As the highlight of the London games festival, the Eurogamer Expo 2008 came to trendy East London on October 28 and 29. This event saw the gathering of developers keen to show off their latest creations and hundreds of gamers checking out an impressive repertoire of upcoming games. Although not the biggest games expo on the calendar, the sheer number of quality games on the radar was enough to cause quite a buzz and induce some classic British queuing. I appeared to be one of the only people uncomfortable spending long periods of time in a darkened room filled with the sound of gunfire.
Here are the standout games that attracted the most attention from London’s gaming community.
Street Fighter IV
Queues soon built up around the Capcom area, mainly due to this year’s biggest crowd pleaser, Street fighter IV. People were loving the chance to take part in a winner stays on tournament on the arcade installations, which soon revealed some nimble-fingered veterans. Console versions were also available. With lush new graphics, animations and tweaked gameplay, this classic fighting game was justifiably causing a ruckus. Read TGR’s full SFIV Preview for more info.
Resident Evil 5
The long wait for number five in the almighty survival horror franchise is coming to an end. Context sensitive movement, red laser sights, ammunition management and nutters with chainsaws all make a welcome return. The control scheme and gameplay that helped make Resident Evil 4 arguably the best game of the last generation has been retained, but placed in a sun-bathed, rural, African setting. Environments and character models looked outstanding and there were some cool fire and explosion effects on show. Early stages saw the protagonist and a female character holed-up in a series of shanty-town buildings, fending of hordes of zombie villagers and some really big zombies armed with nasty, oversized weapons. Understandably a lot of people wanted to get their hands on this game.
Ever played a first-person action/platformer/free-running game? Likely not; there aren’t too many about. Swedish developer DICE have taken an adventurous step away from the norm with a new IP, Mirror’s Edge, and judging by the pre-release interest, it has paid off. Although the viewpoint is first-person, there is little shooting to be had in Mirror’s Edge. Focus is instead on running and performing free-running style maneuvers to navigate a boldly-imaged urban setting. The limbs of the protagonist Faith are often visible on screen as she punches, kicks, leaps and bounds to evade her pursuers. There is no HUD and visuals are distinctive and instantly recognizable thanks to crisp, clean detail and the interesting device of highlighting interactive objects in red. This could be one of the most innovative big budget titles this year. Check out our full preview for more information.
Prince of Persia
Ubisoft is attempting to rejuvenate the Prince of Persia franchise this time around with illustration-style graphics a new female sidekick. As evidenced by the hard-core and casual gamers keen to investigate the game’s stand, it looks to be an accessible and broadly-appealing platformer. It didn’t hurt that Ubisoft was giving away free Prince of Persia T-shirts. Check out our T-shirt-free preview for more info.
Call of Duty: World At War
In the sequel to one of the games of the year (Golden Joystick awards ultimate game of the year), the Call of Duty series has found a new developer and returns to the WWII time period. World At War has two campaigns, one based on the Russian advance on Berlin, the other set in the lush but deadly jungle of the Pacific region, fighting the Japanese. Amongst the new additions there will be a competitive, online co-op mode for up to four players with a point scoring system. With the franchise’s sizable fan base and high expectations for World At War, Activision will be hoping for another best-selling title.