From the 2nd to the 4th of October the 36,750 lucky gamers attending the EB Expo 2015 in Sydney got to experience a gaming extravaganza like no other. NetGuide’s Darren Price was on the ground at the show taking a look at some of the great games coming our way in the next few months.
Born from EB Games’ annual management conference, in 2011 the first EB Expo was held at the Gold Coast convention centre. For the last four years, Sydney has played host to Australasia’s biggest gaming show.
This year, top titles such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Star Wars Battlefront and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate were all playable on the show floor. The atmosphere was incredible as thousands of fans, many dressed up as their favourite characters, queued up for a go on some amazing games, some of which were being shown for the first time in the APAC region.
Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation were all present with huge booths demoing there top games. Nintendo held tournaments all weekend with gamers relaxing on beanbags in front of the huge screen. Elsewhere in the booth gamers could get a taste on Star Fox Zero or test their game design skills with Super Mario Maker. I had fun checking out Skylanders Superchargers in 3D on the 3DS.
Xbox were showing off plenty of their resent releases like Rare Replay and Forza in the main area with Rise of the Tomb Raider and Halo 5 Guardians playable off to the sides. Fans were greeted by a special three-screen Forza 6 set-up at the entrance to the booth with a competition running the whole weekend.
The Force was strong with PlayStation, who shared a booth with Disney and EA Games to show off Star Wars games running on their console. EA were hosting massive Star Wars Battlefront multiplayer Walker Assault matches with forty players running across the ice planet, Hoth. Disney Interactive filled the centre of the PlayStation booth with a small exhibition of production art from Disney Infinity 3.0 and dozens of demo pods running Infinity 3.0 Star Wars kits. Around the back some lucky attendees (unfortunately I wasn’t one of them) got the chance to try PlayStation VR.
All the major publishers were present along with some of the most anticipated games coming out later this year.
Activision were holding huge Black Ops III multiplayer sessions. They also had hands-on with their upcoming, and rather excellent Guitar Hero Live and Skylanders Superchargers.
Bandai Namco Games had Dark Souls 3 playable at the show alongside the explosive Just Cause 3. Taking everything excellent from the last game, Just Cause 3 cranks up the action and adds a fantastic wing-suit to the proceedings. A game I recommend.
Over at 2K fans could sample the recently released NBA2K16 as well as the upcoming WWE2K16. Under the huge screen a massive Origin PC set-up was hosting multiplayer sessions with 2K’s Battleborn.
As usual, Ubisoft’s Just Dance stage dominated the main hall. But Ubisoft had also bought along playable demos of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Rainbow Six Siege and even next year’s The Division. It was great to see fans able to sample such great games ahead of their launches.
There were literally hundreds of other games either being presented or available for hands-on play, such as Fallout 4, Need for Speed Live, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Rock Band 4.
It wasn’t all about playing games, with publishers giving presentations in the arena, cosplay competitions and loads of smaller stalls selling collectables and cosplay paraphernalia.
Dominating one end of the hall, the southern hemisphere’s biggest EB Games store was packed with games, loot and a few special editions. Lucky fans that got in quick could pick up rare items like The Witcher 3 Collector’s Edition and life-sized Gears of War 3 lancers- all at knock-down prices.
All in all the EB Expo 2015 was an amazing experience, giving fans the opportunity to sample games long before release at a show buzzing with atmosphere. Every year the show gets better with more attractions and things for all the family to do. It’s a fantastic event and one that any self-respecting video game fan should try and get to.