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Games Convention 2002

Myrthos, 2002-09-05

Last weekend I paid a short visit to the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. It was the first time the fair was held and basically with ECTS, they are the two largest games shows in Europe. Which compared to E3 doesn't mean that much though, they are both still small. As it was the first time and ECTS wasn't much of a spectacle last year, I headed for Leipzig, to enter the Games Convention 2002 after a 700 Km drive.

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I can say one thing in favor of the Games Convention compared to ECTS. It sure has a lot more visitors. It was unpleasantly crowded on Saturday, which made making some contacts a bit hard. But then again there weren't that many RPG's to look at anyway.
My first visit was to the Russobit-M stand. They had two RPG's to show, which I already wrote about on Monday and Tuesday. The 2D RPG Goldenland and the 3D RPG/Strategy game Lethal Dreams. If you want to know more about them, then I would suggest reading the articles.

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The next stop was CDV. They have several RPG's, but not showing them on the Games Convention. They did not show Grom, which I was hoping to see though and they didn't show Divine Divinity. But then again that has been released in Germany already. What they did show was Neocron, but as it was the same off-line demo as already existed, I didn't pay to much attention to it. What did catch my eye was Project Nomads. I've seen that last year at ECTS for the first time. It was labeled as having RPG elements, but it doesn't have much to do with being an RPG though. It is worth it however to get the demo of it that has been released last weekend. One other thing to note about it is that the 3D engine of the game can be downloaded for free.

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At the Big Ben booth there were 2 RPG's as well. The first was Mistmare, which I wrote about on Wednesday. The second was Shadowbane. I fought my way over to the keyboard to try and play it for a while. There are more than enough options to create the character you like best. It's even possible to choose a character that is able to fly. One other nifty feature is that you can drag buttons from your interface onto the screen. They then serve as shortcuts to the commands and options. The graphics are ok, but are not groundbreaking, which didn't went to well was the pathfinding. Either I completely misunderstood something or my character was designed to walk into walls and stop, unable to take one step to the right to get to the other side of the wall. I'm just going to assume that it was me and that it was caused by the short playing time only.

The other RPG/hybrid I found was Deus Ex 2. No there was no real game to see. There was only a short trailer running at the Eidos stand, but the graphics looked real sweet.

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And that rounded up the RPG's that could be found at the Games Convention.

There is more to life than just RPG's of course. One of those things is the next Tomb Raider, which is supposedly to have some RPG elements, but I'll take that with a grain of salt. Eidos made a big show out of it and had not only a life-size doll of Lara Croft, but also had their own Lara Croft running around. Tomb Raider was also shown at the Playstation 2 stand. So all in all it was very 'present'.

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As we are on the subject of Playstation 2. I'm positive that the playstation 2 stand was just as big as the Xbox stand. I can just see them taking measurements to make sure they other one was not bigger.

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As usual on Games shows, there were things to give away. T-shirts, mousepads, games, etc. etc. I didn't get anything as for some reason I always stood in the back of the line and was holding a camera, which makes catching stuff real hard.

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Then there were the games with strange interfaces, where you could dance, fight and wash the windows. All using some kind of interface to make you part of the game. Somehow I still find them odd to look at (there are some examples in the video). Personally I'm not looking for something to play that makes me more tired after playing it ;-)
To offer some more excitement, there even was a kart-track installed, which had electrical karts running on it. And you could ride a bull.... or try to ride one at least.
And there was that short moment on both Saturday and Sunday when I found myself getting more interested in a specific car. I took some pictures of it, to make it a bit clearer....

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Then there was this one stand that looked different from the rest. It was a stand full of life size game figures.

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That's about it from the Games Convention for this year. If you care to see some awful footage then you can also check the home video right here (30MB, DivX 5 required).
Oh and thanks go to Jaz who supplied some of the images.


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