Fans from all over will gather in Toronto this weekend for Fan Expo 2014. Showcasing the best in comics and gaming, fans will have the opportunity to meet celebrities and see amazing artistic talent.
Icons such as Stan Lee, Patrick Stewart, Hulk Hogan, and Adam West join an impressive list of guests who will be available throughout the long weekend to meet fans and sign autographs. Canadian gaming retailer EB Games has a full booth set up of new games and exclusive deals. Microsoft and Sony also have dedicated booths showing their latest exclusives coming later this year.
I took a tour of the convention floor, browsing artwork and memorabilia from vendors. Intel had a large stage set up to host a Starcraft 2 tournament. A full crowd spectated the event that was displayed on two screens. We then moved to the South building where the gaming sections were located. Sony was the first stop along the way. They had stations set up for Destiny, The Order: 1886, and more. I had the chance to try out The Order, which is an exclusive game coming to the Playstation 4 next February. The visuals are among the best I’ve seen in a console game.
Next up was the Xbox booth. This was the main reason for attending Fan Expo. I had planned to meet a few key contacts and try out some new games coming this fall. There was a contest running similar to one from Fan Expo 2013. Each person received a badge with 4 blank squares. Once a game station was completed, it’s respective sticker was awarded. There were stations set up for Halo: Anniversary, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. I had the opportunity to play Sunset Overdrive and Forza at Comic-Con, but Halo and Call of Duty were brand new experiences. Since they were the biggest titles of the event, 2 separate stations of 8 players were set up for each game. This allowed quick rotations so fans were not waiting in line for long.
Halo: Anniversary was set up as a round of team deathmatch on the reimagined version of Ascension. It was exciting to play Halo again and I look forward to the release on November 11, 2014. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was my most anticipated demo to try out. After watching the reveal from Gamescom 2014, it has been at the top of my most wanted list for this holiday season. We were able to play 2 matches during the session, a round of team deathmatch followed by Hardpoint. I had a brief moment before the match to explore the new Create A Class as well as the Virtual Firing Range. Even though the session was short, I was impressed with the new gameplay mechanics.
I went to the front of the booth to receive my prize once my badge was filled with all the required stickers. A $5 Xbox Card and a Fizzie balloon were handed out for those who completed the task. Overall, the event was a lot of fun and I look forward to visiting again next year.
(Originally published August 29, 2014)