Gamesday 2008 : Paris (En)
The Games Day took place on Sunday April 20th 2008, in the gorgeous Stade de France. Naping in the presidential gallery was quite nice on this sunny day. However for the sandwichs' quality...well we won't talk about it. Oh, and there were also loads of gaming tables from which came up powerful WAAAGHs and fans dressed up in superb costumes. Follow the Guide !
The Show :
We started visiting the different floors of the show by the basement which was dedicated to different gamings tables for Warhammer Battle, Warhammer 40k and The Lord of the Rings as well as all the video games exploiting the Games Workshop licences such as Mark of Chaos, Dawn of WAR 1 and 2, Blood Bowl and of course Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
There were a lot of gaming tables this year, all cooler than each other. Tons of players were here as well, their yowls gave a great idea of the general atmosphere in the place, WAAAGH to the left, WAAAGH to the right, the entrants of the painting tournament were well guarded.
We wish to thank Games Workshop's staff for letting us skip the necessary two hour lineup to admire the figurines exhibited for the 2008 Golden Demon. For ignorants like me, know that it's a yearly figurine painting tournament. Some of them are even created by the contestants (who sculpt there figurine(s) before painting them) in order to make them more original. Believe me the result is often magnificent. We instantly fell in love at the sight of a particularly nice figurine, near perfect replica of the Dwarf Slayer we can see in the Warhammer Online computer graphics trailer. The jury must have heard us as this little piece of art won the Golden Demon of gold in the Open category, as well as the supreme reward: the 2008 Slayer Sword.
During our day at the GD, we also crossed many fans dressed up into characters from the Games Workshop licences. Moreover, ogres, goblins, Sigmar priest's and some space marines were protecting us !
Warhammer Online :
The stand dedicated to WAR this year was almost like last year's one, although quite small, we must say that, staring at the huge lineup to play the game, it was a success. Twelve computers were available for players to try out a scenario: Highpass Cemetary. All characters (lvl 13) that are in beta for now were available on that day, that is to say : Warrior Priest, Witch Hunter, Bright Wizard, Swordmaster, Archmage, Shadow Warrior, Chosen, Zealot, Marauder, Witch Elf, Disciple of Khaine and Sorceress.
The rules of this scenario are simple, there are two points for you to control and a 500 point gauge per faction. You get points by killing ennemy players and by controling strategic points: the Crypt being East and the Mine being West. Controling both for 30 seconds awards a team to get a 30 point bonus but it seemed rather hard for what we've seen ! The scenario ends once a team obtains 500 points or once the time limit, being 10 minuts, is elapsed. Players on the stand seemed rather satisfied by what was proposed to them. The most experienced ones quickly got the hand of their character whereas the beginners had the opportunity to discover the game and its characters thanks to the help provided by the GOA staff. We also wish to thank them for their kindness and the freedom of movement they gave us on their stand.
We've also been quite surprised by the quality of the game's visuals. Being honest, the rendering is pretty decent, without going into lyrism, the animations are fine and fluid and the combats are pleasant and attractive. The final rendering was smooth, the computers' configuration was specified to us : Dual Core, 2Go RAM, 8800 GTX. However, as it was oftent criticized on the forums, the fights lack a bit of dynamism. We have to admit that the time between two automatic attacks is quite long, slightly detracting the whole thing. Nevertheless, and this is my personal feeling, WAR is a bomb that is just awaiting to explode; the atmosphere, the concept and the visuals are here, all it needs is a little thing to rock it all ! Seeing how the game progresses, we are confident.
We've also managed to kidnapp Taome (French GOA Community Manager) on the Stade de France's benches in order to ask him questions about his job at GOA. Thanks to him for giving us this interview which should be available in a little while, once our fine dwarf engineers have finished a nice little editing. To finish off, and just for the Warhammer 40K fans, Games Workshop had a little surprise after the giving of the Slayer Sword : the announcement on the stadium's giant screens of the Warhammer 40k 5th version for July 2008 !
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