EuroGamer Expo has come and gone, having taking over Earls Court in London this weekend, and having attracted the weird, the wonderful, and in the case of free online game sensation, World of Tanks, a tank in the parking lot. Anything to beat the queue, I guess.
Day one, the main headline was OnLive being available in the UK. OnLive, if you don't know, is a Cloud Gaming platform - the games are stored and rendered remotely and delivered via the internet. The upshot is that as long as you have a reasonable internet connection (5 mbit is recommended, though 2 will do at a pinch), you can play games on any computer capable of running video, including tablets and smart phones, as all the computing is done remotely. Lucky attendees of the OnLive panel, with a keynote speech by OnLive CEO Steve Perlman, found a free console, worth £69.99, just for being in the audience.
Players should be looking at a range of around 150 titles, including Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, and all the upcoming big releases, like Batman: Arkham City, Assassins Creed: Revelations, and Saints Row The Third, will be available shortly. Games run from the usual shop prices of around £39.99 (€47 euro) to as little as £1.99. Sadly no word on an Irish release date yet, or whether Irish players can avail of a UK account, and since you could have an OnLive account in the US since June 2010, lets hope the wait isn't that long for it to arrive here.
The Eurogamer Expo Game of the Show was MMO Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 beat big hitters Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Batman: Arkham City, for its innovative approach to the MMO genre.
Speaking of Batman: Arkham City (and believe me, everyone is), the sequel to Arkham Asylum has fans giddily awaiting even a new trailer, which you can watch here. Players on console will get their hands on the game October 21st, while PC gamers are looking at November. Developer Rocksteady's co-owner and Batman director Sefton Hill has promised the wait is worth it if you have a high end gaming pc, with the graphics far beyond the console versions' capacities.
Any big game Expo will have some new teasers, like this unnamed game for Move from Santa Monica Studio and Polish demoscene Plastic, showcasing the Move's motion control abilities. At the same time, Warco: The News Game, from Australian company Defiant Development, takes the modern war genre and flips it on its head, as you play a news crew in dangerous areas of active conflict.
On the MMO front, its all about Star Wars: The Old Republic. For a game that many are saying is nothing innovative, there's enormous buzz. Many are signing off from World of Warcraft, to dust off their light sabres and ready themselves for the December 22nd release date here, or if you've pre-ordered, five days sooner.
Eurogamer Expo, though smaller than the recent Gamescom in Germany, still attracted a healthy 20,000 last year, having started in 2008 with 4000 attendees. As with currentgaming conventions, its not just about showing off games behind a glass case. There's the ubiquitous cosplayers, but for budding games developers, there was the Gamesindustry.biz career fair, with talks from companies like Sega, the University of Bradford, even BAFTA.
There's plenty of other news from the expo, including The Witcher 2 getting an expansion, Battlefield 3's teaser trailer showing off some fantastic gameplay, and UFC Undisputed 3 going straight for the jugular with immersive graphics and sound.
Obviously, the big deal coming out of EuroGamer Expo is cloud gaming. Saints Row the Third developer Bran Farrell is planning 40 weeks worth of downloadable content (DLC) for that game, believing that distribution via disc is soon going to be a thing of the past.
And of course, Batman. Batman's always gonna be a winner.