The best of GAMES12 Dubai
GAMES12 kicked off in Dubai on Thursday with some of the top names in the industry descending on Festival City for the region's biggest video game exhibition, writes Daniel Fountain...
Giants of the gaming world – including PlayStation, Microsoft, Pluto Games and Red Entertainment - were all on hand to show off the most hotly anticipated titles set to be released this year. Across the three-day event, enthusiasts and creators alike will get to experience the very best in video gaming and technology before it’s released to the rest of the world, and here’s a selection of the best on offer this year…
Okay, so I am a little biased but it was so exciting to finally be let loose in the world of revolutionary America a whole six weeks before its release and it’s safe to say that Assassin’s Creed III will be sure to live up to the hype. Far more expansive in its scope and with a whole different feel to the gameplay from its previous incarnations, fans of the series are in for a visual and mythological treat.
Of course, if we’re talking hype surrounding a new release in a franchise it doesn’t get much bigger than Halo 4. One of the most successful video game series of all time, the legions of fans (or the ‘Halo Nation’ as they’re known) have been eagerly anticipating its November release. The visual style is simply stunning and with development in the ‘Forerunner’ technology, new characters, new weapons and new vehicles, this latest instalment will definitely have enough to keep stalwarts of the franchise happy as well as reeling in the casual gamer hook, line and sinker.
BEST OF SPORT
The debate always raged when I was growing up; which is better – FIFA or Pro Evo? Over time, I’ve been a FIFA man, but I’ve also been a convert to the Pro Evo way of thinking. At GAMES12, you can be the judge as both Pro Evolution 2013 and FIFA 13 are in town for this weekend, and having sampled both it’s tough to find a favourite. But with the ability to play as my beloved Ipswich Town on FIFA 13, that might just seal it for me...
Elsewhere on show was the supremely realistic F1 2012 (I came a paltry 12th as Lewis Hamilton in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix…) and the pick-up-and-play fun of WWE ’13, a very cathartic way of unwinding after a week in the office!
BEST OF THE SHOOTERS
I didn’t have time to sample everything on offer at GAMES12, and unfortunately time just didn’t allow me to have a look around the world of Alex Mason in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. However, it was a blast from the past to see a familiar game of my not-so-distant youth reborn in Borderlands 2 – complete with all the original, cartoon-style artwork. Resident Evil 6, the latest in the dramatic horror series proved to be a popular exhibit with gamers and the press alike. Aliens: Colonial Marines was one of the surprises of the exhibition and turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable game, especially as I’m not the biggest fan of the 'Alien' film series…
BEST OF FAMILY
There is plenty at GAMES12 for those looking for more ‘family-themed’ fun. From Harry Potter ‘spell book magic’ to the dance-action favourites - with a Mickey Mouse Disney gem in between - don't think this event is just for aficionados and experts. With a whole host of people dressed up in character, an excellent number of stands and enough playing stations to while away the hours, GAMES12 is very much a ‘kid friendly’ zone too.
It was a pleasure to see the new, slimmer and lighter PlayStation 3 unveiled, especially as I was one of the people who lauded the arrival of the PS3 Slim in 2009. With 500GB of storage and the imminent arrival of the 12GB version, there’s a gaming option for all price ranges with this most recent version. However, the final mention has to go to a gaming franchise that used to be a huge favourite of mine, one which I believed to be 'outdated' and one that hasn’t produced a release since 2008 – Tomb Raider. To see the ever-ridiculously proportioned Lara Croft back in action in an aesthetically beautiful landscape was worth the trip to GAMES12 alone.
GAMES12 is running Friday and Saturday in Festival City Concert Area. For more information on the event and how to get in, go to www.mygames12.com