This year’s Gadget Show Live Gaming Zone was in a whole other hall to accommodate for the extra space, as well as the food hall, but there was still plenty to see.
The part the GTN crew found most interesting was the 18+ zone, which was hidden away in a big white tent, and was also where the Duke was hiding. Inside the mysterious tent, you could not only actually get to play a small piece of Duke Nukem Forever, but you were also able to get free exclusive T-shirts and badges.
As a game, it was quite fun, but wasn’t really enough to come up with a verdict and there wasn’t really anything that you won’t have already seen on YouTube, but it was still something to play the game if just to know for sure that it’s real – and trust me, it IS real.
Also in the 18+ zone was a multiplayer demo of Gears of War 3, which we didn’t get a chance to play ourselves, but looked interesting enough from a distance, and was enough that Jason Bradbury confirmed on his Twitter that he has now got his beta sorted, plus has given away beta keys in return for interesting emotes.
The third game of interest (interest because there were only a few that hadn’t been released yet) was Mortal Kombat, which was again fully booked up and you would struggle to get near it. Fortunately, they had a huge screen showing the big fights, which were gruesome. And awesome.
Outside of the 18+ zone were many stands for different people, including a Razer stand where they played Starcraft 2 (and didn’t sell Razer gear). GAME were also there showing off their surprisingly unimpressive Spring Sale.
On a side-note, outside of the Zone but still relevant, Firebox had their stand where they were showing off their £120,000 Replica Batmobile (‘Holy attention to detail!’), with an adjoining stand showing off the great Smart-Phone game Angry Birds! At the Angry Birds stand, every hour you could show off your skills and throw a real Angry Bird at the pigs, and if you managed to knock down 2 out of 3 you would take home one of your choice of the Red, Yellow, or Blue!
The GTN team showed off our prowess and failed to win anything, and were quickly shown up by a few kids who proved that all smart phones should have an age restriction.
Overall, the Gaming Zone was a big improvement over last year, if only because of the games that you could play before release, unlike last year where the only one on show was the racing game Split Second. The highlight for us was getting our awesome Duke T-shirts, which 40 of them were thrown to the crowd every hour, plus there were badges which were just sitting on a table for picking.