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EGX 2018: a round-up

This year’s EGX event took place at the NEC Birmingham from 20 to 23 September 2018, and at the moment I’m still recovering. This is all thanks to a bad habit of trying to fit in too much at the same time: someone please remind me in 2019 that it’s not a good idea to schedule a blog party, volunteering duty, an expo with a seven-hour round-trip and an all-day stream all in the same week!

I entered EGX event feeling a little tired after the ESI Super Forum the previous day and knowing that we had to hit the Ubisoft section first thing in order to get a chance to play Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. I’d promised my other-half we’d do this as having an under-18 in tow at Insomnia63 last month meant he wasn’t able to play it there; and he’d been good enough to patiently queue up for an hour for Detroit: Become Human at last year’s event, so I couldn’t really say no.

As soon as we arrived at the stand though the queue time already stood at two hours and despite checking back several times, it never really got below this. It was the same for many of the other big-budget areas in the exhibition hall: the line of gamers beside them never seemed to subside. This, combined with the fact that there appeared to be more space dedicated to triple-A titles this year, created an atmosphere which was quieter than in 2018 because many attendees chose to dedicate their day to waiting for a particular title.

This had its positives though: the smaller indie section at the front of the exhibition hall felt more open and was easier to move around in. We had a good chat with Pajama Llama Games Co-Founder and Artist Juda-Ben Gordier about how far Flotsam had come since we first played it at Rezzed last year; I spent quite a long time playing through a section of point-and-click 3 Minutes to Midnight by Scarecrow Studio; and The Bradwell Conspiracy by A Brave Plan looks like exactly the sort of thing my other-half and I would enjoy.

This year, EGX’s organisers had taken the decision to move the Rezzed sessions area outside of the main hall. Personally I don’t think this worked particularly well: the room wasn’t well sign-posted so I’m unsure many people found their way there and there were plenty of empty seats when we went to take a look. In addition, the schedule wasn’t updated on the mobile app and then appeared to have been removed completely so we weren’t even aware of the talks being held. It’s a shame because they’re usually some of the most interesting.

The chill-out space dedicated to the event’s recently-announced partnership with CheckPoint and Gaming the Mind had also been placed outside the main hall and suffered the same fate. This was incredibly disappointing because EGX would have been the perfect opportunity to promote mental-health awareness and advocating the use of video games for good. We stopped by the room to meet the team and I’ll be signing up as a volunteer once I complete my mental-health first-aider course in January.

Despite the long queues and apparent absence of the Rezzed sessions and chill-out space, the expo was still fun event it always is and we’ll definitely attend again next year. Make sure you visit geeksleeprinserepeat, That Green Dude and Upon Completion this week as these guys were also there and I’m sure they’ll be bringing you some awesome content about what they got up to.

Next up is Comic Con at the ExCeL London where I’ll be volunteering on the SpecialEffect stand once again, so if you’re there on 26 October 2018 please do stop by and say hello! In the meantime, you can find our photos from EGX in the gallery below and there’ll be further posts about some of the games we played there coming this week.

EGX 2018 photo gallery

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11 thoughts on “EGX 2018: a round-up Leave a comment

  1. I agree about the Rezzed sessions, it took me way too long to find those rooms. I also thought that part of the reason The Division was so busy – I didn’t bother queuing and it was much busier on Friday, was because they had quite a few AAA games that had huge booths that were already released – Spiderman, Destiny 2, Tomb Raider. The Destiny booth never got that busy and neither did Tomb Raider. I felt like The Division, Kingdom Hearts and Metro were the biggest games there for new releases and 3 games just isn’t enough. Although the queue for Metro on Thursday was only about half an hour, but I think I timed it quite well.

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    • You’re right: there were an awful lot of games on show that were already out (including Fortnite again). It seemed to be the same in the indie area too, and we came across loads of titles that we’d either already played or knew were available on Steam already. It’s a shame because we were hoping to come away with loads of upcoming games for our wishlist as we’d done in previous years!

      What was your pick of the show?

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      • I think my favourite was probably Metro Exodus. I don’t actually think I can away with too many games I’m that excited about that i didn’t already have on my radar. I really liked Flotsam too

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        • Same here, the event felt a bit flat in terms of new games this time around. Flotsam was great though – a lot of additions have been made to it since it was on show at Rezzed.

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  2. I enjoyed EGX this year, there were so many great games on the show floor. I don’t know if it was just me but it felt as though this year was more organised. The queueing to get in, the queues for games were nowhere near as bad or as tedious as last year. The longest game I had to wait for is either Metro Exodus or Kingdom Hearts 3. I waited about an hour for both of those.

    I don’t understand why Destiny 2 was there, that space could have been used for Resident Evil 2 Remake or Devil May Cry 5.

    My game of the show is (unsurprisingly) Kingdom Hearts 3. I loved every minute of the time I had with it. I teared up a little after playing it, it’s actually real and it’s amazing. After waiting so many years for it, Kingdom Hearts 3 is nearly here. January can’t come soon enough.

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    • Destiny is always there in some form, ha ha! Virgin used exactly the same set-up as last year so I guess they had all the equipment in storage and thought, “Why not bust that out again.” 😉

      It definitely seemed as though there was more space to move around in this time, not just because it was quieter on the Thursday than the other days. I didn’t like the fact that the rooms for the Rezzed sessions and CheckPoint were moved outside the main hall though; they just didn’t get the attention they both deserved.

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      • I thought the Desitny set up looked familiar. 😄

        I’m glad there wasn’t big lines for EGX this year. Last year was a nightmare, I waited about an hour and a half to play a game.

        I did notice that the Rezzed section was moved. It’s a shame because they have some good stuff there. The stage for the cosplay was also moved to the back which I think was a bad decision.

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