EGX 2019: Day One

Our Coverage of Day One at EGX 2018

It`s the third Thursday in September, and for us UK folk, that means only one thing. Yes, it`s the first day of the EGX expo which takes place in Birmingham every year at the NEC. Gamers come to get their hands-on some of the newest titles that will be coming their way in the next few months, and it`s a great event – seeing everyone getting to play, people turning up in cosplay, seeing developer sessions happen in the theatre, it truly is a great event to come to if you`re a gamer. We`ve been there today, for Day 1 of 2 days at EGX. Read on below for our round-up of Day 1.

After arriving at the NEC just after 9 and walking 10 minutes or so from the station to the venue (Which was in the hall furthest away from the station – if you`ve been to the NEC and EGX before then it was the same halls) we finally got there. The barriers were out, the massive video screen was playing the same Eurogamer video over and over whilst we waited to get in, we picked up our wristbands and lanyards and headed into the queue where we waited ahead of the 10am opening. Seeing people in cosplay and hearing people talking in excitement and reacting to the video were part of the excitement to get in. It was busy – queues seemed to get long rather quickly to get in – but that`ll be nothing compared to the weekend. 10am hit, and the doors opened, and we entered what was going to be a day of fun and gaming galore.

The first game that we were to jump into is one of Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, which was playing on a PS Pro. Spyro, which is one of my favourite child-hood games, and many hours were lost into that as a youngster playing on my PS1, I had been very excited to get my hands on the game and the first look at how the game played and fared, and I couldn’t have been much more happier with the start I had it. It truly was fantastic, and for me, magical. Being able to play a game that I use to spend loads of time on as a youngster and was a big game for me growing up, to see it remastered and on a current-gen console was amazing. The game is fluid, and smooth, and I love what they`ve done with it. Keeping all the original music (Or at least on the level I played) and keeping it completely original to before is amazing. I was a bit disappointed when it was revealed earlier that it had been delayed until November, but after playing today, my excitement remains as high as it was when I first heard that it was being remastered and released.

After completing 10 minutes on Spyro, we jumped from Playstation’s section of the venue to Square Enix`s section and started queuing and looking to get our hands-on Life is Strange 2. We hadn’t been given anything since The Amazing Adventures of Captain Spirit, which was released earlier this year as a demo and told that the decisions made would influence the second season in some aspect. We`re still yet to hear that aspect of the game, but from what we played today, it looked very promising and if you`re a fan of Life is Strange and enjoyed the first season or Before the Storm, then you`ll obviously enjoy this, as in turns of the gameplay and the mechanics of the game, it works the same way. Exploring different objects that will enable you to progress through the game. We got the chance to take control of Sean Diaz, who is one of the protagonists in the game, as he is given a list o tasks he needs to do before heading off to a party. You can explore different areas of the house, and given how quickly you do the tasks, will determine whether you see to the end of the demo given the time you have (Around 15 minutes to play). Once you have played Life is Strange 2 you do get a free t-shirt for playing the game (Which is quite good – I`m never object to a freebie).

A game I had been really looking forward to getting my hands on at EGX this week was that of Metro Exodus. The game that had been shown off before, most notably at E3 when we got an extended look into the game, I had been excited to see how it would fare hands-on, and I was so hoping that it was going to relay that excitement into the game. However, after playing the game for around 15 minutes or so, I`ve got to say, I`m not fully convinced. Of course, you need to give a game a lot more than 15 minutes to get into it, but I found it slightly confusing given that it is a non-linear story and is very easy to get side-tracked, into exploring and taking down enemies, and even then, I wasn’t too sure where to go in the level I was playing. Perhaps I was missing something damn obvious, and I was being oblivious to it, but the early impressions didn’t leave me too impressed. I may try and give it another session tomorrow at some point to see if I can have a better crack at it than I did today. Given it was also the longest queue line that we joined and the longest we waited, I cannot help but feel slightly underwhelmed.

After jumping off Metro Exodus we headed over to the Rezzed section of the venue, which is where all the smaller and ID titles are shown off and for me, I`ve found myself quite enjoying playing through some of the Rezzed games and checking them out, more so now than I did before. I didn’t have too much care for ID titles a long time back, but you can get some cracking ones and some unique ones, so for me I always like checking and seeing what there is on offer. The first ID title that we went to play on, was a motorbike racer called Ride 3, and is being developed by Milestone Srl. After picking any bike I jumped into a quick race, and within 30 seconds of being in the race, I must have come off my bike at least 5 times. If you`ve played a Forza game, on an Xbox, then you don’t want to be playing this, because the controls on this in terms of changing directions and turning is ridiculous. You need to not be racing around at full blast around the track, and especially more so when you approach corners, because you will come off every single time. It became incredibly frustrating after a while and didn’t last very long.  We also checked out Swords and Soldiers, which although is not releasing on Xbox, was a fun game to play where you could play against each other in split-screen, and using a range of tactics and different spells, you had to infiltrate and wipe out your opponent’s base. It was quite a fun game to play with someone once you had worked out what you needed to do. Hopefully in the future we`ll see what come to Xbox. The final game we checked out in the Rezzed section of the venue, was that of My Time at Portia, which is being published by Team17, and again, is another fun title that I quite enjoyed, but playing on a Nintendo switch controller was interesting. I don’t particularly want to be playing on that again.

Next up, was to take the leap into the world of SEGA, and in most particularly, Sonic Racing. A fun game that I quite enjoyed, you chose what character you wished, and took them out to race, and using pick-ups to win the race. It`s self-simple, but I did quite enjoy myself with it.

I had been keen to get my hands-on Dark Pictures: Man of Medan since it was first revealed earlier in the year. The team, Supermassive Games, who have teamed up this time with Bandai, are releasing a similar concept game to Until Dawn (Which was a PS exclusive) that is coming to Xbox! From what we played, if you`ve played Until Dawn, it works and feels the exact same way. You`ll go around, picking up and exploring objects, that you can look further into and will give premonitions of a possible outcome. Using branching conversations, what you say will influence how the game plays out, working on the same butterfly effect that we saw in Until Dawn. Graphically the game looked stunning, and I`m really looking forward to seeing it release on an Xbox One X console, because it could look quite breath-taking. I have high hopes for Man of Medan when it releases.

Ace Combat 7 was the next game that we took to our controllers and grips, and it didn’t last long. Not for me at all. Perhaps I didn’t give it much time to play and maybe I`ll give it another go tomorrow (As it didn’t have a queue line – it seemed to be one of the stands that you could just walk straight up to and near enough straight onto the game). I`ll look at giving this one another go tomorrow.

Kingdom Hearts 3. When this was revealed earlier in the year to be coming to Xbox I was shocked. I genuinely thought I would never seen a Kingdom Hearts game ever come to an Xbox console. A game that has historically been a PS exclusive was coming to another console, and it led to beliefs whether any of the previous Kingdom Hearts games could make the switch to another console. So, when KH3 was revealed to be coming onto Xbox, it was a game that instantly I fell in love with. I managed to get a session today with the game and making it my second to last game of the day, it was a game that truly left a memory for me, and one that has left me extremely excited. The game feels fluid, looks amazing, and the level that I played on introduced the lead character, Sora, and Goofy and Donald Duck, as that looked to fight off “the intruders” with the help of Woody and Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story characters. It was just amazing. There was another level on offer and I`ll look to give that a go tomorrow at some point, but it felt amazing in terms of the gameplay, really fluid, smooth, and a game that I am very much looking forward too.

And the last game of the day that we managed to get our hands on, after a packed day, was that of Assassins Creed Odyssey. I was a big lover of Origins, in terms of the gameplay and the graphics, and is one of the best creed games I`ve played. Taking on the role of either Alexios or Kassandra, you have the option to play two different levels in Creed, in addition to exploring the open world setting and get use to the gameplay, however if you have played Origins, then it`s similar. Graphically however the game is something else, and having thought first playing the demo it was running on a PC, it was confirmed that the game was running on an Xbox One X , and all I can honestly say is wow. That game looks visually stunning. I loved Odyssey, and I cannot wait for the game to launch in 2 weeks-time. In addition, you also got a good freebie from the stand for playing the game.

That brought the end of our first day, and we managed to get quite a bit done. We`ve played some great games, some games that we need to get a bit more time with tomorrow, and some of those that we didn’t hit today that we`ll be hitting tomorrow. We`ll be there tomorrow for our final day of coverage, in what has already been a fantastic time, and we`ll be looking to hit The Division 2 and Call of Duty Black Ops 4 early on. Follow us on Social Media, either Twitter or Instagram for photo coverage.

We`ll see you tomorrow for Day 2 of EGX!


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