There’s been an unwritten rule between the EAUKGC2011 team, wear free T-shirts. I know that it’s not exactly a hard rule to follow, what with them being free and all, but we’ve all made a point of wearing a different T-shirt each day that represents one of the many high quality EA titles on show here at GamesCom.
Wednesday’s T-shirt was a Mass Effect 3, N7 tee, Thursdays was a Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning tee and yesterdays tee was one from the kind folks on the Battlefield 3 stand. The look of envy you can see from the fellow gamers as we walk through the halls here is incredible and you really can hear the excitement in their voices as they push their way through the crowds to come ask you where you got it from. Nine times out of ten, the question is of course asked in German and there’s no opportunity for me to ever respond.
The best instances of this though have been where after having fought their way over to me and started asking how they can get their hands on one, their eyes catch a glimpse of the black, silk stitched EA lanyard around my neck, followed by an instruction from their brain to force those eyes further down to my Electronic Arts UK ID slip.
Then the jealousy really sets in and the excitement level doubles, instantly making them talk even faster and even longer, still without me able to tell quite what’s being said but when we high five at the end of it all (from the International language of Awesome) and you know that this non-communicative conversation has somehow made there day.
And this has been exactly what has made my day, every day since reaching Cologne at the start of the week. Spending time amongst hundreds of thousands of gamers is like no other experience you will ever have. Everyone smiles at each other, everyone gives each other a subtle nod of admiration and nobody has a bad word to say. It’s strange to walk past a queue at the Star Wars: The Old Republic booth to see a crowd of patient fans stood in line, behind signs that tell them how many hours they have to wait before getting to play the game, wearing smiles.
My own smile for Day four started when I sat down with Lead Gameplay Designer Graham Bennet and Producer Carrie Gouskos for some hands on time with Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, having a chat about their plans for the beta and trading recommendations on what makes for a good, solid gaming mouse. Straight after that, I slipped inside the behind closed doors session for Need For Speed: The Run and played through two races, one of which being that jaw dropping Avalanche track we all saw in Tuesdays EA Press Conference. I’m going to warn you now, the game is punishingly fun and eye wateringly fast.
Not content at having gathered enough content to see me through the rest of the week , I continued to make appointments to see SSX, The Secret World and Burnout CRASH! It genuinely pains me to not be able to use the rest of this paragraph to pick one game from those and hold it head and shoulders above the others for you all to read about. That’s not an editorial decision or one I’m making because I’m under embargo –I’m just so excited for all three!
Burnout CRASH! is ridiculous, but coming from Criterion, could we really have expected anything less? Father of his proud child, Richard Franke was on hand to talk me through the main features of the game and let me try my hand at one of the crash junctions. I didn’t get anywhere near the high scores on the leaderboard but I was having so much fun, I just didn’t care! On my final day of the show, I’m making a point of heading over to the Xbox 360 stands in order to give the games Kinect features a try so that I can best present to you my full experiences of everything the game has to offer.