About firstlook festivalFirstlook Festival started out in 2008. Back then it was just a small, one-day gaming event in Amsterdam. About 1500 people were coming to this event. Now, seven years later, Firstlook grew to be a sold out three-day festival in one of the best know convention centres in the Netherlands, the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. Over 24,500 people attended Firstlook this year, and it earned its spot in the worldwide gaming calendar!
Last year, Firstlook got a major change. Besides the newest games, they started hosting a major e-sports tournament with € 10,000 worth of prizes! Besides the tournament, they added areas for indie games, anime, cosplay, livestreaming and retro, but the core of the festival will always be gaming.
This year, the organisation decided to partner up with New York Comic Con which was the same weekend as the festival. Premium content from one of the world's biggest Comic Cons was streamed live for the audience in Utrecht.
the games at firstlook festivalHere are some of the playable games at Firstlook Festival 2016:
Play as a brave knight, fearless Viking or deadly samurai and leave a trail of destruction behind in this Melee action game by Ubisoft Montreal.
Final Fantasy XV
One of the busiest stands had to be the Final Fantasy floor. Over a dozen gaming rigs and still a waiting line for over half an hour to play one of the world's best known JRPG franchises.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Guerilla Games couldn't be left behind at a Dutch gaming festival. The developers behind Killzone were there to present their widely anticipated game Horizon: Zero Dawn, in which you play a young hunter named Aloy in a world where machines roam the planet.
Final Fantasy wasn't the only big name brought to the festival by Square Enix. They brought Agent 47 along with them for fans to play. Plan out assassinations in six challenging episodes.
Southpark: The fractured but whole
In this new game of the Southpark franchise, you again play as the new kid and go on hilariously ridiculous adventures with the group of friends Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman by Ubisoft.
Other games at the festival:
WRC 6, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Steep, Gran Turismo Sport, Eagle Flight, Gears of War 4, Tekken 7, Dead Rising 4, Forza Horizon 3, Antegods, Diluvion, Oh... Sir!, Rungunjumpgun, Zombie Night Terror, Starpoint Gemini Warlords, Deliver us the Moon, Lethal League, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Recore, Black Desert Online
cosplay at firstlook festivalBecause of their agreement with New York Comic-Con, the festival had a wide variety of comics on display, artists to sign copies and a cosplay village with various competitions. The cosplay outfits never stop to amaze me! They are pieces of art, all of them!
my thoughts on Firstlook festival 2016This was my first year to this festival, and I only went on Saturday, so I don't know if the points I make here are something that happened on all festival days, or in previous years.
I went with a buddy of mine and we wanted to go early. We had a two-hour drive ahead of us so we decided to leave at 9 a.m. so we should arrive at 11, and have a full day worth of playing ahead of us.
When we arrived there was a small queue outside. Wouldn't take long, we figured. There were no signs of a press entrance so we just waited in line. After about 5 minutes we got into the doors, and the queue we witnessed was frightening. I have to say the line moved along pretty fast so the waiting wasn't that long. It took us about 15 to 20 minutes to get to the front of the queue. Almost at the front, I decided to go look at the other entrances, which we noticed were there now. And rest assured, there was the Press entrance, with no queue at all. Had we known that, it would have saved us almost half an hour! I hope they put up some signs next year for other Firstlook Noob reporters like me.
Once we got past the entrance, the adventure began! A day of gaming, comics and looking at amazing cosplay outfits was upon us! The first thing we saw were some anime stands, now I don't know the first thing about anime, the miss back home is a first-grade anime geek so I had to pick up a few things here. I bought her a Black Butler keychain because I know she loves that show. There were a lot of anime stands in this little Anime street, and as far as I could see, all of rather good quality and pricing. A Japanophile's dream, nicely done Firstlook.
When I was done checking out some things from shows whose names I could never pronounce in my life, we went on. Next thing we came across was something that intrigued us. We were like little boys again, wanting to play soldiers. Before us was an area filled with Airsoft Rifles. Even a testing area to shoot them in! If it wasn't for the line at the entrance to the shooting range I would most definitely have given it a "shot", but I took solace in holding an Airsoft model of the M42.
One of the biggest problems I had at Firstlook Festival; I haven't played a single game. Me, a game journalist. Every game that was there had a waiting line of at least half an hour and no press queues at even a single game. I think this is a missed chance for the festival. The developers come to showcase their newest games, and what better way to do that than to let influencers play the game for about 10 minutes and share that with their audiences. I hope they will fix that in the future.
The best stand of the festival has to be the Playstation stand. They had a lot of games to showcase, a new console to introduce to us and a brand a lot of players always look forward to seeing at a convention.
With Horizon: Zero Dawn and the PS4 Pro coming out soon they had a lot to show us this year!
conclusionAll and all I must say that Firstlook Festival is an awesome place to be as a gamer, comic fan, anime fan, collector or cosplay enthusiast. It's a festival I would love to visit every year. The layout of the festival is well thought out and the overall place looks professional. Something you can expect from a convention that has been around for almost a decade!
So well done Firstlook Festival, thanks for having me and I hope to visit you again next year!
Some more pictures I took at the festival: