EGX is a huge gaming event for the UK and it runs for 4 days, it was my first year there so I’d like to share my thoughts and experiences about spending the day amongst so many great developers and games. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all had their own showcases and whilst everyone knows their names it was the Indie developers who really caught my eye.
Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo
It was a great turn out for all three publishers, I dabbled more in the Sony and Nintendo sections of the floor but there was so much to look at it was really difficult not to get distracted. Microsoft had a slew of games on offer and one that I missed out on was Super Lucky’s Tale, probably one of the only Xbox exclusives I’m actually interested in. There were mammoth queues all day though so I did have to be quite selective with the big developers.
I didn’t actually play on any Xbox One titles from Microsoft, I did watch some gameplay of Cuphead and I saw Sea Of Thieves looked pretty cool. I’ve never really been interested as much in Xbox and I would certainly say it’s my least favourite of the three gaming giants.
Sony had a good showing of games such as Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom and Monster Hunter World and they both looked stunning in motion. I played a little of Ni No Kuni II and if you’re a fan of the first game you’ll be pleased to know it felt very familiar, I never even thought the first game would get a sequel so it was great to see so much love and support for the game.
There was a giant section dedicated to Destiny 2 and that place was permanently busy, it obviously has garnered a huge following since the first game released and then you had Assassins Creed Origins and Strange Brigade (which I actually know very little about) which were pretty central to the whole show floor. The “Triple A” titles didn’t really interest me but I could see I was in the minority.
Nintendo had one game that I was intent on playing even if I was queuing for the whole day…can you guess what it is? That’s right. Super Mario Odyssey. Fortunately I only had to wait around 45 minutes despite the sign saying 1 hour and 30!
It was a short demo and you could pick between playing in New Donk City or Sand Kingdom. I wanted something a bit out there so I went for Sand Kingdom, I also really wanted to play as Mario in a poncho (alas I did not because you needed more purple coins). People are probably wondering why he’s still saving the same princess after all these years, but with every 3D Mario game there’s always something that pulls you in, this time it is Cappy his beloved hat. The game looks so polished and fresh as well, all the colours pop and when I was playing it felt like a better representation of a truly open world Mario game. I think the inclusion of a world map during each level is a clear indication the areas are a lot bigger than in previous titles and the moons I collected were really well hidden. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy received a lot of praise at the time of release and it’s interesting now to think back then games as good as those could ever be topped but just by the 10 minutes I played, I think Nintendo have gone and done it.
I got to play Fire Emblem Warriors too and I didn’t really enjoy it, I found it far too hectic and the character models very clunky. I do own Hyrule Warriors for both the Wii U and 3DS and I really loved that. However, I think that had more to do with the fact it was a universe based around Zelda which is one of my favourite game series. I am a Fire Emblem fan but there seemed to be too many side quests being activated at the same time as your main mission, your attacks seemed to do little to no damage to boss characters as well so it took a lot longer to kill them and became tedious. The character models who were riding creatures didn’t provide a smooth experience either so all in all I was left with a bitter taste as that was a game I was planning on buying upon release.
The Indie Developers
So let me just start this section by saying there was a ton of indie developers and unfortunately I would have needed the entire 4 days to have got my fill on every single game. It really was a feast for the eyes, ranging across all platforms there was such a wide variety of game genres on show and this included VR games and student games.
There were some great, standout titles for me and those included Forgotten Anne by Throughline Games, The Peterson Case by Quarter Circle Games, Purrfect Date by Bae Team Games and a whole host of others I just took a back seat with and watched others play.
I was immediately drawn to Forgotten Anne by its fantastic art style, I’m a big fan of anime and story driven games so this was a no brainer for me. You play as Anne and it’s described as a ‘cinematic adventure’ game, no doubt there’ll be a fair few mysteries to solve along the way as well. Set in a world where there’s an alternate reality known as the Forgotten Lands, it’s here where Anne is an enforcer. The general order of the Forgotten Lands is being threatened and only you can stop this! What’s not to love! I also got to spoke to Assistant Producer Ingvi Snædal and he was super excited to share more details about the game. It’ll be coming out on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam but no word on an official release date yet.
The Peterson Case was the last game I got to play, it was somewhat of a bittersweet ending because I never got to finish it as I had to go home. Developed by Quarter Circle Games you play as an FBI detective investigating a missing family, in the demo you played through a hotel and it’s set in the 1940’s. Described as a horror title the team are keen to stress they’ve tried to break away from the usual horror conventions of other titles, I love seeing games not afraid to leap out into the dark and take a risk and I’m certainly going to keep The Peterson Case on my radar. It’s due out May 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and Steam.
Purrfect Date is coming to Steam and can only be described as a cat dating sim! The clue is in the name. It boasts over 185,000 words and is a visual novel set and inspired by the Japanese islands inhabited by cats. This is definitely a game for the more open minded and if you like reading & cats then keep your eyes peeled for this one. Developed by Bae Team Games you can even choose your own cat adventurer!
As I said there were so many games at EGX I didn’t get to play, Yoku’s Island Express and Falling Sky both caught my attention but unfortunately I ran out of time. I sat down with a VR game called The House Mouse which was a great idea I thought, you played as a mouse and you had to find food for your family. In the demo shown you had to sneak past a cat and steal some pizza from the lounge and then scurry back through the rest of the house back to your family, the sense of scale was fantastic and I really felt as tiny as a mouse when playing! Top marks for realism! If you want to find out more on the game go here.
I feel like I’ve rambled on enough now so I’ll wrap it up there, I definitely hope to make this trip yearly and I’d love to stay the entire weekend next time, even the whole 4 days! For now, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite moments of the day…when I met my childhood hero…