Day one of EGX 2017 is done! This year, I’m only doing two days at the show, any more would be excessive, especially as the ratio of games to other stuff seems more skewed to other stuff than ever before. e-Sports, Twitch and other gubbins take over the majority of the show floor, and in some ways games seem like an after though. But, it is EGX, and I’m doing my usual boots on the ground report of what I’ve seen so far. Enjoy.
My first port of call, to escape the insanity and find my feet, was to spy Cliff Harris of Positech Games and have a natter. I’ve seen Cliff at a few of these shows over the years, and he’s always a beacon of sanity in the expo world. We had a chat about the show and the industry, had a quick on the record chat about his upcoming game Production Line, and then I sat down and actually played it for the first time! I’ll look to give Production Line a proper look at when I return home and will deliver a proper preview then. Needless to say, building cars is fun, and clearing bottlenecks is even more enjoyable.
Bomber Crew from Curve Digital was next on my agenda. I’d like to thank Nick for suggesting I take a look, but I know that I would have ended up at the stand for it anyway. It is coming out on the 19th October, and it is definitely going to be something I check out on release. I’ve already fallen in love.
Next up was Racing Apex, another title from Curve Digital. The polygonal arcade action somehow reminded me of arcade classic Screamer, the cars are big and hugely powerful, though mastering the skill of drifting these beasts around the turns wasn’t something I picked up in my quick blast with the game. But it was a fun blast to play, with the developers planning to include damage effects to the cars to match the insane crashes. Release is penned for the first half of 2018.
Genesis Alpha One intrigued me as I walked past, as soon as there was a free spot, I jumped on and took in the majesty of this roguelike. You control a clone captaining a colonisation ship, exploring space for a habitable planet…and potentially inviting alien life on board. It caught my attention, and it certainly has a lot of potential.
Switchblade is MOBA that has the potential to appeal to those who think of DOTA2 when someone says MOBA, and instantly turns away. You see Switchblade features cars! That will probably be enough for some people to dive in, as while I didn’t get around to actually taking down any towers, or doing any MOBA stuff, I did enjoy racing around the map blasting foes with the tools of destruction on my fast buggy. To be honest, I’d probably be happy if this was just a vehicular deathmatch game, but by tapping into the MOBA genre, developers Lucid Games have something with potential to attract a larger audience. You can sign up for the beta right now on the official site.
While nosing around the Nintendo stand, which was doing good business, I spotted FIFA 18 for the Switch being demo’d. One of the advantages of attending a show by yourself is that occasionally you get asked to skip ahead of the groups, and I was lucky enough to get onto FIFA 18 pretty quickly. Let’s be honest, it is a football game, and if you’ve never thought about playing FIFA before, just being on the Switch isn’t going to convince you to jump in. But it’s a sign of EA making an effort with Nintendo’s new system, and while it doesn’t look like its bigger brother on PlayStation or Xbox, it is a fully featured FIFA game that you can play anywhere you want. On that measure, count me interested. If I buy any FIFA game this year, it will be the Switch version.
Sadly, I didn’t get any queue jumps with Super Mario Odyssey, but the wait was worth it, even if I only had a short period of time with the game. I’m not really sure what to say about it, as the bigger sites out there have already featured the game heavily. Just know that I walked away with the biggest smile on my face that I’ve ever had at one of these shows. Fantastic.
It’s strange how some game announcements can entirely pass you by, but that is what happened with Strange Brigade, the upcoming game from Rebellion, the guys behind the stupendous Sniper Elite series. Set in the 1930 you can play as one of four adventurers based on some of the usual archetypes, or team up in co-operative multiplayer. You’ll explore hidden parts of the old British Empire, uncovering mysteries and defeating evil.
The demo I played had an Egyptian influence, with plenty of mummies and assorted Egyptian nasties to battles. The action is fast and fluid, a change of page to be sure from Sniper Elite, but the core combat mechanics from that series provide a good base for Strange Brigade to build from. There are puzzles to complete, and probably plenty of hidden treasure to uncover as you continue your adventure.
I really enjoyed some of the set piece combat situations, while overwhelming at times with the number of enemies you have to deal with, glowing orbs set on pedestals are begging to be shot. Take aim and fire, and they will release different traps. Spikes, flames or a set of deadly spinning blades. Action is frantic at times and I did manage to kill myself a few times. D’oh!
One other feature I did enjoy was the narrator, his voice overs as I progressed through the level created a wonderful sense of adventure. This is certainly one game that I am glad I saw at the show, otherwise it might have entirely slipped past my attention.
That’s it for my Day One report, I hope you’ve enjoyed.