(Source: @richard31337 via Twitter)It’s back! For the sixth year, Play Expo Manchester will return to EventCity in October to wow gaming fans and hopefully reveal some secrets for the upcoming year of gaming, while revisiting the big releases from the previous year.
The convention – featuring everything from retro gaming, to arcade games, board games, cosplay, Minecraft, and the VR future of gaming – has released tickets for its October 14-15 weekend extravaganza.
The theme for this year is retro gaming, with a People’s Choice area opening up to allow fans to nominate through Facebook and then canvass for a retro game to be crowned the favourite. The winner will get a free ticket and the glory of having their game featured in the People’s Choice area. Fans of gaming through the years will be able to take a trip down memory lane of games that document their own lives.
With six months to go before the convention, there will be one thing on fans’ lips – what’s going to feature this year. Gaming is a socially fuelled pastime, and with social media playing a large part in gamers’ lives, whatever gets people talking will likely be the topic of convention conversation.
The most popular gaming – and pop culture – trend currently, is the superhero. From Marvel to DC to everything in between, the superhero has stormed its way from comic books, to film and TV, and has finally landed in the gaming sphere, creating a colossal wave of fan chatter. With the release of Insomniac’s (the people who brought us Ratchet and Clank) Spider-Man touted for a release before the year is out, the studio’s take on the web-slinging vigilante will likely have fans tongues wagging. Injustice 2 also joins the ranks of superhero games being released, set in the DC Universe of Batman and Superman. With both major superhero fandoms being catered for, 2017 continues to look to be the year of the superhero.
And it’s a smart gaming move, as superhero success is everywhere. South Park’s second foray into the world of video games in South Park: The Fractured But Whole features the player taking on the role of the new kid at school as he tries to join the gang’s superhero club. Superheroes are even finding their way onto online gaming, as Sun Bingo shows with a selection of superhero-themed slot games, especially the selection of retro Batman-themed games. Even Halloween saw Harley Quinn (from Suicide Squad fame) named as the most popular costume.
Rhythm gaming is also sparking a lot of interest. The basics involve tying the challenge of gameplay to a player’s sense of rhythm. Improved from the days of banging a drum in time, rhythm gaming has continued to evolve, as can be seen in new release Aaero. The player is sent hurtling through space and must utilize their sense of rhythm to control the craft – a galactic step away from making sure the correct notes were being struck on a drum kit.