I have written a piece on my first day at EGX, this was mainly to talk about the big AAAs y’all are interested in. In this piece I’m just going to focus on the overall experience for me, a bloke who’s loved games since I can remember but has never been to an event like this, let alone as press. You know in cartoons where the character’s eyes glaze over and go all moist, that was me this weekend so….spoiler alert I had a blast.
Firstly the games, oh boy the games. I’ll briefly cover these as that’s what we were there for right! The games that I, and lots of other people loved…. Unsurprisingly to me I loved Avengers (and the free t-shirt), Cyberpunk 2077 (the live demo playthrough blew me away), Nioh 2 was awesome and more of the same soulsbourne golden formula, Iron Man VR was cool and fun but VR and Doom Eternal was awesome as i knew it would be…. so yeh these are games that were good but i expected them to be so no big party poppers going on there…..
Moving on to the games that didn’t quite leave me wanting; Link’s awakening..I played it and as much as it was fun and looked great I quickly realised this isn’t a game that I need to play! It’s exactly what you’d expect, a great remastered game but equally big big meh from me. Kung Fu Jesus was a strange indie game that was a clunkier Streets Of Rage, the best thing about it were the strange visuals and sounds. Legends of Runeterria is an online card game much like Hearthstone but i really don’t like these games anyway, so not a good person to play it! Lastly Concrete Genie, really didn’t blow me away at all. I played it and it was fine… But that was it, nothing particularly special or charming to me.
Now more positively onto games that I loved that I didn’t expect to: Firstly Luigis Mansion 3, so so fun and I’ve never played a Luigi’s Mansion game before now. But this is an absolute cracker. Using Gooigi you have to solve puzzles whilst sucking up ghosts and fighting bosses, the controls are fun and actually provide a challenge which was pleasantly surprising. Final Fantasy VII was another complete surprise as I really had my doubts about it, especially after not loving FF XV or KH3, but the gameplay was amazing. You get to switch between Cloud and Barret at will whilst fighting, attacking freely whilst then pausing for input commands for magic and abilities, it looked and played great. Lastly was Trine 4 which was a real joy to play and i didn’t even know what it was but I certainly do now. Combining combat and puzzle solving in a really unique way this game made me so happy and is a must get for co-op fun. To be honest the whole indie gaming section was fun to walk around and just jump on to random games.
So quite surprisingly to me was how much of this wasn’t about gaming, or the big boys like Avengers. EGX is a gaming event but also a kind of haven for all things nerdy, and even the premier league trophy! The AAA titles and developers were sandwiched by one end which was the indie section, this was awesome as it changed each day and there were loads of really fun titles that were easy to jump on and try. Then the other end was made up of a board/card game section complete with stands to buy the stuff you need and a huge retro gaming section. The retro gaming bit was especially good as it was open for 4 hours after the rest of it complete with bar and honestly one of my highlights was playing Soul Calibur on Gamecube after a couple of pints! Along with these sections there were loads of merch stands which had everything from keyrings to full PC set ups, within this there were sweet stands, artists tables and even a tattoo section (yes you can get tattooed at EGX!). As if this wasn’t enough there were also cosplayers, live streams from companies such as PS Access and Whatculture, eSports competitions, speed runners, food stalls and much more.
My other personal highlight besides the drunk retro games was probably the HUGE Playstation area, being a Sony fan boy since the PS1 came out this really made me happy. Showcasing new games such as Call of Duty, FF VII, Predator hunting grounds, Nioh 2 and much more as well as a huge special area for Avengers they easily had the biggest section and i thought bloody brilliant, centred in this was the PS access stage which was fun to watch between demo plays and they even had their own indie part which was mostly your good ol’ jap weebo games, as well as a PSVR section where you could play a whole choice of games (I played and thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man).
Basically EGX was amazing, couple the experience with 2 late/heavy nights in London and it’s a weekend i won’t forget in a long time. I’ll definitely be back next year as I had an absolute blast. Just look how happy I am: