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EGX 2017: Floor Review And A First Timers Look At EGX

The joy of the prevalence of video games in recent times, is that it’s easier to explain your niche to others. This made it especially easy to explain to strangers why I was dressed as a character from Overwatch on a busy Sunday train to Birmingham, as I made my way to EGX at the NEC. And, while I am a regular convention goer and equally an avid gamer I had never been to a games specific expo before.

 

 

EGX is a mainstay for the big name gaming companies, with many demonstrations and presentations on new titles; regular Twitch streams by devs; cosplay competitions and merchandise on the floor. It has big draw for casual gamers, for families, and for industry professionals – and even for those looking for advice for how to make gaming their career. With all this in mind I was definitely expecting a busy day of exploring the expo floor and hopefully getting to try out some games in the process.

 

 

The upside was there was definitely plenty to see and do from a browsing standpoint. From the moment you walked in there were people handing out fliers and codes for promotions. The indie games area, EGX Rezzed, dominated the front zone even before you started to approach any of the larger name companies. I found this quite refreshing, as a demonstration of the importance of the indie market, and offered a great mix of games to play in genres ranging from very family friendly, to viral horror potential.

 

 

There were a good number of competitive gaming areas on show. This included the ESL E-Sports Arena; The Road to EGX Overwatch tournament; and a Street Fighter V tournament that had a raucous and excited crowd. It was great to see audience participation encouraged, as these areas had huge viewing screens that allowed folks to stand back and immerse themselves in the action, and to get behind the players throwing down – sometimes, quite literally – on screen.

 

Being present Sunday meant catching the tail-end of the various exciting panels that were available to attendees, but EGX had provided streams via Twitch the entire weekend and these could be caught up on through mobile even if it wasn’t physically possible to get inside. These can also be watched back on the EGX YouTube channel and give a good insight into many of the games that were on parade as well as industry insights.

 

 

The biggest draw still came in the shape of the big names, with Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sega, Square Enix and Blizzard all having their own zones broken up over the expo. There were long waits for anyone who wanted a sneak peek at titles such as Farcry 5 or Assassin’s Creed Origins, to learn more about recent releases like Destiny 2, or even to try their hands at Youtube phenomenons like PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds.

 

There were upsides and downsides throughout my time on the expo floor. The biggest obstacle I found as a casual con-goer was that when it came to trying things out I didn’t get to see or do quite as much as I might’ve liked. Though the Indie Rezzed zone occupied most of the entrance area many games were only available on one or two screens at best.

 

 

A prevalent theme throughout the whole expo was that there didn’t seem to be many people enforcing rotation of players, either. On one occasion I came over to the Overwatch area after having been there an hour previous, and the same folks were still playing on many of the computers available. It made it much more evident to me why so many people make EGX a four day long event, in order to get as much gaming in as possible.

 

But where there was sometimes a lack of gaming there was still a lot of engagement. Representatives were generally happy to talk with con-goers. There was a cosplay stage in the centre of the convention where people could go and watch others that had turned their love of gaming into a creative outlet. There was some great merchandise available, from t-shirts to bags, figures to tech accessories.

 

Another great addition came in the form of a board gaming area, which had the Playopolis board game library working with EGX for the first time. They were providing games for visitors to sit together and play in the seating area. Some upcoming titles were demonstrating as well, including the MMORPG inspired City of Kings, were set out for folks who wanted physical gaming as well as digital gaming. There were some board gaming specialist vendors, too, making it just as easy to take the same experiences home with you.

 

 

All in all, I found my first experience of EGX a fun one, with most of the hiccups I encountered ones that could be easily rectified with a little pre-planning, or even spending a longer time at the convention over its four day length. And, with the joyous prevalence of video games in recent times, who knows – it may be even bigger and better than ever the next time it rolls around.

 

And with that…

Isnotavampire.

 

 


September 26th, 2017 by isnotavampire
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, MOBA, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

Kickstarter Gaming Round-Up: May 29th

It’s time for your weekly round-up of Kickstarter gaming campaigns that have caught my attention.

 

First though I will update you on some of the campaigns I’ve previously covered and this week the news is unfortunately mostly not that good. A lot are struggling to reach their goals, and one has even finished short of their target. Struggling right now are INTERSTELLAR ROGUE, Sons of the Void, Lost Cities and BLANK – all with less than 10 days to reach their goals and some with a lot less then that. As well as that one campaign has concluded unsuccessfully, Soul’s Light now still in process but being slightly delayed by the failed campaign.

 

However there is also some good news. One campaign has not concluded successfully, with Forsaken Castle having reached its goal long before the end. Other campaigns doing well right now include Ashes of Creation, Kynseed and Trouble For Hire all of which have bypassed their funding goals. I can’t wait to see all these games take shape in the future.

 


 

Badlands: Outpost of Humanity

 

 

First up this week we’re starting with a post-apocalyptic boardgame.

 

Badlands is a game for 2 to 4 players, set in a wasteland after an apocalyptic event. Each player controls post-nuclear survivors and has to help them survive through expeditions, trade, fending off enemies and other such tasks. Each game comes with 4 settlement area boards, a central badlands board in which play takes place and miniature player pieces. There are also cards and other things included to help with the actions that take place in the game.

 

Badlands: Outpost of Humanity has a €25,000 goal, of which it has made €12,926 with 24 more days to go.

 

 


 

Street Masters Rise of the Kingdom

 

 

Next we have another physical game, this time based off the beat ’em up genre of video game.

 

Street Masters is a game that is inspired by the likes of Street Fighter and its ilk, with about 65 different miniatures included the developers have tried to make a game that combines “the concept of a tactical combat board game with the flexibility of an intricate card game”. The game includes two playable ‘modes’ – Arcade in which players can customise their own ‘levels’ as well as Story which will let you go through pre-planned scenarios.

 

Street Masters Rise of the Kingdom has made $35,863 of its $60,000 goal. It has 25 more days to run.

 

 


 

Two Scoops

 

 

Third, I chose one that I usually wouldn’t – a dating sim game.

 

Before you wonder, Two Scoops is a game I’d heard good things about previously. The game follows the protagonist as they start their new job at an ice cream palor. The game is a graphic novel as well as being a dating sim and your player character has only a week to prove they are capable of filling the shoes of two employees who are going away next week. With four romance options, there’s a chance that they will all be fleshed out nicely to set the game above other dating sim games.

 

Two Scoops has 24 days to go, and has made $8,310 of its $25,000 goal.

 


 

Ash of Gods

 

 

Finally we have a rogue-like with added PvP gameplay.

 

Ash of Gods is a game that is described as “a mix between a roguelike role-playing visual novel and an online turn-based strategy game” and will be coming to many platforms if all goes to plan. These will include Windows, Mac, Linux, XBOX, PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch, Android and iOS, with PC being the one that the team is aiming for as being the first platform to release on. This means the game will be coming to Steam, DRM-free GOG, Humble – all of which are also listed.

 

Ash of Gods has made $19,895 of its $75,000 goal with 25 days to go.

 


May 29th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

Game Trailer: Endless Space 2 – EXPAND

Currently Amplitude Studios are releasing videos to show off the four X pillars of the game Endless Space 2 – Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate. They released Explore last week and now they’re showing off the second, Expand.

 

 

Of course, for a game of this genre expansion is a very big part of the game. It’s a slow and often risky process, especially when you’re moving the unit to set up your new outpost/base/colony/etc. through territory that they could easily fall prey to someone else’s attacking unit, or even AI controlled mishap. It’s essential though to make progress – areas must be controlled, resources brought under your sway and so on. This is true for many games that hold 4X as their gameplay mechanics. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all factions in a game will do this in the same way – Endless Space 2 will have one race (the Vodyani) that never builds outposts of colonies at all as they ‘settle’ in ark ships that orbit the planet instead.

 

Of course, it’s not just getting there and setting up your colony or outpost. There’s always stuff to be done to maintain and grow your new holdings, whether that be growing technological progress, making good use of newly controlled resources or even just building the necessary things for one of your outposts to function at peak efficiency. This is what makes a good part of the 4X strategy game’s time. After all, how can you win over or destroy your opponents if you don’t have the resources or staging areas with which to do so?

 

Endless Space 2 is due to be released on May 19th, but can currently be purchased as an Early Access title on Steam for about $30 or just over £26. Go forth, expand.

 


May 12th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

PC (STEAM) Review:  Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is a card-driven turn-based tactical game which features RPG elements, containing a single player campaign, survival and PvP modes. Win these battles using the arsenal of weapons, abilities and cunning of the sky warriors.

 

 

Now anyone who knows me, knows my love for the all father and being a loyal son of Russ, having played Space Wolves on the Table Top since the early 90’s, so with 25 years under my belt, I’m dubious about anything that uses Leman Russ’ Legion, not only in it’s title but also as the main bulk of the game.

 

 

Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf was initially an iOS/Android release back in 2016, which got rave reviews on the iOS/Android stores and usually the game would be straight ported over to PC (like Fallout Shelter, of course that seemed to work, so if done right, hell, why not), however Herocraft, the Engineseers behind the game, decided to rebuild the game from the ground up for it’s PC (STEAM) release, not only by making the graphics better and more detailed, but making it a one off purchase for the incredibly reasonable £9 and removing all the ingame purchase options that mobile games are well known for.

 

 

What we have at heart here is a TCG based tactical turn based shooter, and it works perfectly, using your cards abilities to make your character move, shoot and melee attack the vile chaos scum of the Word Bearer Legion and it’s really as simple as that. Of course it is a TCG at heart, so in typical card game fashion, you build a deck for your main character, in three variations that give him different option, from the standard Power Armour option, which has everything from melee and jump pack abilities, all the way to heavy weapon and wolf companion summoning abilities, through to the Scout armour that gives you more sneaking and sniper abilities, to the Terminator Armour, where everything is heavy, from the melee weapons to the Cyclone Missile launcher. there are some cards that can be equipped on your character too, giving you more options and even Overwatch ability, meanign if an enemy comes into range, your character may take a shot at them (incredibly good if you’ve buffed yourself in the last turn too).

 

 

What really struck me early on is the apparent difficulty level, it’s hard, but actually in a good way, I enjoyed losing. As you can see in my first live stream of it below, I just kept going back for more and didn’t realise how long I had been trying just the first level.

 

 

As you progress through the levels, you unlock, not only new cards to use, but requisition to make new cards and you can even fuse cards together, for instance, fusing two level 1 cards of the same type into a level 2 of that card. You also unlock new battle brothers aswell, Space Wolves of different squads lost on the planet during planetfall and making there way back to each other.

 

 

We all really enjoyed Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf here at Geek Towers adn would wholeheartedly reccomend it, not only to Warhammer 40k fans, but to other TCG and Tactical Shooter fans too, it melds two game genres together brilliantly and considering it is a massive upgrade from the mobile version, not a straight lackluster port also raises it to exceptional, keep it installed for fun, game levels.

 

Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf is available on STEAM at http://store.steampowered.com/app/553210/

 

By The Emperor this is a great game!
4.5 out of 5 For Russ!


April 9th, 2017 by Lonesamurai
Posted in Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

WarHammer Month! (Trailer)

Its coming! WarHammer Month!

 
In the month of April, the Sanitarium.FM will be going all in on covering one of our favorite franchises of all time. Streaming, videos, articles, discussion in Discord. So if you love WarHammer, join in the discussion and check out the trailer below!

 
WAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

 


March 30th, 2017 by Digmbot
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

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