The weekend flew by and now it’s back to reality. But the weekend was chocked full of great people, great events and wonderful games from both big budget studios and indie developers. Yup we’re talking about EGX 2015.
Team Scary was there in full force checking out every nook and cranny of the convention held at NEC in Birmingham and the weather was also on our side. Previous conventions have usually occurred during wet or dreary weather, so it was a nice change to have some luck. Without a doubt this year’s EGX was probably one of the best in a long time and I think that primarily comes down to just how much variety was there. Previous years have had a mix of AAA games to showcase and a hefty amount of indie ones, but this year it seemed like there was a flood more in every section, but especially, unsurprisingly the indie games. The entire floor show was buzzing, people of all ages, thoroughly enjoying the displays, cosplays and efforts put on by the staff there and those running each booth.
Thankfully we didn’t see many older big budget games, because it seems that’s quite a common occurrence at least in UK conventions. A few years ago, well a good few really, I remember being at an MCM Expo event in Excel London, where the only big game that was playable was Assassins Creed II, which has been out by then, well over a year. But EGX 2015 kept things fresh. Mad Max, Black Ops 3 and Halo 5 were some of the bigger games blasting from the Blue and Green neon zones of the floor. Youtube Gaming also had a set up, whereby people could play on a stage with puffs of smoke effects to make them feel like champions. A lot of effort was put in this year for sure.
Big Budget games ranged from a host of hotly anticipated titles such as Star Wars Battlefront and Assassins Creed Syndicate. Oddly Syndicate, The Division and a couple of other titles were confined to the ‘adult’ section and to be honest, there’s not really any need for an adult section at EGX. The games showcased weren’t showing hardcore sexual or violent scenes and anyone who was underage seemed to have been accompanied by adults. I’m 27and I got ID’d to go into this section, which was actually the most lacklustre of the entire floor. In fact the most exciting, cosy and fun part of the whole place was the Nintendo area. It was bright and playful, with a mix of ages checking out games, Amiibos and a really nice comfy Street Pass corner, where you could chill on beanbags and try to add people on your 3DS.
Funnily enough across from that area was a long purple wall, which more often than not was plastered with parents needing a break from being awesome chaperones to their kids. We dubbed it the Wall of Exhaustion.
The indie area was overflowing with unique and fun titles. We bumped into Arran Langmead who created Bears Can’t Drift, which we reviewed LINK.
The developer would take on board all feedback during the day and then at night work on fixing them and improving the game every time. It’s a testament to how important conventions are from a feedback point of view as well as for having a good time.
We got some hands on time with 2Dark by the creator of the original Alone in the Dark and will have a review up soon. Here’s a sneak peak at something you can do in the game if you’re a complete monster – throw children in bear traps. Noooo!
Aeero had us shoulder and head bopping as we played it, combining a really cool dubstep soundtrack with pretty visuals in a space shooter that is hard not to make parallels with Wipeout and Audiosurf but the game is entirely its own thing. Keep an eye out for our in-depth review on that as well.
Surprisingly one of the games that we had to keep coming back to try because the queue kept reappearing was Gang Beasts, where you play as cute if not somewhat playdough looking creatures fighting on platforms. Without a doubt this is a game where you need to find 3 friends or random people on a street to thoroughly enjoy, as we did.
The Escapist had an 8bit Walking Dead RPG-like game on show, which was intriguing, but needs some works with the controls. As usual Prison Architect was there and it’s becoming a bit strange now why they are at Rezzed and EGX every year. This year people could go into actual cells and sit in electric chairs which was a really cool gimmick but as for the game itself, surely you are done with showcasing at conventions by now?
The retro section once again catered to the nostalgic and curious of gamers, with almost every old-school console on display and we learned that the Nintendo Zapper truly is worse than Wii motion control if it were drunk.
Other great games we tried out and want to see more of were Mute, Sheltered, Super Rude Bears Resurrection, The Few, Out there, Last Fight and a host more. Seriously EGX really brought together amazing games and teams.
A huge thanks to the staff at EGX who were helpful and on point and the maintenance and cleaning staff who patrolled the area and kept it looking good. It’s a lot of work for them as much as those showcasing.
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