I left the first day of EGX 2018, the UK’s largest gaming convention, with a big dumb smile on my face. I’d done some kickflips, used my brain and ridden an alligator down a hill. Not bad for ten hours work.
Taking place in the mega NEC/airport/train station complex on the outskirts of Birmingham, EGX is quite manageable. It’s easy to navigate, a fantastic interlinking system of buses and trains basically at your door, and unlike Gamescom, its burly brother on the continent, EGX has you actually able to play things without sacrificing hours to waiting in lines.
Day one, I managed to get hands-on with a bunch of different things, all worth a look in.
The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan (PlayStation 4)
It would feel unfair to pass full judgement on Man of Medan being that I played it without headphones, near blinded by glare, ten inches from a forty inch monitor.
Here’s what I remember:
- I picked whether I was a ‘rational’ or emotionally driven person
- As a lady in jean shorts, I wandered about a submarine (or ship?), looking at dog-tags and bullet casings
- I got angry at some idiot who tried to frighten me and laughed when he was ambushed by skeletons
- I was then ambushed by skeletons
Through the glare and sans the ruckus, I can tell that Man of Medan is going to be great. It’s more Until Dawn, and Until Dawn a.k.a. Cabin in the Woods: the game, was fantastic! Give me object tilting and B-movie jump scares until the cows come home.
Team Sonic Racing (PlayStation 4)
I’ve always loved Sonic, but his entourage, especially Tails, makes me want to punch something. Thankfully, I didn’t have the non-existent headphones issue with Team Sonic Racing. Un-thankfully, mine was on the fritz, meaning that anytime anyone said anything, it sounded like their voice was being filtered through a drive-through box with dodgy wiring. Apart from that, hey! This one’s not all that bad.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (Gamecube)
I found this during my lunch break, alongside Pacman and Super Mario World, in the con’s ‘retro’ area. I ended up taking three hours for lunch and finishing it. Game of show.
Soulcalibur VI (PlayStation 4)
I don’t much care for fighting games and their seeming need for ALL the visual flair. Energy, blood, a lot of the time, there’s so much damned screen furniture it’s near impossible to tell who’s who. Not only does Soul Calibur VI feel fantastic (smooth and well weighted), it looks beautiful. The classic Soulcal lightning/blood that’s wrenched from your opponent’s body after a well-placed stab, that’s a thing of beauty.
P.S. – Bandai-Namco: more Geralt in things. Cheers.
Lake Ridden (PC)
I sat down to Lake Ridden and was promptly handed a notebook. “You might want to take notes,” said the dev, and I did.
The first-person puzzler by Swedish developer, Midnight Hub, Lake Ridden is a wonderfully moody and head-scratching go-at-your-own-pace sort of deal. There’s no combat or enemies. My demo simply had me running about a swamp, deciphering patterns and placing stones into plinths. I had a blast.
Tony Slopes (PC)
Tony Slopes is, by far, the purest bit of fun I had on day one. Pick a character, pick a hat, pick a ‘vehicle’. Vehicles? Just the usual dinghy, bathtub, rocket-powered shopping trolley, alligator and blue whale. After chatting with the cheery family responsible for Tony Slopes, and cutting loose through Area 52, my ‘gator’s legs swinging wildly from all the Gs, they’d got me. This game is in pre-alpha, and this game is going to be incredible.
Thank you to Abe at Overcastgamer for letting us republish his article about EGX. Remember to comment about our EGX coverage below.
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