We were fortunate enough to receive an invite to this year’s PLAY it! Manchester launch event, hosted by the Museum of Science and Industry - “rebooted, reloaded” and “better than ever before”, here’s what to expect if you’re thinking of heading down.
If that sounds just a smidge before your time, wrap your hands around an N64, PlayStation or Dreamcast controller and revisit the early days of 3D gaming. To answer your immediate and burning questions - yes, they have Goldeneye, and yes, there’s 4-player co-op. Continuing the march towards present day, you’ll find Master Chief hosting a Halo 3 LAN party on Xbox 360, League of Legends and Minecraft on PC, as well as an array of recent Xbox One and PS4 releases.
By splitting itself into themed sections, PLAY it! also offers a more specific look at developments made within genre and franchise. You can chart Sonic’s rise and fall, gauge Mario’s continued innovation, compare visuals and mechanics between racing and fighting games, shake, smack and strum an array of music peripherals - even play Disney games with some recognisable princesses.
Perhaps the highlight of the event is a look into gaming’s future, courtesy of Ubisoft’s Rabbids VR-Ride experience. Donning the Oculus Rift and a pair of headphones whisks you away to a world of trademark Rabbids insanity, whilst a hydraulic seat mimics your movement for added immersion. It definitely succeeds, as you’ll feel it in the pit of your stomach when the ride stops and allows you a moment to peer over the sheer cliff drop before sending you plummeting.
Take a look at an earlier version in the footage below, and keep an eye out for a more indepth analysis of the experience to come.
PLAY it! offers something for everyone, whatever their age. The event’s well organised, the room’s well dressed and a chiptune DJ station blasts out gaming classics to set the perfect backdrop. Everything amalgamates in a great family friendly day out during the Easter holidays, whilst if you don’t have anybody under 18 in your party, there are also adult-only sessions that’ll switch out the games for something a little more… violent.
Interested? You can find session times, pricing information and purchase tickets through the Museum of Science and Industry’s official website.