After steering clear of EGX for a few years due to their focus on console gaming, I was persuaded by friends this year to give it another shot.
This year the show was at Birmingham NEC (Or is that Brimingham? 😀 )
Getting up far to early on a Saturday morning, myself Benschmark and Shiftnplay got into my little Celica, whoever failed to call shotgun got to have an experience of a day in the life of a contortionist.
Upon arrival at EGX 2016 we found traffic management quite well organised and were quickly parked up and queuing for a parking ticket, done this way to prepare us for the likely theme park style experience ahead.
Approaching the hall Benchmark and Shiftnplay wanted to hang around to see if Thunderbird 1 would launch.
Communications for the day were done over Facebook messenger, a fantastic way for friends to locate each other at an event, this enabled us to get together for our pre-arranged Overwatch match. Twisting Gets managed to supply 5 players, so we chose a Merc to fill the roster.
We were unceremoniously wiped out, I could use the lack of comms in the headsets as an excuse for confusion, but we were no match for the highly skilled players on the other team, we failed to sink the Titanic.
Moving around the many exhibits, I was excited to see a much better PC presence, even for some of the big titles. There were only 4 games in the over 18’s area which I found odd, considering Call of Duty and Tekken 7 which would have been in there a few years ago were now out in the main arena of EGX.
I was quite impressed with Mars Pioneer which was being produced in conjunction with JCB, I had a good chat with their map developer who confirmed sadly that there would be no potato growing on Mars, as the soil is radioactive and the end result would be toxic. Matt Damon was also not waiting to greet us on Mars, but the game itself, a combination of simulation and survival experience, looks very good with lots of technical detail. As with many PC titles on display, rather than queuing to try it out, I could sign up for the Beta, which is a nice touch and allows you to take in more without rushing too much.
There were lots of installations for gaming both current consoles and retro gaming, a nice distraction for some while waiting for a slot on some of the more popular exhibits which had to be prebooked.
There were some great retro machines including some rare sights, all up and running and ready to play.
Prebooking was essential for the VR exhibits, one of my favourites was Croteam’s Serious Sam with an Actual minigun and Scan’s racing rig setup with what seems to be the framework from an Ariel Atom.
I wanted to snap a pic of the new WWE game but photos in there were forbidden by some burly security guards. This was the only rude encounter of the day. Shame on you 2k Sports, is your game really that bad?
There were well-known developers bringing out new versions of classics.
Along with strange and scary games. One of which was The Mannequin, this game made me jump out of my skin, in front of many bemused spectators. Shiftnplay didn’t get to the big scary bit.
Plenty of merch and food stalls on offer, all very tempting with some fun and unique items available.
As the end of the day arrived, I would say we all had a very enjoyable experience, however if you want to actually get your hands on games to experience the gameplay, it may be an idea to buy at least a two day ticket and get some slots booked to avoid disappointment. So maybe next time I will do two days, I don’t see the value in a four day ticket though.
Now to try and get our group to Gamescom in Germany in August 2017.