Time for another blog for you lovely people and this time it’s on EGX!
For those of you who don’t know, EGX (formally known as Eurogamer Expo) is the UK’s largest games event. Previously held in London, it has moved to Birmingham’s NEC for the last few years, including this year, which makes a lot of sense since it is easier to get to from most of the UK (something many people specified when I chatted with them) and has a larger venue fit for the size of the event (which has grown over the years). It attracts thousands upon thousands of people who come for all sorts of reasons: from trying out the latest/upcoming games, seeing new consoles, grabbing merch, meeting people in the industry, learning more about the industry and how to get into it, or simply to chillax, take it all in and have a good time with friends and family. It allows for indie developers to showcase what they have, for uni graduates to show off what they’ve accomplished and potentially win funding, and also a chance to experience the new and the old (step back in time in the retro secton)!
I’m here to basically break down the good, the bad (hardly any) and the ugly (none of it). Now let me warn you in advance I didn’t get to try out as many games as I had hoped, but I did thankfully get to speak to most of you lovely developers (sorry for those I didn’t get to) and some wonderful attendees too to get your points of view. So here goes:
Let’s start off here, a small section but one worth checking out as there can be some very quirky, fun, outside of the box ideas and games (and if you’re not one for queuing, then again here and the Rezzed areas are where it’s at).
Here are a couple games I got to try out and what I thought:
Semblance (@Nyamakop): really fun game with a cute, gooey world and character! Easy to pick up, very enjoyable and one I definitely want to try out more in the future. Puzzle platformer set to be released in 2018 on Microsoft Windows and OS X.
Offgrid (@OffGridTheGame): a stealth hacking game (so anyone who knows me already knows that’s a real challenge for me). Interesting big brother concept using a goofy antihero character to hack through a conspiracy. It does make me curious to test out more. Did seem a very involved demo though (a little hard to follow especially with too many steps in one instruction on how to use tools etc). Just needs a little tweaking (step by step on controls and tools, condense conversation, cleaner character interactions and a little clearer in regards to what’s needed next). Overall though, not a bad game. Release date 2018 on Windows, Mac and Linux.
That’s a brief exploration of the Leftfield. Now to work our way over to the main Showfloor, which does seem to be the main attraction for most people, and who can blame them. This is where it gets fancy. Great displays, photo opportunities, teasers and of course let’s not forget the queues! Up to 3 hours for popular games but people did say it was worth the wait.
Andy and I were lucky enough to check out and try a few of the games here.
Assassin’s Creed Origins: Action-adventure game with some stealth too (wish me luck). Based in Ancient Egypt as a prequel. Can I just say, as expected, the graphics are absolutely insane! The game looks stunning. The location/world/culture/history/era. Amazing. I am super excited for its release which thankfully isn’t too far away, 27/10/2017!! Unfortunately, I didn’t have a go but someone who did, Frederik from Denmark (you know who you are) stated despite Syndicate being his favourite from the series due to the music, he really enjoyed Origins! He liked that the controls were different enough to make it feel new and refreshed coming to it, making it a fun experience that has a good story and that it seems the best of all games put into one. How exciting is that! To be honest most of the people I spoke to said that it was their favourite game at the expo, a highlight and a game they cannot wait to get once released! Will be out on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. (Can I also just add possible cosplay inspo for me from this game. Love!)
Far Cry 5: First-person shooter action-adventure game. A game I actually got to try and I’ll admit it now, I was utterly rubbish at it! But it was still loads of fun. Crazy good detail. Very realistic. Great textures and lighting makes it look so effective. A good game I think for Andy (as he was quite stealthy) and I to maybe do together at some point. You’ll have to be a little patient for this one. Release date is 27/02/2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
Strange Brigade: Cooperative third-person shooter. Super, duper fun! Good quality visuals, great look, adventurous, Indiana Jones feel. What more can I say. I want to get my hands back on it! Will be out soon on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
Cuphead: Run and gun indie game. Eye-catching, vintage, stand out game! Love the look and definitely a lot trickier than I thought. Unique, interesting, rage provoking game that is fun. Good one to play with friends. This is a game both myself and Andy got to try together. All Andy’s childhood experience in such games paid off. I on the other hand, completely lacking in this means that I would never reach the end of the levels. Thanks Andy. Already out (released 29/09/2017) on Xbox One, Microsoft Windows.
Detroit: Become Human: Neo-noir action-adventure thriller game. You choose! There are so many versions, decisions and outcomes per scenario in this game. Insanity. Fully rendered (Andy’s fancy words there) and very intriguing for sure. My only concern whilst watching people play is that hopefully it’s not too slow of a game. Release date 2018 on PlayStation 4.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy: Action-adventure game. Got to try this one out too. Has a slightly more Lara Croft feel now that it’s a strong, female lead character. Another very detailed game visually which does not go unnoticed. Great look, the world/culture/locations. Very involved but free enough to mooch around and do your own thing. Could spend hours playing this game and not realise. So much to do and explore at your own pace of progression. Liked it a lot. Release date was 22/08/2017 so go and enjoy as it’s already out.
So there are actually plenty of interviews due out soon so keep a close eye, but one that we tried out and actually didn’t get back round to interview is this:
Claws of Furry ( @terahardstudios ): Already love the name! An action, arcade game. Played this with Andy, a curious gentleman and a member of the Claws of Furry team and it was so much fun! The game difficulty is tailored to the amount of players (up to 4). The only little nag I have which was a shared opinion is that it got very confusing at times who’s who in all the jumping and fighting. It was difficult to keep track and meant that I kept thinking I was someone else when actually I was about to get my poor ninja cat killed. Still a very good game to check out and play alone or with friends and family. Can be a good laugh. Estimated release date January 2018.
So enough about the games. Time to talk to the people. As it can get very packed and busy so you better be ready for it. I did make it my job to come talk to some of you and ask you poor unprepared members of the public various things regarding EGX.
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN
Things that people thought were missing, wasn’t enough of, or would benefit the expo:
- welcome swag bag (who doesn’t want one of those)
- free samples of energy drinks (as in previous years)
- more VR
- 18+ area improved (it no longer has a designated section as in previous years)
- better designated and more secluded chillout zone (allows a proper break from all the loud craziness of the event)
- lacked a decent sized food area with enough options in comparison to previous years
- missing weapons sale stand
- not enough pop figures
- more diverse clothing stands (mostly t-shirts and not much else to choose from)
- NEC wasn’t well enough posted when coming from the front door to locate which events hall to visit (that place is huge!!!)
The people have also let me know what stood out as their best experience at EGX (including a list of top games for them):
- racing rig on the Intel stand
- seeing people from community
- making new friends/contacts (someone also stated they loved talking to the people sometimes more than actually playing)
- location (ease to get to it)
- staff (super friendly)
- Rezzed/Indie games and sessions
- The Town of Light
- Sea of Thieves
- Assassin’s Creed Origins
- Detroit: Become Human
- Battlefront 2
- Destiny 2
- Monster Hunter: Worlds
- Days Gone
So there you have it. Plenty to try, check out and enjoy. A diverse enough event that has a little something for everyone and for all ages. All I will say which may seem obvious but I feel it necessary to emphasise, plan ahead! There is so much to see and do, and one day won’t cut it if that’s what you want. If you purely want to check out one or two things and queue for a main game that you’re interested in then one day should be fine. But the more you want out of it, the more days you are going to have to invest in. So bare that in mind financially what days/tickets you may need and hotel bookings too (there are plenty at the airport situated next to the NEC). Andy and I went all four days and still didn’t manage to do everything we wanted and hoped to, so definitely being somewhat organised does help. Plan, save up and have fun!
Want to say thanks to the following people for their time and input:
- Frederik (from Denmark)
- Josh Pearson
- Cameron McMorran
- Andy Heathcote
- Dave McCann
- Karl Sweeney
- Christopher Taylor
- Nicholas Dupker
- Adrian Fracz
- JJ Coleman
- Paige Williamson
- Daniel Lumber
- Matthew Lumber
- Matthew Bolt
Thanks for chatting with me guys!
Until next time.
Also don’t forget to check out our website and twitter for upcoming interviews from EGX 2017 (there are many)!