At the weekend Sydney hosted what may just be the biggest video gaming event in the southern hemisphere: the EB Expo 2014.
Thousands of gamers from all over Australasia descended on Sydney’s Olympic Showground for three days in what I’d best describe as a celebration of gaming culture.
The show floor was packed with publishers and vendors showcasing their products. These ranged from the big three console hardware manufacturers to local indie developers.
Microsoft were demoing Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Sharing the Xbox booth, Activision also had Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare up and running for attendees to try.
Over at the PlayStation booth they were demoing the upcoming racing game, Driver Club- which is free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers. Visitors were also able to play the E3 demo of fantastic-looking The Order 1886. At the back of the booth, dimly-lit pods demoed The Evil Within, Before Dawn and Bloodborne.
Nintendo’s booth invited visitors to sit down with a handheld and chill out or try one of the many games on offer for the Wii U, including Hyrule Warriors and Super Smash Bros.
2K’s booth was mainly all about their up-coming co-op sci-fi shooter, Evolve. But they were also demoing 2K Australia’s Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel as well as NBA2K15 and WWE2K15.
Over at the Warner Bros. Entertainment booth visitors could have a rest on the iron throne, fight some orcs on Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor, get their spine ripped out playing Mortal Kombat X and run past some zombies on Dying Light.
Bethesda were promoting their upcoming horror game, The Evil Within. Not only was the game, from the mind of Resident Evil’s Shinji Mikami, available to play but the publisher had also brought a maze with them. Offering a tiny taster of the full-size maze that is part of Movieworld’s Fright Nights, visitors could get scared out of their wits as they were confronted by horrors from the game. It was not for the feint-hearted, I can tell you!
Ubisoft’s Just Dance stage dominated the show floor at the entrance to their huge booth. Inside there were two theatres showing live demos of post-virus outbreak shooter, Tom Clancy’s The Division and Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Playable at the booth were Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, Far Cry 4 and racing game The Crew.
Other notable games on show were Sega’s Alien: Isolation, Battlefield Hardline and Dead Island 2. Pretty much every upcoming video game release was represented at the show, one way or another.
The weekend wasn’t just about showcasing upcoming tent-pole game releases. Local indie developers were also displaying their upcoming projects along with stalls from Australian education providers offering training for aspiring video game developers.
As well as the publishers’ presentations at the EB Live shows in the main arena, the community stages played host to more intimate Q&A sessions with visiting developers throughout the weekend.
Again, another fantastic show and one event that should be on every keen gamer’s calendar. Roll on EB Expo 2014!