It's back! Twice! Following the success of last year's event (no one died), this year the Eurogamer Expo takes place in Leeds and London, promising all sorts of delights for those of you who have snapped up tickets for the completely sold out event.
Whether you want to play the biggest games of the year before they come out, talk to developers and publishers about getting a job in the industry, or check out presentations from the likes of Valve and Quantic Dream, we've got you covered like a conveniently placed low wall in a post-apocalyptic American city.
The full games list is available online, and covers more or less everything you might want to play this side of Christmas - and indeed the other side. There are huge recent releases including Brutal Legend, Halo 3: ODST, Mario & Luigi and Uncharted 2, of course, but there are also plenty of games you won't have played anywhere else, and which aren't out for ages.
PlayStation 3 owners are well served, for example, by God of War III, Heavy Rain and MAG - three of the most ambitious games on the Sony line-up for 2010 - while Nintendo fans will want to check out New Super Mario Bros. Wii, assuming they can get me off the machine.
Elsewhere, third-party publishers vie for your attention with the likes of Assassin's Creed II and Avatar (Ubisoft), AVP and Bayonetta (SEGA), Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2 (EA), Tekken 6 (Namco Bandai) and Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve).
PC owners will also want to check out Star Trek Online and Global Agenda - two very promising MMOs - and I'll be banned from certain Brighton watering holes (well, even more Brighton watering holes) if I don't mention Split/Second, which is being developed by our close neighbours at Black Rock Studios.
Don't let the big names distract you entirely, however, or you might miss out on the treats of the Indie Games Arcade, home to a dazzling array of self-made delicacies, most of which surprise and astound in name, concept or both. Who doesn't want to play "Squid Yes! Not So Octopus 2: Squid Harder", for example?
There's also a game that re-imagines Mario in beat poetry, colourful stunt-bike extravaganza Joe Danger, and several games that are no stranger to the Independent Games Festival awards list, among more than a dozen others.
It's not all fun and larks, of course. Wait... No, it turns out it actually is all fun and larks. Have you looked at the Developer Sessions, for example? In many cases, it's the same sort of thing we get to see when we go to E3 and all those other fancy and exclusive trade shows - except now you can join in. Hurrah!
|Leeds, 27th October||Leeds, 28th October||London, 30th October||London, 31st October|
|Midday||Charles Cecil (Revolution Software)||Team 17 (Alien Breed)||Black Rock's Nick Baynes (Split/Second)||Quantic Dream's David Cage (Heavy Rain)|
|1.30pm||Splash Damage's Paul Wedgwood (Brink)||Splash Damage's Paul Wedgwood (Brink)||Splash Damage's Paul Wedgwood (Brink)||Splash Damage's Paul Wedgwood (Brink)|
|2.45pm||NVIDIA (3D Games demo)||NVIDIA (3D Games demo)|
|3.30pm||Introversion's Mark Morris (Darwinia+)||Introversion's Mark Morris (Darwinia+)||Valve's Chet Faliszek (Left 4 Dead 2)|
|4.30pm||Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell and Johnny Minkley (Ask Eurogamer!)||Just Add Water's Stewart Gilray (Gravity Crash)||EA Montreal's Guillaume Voghel and Alex Hutchinson (Army of Two: The 40th Day)||Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell and Ellie Gibson (Ask Eurogamer!)|
|6.00pm||NVIDIA (3D Games demo)||NVIDIA (3D Games demo)|
The sessions take place throughout the show in Leeds and London, but please beware that seating for these is limited, so if you're keen to see a particular session you should queue up a fair bit in advance. Eurogamer staff and volunteers will make it clear how many people will be admitted, and certain sessions - like Splash Damage's Brink presentation - will be repeated across the week.
Likewise, the GamesIndustry.biz Career Fair runs in parallel with the Expo and allows you to speak to representatives from the worlds of development, publishing and academia. Crytek, Rare, Relentless, SEGA and others will be on hand in London while Game Republic, Team 17 and Ubisoft are in Leeds. Our thanks also to the Universities of Creative Arts, Bradford and Huddersfield for their involvement.
BAFTA is back as well, with surgeries on programming, public relations, game design and even games journalism (apologies in advance) allowing you to get a bit closer to particular professions and ask any questions you might have to see whether they're a good fit for your future.
Not content with all that (you greedy so-and-so), Eurogamer's excellent community (you lovely so-and-so) will be getting together in London and Leeds, and there are details on other surrounding events on the Eurogamer Expo website.
Oh, and if for some reason you can't make it, you can live vicariously through those that do on the Eurogamer Expo blog, and in extensive coverage of the games of the show throughout the week. Whether you're at the Expo or not, we're glad to have you here. Hugs!
The Eurogamer Expo 2009 is completely sold out. If you're lucky enough to have a ticket, check out the Eurogamer Expo website for location details, while the Expo FAQ can hopefully answer any lingering questions. See you there!