The first official PlayStation (@PlayStation_ME) sponsored convention in Bahrain held on the 14th to the 16th of January 2016 at Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. PlayStation VR, Uncharted 4 demo and a FIFA 16 tournament is what it is all about and more.
I visited on the second day, and here is my review with the booths, and the event overall.
PlayStation VR is the main reason for me visiting. After trying the Oculus Rift twice with the Roller Coaster demo and Motorsport Revolution, I had to set my expectation to what PSVR will be. Being available in the Centre with two demos, London Heist and Battlezone, I had to register to try it out. So let’s start with what was available there.
Uncharted 4 Pre-Alpha multiplayer – Team Deathmatch – Kiosk:
Around 10 of them were available to try, few had Uncharted the Nathan Drake collection running.
Going in I thought it would be a single player demo but it was the Multiplayer pre-alpha build – Team Deathmatch. Starting the build will let you chose how the grouping will be, I got to try one match and the tutorial.
Starting with the tutorial, it showed of the grappling mechanic first, which is needed in the Uncharted series and can see how it can be implemented in the campaign. Then it showed the treasures, the in-game shop which featured Computer controller allies, Guns, and Magic Power ups “Mysticals”. Mysticals seem as a nice addition you get for your kills. The tutorial ends and we can move on to the Multiplayer.
Multiplayer is not my choice for playing Uncharted 4, but there are some elements like the grappling hook that I can see being implemented in SP as I mentioned before. Having played the original trilogy on PS3, aiming and shooting with the shoulder buttons was a bit weird for an Uncharted game and it will take getting used to – I hope there is an option to reverse those just in case – . I do not have much to say about the multiplayer.
I played through a section of Drake’s fortune to relive how good Uncharted is and moved on.
The place looked amazingly decorated and themed here are some pictures:
I got to give it to PlayStation Middle East for how they organized the experience of trying out the PSVR Headset. You book your time to try one of two games, London Heist and Battlezone. I chose to try the Heist, and I got to try it eight hours later. The booking had its pros and cons, one of the cons is people not showing there and leaving the booth empty and booked, but it all worked well at the end.
The heist. I got to try it after hearing about it. To get into details I will have to start with putting the peripheral on. After setting and getting both of the move controllers, they will put the headset on. At first it was blurry and it was not adjusted well to me, I had to work with I had and it got better later. The game in short is, you’re in the passenger seat, with a lot of Ammunition being shot by bikers and men in SUVs trying to gate away.
It starts with you setting in the passenger seat on a highway next to the driver, at that moment I lost my sense of the real world and emerged into the games world. Setting and looking around the car and outside, you get to pick up the gun and reload it using the two PS move controller, I had a hard time finding the gun due to the blurriness at first, so as soon as the bikers started to shoot I had to get the cup, open the door and throw it on one of the bikers for the time being. After finding the gun things went much better and instead of shooting I started messing around the car, opening the glove box and turning the danger signal on, almost everything was possible. Opening the door and taking a look in the highway felt scary and kept me in my chair. The demo ends with a Van showing in front of you holding a man with a Gatling gun shooting you.
Strapping on the headset you lose the sense of being on a chair in a booth and you get to feel as being in a moving car being shot at. Opening the door and taking and a look outside was as scary as it would be in real life. I can see how VR now can actually make us play games differently and it is going to be a new era in gaming. It was surely an emerging experience.
With that, I had my unpleasant Oculus rift experience replaced by an amazing demonstration by PlayStation Middle East. I didn’t get to play Battlezone. However, I’m pretty excited for The Zombie Taxi Co. and 100ft robot golf to come out, and if the heist demo is an indication of a new Getaway game to come, then I’m all for it.
Main stage activities:
The main stage was the Centre of activities and giveaways. PlayStation T-shirts, controllers, Headsets and some more stuff were being given away. The host was Baraa Abdullah as usual with a splendid performance. Nothing more to say, it was a party.
Driveclub bikes and Star Wars Battlefront where available for everyone to play, I didn’t go to try them out, I just have some feedback about that later.
FIFA 16 tournament – Grand Prize: Mini Cooper:
The biggest part of the convention. A brand new mini cooper to be given away for the winner at the end of the weekend. Around 40 TVs were available to hold the tournament. Registration for the tournament were closed days before the event due to the number of the participants. From what I saw, grouping and scoring were all smooth. At the time of the writing the tournament has not ended yet and the winner still to be announced.
FIFA being a big part of the gaming community in Bahrain, it is not surprising to see this big event being held for it.
Overall the event went smooth and fun for everyone, I skipped the foosball and some other non-gaming activities. And I can safely say it was the first true gaming event we had in Bahrain. I was always criticizing IGN Con for not having alpha, beta builds or demos for upcoming games, and the absence of Publishers. So it was refreshing to try out some new games for a change.
And as with every event, here is some of the feedback to hopefully getting improved with our events each year:
- Having more games available would be great, lots of free space to fill with gaming goodies, Horizon Zero Dawn, No man’s sky, Variety of game booths in short.
- Getting back to the Kiosk point, I have noticed the absence of the organizers near the Kiosk at times, which led to some getting out of the experience intended. A good balance would always be appreciated.
- Merchandising is reduced than what it would be in IGN Con, which I like very much, it would put more focus on the upcoming games. However, an official PlayStation store would have been awesome to get some gear and apparel.
At last, I would to congratulate both PlayStation ME and Bahrain Gaming Experience on this event, and would love to see it be held annually and it get better by time. Better luck for me getting a t-shirt next time – You guys should totally sell these T-shirts as well, I have a very bad luck with giveaways – .