eGames Expo - Melbourne 2008

eGames Expo - Melbourne 2008


The eGames Expo is behind us. We look back at the biggest Australian gaming event of the year and give you our impressions of what publishers have in store for us in the coming months.

Back again
Ahhh... it is that time of year again, the time when Aussie gamers get to see all the latest and greatest games on the market. It is time for the eGames Expo. This year, the eGames Expo (now in its third year) was combined with the Digital Lifestyle Show which included such exhibitors as TiVo, Panasonic and Madman Entertainment (distributor of anime and manga). But as a gamer (and a gaming reporter) my main interest was in the gaming side of the exhibition.

eGames Expo - Melbourne 2008
I arrived a little early to find most of the exhibitors feverishly finishing up their game zones. There was less than an hour to the public opening and there were sites that seemed like they were not going to be ready. I headed toward the media briefing where I was greeted by one of the event organisers. We were ushered to our seats where we each received a nice new t-shirt with one of the sponsors’ logo. Woohoo –free stuff– I love being part of the media!

Intel presentation
Anyway, after a brief speech from the expo organizer, we were shown a presentation of the new Intel Core i7 processor followed by a test of the processor using Far Cry 2. Ooh baby… this game looks sweet (more on it later). By this time an announcement came over the PA that the event was now officially open. I looked around to see that all those exhibits which were only partially erect, were now ready for business.

There were a number of big titles I had wanted to check out – and most of them justified their promise. Although it wasn’t in the Ubisoft display, Far Cry 2 was situated in an adjacent exhibit for a PC maker. After seeing the briefing display of the game, I just had to take a look and give it some game time. And I was impressed. The game was set up as a LAN deathmatch. I’m a bit of a n00b when it comes to online FPS and it showed in my first attempt. But I guess I could put part of my poor performance on the fact that I was admiring the graphics of the game. The deathmatch was set in a jungle village surrounded by savannah – and the scenery was stunning. The detail in the characters was great too. Audio was of a high standard and I particularly liked the fact that you could hear gunfights get louder as they got closer to you. I got one kill in the first game I played (admittedly I joined halfway through the game), but after a couple of turns, I was scoping down enemies like a pro… well, maybe not, but I was getting a few more kills under my belt and having a ball in doing so.

After being impressed with that Ubisoft game, I wandered over to their main display. They had a number of titles on show including Shaun White Snowboarding, Naruto: The Broken Bond, Tom Clancy’s Endwar and Rayman Raving Rabbids TV party (which would definitely be fun to play with a group of friends), but I was most impressed with Prince of Persia. The visuals have a cel-shaded look to them and to be honest, the game looked and played similarly to one of last year’s big hits, Assassin’s Creed. The Prince still has his famed gymnastic abilities, but looks a whole lot better. The game will be out later this month.

Guitar Heroes
One of the events being held at the show was the Guitar Hero – Riff Wars competition. I like playing Guitar Hero, but am certainly not good enough to enter any competition. So I stood back and watched as gamers had their chance to impress. Some gamers came dressed for the occasion – one guy in a Slash costume, another in a Link (of Zelda fame) costume. I’m not sure what he was doing playing Guitar Hero though. Maybe he’s thinking of doing something other than fighting the forces of Ganon. I actually think he may have been part of the Cosplay exhibit as was Princess Daisy who was also in attendance. There was no sign of Tatanga, so I assume that Mario had done his job.