THQ Press Day in New York
Our coverage of THQ’s exciting three day press event in New York
A few weeks back I was lucky enough to walk through the streets of New York heading to a press event hosted by THQ. Yes I was freezing in all the wrong places, but by the third day I would have gladly succumbed to frostbite to spend some more time with the awesome games on show.
The setting for THQ’s event was Stage 37 – a huge indoor venue that had been transformed thanks to the scores of TVs and consoles scattered everywhree. After collecting our precious media passes and being ushered in past security, we settled down for the event to formally begin. First up on stage was THQ’s Danny Bilson, who welcomed the hundreds of journalists who had showed up for the event. He then went on to outline the vision the company had for the year ahead, as well as formally unveil the company’s new logo.
We were then treated to the first game of the day, which was Red Faction: Armageddon. The game showed off some of the new weapons and abilities available, as well as a sneak peek at the game’s storyline. The game effortlessly rendered massive explosions, crumbling buildings, and some surreal-looking enemies. The game certainly has come a long way from the first installment and the improvements are quite easy to see. After the on-stage demo we scrambled to the consoles to play through some of the sample levels – I just played through the free-roam level and blew everything into space dust.
Following lunch we were treated to an on-stage demo of MX vs ATV, a game that THQ will be pricing at just under $40 at launch, making it more accessible to gamers whilst not compromising on quality. This was followed by a new trailer for de Blob 2 which then wrapped up the day’s events.
When I walked into the venue on day 2, the first thing that greeted me at the door was a giant cut-out of Andre the Giant. The excitement in the air was undeniable, as today was the day we would see more of WWE Allstars. After scrambling to get a seat, the event was opened by the legendary Howard Finkel, who once again welcomed us all to the day’s events. Then, against dazzling lights and plenty of fanfare, Finkel introduced the guests for the day -wrestlers Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, Big Show, and the one and only Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. The four guests talked about their involvement with the game as well as their dream matches, and afterwards took questions and interviews from the awaiting press. We then had plenty of hands-on with the demo, which featured new wrestlers as well as some great new moves.
The afternoon also turned out to be ‘stacks’ of fun, with Double Fine’s Tim Schafer taking the stage to introduce the company’s latest game, Stacking. Adorable would be an understatement for this game, and there was plenty of laughs around as gamers tried their hands with the demo (check out our review here).
The day got off to a very bizarre start – while we were usually shuttled from our hotel to the venue in nice comfy buses, this time around we had three school buses waiting for us outside. Whilst not the most comfortable things to ride, we soon understood why THQ had employed this peculiar method of transportation – it was to build momentum for the day’s game, Homefront. The venue had been decked out to look like some sort of prison camp, with barriers, camouflage, and barbed wire donning each gaming station. The on-stage demo revealed plenty of details about the singleplayer and multiplayer parts of the game, and we wrapped up the demo with a frantic 32-player multiplayer match.
Apart from the centrestage games, THQ also had some of their games on show at the upper level, including the hilarious You Don’t Know Jack, as well as family-friendly games such as Pictionary (paired with an awesome Wii tablet). There were also some souped-up PCs running the latest Dawn of War preview, which attracted a good group of fans. In short it was an amazing three days of gaming that showed a mere fraction of what THQ has planned for gamers this year.