Myself and D5120 (Darren) took up the offer and tore down the M1 from the rolling hills of Warwickshire to the cosmopolitan metropolis of Camden Town to sample the game hours before its retail release and to rub shoulders with the celebrities and assembled gaming press.
The event was held in the historic 1920’s Bloomsbury Ballroom in the basement of Victoria House, which has been fully restored to it’s art deco grandeur of artistic innovation.
Realising we couldn’t (shouldn’t) try and get in via the VIP entry, we joined the relatively small queue at the main entrance where we were handed our customary wristbands and then headed down into the depths of the venue to be greeted with the ballroom bathed in orange lighting, befitting the Black Ops 2 branding.
The classical interior of the main room was home to the large round ‘command table’ you may have seen at the Eurogamer 2012 Expo, along with four other banks of consoles.
Displaying exclusively on Xbox 360, there were various multiplayer game modes running (no campaign missions on show) each with Turtle Beach Headsets wired up to get you immersed into the action…of course you could just kick back and enjoy the music provided by B.Traits and Shy FX.
Once Darren and I had found our way to the bar (complimentary drinks on tap), we parked our arses down for a dabble on Zombies mode with a couple of other gamers. A great bit of fun getting busy with a shotgun experiencing the in game bus ride that takes you between areas. Oh and of course the both of us went straight to the options and enabled invert.
Then it was time for the celebrity shoot-in-the-face-off at the command table.
Hosts for the evening were football pundits Chris Kamara and Max Rushden.
A celebrity team deathmatch game featuring rapper Professor Green, comedian Jack Whitehall and actor Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) was the main event of the night. All players focusing on their screens, got their game faces on…but champion sportsman and Olympic medallist gymnast Louis Smith handed their asses to them on a plate and was crowned the victor.
Meandering to and from the bar (still free drinks) we gave up looking for the Zombie themed food that was supposed to be on offer and had a bit more of a dabble on the game, including run around the Nuketown 2025 map, which has the same layout as its previous namesake, but its been given a ‘Jetsons’ facelift.
As midnight approached, DJ Jaguar Skills hit the stage and lit up the room with a dazzling array of sound and visual bombardment pulling in some classic hip hop and retro arcade goodness, seamlessly mixed and mashed as the screen behind glowed with images of gaming of an era that many of the celebrities there would have still be in nappies.
It was a great launch event and the celebrities gathered there were keen to impress…its just a shame that neither me nor Darren had a clue who most of them were….but then, they probably had no idea who we were either….it was mostly about the game….mostly.
Tags: Adam Edwards, Adamski, Alfie Allen, Black Ops 2, Call of Duty, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Chris Kamara, COD BLOPS2, D5120, Darren Wright, Jack Whitehall, Jaguar Skills, Louis Smith, Nuketown 2025, Professor Green, Tryarch, Zombies