EGX is the biggest gaming convention in the UK, aimed at both industry professionals and fans, covering everything from big names releases, to indie titles, to the gear you need to play it all on. So really, the fact I’d never been was pretty shocking, considering my geek credentials.
My immediate reaction was mostly amazement. The show is enormous, both in the floor plan and the sheer scale of the booths. With massive powerhouse brands like PlayStation, Ubisoft, and Nintendo showing off their latest and greatest creations, some of the stands are truly enormous, with mini stages and huge set pieces. I spent the first half hour walking around staring at everything.
I love retro games, so our first stops were for the old school consoles and remasters of classic games. It turns out that age and experience have not improved my skills at playing Sonic (or on pinball machines), but I am still inexplicably talented at Street Fighter, much to Dave’s disappointment.
In terms of new releases, the only thing I absolutely had to try out was Assassin’s Creed Origins. I absolutely love the previous Assassin’s Creed games and I was excited to get a little demo of the newest one. Set in Ancient Egypt, this game is the furthest back Ubisoft have gone for the historical setting of one of their games. Queues at the Ubisoft stand were enormous, but we found the wait times at with xBox were much better, so we headed that way for a twenty minute demo.
An insane amount of work has gone into overhauling the look and feel of this game and it shows. Visually, it’s stunning. The landscapes are beautiful and characters and NPC are highly detailed. The colours are vibrant and every detail has been thought about and created with incredible attention.
Unfortunately, I’ve only played past games on the PlayStation so it took me a minute to get the hang of the differing controls for the xBox (including an embarrassing moment where I couldn’t figure out what button I was meant to be pressing in order to dismount from a horse…). Despite my confusion, I immediately found the world immersive, and I’m sure I could easily sink hours into this game without noticing.
The underwater environments are stunning too, with the ability to dive and swim underwater in far more detail than ever before. Combat feels fluid and natural, and takes more skill than in previous games approach to just countering and dodging in order to take no damage.
One of the biggest changes is to eagle vision. It’s gone. Instead, your main character has an eagle companion, Senu, who can be used to detect enemies, treasure and locations. I wasn’t totally convinced by this change, but I think with more time to get used to it, it will be a wonderful addition to gameplay. I had also hoped to get time to try out the new options to explore more interiors (including the Library of Alexandria) but there wasn’t time, sadly.
I will definitely be buying this game.
I was excited to check out the cosplay at the show. I chose to cosplay Lara Croft, a costume I haven’t worn in a long time. I caught up with my favourite photographer, Sandy Smith Photography, and got in a photoshoot outside. As always, I love the results, with the dark, moody atmosphere.
EGX is host to several different cosplay contests. If you want to just show off your costume, there are The EGX Casual Cosplay Masquerades. For the braver, there is the EGX Cosplay Championship, which was sponsored by Ubisoft this year. They also host the UK preliminaries for the European Cosplay Gathering. A winning individual and group from this will go on to represent the UK at the international championships in France. With a focus on performance as well as the costume itself, this competition was amazing to watch, with incredibly high standards. I love to see cosplay at this level, and I wasn’t disappointed.
If you’re a serious gamer, there is a staggering amount to see and do at EGX, but for the more casual players like me, there is still plenty to enjoy. For me, the full four days wasn’t needed, and I got round everything I wanted to do in the one day we visited, whereas more gamey friends felt they still hadn’t seen everything after four days at the show.
If nothing else, go and check out the cosplay. It’s truly amazing.
I was given press passes for EGX. All opinions are honest and my own. Exhibitors were aware I was press.