Panvision Playground 2011
The event I had been looking forward to for about a year was finally here. We had to be at Copenhagen Central station by nine in the morning. That meant we had to be out the door at around eight.
Meeting Tinne on the Central Station was a breeze, easy to find each other and after the initial hug and greeting, we were off to look for the bus that the event organizers had arranged, as the event was held at a place near the water, but far off from the nearest bus stop or metro station.
We arrived on site around an hour before the event officially kicked off – we still needed the norwegian and swedish attendees that arrived by plane that same morning. Juice were served when we arrived, and I happily jumped on that – I haven’t had anything to drink or eat that morning. We talked a bit, looking out for familiar faces, and around 10:30 the hall was filled with excited members of the press, retail store workers and game developers and publishers.
The host were Karin Cruz, a TV reporter currently on a show that is the equivalent to the show “Cops”, but more interesting, she used to be in a band named Cargo who made a song with the name Pornstar, and of course there were presentations – of varying quality.
EA with the longest and most detailed one, of course about their upcoming big Star Wars themed MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Up to that point I wasn’t really interested in the title – I usually stay away from MMO’s and RPG’s but this one seemed interesting – at least for one playthrough of the campaign, so it’s now on my “maybe” playlist. He was very thouroughly and told a lot of details about the game, classes, characters, online and story.
Activision went onstage and talked a lot about the Elite membership that will give loyal Call of Duty players a lot more. From statistics over sharing and more weapons to entire maps for a subscription fee. While this hipster had potential to be an entertaining presenter, it appeared that this time was one of his first presentations – he seemed a little nervous, was a little confused with what slides connected with which lines, he was way too dependant on his notes, and once he was standing with his back out to the audience, reading from his notes in several minutes.
Disney decided to talk about their upcoming co-op game; Disney Universe. It contains the charm of Sackboy from the Little Big Planet games and the famous Disney character names. I played it shortly on the showfloor, and it has a bit of the Lego games in them – wack your enemies, slap your buddy and do the tasks as they are presented to you. I’m looking way too much forward to this title than I really should given my age – but there’s nothing better than slapping your buddy with a big mallet, right?
And the crowd goes crazy. Batman Arkham City is one of this years most anticipated titles, if not THE most, given that the two biggest franchises in the shooter genre didn’t compete with close launch dates this year, and everybody are excited to see how it turns out. Warner Brothers was happy to show us some gameplay from Arkham City, and they had Sarah Wellock, Rocksteady’s Community Manager to show us the game. It was marvelous to see how excited she was about the game – so I’m now certain that if the developer truly are excited and dedicated to their game, a jewel of a game will be the result. Batman Arkham City went gold the other day.
The developers of The Cursed Crusade, Kylotonn made a good effort, but their presentation was heavily impaired by southern European accent, speaking fast and gameplay/trailers during the speech – I know it was to show as much as possible in the smallest amount of time but it ended up feeling a little rushed and blended. It’s hard to listen to someone talking, especially if they talk fast with an accent, and at the same time trying to understand what was going on screen, and why he was loosing health or how he killed that guy.
Focus had the same problem with the presenter talking during trailers and gameplay. I know it might let off some of the pressure from your shoulders, dear presenter, but it ain’t helping the audience to really catch the essence of the game. They talked a lot about their upcoming game, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes. You will encounter dangerous criminals, solve task and get to know Sherlock a little bit better.
The blue hedgehog Sonic is back, and Sega is celebrating his 20th birthday with a game that are true to both the first games in the series, but also the newer ones; this is displayed with the retro Sonic and the modern Sonic, both being playable in the game. The game feels smooth and fastpaced – just as difficult as the first games, yet still as fast and continuous in other parts as the newer games, like when Sonic is skating on the rails. I’m looking forward to the 3DS version, which Sega just recently confirmed will be out alongside the big console version. A collector’s edition has been announced, and frankly, it looks pretty good.
Ubisoft is releasing yet another Assassins Creed game this year, and the fans around the world has gone wild with anticipation. Though that this is the last game to feature Ezio and Altair, Ubisofts Group Brand Manager Morten Ryberg hinted that this is definitely not the last game in the series. And why would they? The series is still beloved so it’s generating money.
Now we just need some more Rayman.. oh wait! Actual gameplay onstage – another local multiplayer high end game that I can look forward to – I’m actually a fan of this series. Rayman was one of the very first games I played on the Playstation, and I loved the environment and idea behind. I wasn’t too happy with the 3D games and the Rabbids could have done fine without Raymans presence. With Rayman Origins the series is truly back to it’s roots; flowers, slaps, flying fists, 2D sidescrolling platformer in a magical world.
With presentations and dinner done, it was time for some mingling and trying out the games. Truth to be told, I didn’t really have the energy or patience to play games standing up, so we (my fiancé was also attending for another media – and Tinne) ended up going a bit forward and backwards with talking in between. It was really really great to greet some of the nicest people I’ve ever met on the earth with the same interests; gaming. And most, if not all, live of off it. I’m hoping that sometime that I’d be doing the same thing.
I was able to try out most of the above mentioned games, and with Sonic Generations making me feel like 10 again and frustrated, yet still amazed I was feeling right at home playing Assassins Creed Revelations. Trying a single run in Need for Speed The Run quickly confirmed that they’ve made yet another great game – with a broken controller it was harder for me to actually drive well, as I ended up in the trench a few times.
Check out out pictures below, or the more professional ones taken by Morten Skovgaard on flickr.
Tags: 11, 2011, activision, arkham, arts, assassins, batman, call, city, creed, cursed crusade, disney, duty, ea, electronic, elite, event, experience, ground, holmes, of, old, origins, pan, panvision, play, playground, press, rayman, republic, rocksteady, sega, sherlock, sonic, star, universe, vision, warner, wars