Montreal ComicCon 2018: Another joyful gathering

Another edition where gaming and pop culture happily blends

Montreal ComicCon 2018
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The Montreal ComicCon 2018 event was recently held at the Palais des Congrès from July 6th to 8th. I was part of the 60000+ people that attended the event, and it was a lot of fun.

Like last year, the gaming section of the convention was packed with a lot of activities that kept me busy for the entire week-end. My highlights of the event will be listed below. I won’t go into full details here, but there will be upcoming articles with detailed hands-on impressions of the games that I had a chance to play and enjoy.

Sony’s booth: PS4 is at the core

For the last couple of years, for games, Sony’s PlayStation booth has been a place to really see and play games that are not released yet. The trend continues this year. Great AAA titles were on display, and I was able to try some of them. Due to high demands, some of needed appointments to be able to play, but I was still able to put my hands on some very anticipated titles.

For the first time in Canada, the highly anticipated PS4 exclusive game, Spider-Man, was playable in the booth. Being a big fan of the previous games made by Insomniac, I was thrilled to hear about the game’s presence, and I was able to try it out. There will be an upcoming article during which I will go into detail about my experience, but I will say that the game feels as good as you were told during E3. It was fluid and colorful. The game played like a charm, and I am super excited to try the full game when it gets released on September 7th.

There was also a stand where a small demo of the upcoming Spyro Reignited Trilogy was being shown. The remake looks very good, and plays like I remembered it.

There were games I was not able to try out though such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which had a showing where you could try multiplayer matches. I could have also tried FIFA 19, but I have no affinity for sports game so decided to leave that for the true fans of the genre.

PSVR is getting a lot of love

PSVR had a very strong showing during the event. Many upcoming titles were on display, and I was able to try out 2 of them. First, I was able to play the recently announced Tetris Effect game, from the creator of Lumines. The experience was surreal! The effects in VR are very detailed and beautiful, blended like always with the environment and music. When my time was finished, I didn’t want to stop. An announcement of an official release date cannot come soon enough!

I also tried the PSVR version of Beat Saber, a game that has been very successful on Steam and Oculus Rift, but has been recently announced for Sony’s console. I now understand the studio’s success with this title. Slashing cubes following the music’s rhythm is a feeling that must be experienced to believe it. You feel…entranced, in your bubble when you do so. It is very responsive (using 2 Move controllers), and even though the demo allowed me to play only 2 songs, I am sold! Being a rhythm games aficionado (like Rock BandGuitar HeroAmplitude, etc.), I am now very excited about this game, and it has become one of my most anticipated upcoming games.

Xbox One: The 1-game console

There were no such thing as a Microsoft booth so to speak. There was, however, a highly anticipated triple-A game that was displayed on an Xbox One console that was really worth the trip: Shadow of the Tomb Raider. A lengthy demo allowed us to see what the exploration, acrobatics and combat was all about in this new iteration. I will go into detail in an upcoming article, but I was unable to take any pictures or videos. The developers had signs up forbidding it 🙁

Nintendo: family friendly, no upcoming games

In addition to the presence of the other console manufacturers, an official Nintendo booth was present at ComicCon. Unfortunately, there were no special or upcoming games available. It was just an occasion for everyone to try out Mario Tennis AcesMario Kart 8Overwatch or Splatoon 2. So, nothing to write special articles on, but gamers from all ages seemed happy playing those games in a convention environment.

Even PC Gaming had a strong showing

Consoles are a strong part of the gaming market, but the organizers wanted to remind us that PC gaming is important too. The main attraction was a special room in the Palais des Congrès where e-sports and Dreamhack were the stars. Some competitive games were shown, added with some virtual reality stations, where people could play a couple of games. The only one I knew about was a Beat Saber station, where there was a constant line of at least 10 people waiting to try it out. Like I mentioned earlier, a real sign that this title is making waves all around it.

Indie games: Creativity and fun aplenty

Montreal has been for many years an important player in terms of video game development, it’s no longer just known for triple-A games (from the likes of Ubisoft, EA, etc.). Some indie studios are talked about all around the world. Let’s not forget that Compulsion Games, the studio that is behind the upcoming We Happy Few, just purchased by Microsoft, is from Montreal. They were not present this year, but other stars took their place instead.

I was able to try out The Messenger, a game that I have already written an article about, from Sabotage Studio.  Its blend of 8 bits-16 bits, with a lot of action and Metroidvania gameplay, and was a very pleasant surprise to see and play. The recently released Just Shapes & Beats wowed gamers again with its mix of shoot-em-up, survival and musical elements. (Yes, the game is awesome! You can read my review here.) There are many other games I tried, from console to PC to mobile games, too many to list them here. I will talk about them in upcoming articles.

Let’s not forget about cosplay

Of course, a ComicCon cannot happen without cosplay. Again, I was happy to see many very interesting, well made costumes, worn by people from all ages. From TV to movies to video games, there was something for everyone. Here is a glimpse of what I saw:

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To summarize everything, I had a blast. I talked with a lot of interesting people. The video games on display were awesome. Friends were reacquainted with. It was a very successful event. If you have questions about my experience, don’t hesitate to write me in the comments, on Facebook, on RGM Twitter page or on mine.

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