EGX is back for its 2018 edition of the famous gamer expo with titles ranging from impressive AAA titles to a collection of lovable and heart-warming indie games. This year I (Rebecca) and Nicole will be attending the conference and bringing you coverage from this year’s show.
Rebecca: Despite the lure of bigger titles, I was initially attracted to E-Line media’s educational underwater exploration game Beyond Blue. This immersive indie title puts you in the flippers of diver Mirai, a marine scientist as she charts the hidden waters of the deep blue sea. The demo presented at EGX was unbelievably in-depth and showcased the technology of the future that is currently being worked to protect the ecosystem of the seas. Players can make choices which will alter the environment around them if they chose to research and expand safety zones or focus on the drones and electronic buoys which improve future technology. Beyond Blue has been co-created by Blue Planet II which drew the interest of 62% of the world’s population, thanks to their careful research marine biology and behaviour is spot on, which has created an authentic and realistic experience. I also attended the Beyond Blue developer talk in the Rezzed Theatre where the developer’s passion for the game shone through and it was also revealed that mini documentaries from the Blue Planet II television show will be integrated into Beyond Blue, including never seen before clips. Beyond Blue is certainly a game that I’m excited about and will be playing come spring 2019. Due to the amount the game had impressed me I also interviewed Steve Zimmermann, Vice President of marketing for more information, that interview can be read here.
Nicole – As a first-timer to EGX, I initially had to stop and revel in the atmosphere upon entering the venue. There’s something remarkably euphoric about being surrounded by a mass of developers, big and small showcasing a flurry of outstanding titles and I was absolutely hankering to get stuck well in. My profound love for 3D platformers steered me immediately over PlayStation’s stand where the demo for Spyro: Reignited Trilogy was situated. The demo featured a selection of three levels to play: Stone Hills, Idol Springs and Sunny Villa and my brief experience with the game far surpassed my expectations. Every one of the three playable levels was a treat for the eye, exhibiting a fun graphic style well-suited for the genre, all of which caked in an assortment of dazzling colours. However, the award for most impressive aspect of the demo without a doubt went to the animation. Everything about Spyro’s movement was blissfully satisfying from the way his expression changed as he shot a stream of fire from his mouth or how his wings bounced on his back as you charged to and fro throughout the lavish levels provided. Everything about the demo was wonderfully charming and full of character. It’s safe to say that Spyro has received the same N’Sane trilogy treatment, if not better.
Rebecca: Super Smash Bro’s Ultimate may be one of the most anticipated upcoming games from Nintendo’s catalogue. With the same set up and structure as previous Smash Bro’s games, Ultimate has instead focused on creating a more vivid and enjoyable video game. Characters are more responsive to hits and if knocked down will take a moment to get back up, another nice touch is the smoke cloud that follows fighters once they are kicked into the air, it may only be a simple touch, but it’s extremely effective. An in game a map is now shown in the top corner, this periodically flashes on the screen, highlighting the exact position of each fighter. During the chaos of a battle these blips can help players locate a target, so they can focus on obliterating them. Ridley is probably the most exciting newbie to join the fight and he comes with an impressive set of attacks, whilst Kirby will always be my go-to fighter I enjoyed drenching smaller fighters in balls of fire, whipping them off their feet with Ridley’s spiked tail and generally being one of the most sinister characters on screen. Super Smash Bro’s ultimate may still be a few months off launch but it’s promising that I walked away from the stand desperate to get back on the battlefield.
Rebecca: Although the game has already been out for a week now I was intrigued to play Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Since its reveal I have been sceptical about the game due to Metacritic scores and its visuals which in the past failed to wow me over. However, sitting down to play a demo has only strengthened my interest in picking the game up. The setting is beautiful, underwater controls are simplistic (much to my relief) and the graphics are detailed and truly beautiful. With the game already out on the markets I may feel more swayed to pick it up thanks to its demo, my only hope is that the rest of the game maintains this quality, if so it won’t be long until I own my own copy.
Nicole – Despite my intentions to buy Shadow Of The Tomb Raider in due course, I couldn’t help but delve into this demo regardless in hope of easing my restless mind of the doubt that’s slowly but surely overwhelmed it. Fortunately, it was reassuring to see that Shadow Of really captures the essence of the series so far, not differentiating too greatly and subsequently remaining coherent with the previous instalments of Lara’s origins story to date. It does however, offer some new and nifty features that adds the refreshing nuances you’d anticipate from a new game. It became evident during the demo that the game’s primary focus lies with it’s more elaborate underwater exploration system that much to my surprise, goes hand in hand with the existing mechanics of the game. I was overall taken back by how much fun I had with the Shadow Of The Tomb Raider demo. However, my dubiety will persist until proved otherwise and I will be crossing my fingers that like a misleading movie trailer, that the gameplay showcased wasn’t all the best parts of the game compiled into a short demo.
Nicole – In amongst playing some more widely renowned titles, I ventured into the Left Field Collection stand in hope of uncovering some quirky indies. I took up a rifle with webbed feet and explored the town of Swindon in The Amazing Frog where GTA meets amphibian in a game thriving off of utter nonsense. The game is playable both solo or splitscreen and induced some brutal belly-laughs. Crazy co-op Sticky Cat had us competing to steal a fish and escape. Moreover we found ourselves incessantly screaming at the screen as we stuck to everything in competitive panic. Moving away from whacky co-op titles, I mellowed out with Close, a title in which you explore a snowy setting encased in mystery that shares a profound likeness with the likes of Journey. The Left Field collection unearthed some real gems that were a joy to play.
So that’s it for the first day, with three more days at the show and plenty more games to cover be sure to check in with our coverage over the duration of the show.