The shambling crowd of restless undead shuffled to and fro in front of the large glass doors, their eyes hungry. Listening closely, a word could be heard through the ravenous moans… no, not “braaaiiinss…” but “gaaaamess…” The scent of that which they desired was everywhere, the source tantalisingly close. Suddenly, the doors burst open and the shuffling bodies were galvanised into frenzied energy and they dashed forwards, intent on ruthlessly devouring the endless array of gaming awesomeness that lay beyond…

rAge 2011 kicked off today, the highlight of the year for all those to whom gaming is more than just a pastime but rather a way of life – be it electronic in the form of Xbox, Playstation, PC , Wii or 3DS, or the more traditional dead-tree form of board and card. This year’s expo is the largest yet, with every square meter of floor space given over to numerous and varied shrines of gaming excellence. The number of playable titles is staggering, and getting to grips with the latest and greatest unreleased titles alone is worth the visit. Add the huge selection of hardware, prizes and gaming culture, and you have a recipe for kickass event.

Here is a list of just a few of the forthcoming games you’ll get to enjoy when (not if) you visit the show:
Batman Arkham City
Battlefield 3
Mass Effect 3
Ghost Recon Future Soldier
Uncharted 3
Darkness 2
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Dark Souls
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Need For Speed The Run
Kinect Star Wars

If this isn’t enough to get you to kidnap your neighbour’s dog / cat / child / budgie for a ticket, then you should check that you still have a pulse. Check out further coverage over the weekend for some first-hand details on the latest and greatest. Live stage demonstrations include Diablo III, Tomb Raider, Guild Wars 2, Darkness 2 and Skylanders. We’ll also be interviewing the developers of Batman Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed Revelations and Ghost Recon Future Soldier – stay tuned for details.

rAge 2010 had a lot of focus on motion control, with the release of the Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move. While there is still plenty of limb-waving and butt shaking to be seen, this year is all about 3D. Third-dimension demonstrations are happening for every relevant platform – PC, Xbox, Playstation and 3DS, and there are some seriously impressive titles on show that demonstrate how effective the technology can be.

As always, the LAN event is a huge success, and tickets sold out almost immediately. To those who missed out on this particular aspect of the show there is still plenty to see and do.