February is the time when Kolkata prepares to ditch their winter gear and braces for the heat. However, the folks at Zone Cafe decided to skip the timeline altogether. The release timeline of multiple AAA titles coincided on the same week for Kolkata to have their first launch event of 2019.
Kolkata has come a long way from having sporadic meetups at small cafes and small LAN parties. After 4 NerdMeets by the community and a full-scale Gamerconnect by NVIDIA India, Kolkata now sees a lot more than small meets. Long gone are the days when a game would be launched at midnight and the few people standing outside a shop would call it a launch party. This launch party collectively celebrated the release of Jump Force, Metro Exodus, Far Cry New Dawn and Crackdown 3.
Zone cafe is the only premium cafe of Kolkata with a 4000sq ft floor space and over 50 PCs with top of the line systems to run every game in their inventory. Owing to their reputation and experience, this event was a resounding success with well over 100 attendees throughout the day.
Right from the beginning, everyone present was in their elements. Reaction videos were being made while on the other side of the cafe was playing host to a quiz with assorted gifts.
The one vs one Jump Force tournament went through 4 rounds before the winner managed to snag a sweet headphone for his troubles. The runner-ups weren’t left empty handed though, just so we’re clear. The game itself is kind of a disappointment in terms of being a fighting game but it’s fun to see and play with your favorite anime characters.
I won’t talk much about Metro Exodus since I gave the game a wide berth to save myself from spoilers. However, people who tried the game out had nothing but praises for the gameplay and visuals. Obviously, I skipped the narrative questions but you can already guess that.
Crackdown 3 didn’t get that much of hype though. Terry Crews was enough to get everyone hyped but not enough to actually try the game it seems. And Far Cry: New Dawn looked like more of the same. But people didn’t actually bother about it while blasting away enemies with a saw blade launcher. The game seemed fun. People had fun playing it and we play games to have fun so all was well indeed.
The game that stole the show, however, was Apex Legends. Even I couldn’t help myself from jumping in with a couple of my friends. Although my only win came when I matchmade with randoms but don’t tell them that. Throughout the day, there were at least 5 teams of 3 players invested in Apex Legends. A couple of people were even playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Other than video games, people were playing Duel Masters. Even some people from the local cosplay community dropped in their more casual cosplays. And through it all, the Zone team kept everything running smoothly.
As a member of the Kolkata community, it was a nice change of pace to meet with all the budding eSports players, streamers and friends outside our digital playground. In the upcoming days, I’m sure the Zone team and Kolkata community will come up with more innovative event ideas. But for now, things are pretty heated up in the city of joy.
All the pictures have been provided to us by Zone Cafe.