There was the Comic Village, featuring illustrators and comic artists talking about their latest works and doing custom drawings for people and the Pop Asia section had a strong showcase of Asian cultural attractions such as food, manga, memorabilia and even homeware – a Japanese tea set from Doki caught my eye in particular, and a neighbouring stall serving Katsu Curry helped me to fill my stomach on more than one oc
casion. You can explore MCM Expo Comic Con London here on this virtual walk around created by Inspired Labs. We here at Zavvi had an obvious interest in the gaming and film events and activities of the weekend, so we thought that we’d share some more of the general highlights of MCM Expo Comic Con London with you in this roundup of the weekend.
The highlight of the weekend for a lot of MCM Expo Comic Con attendees was undoubtedly the Horns Panel with Daniel Radcliffe on Friday. The actor gave his audience a charismatic insight into filming Horns, which you can read more about via Zavvi’s live tweet coverage of the event below. Horns follows a young man called Ig Perrish, and his actions in the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious brutal murder. He wakes up one day to find horns growing on his head, and goes on to use the strange, supernatural powers that come with them to find out his girlfriend’s murderer. Horns will be in cinemas from 13th November.
Popular space western style role-playing shooter game Borderlands is back! Released earlier this month, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! is set on Elpis, Pandora’s moon, and the story will cover sadistic villain Handsome Jack’s rise to power, (however, this remains a standalone game and you need not have played any of the other Borderlands games to follow the story.) Set between Borderlands 1 and 2, perhaps not a lot has changed since the latter as far as gameplay is concerned, but there’s a lot of new content. New game mechanics include the use of oxygen tanks and the lack of gravity, which functions as a new way to get around and a strategic tool. From what I could tell in regards to shooting, it looks like the game is using a more realistic probability engine to calculate hits because even with a clear line of sight to your enemy your shot may still miss, but hey that’s why you never have just one bullet right? There are 4 new characters to play as; Athena the Gladiator, Wilhelm the Enforcer, Nisha the Lawbringer and for the first time, Borderlands’ mascot, the robot Claptrap, “the Fragtrap”. It was also announced just this week that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’s first add-on content pack the ‘Handsome Jack Doppelganger Pack’ introduces Jack the Doppelganger as a fifth playable character.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Dark Souls II
Action RPG, Dark Souls II came out at the start of this month and recently won Game of the Year Award. I had the chance to talk with one of the game’s developers, and off the back of this recent accolade was confident in the game’s continuing success. Destiny was set to be Dark Souls II’s biggest threat, but when gamers were finished playing Destiny, (the most expensive and highly-praised game ever made), and Dark Souls II ‘delivered (and then some)’, of course the latter became another fan favourite. It was important to developers that Dark Souls II was a real challenge for seasoned gamers, after all, the harder the task, the greater the reward. ‘When people beat our bosses, they want to hi-5 each other because they’ve really earned it, and that’s what we want.’ An intense gaming experience with an amazingly detailed medieval environment to explore, there is little doubt that Dark Souls II is worthy of both its current and future success.You can buy it now for PS3, Xbox One and PC here.
Far Cry 4
In Far Cry 4, players find themselves in Kyrat, a fictional region of the Himalayas struggling under the regime of a despotic self-appointed king called Pagan Min; a truly bond villain-esque, bloodthirsty psychopath who you’ll love to hate. Using a huge array of weapons, vehicles, and animals, players will write their own story across Far Cry 4. The developers said it was their aim to create as many tools as possible in this respect, to help you get the most out of Kyrat. You will control many of the animals you come across, but equally the advanced AI systems that initially direct those animals puts an interesting angle on what you expect to happen in the games, for example, a rampant elephant destroying an outpost before you’ve even truly begun to think about how you yourself would do this. My immediate impressions are of the vast and breathtaking landscapes. After the release of Far Cry 4, screenshots will no doubt appear very quickly on game art sites like Dead End Thrills. However, unlike Far Cry 3, time sensitive missions will mean that exploration of this open-world is better carried out at certain times. Out on 18th November you can pre-order it for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and PC here.
There is no way that if you attended MCM Expo Comic Con London this year that you didn’t see at least 100 Pikachu hats nearby at any one time. On people’s heads, flooding the floors of the ExCel, these hats came from the Pokémon Trading Card Centre stall and apparently managed to breed themselves infinitely. The Pikachu hats and Pokemon stall were at MCM Expo to promote upcoming games With the launch of the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire games for 3DS right around the corner, Pokémon fans at Comic Con had the chance to rediscover the original games by taking part in on-stand battle sessions. (The original games from 2003, Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version, were also set up for those who wish to relive past glories and test their retro-gaming mettle against willing opponents.) Accompanying the demos for these games was a fantastic display of the images and art that went into bringing all six Pokémon regions from Kanto to Kalos to life; showing the regions’ respective trainers and starter Pokémon. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Pokémon Omega Ruby are released on 28th November. You can pre-order the latest instalments from the Pokémon franchise for Nintendo 3DS here.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Little Big Planet 3
At MCM Expo Comic Con London gamers were able to try out Little Big Planet 3 for PS4 from the comfort of some very fluffed up bean bags. The perfect environment to give the ever-lovable Sackboy (and company) a thorough test run. I caught a glimpse in person of the three brand new playable characters in Little Big Planet 3 – Toggle, OddSock and Swoop, each with their own abilities and personalities. Creators (that’s you!) can choose which two characters the player can switch between during gameplay. The game’s potential for endless creativity has been expanded further then I thought possible, now with 16 layers of depth, (up a considerably amount from the 3 layers available in Little Big Planet 1 and 2.) There are also new power-ups for characters and 70 new tools, (this is in addition to enhanced tools from previous games.) Returning Little Big Planet fans will be pleased to hear that Sony have declared LittleBigPlanet 3 as fully backwards compatible, which means that all of your previously purchased LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2 downloadable content will carry forward to the new game free of charge. And to top it all off all your old favourite levels from previous games will also be playable in 1080p resolution. It’s almost hard to get your head around the limitlessness of Little Big Planet 3, but why think about it at all when you can create whatever you desire?
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
The grand finale for us at Comic Con came in the form of watching 40 minutes of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Gameplay. If you’ve not heard much about this game it’s probably because it’s a reboot of a Final Fantasy game for PSP, recreated in HD for PS4 and Xbox One. As part of the gameplay we were shown the opening sequence, which introduces us to the world of Orience. Orience is divided into four nations which fall into war after the Militesi Empire tries to take control of the neighbouring nations’ crystals. These crystals empower each state with different strengths and powers – science and weapons, dragons, knights and magic. In the game you play as members of Class Zero, a group of twelve students from the Vermillion Peristylium, an academy from the dominion governed by magic. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD came across as a much more serious Final Fantasy game, and you are forced to play more tactically than you might have in past games from the franchise, in that enemies are harder to defeat and recovery items are few and far between. To read a full breakdown of what Zavvi learnt from the gameplay demonstration you should read our dedicated blog post on the game here.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Last but not least we’d like to talk about Assassin’s Creed: Unity. This was the first time thatAssassin’s Creed: Unity was playable in the UK, with booths set aside for fans to test out a gameplay demo. French-owned company Ubisoft return to their own history in this latest Assassin’s Creed instalment by setting it in Paris during the French Revolution. You play as Arno, son of an Assassin, adopted by a Templar. The plot is also a kind of love story for main character Arno, a first in Assassin’s Creed. The Parisian location is the centrepiece of game and the level of detail is astounding; it took 5000 man hours to create the 1:1 scale version of Notre Dame alone. The Notre Dame is also a prime example of the kind of building that you’ll be able to enter. The interior architecture available to Assassins to explore has vastly expanded, giving gamers even more to explore in the open-world around them. Just in case you were likely to forget that you’re playing in the context of the French Revolution, famous historical figures like Napoleon and the Marquis de Sade will show their faces.
Fans who worry that Assassin’s Creed: Unity will play exactly like its predecessors should be warned that the game has evolved. Opponents are a real threat in this game – they are harder to kill, harder to lose and harder to survive a hit from; get shot once it severely damages you, twice and you are probably going to die. This, combined with new assassination missions, encourages you to be stealthier. However, gamers will of course be stealthy so that they might try out the latest Assassin weapon; the Phantom Blade. Customisation options will also allow you to increase your stealth, amongst other attributes, for example, certain boots will quieten your footsteps. The co-operative multi-player mode available will follow the development of the Brotherhood of Assassins during the French Revolution and there will be some separate side missions for this mode. Though there will be no adversarial mode in Assassin’s Creed: Unity like there was in Black Flag. Released on 14th November you can pre-order the game from our website here. The game is also available as part of collector and memorabilia bundles, for example, the Bastille Edition of the game which comes with a life-size replica of Arno’s Phantom Blade.
If you missed out on the chance to go to MCM Expo Comic Con London, next up is MCM Expo Comic Con Birmingham 22-23 November and you can buy tickets here. Though Zavvi won’t be in attendance,we’ll definitely see you on the Comic Con circuit next year!