, Fifa 2010, Borderlands and Brutal Legend, although in the case of the latter the games were the complete titles not demos. Otherwise the Eurogamer Expo was a fun day out for everyone – sort of a “pay once play forever”, open arcade experience and at £6 to play such a wide variety of games, that isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination…