EGX 2019 – Round Up

Main EGX

There was a strange vibe to this year’s EGX – not a bad one, just different and a little muted. With the major companies prepping their new consoles for late 2020 it meant that there was a lack of big, playable games.

Avengers was probably the biggest playable draw but with a queue time of between 90 minutes and 3 hours it wasn’t something I got a chance to play.

Death Stranding was here but wasn’t playable, despite the fact it is coming out later this month. Cyberpunk 2077 was the hot ticket (more on that later) but that was only a hands off demo of the game.

Predator

The move to the Excel centre seems to have created more space for Indies, which is great. There was certainly a huge amount of games to experience at EGX this year and plenty where you were only waiting 5-10 minutes to play.

I quite enjoyed Predator: Hunting Grounds but, certainly playing as a marine, it felt a little generic. Perhaps some more polish will help. Journey to the Savage Planet seemed fun but like War Groove it felt like a game you’d need to play at home to get the best of, rather than at an event like EGX.

BeyondSteelSky

First person space shooter Boundary was cool, although graphically it didn’t look amazing, which was an issue when you are trying to shoot enemies at a distance. Speaking of shooting enemies, Zombie Army 4 was a messy, blast of a game. I also got to play the new DayZ map but didn’t encounter anyone else or any zombies so it felt a bit TOO sparse.

Although I didn’t play the first game, Beyond The Steel Sky looked interesting, with a good style and some nice puzzle mechanics. Ready Set Heroes was quite enjoyable, a sort of party game with dungeon crawler pre-match set up. I’m wondering why they didn’t use characters from the PlayStation Universe for this one though?

ZombieArmy4

Some hands on time with Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare‘s multiplayer confirmed it was the usual, fast paced FPS action. If you like COD, you’ll love this.

But there were a handful of games that stood out for me, starting with the title everyone wanted to see…

CYBERPUNK 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 was talked of amongst my most anticipated games of 2014 following its announcement. 5 years later I finally got to see what the game looks like with my own eyes, though it still isn’t out until 2020. It looks as polished and detailed as you’d want from a game that has been almost 10 years in development. With a Cyberpunk flourish throughout, there were the usual character options; stealth, action, hacking etc. However the skill tree looks to be huge and this is going to be about experiencing the world the developers have created. That world looked fantastic, full of neon and the tropes you’d expect. The violence was full on at times but I feel like that is a decent reflection of the game world, even if during the demo it felt a little like playing to the crowd.

CIRCUIT SUPERSTARS

Circuit Superstars was probably my favourite title of the games I played at EGX. Similar to the old Micro Machines games from back in the day, this is played at an angle slightly behind the car as opposed to directly above. It also reminded me of one of my favourite Vita games, Motorstorm RC. This could be genuinely the racing game I’ve been waiting for. I spent every lap fighting to shave milliseconds off my time, which is always a great sign. Hopefully the online will hold up and if the developer can add in some different race types this might become a mainstay of my gaming time.

STREETS OF RAGE 4

When they announced Streets Of Rage 4 I was really hopeful it would be good. Finally, a follow up to one of my favourite Mega Drive series. The good news for me is that this plays like a Streets Of Rage game and, even with a new art style, manages to capture the vibe of the original game. I feel like the demo here was set to easy as there wasn’t a huge challenge but that makes sense in an environment where they want to try and attract a wide audience. If the finished product has a decently sized campaign and a scaling difficulty, this could be one to watch.

CRIS TALES

Cris Tales is one of those games I mentioned earlier where you really need to play it at home, in a comfortable environment, rather than a packed and noisy event space. Having said that there was something about the whimsical character design and writing that pulled me into this title. The game is a party based battle title, meaning you will be exploring the game world and then jumping into turn based fights on the fly. There is also a time travel/multiverse angle, which I didn’t get to in the short time I played. With the right price point I could be very tempted to pick this one up.

So there you go, EGX 2019 is in the books. It certainly had a different flavour, the mix of a new venue and lots more stuff to do besides games (talks, speedruns, cosplay competitons/talks and live programming) meant that there was always something to see or do.

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