Howdy guys! This is a strange article for me to write as it’ll be more like a diary entry than a typical news article. On the 25th March Ubisoft invited me out to Paris to get hands on with their new free to play game The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot which you can read more about in the other articles which are up on the site.
25th March 2013
Today was probably the longest day due to how much travelling I had to do. After arriving at St. Pancras International Station I met the two guys from Ubisoft UK which were taking us over to Ubisoft Montreal in Paris; Wayne and Ollie. Even though I’ve travelled to France several times on holiday with my folks, I forgot how much I hate those security barriers! Jackets and belts aren’t allowed to be worn, so to go through most of us had to strip down a fair bit… when you’re running late that’s never fun. Alas we made it onto the Eurostar where us press people found out that we were all sitting apart from each other, so I took the two and a half hour journey as an excuse to catch up on some Friends.
At last the train pulled into Gare du Nord (North Station, see I know a little bit of French) where we got a taxi to the hotel. On our Taxi ride we got our first glimpse of Paris and it really is a beautiful place… and a lot bigger than it looks on the map. The one thing that we all had to complain about is that during the taxi ride, and at the hotel, we were not able to see the Eiffel Tower – maybe one day I’ll get to see it in person.
After a fairly long journey (Traffic is as bad in Paris as it is in London… heck maybe even worse) we arrived at our hotel. Now I may sound pretty biased about the hotel because it was a four star hotel and I’ve only stayed at Premiere Inn’s before – just bear that in mind. The hotel was fancy from the moment you walked in, with a nice lobby area with a balcony above where the bar was situated. After getting my key to the room I went up to the fourth floor. Now stop there. You’d think that, being on the fourth floor and all, you’d get a pretty decent view of Paris right? Well you are wrong. The view from my window was of a office building on the other side of the road, meaning I had to make sure I shut the curtains frequently! The room was very nice and had a very ‘homey’ feel about it, though there was one single problem. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like to complain but as a university student baths are a rarity – showers are the only option. So when I found out the bathroom had a bath in it I was excited on the idea of being able to have a bath, but sadly that didn’t happen. The bath is sized around what I would assume was either a very small adult or a fairly large child – there was no way an adult would easily fit into this bath. After my disappointment with the bath incident it was time to meet the guys downstairs to head out for dinner.
Our group met with the French group which had come to visit for the same trip to get some food at a very nice restaurant – L’Europeen. The restaurant looked fancy from within and we were assigned to a massive table which suited our group. I ordered French Onion Soup for a starter which when it arrived looked very odd as it came with a cheese crust on top. Vikki (who works for GGS Gamer) and I agreed that it looked less like soup and more of a pie. For main’s I ordered a Roast Duck and for desert we had some sickly sweet profiteroles. Now the most… interesting part of the meal was the Snail’s. Yes as a French delicacy I swore to myself I must try it (heck, you cannot go to France and not try their food – and I hate not trying things, which I really do sometimes regret) so that’s exactly what I did. The horrible person that I am also overheard Vikki say that she’d try them but she backed down… though in the end I convinced her to try one at the same time as me. Now before we tried the snails, all the guys had tried the snails and the girls hadn’t and the guys had said that they tasted like grass… so I really wasn’t looking forward to the experience at all. Diane (from Girl Gamers UK) who was sitting next to me wasn’t as easily convinced about trying snails, so it was only Vikki and I who were the last to try them.
The look of these snails? Revolting.
The smell of these snails? Thankfully covered in garlic… so garlic..y.
The texture? Horrid.
I’ll be honest though, in the end, the snails were not as bad as I made out. I would happily have eaten another one. I think the batch we tried might have had more garlic on as thankfully I didn’t get the ‘grassy’ taste the other guys enjoyed.
After a great meal (and Wayne having a meal suited for about 5 people) we headed back to the Hotel to get some sleep for the actual reason we were in Paris… to see The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot.
Tuesday 26th March
8 o’clock (am) starts, wow I haven’t had one of those since college. My luxurious student life at University see’s me waking up about 3pm – so me being tired was probably an understatement. After getting ready and packing all my stuff away I headed downstairs and handed my key in, the Paris trip was sadly ending today! When everyone had arrived downstairs we took a taxi to the location of The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot event, which was situated in what was an old castle area. The event was underground with little sunlight to be seen and very small ceilings… which doesn’t match a tall guy like me.
Ubisoft supplied a nice French breakfast for us all, and heck you cannot beat OJ and a Croissant in the morning! The event started with us going into a room filled with computers and getting a talk from the team about the game. We were told a little information on the game and then taught the controls so we had an idea of what to do when we hopped onto the game. Then we were let free on the game a good two hours, I’m actually surprised they were able to get me off the game – I loved it – though more about that in a different article (check the bottom for links to the other articles about this trip). I was able to talk with Quentin Gallet the games Executive Producer about The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, and we had an interesting chat about the game and about the industry as a whole. The link to the interview can be found down at the bottom of this page, so make sure you give it a read when you’ve finished here.
When my chat with Quentin Gallet came to an end it was sadly the end of the time we had looking at the game, as another group of press were coming in for the afternoon. We hopped into the taxi back to the Gare du Nord and took the train back to London St. Pancras International station.
That pretty much ended the press event. We said our goodbyes as we arrived in London and parted our separate ways to go home.
Being my first press event (other than going to Eurogamer for my YouTube channel) I was nervous at first with the idea of going to Paris, but in the end it was a great experience and a great trip overall. I met some great people like Wayne and Ollie from Ubisoft UK and similarly some great people from the journalism field. Here’s to hoping this is the first of many press trips I will be able to experience in my time as a game journalist, because they sure are a fun experience to go through – even if it is work at the end of the day.
Make sure you check out the following links mentioned in the article;
GGS Gamer: http://ggsgamer.com
Girl Gamers UK: http://www.girlgamersuk.com
If you enjoyed this article also make sure to check out the other articles on this trip;
Interview with Executive Producer Quentin Gallet:
First thoughts on The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot:
Thanks for reading guys, have a great day!