Despite spanning four days, EGX is one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” kind of events, but not without leaving a great impression!
But what is it? It’s a massive trade fair for video games which is always busy, bustling and brilliant. Andy and I managed to try a lot of games, eat a lot of food, buy a healthy amount of merch (just keep telling myself that) and of course, one of my absolute favourite aspects, speak to loads of visitors and exhibitors.
As always it’s pretty impossible to try out every game and speak to every person showcasing (sorry in advance if we couldn’t make it to you) but in my blog you will find brief coverage on various aspects, highlights and some interviews from this years event.
Now of course there are the “mainstream” games which is great, especially if you can’t wait to get your hands on any of those before the release date and get a taste, but as you may know I love spending a good chunk of my time in the Rezzed section and experiencing quirky treasures hidden away.
It’s nice to also get close and personal with the team behind the games and have a good chat. Having covered these events for some years now Andy and I love bumping into people we’ve previously met and see how they’ve progressed.
And each year gives us the opportunity to build that family which is always a pleasure.
You never know who you might meet. Even got the chance to have a little chat with Simon Miller who did an excellent job promoting Just Cause 4.
Enough babble. Time to get into it:
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
Genre: Single-player, Action role-playing game, stealth, open world
Release Date: 5 October 2018
Obviously great graphics which is to be expected. I personally found the demo quite challenging purely because I am not so familiar with the controls and there was no reference to go by on the table (Andy had an altogether different problem which I found amusing which was no inversion option). Choose between Alexios or Kassandra as you enter Ancient Greece. At EGX there were two demo options. One was on a beach and heavily combat based. The other was more a chance to explore and occasionally defeat baddies.
The Division 2
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Genre: Multiplayer, Action role-playing game, survival
Release Date: 15 March 2019
What a super fun experience! Choose from the sharpshooter, the demolitionist and the survivalist who all have different skills and weapons. Work in teams to ideally be as stealthy as possible to take out targets. Teamwork is definitely key! From my experience the game looks great, was enough of a challenge, easy enough controls, great teamwork and team building aspects with very satisfying accomplishments. There was a good build up and I cannot wait for release!
Unbound: World’s Apart
Platform: PC, full controller support
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle platformer
Release Date: TBC
Use portals and solve puzzles to progress. This game has taken 2 years to make by a 3 person team. Has been well received unsurprisingly given the games that have inspired it range from Braid, Portal and Limbo. The look and feel is somewhat moody and dark. Something I thought was random but brilliant at the same time was how the idea came about: listening to a UK band. Just goes to show you how powerful music can be. Currently still being worked on as it will end up having multiple portals to complete levels. Right now the demo only showed one. I will be watching this space for the final outcome.
Man of Medan
Platform: PlayStation, Xbox One, PC
Genre: Horror, choice driven
Release Date: 2019
Super creepy! That’s what made me head over when it caught my eye and it’s also the reason I wanted to run away. Your choices affect the outcome of the situation. So choose wisely. The girl who played before me had a different demo ending to me which was good because when I had my go I thought that I knew exactly what was about to happen, and it didn’t, meaning I had to react quick. Really good experience, interesting, perhaps a little slow for my liking but not one I would push aside for that reason.
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Genre: First-person shooter, survival, single-player
Release Date: 22 February 2019
Insane graphics! The detail was crazy. It’s something Andy and I could not get over and were talking about for a while after trying the demo. There are survival games and then there’s this game. Very involved survival game so honestly DO NOT WASTE YOUR AMMO like a certain someone. That’s my advice. Intense but so much fun!
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Co-op, puzzle
Release Date: 21 June 2018
I fell in love with this concept and look of the game instantly! A rock helps a fallen star find it’s way back home. Being completely different they need to work together to complete the levels. Great look, concept and teamwork gameplay makes its a great couch co-op to have fun with family and friends. Great dynamics, find secret rooms, collectables and a hidden story written in Morse code. This game took 3 years to make, with a core team of 4. The game director also happens to be the artist. Cute, adorable, love it!
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
Genre: Puzzle platformer
Release Date: Early 2019
Unfortunately I didn’t get round to playing this game but it did catch my eye. Move between two parallel worlds using your paintbrush to do so. Each world has its own unique qualities which you then need to figure out how to use to progress. I love a good puzzle game that challenges you to figure out how to move on, and this game has that. It used to be a linear game in its initial stages but the team decided to switch to open world, allowing you to decide what and how much you wish to do and explore. There is also 2 player possibility where one person draws and the other moves. With a lovely art style and an interesting concept I will be looking out for it in the future.
Genre: Navigational thriller
Now as you may have noticed this game hasn’t got platform or release date mentioned and that is because it is part of the Pitch Development Programme whereby funding is sought in order to proceed with the project. I truly hope that occurs with this game as the small taste I got of it was brilliant! So much effort and research has been put into this and it is the perfect blend of urban exploration, suspense, thrills, puzzles and of course a jump scare which definitely got me! It’s taken 12 weeks to create the demo by a 4 person team and the idea stemmed on an experience where someone was travelling on the tube late at night and on the opposite platform a man was just staring back, which would totally be unnerving of course. Now there’s more to the underground than we may know. There is a whole hidden network too full of mystery. This game is supposed to make you feel unsettled so more of a thriller than a horror. It’s very atmospheric, has a great look and attention to detail from the various sounds to the actual station which gives it a very immersive feel. As I said I hope this demo becomes an actual full game as I would definitely get it! If it is to go ahead, one of the upcoming challenges they said would be the scope as it is based on the London Underground and they’d want to make lines themed and have distinct stations with visual identity just like in real life.
Platform: Steam, itch.io
Genre: Action, adventure
Release Date: TBC
This game was without a doubt the most relaxing game I played at EGX! Which did make a nice change. Play as a female protagonist (that doesn’t patronise) along with a deer spirit, sharing the experience and journey, where one cannot succeed without the other, each having to motivate the other along their trail and in the process also learn about the Himalayas and the Tibetan culture. The game has taken 6 and half months to develop and has received good feedback. Much research has gone into this game, realising the harsh environment it is to live in and what the community does to create positive energy to overcome it. Spirituality is a strong aspect within their culture so having the deer spirit within the game not only reflects that but also specifically choosing the deer for its tame yet strong qualities and non-aggressive demeanour. And let’s not even get started with the score. Sit back and relax as you are transported and immersed with such beautiful but not overpowering music. The perfect game to just sit and chill.
Release Date: TBC
So momo knows just how to melt my brain. Well didn’t I get stubborn trying to complete this demo! I may have been a little too determined but it paid off as I managed to do it and it was the most satisfying feeling. It’s rock, paper, scissors like you’ve never seen it. Enjoy playing cute characters as you try to complete the puzzles by having unlocked all characters (wake those tricky, sleepy ones up) and finish by only having one type of character (so either Rocko the rock, Peep the paper or Scizza the scissor) left. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. But that’s what makes it brilliant. Along with a fun soundtrack, it’s the perfect puzzle game to take with you and play anywhere on your phone if you really enjoy a bit of a challenge and an accomplished feeling with every level. Keen and looking forward to its release.
Genre: Indie, racing, simulation
Release Date: Early access available
Nostalgic. Think of Brio but on a PC (so no mess and no chance of stepping on it and hurting you foot). Definitely took me back to my childhood. Quirky. You can either spend as much time creating your own world or there is an objective based part too which would be more my cup of tea as you have to build your tracks and platforms to transport commuters from A to B over various terrains/rooms (it’s so cute!). Simplistic but lovely.
Genre: Dark narrative, puzzle
Release Date: TBC
Again a game I didn’t get round to play but the concept caught my attention. It is rare to see female characters in a military setting, especially in a positive light. Play as a fugitive nurse carrying a soldier to safety. Then strip away the superfluous, focus on the narrative and include a few puzzle elements. The main inspiration is the film Paths of Glory, and for the look and feel games such as Inside and Ico influenced it. The game has taken 6 months to make and has received positive feedback. One I would like to have a go at in the future.
Obviously Inappropriate Content
Genre: Puzzle, Run and gun
Release Date: TBC , Beta demo
I was left feeling paranoid and questioning everything. The media is a powerful platform that can be good and eye-opening but also suspicious and at times manipulative, as demonstrated in this game. The concept was formed a long time ago but the game itself took 6 months to make. Securing funding is the next step to develop the game more. The best way to describe this game is Papers, Please meets Metal Slug. It’s an indie text adventure game with elements of run and gun.
Genre: Management sim
Release Date: TBC
Think along the lines of Zoo Tycoon but with mythical creatures. One of the main differences though is that games such as Zoo Tycoon are very business orientated whereas this game focuses on the conservation of mythical creatures, so you learn to look after them and at the same time get to learn the mythology behind them. The Chester Zoo series was an inspiration for this game, along with using games as a force for artistic good and having a great message. Go out on expeditions, capture these magnificent animals, strengthen the gene pool and release them back into the wild. If you’re an animal lover this may be one for you.
Platform: Sega Genesis, Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
Release Date: 14 August 2018
Who would’ve thought I’d really get into this game!!!!! I did not want to stop! Now that says something. And I struggle with platformers but that didn’t stop me. With 6 years of learning how to code for Mega Drive, the team behind this spent time writing their own tools and engines. With an array of inspiration such as Sonic, Flashback, Heart of Darkness, Rayman (just to name a few) play as a young, fox-like creature Nymn, who got separated from the pack and now has to find a way to survive the night terrors and make it to morning. With a moody look and feel, this cinematic platformer has a darker side to it, don’t be fooled. With 8 chapters that make up the game, each introducing new mechanics and with an overall real good story, I not only like the look of this game but the fun, challenges and laughs it gave me. Honestly cannot wait to play more!
Platform: Mobile, itch.io (if it does well it may make it to Steam and console)
Genre: Arcade, rail shooter
Release Date: TBC
If you’re familiar with Space Harrier then it’s along that sort of line. Play as a cat-dragon as you deal with oncoming obstacles whilst trying to collect enough in order to make it to the end of the level without dying. Andy = makes it to the top of the leaderboard, me = never gets to put 3 letters in. That’s right I never got to see the end. But I’m not bitter. The stress may have been real but to be honest it’s just a good, fun game and a good laugh. There’s no violence, no guns and pretty much anyone can play. It’s been in development for just over 2 years and has been shown at 53 shows, with a positive response.
Genre: Side-scrolling, puzzle
Release Date: TBC
The eye-catching contrast of a dark melancholic character in its bright, colourful surroundings had me check out this game. Play as a small lonely creature which grows by accidentally consuming everything. Solve puzzles and evolve but not without going on an emotional journey. It has taken 6 months to make the first half and further funding is required to complete it. Made by Dr Tim Kaufmann (studied for a PhD in Life Sciences specialising in Neuroscience and Structural Biology) and using his own research and passion, this game about Alzheimer’s has been conveyed so beautifully but so sad at the same time. You cannot help but somehow be affected or possibly even relate to this. The loss of memories and loved ones. Feeling discriminated. Even the music was emotional. Simple, tragic but effective.
It seems (myself included) people weren’t too happy about the lack of merch last year. Thankfully this year didn’t disappoint.
Not only was there a lot more floor space devoted to merch but the abundance and variety of it was exciting too. Whether you’re after something cute and cuddly, decorative, collectable or practical. Maybe you’re after that new bit of hardware, or fancy updating your wardrobe a bit with new clothes. Or perhaps going a little old skool and choosing from the many board games displayed. All in all, something to tickle everyone’s fancy. Really can’t complain and let’s hope they bring it again in future years!
Heads up if you’re thinking of going next year, be prepared for it not to be a cheap event. There are plenty of options, some obviously less damaging to your wallet/purse than others. You have the choice of going to any of the restaurants at the venue itself as well as a pub outside the main halls. Loads of Subways. Specialised food vans serving a variety of food such as pizza, hog roast, fish and chips, burger etc. So, as I said, plenty of delicious food to choose from to keep those energy levels up but is does come down to how much you are willing to spend at the end of the day.
Not as prominent as in other events throughout the year such as MCM Comic Con, however, still brilliant to see and experience. Feel free to take part yourself or just enjoy bumping into the odd Predator, or (one of my favs) an original Disney’s Ariel/POTC Davy Jones mash up.
EGX showcases new and old. Giving you the chance to view and try out upcoming games yet to be released! It doesn’t matter what sort of gamer you are and whether you’re an absolute noob, it’s about having fun. Whether it’s VR, platformers, puzzles, RPGs, survival, retro, side scrolling, sandbox and outside the box! There’s plenty to try out and it is an event I love to attend each year and one I not only recommend but definitely never want to miss.
Exhausting but always awesome! I love the chance to pull out my so-called “nerd leggings” along with my Overwatch hoodies which I basically live in for those four days, and get to take as much in as possible. Thanks again EGX. Until next time!