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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 »

Sanitarium.FM News Update | 19/06/2017

Blizzard, The Evil Within 2 and Xbox One X dev kits – your news update!

 


June 19th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

XCOM 2 War Of The Chosen: What’s New

After several hints on Twitter Firaxis have announced a brand new DLC for XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. Unlike Shen’s Last Gift and Alien Hunters this is a full expansion with two main overarching mechanics as well as a slew of smaller features.

 

 

The first major feature is a group that the expansion is named after: a group of aliens known as The Chosen. This is an elite force of three powerful foes: the Ranger-like Assassin, the long range sniper Hunter and the psionic Warlock. The Chosen are trying to recapture the Commander with each having their own strengths and combat doctrine and each will return again and again growing stronger just as XCOM does until you find and defeat their stronghold much like EXALT in Enemy Within.

 

 

To help deal with The Chosen as well as other new threats they have introduced three other resistance factions: the Reapers, the Skirmishers and the Templars. Working alongside these factions and helping them over the course of the campaign will eventually allow you to recruit their members as what are referred to as “Hero” classes.

 

 

Reapers specialise in stealth, sniping and sabotage. Skirmishers are stated as being alien-human hybrid defectors who are extremely quick and can perform multiple actions per turn and Warlocks are psionics who charge up their power over time to perform a big play off.

 

 

The Chosen are not the only new foes however. So far a new alien, the Spectre who has the ability to create copies of your forces, as well as two ADVENT units have been shown off. The ADVENT Purifier has so far been stated to use explosives whereas the Priest utilises psionics. In addition to this there is The Lost, zombie like mutants found in pre invasion ruined cities.

 

 

Ruins aren’t the only new environment however, also confirmed are underground tunnels and xenoformed wilderness.

 

 

In addition to the new sub factions Firaxis have put greater emphasis on customisation and replayability. One part of this is that soldiers build bonds with their teammates to gain new abilities and perks. Whether or not they keep these when not with their friends is not clear however although I would doubt it.

 

Additionally the new SITREP system will dynamically add modifiers to tactical missions which combined with the already existing dynamic mission map generation (which will most likely see new tiles being added) will allow for each operation feeling much more unique.

 

War of the Chosen is stated for release on the 29th of August on Steam, Xbox One and Playstation 4.


June 19th, 2017 by CyberGoblin
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Destiny 2 Won’t Explore The Darkness

Destiny 2’s coming up soon, and Bungie confirmed last week that the threat of Destiny ‘The Darkness’ wouldn’t end up being discussed during the sequel either. Players would love to find out what it was so this is a little disappointing, but turns out that actually they might not be the only ones who don’t know.

 

Talking to Game Informer, game director Luke Smith said “Destiny 2 is a game about Light, and what happens when it’s taken from you, and the lengths that Guardians will go to get it back. We’re exploring the relationship between the player and the Ghost in terms of Light, and Ghaul’s coveting of the Light. As such, we wanted to carve off other things that we didn’t think were important to the release, such as words like The Darkness.”

 

He did admit that players were due some closure on The Darkness, but said it wouldn’t be happening in Destiny 2. Why? “We had no idea what it was. Straight up. We had no clue.”

 

So it seems that the mysterious The Darkness is so mysterious that not even its own creators know quite what it is. They admitted there’s been some ideas thrown around such as saying it was the name for the group of aliens you fight, but decided that their IP deserved much better than just that.

 

Hopefully if there’s a Destiny 3, we’ll find out just what players have been fighting against.

 


June 18th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Players Petitioning To Save OpenIV Mod

A popular modding tool for GTA V among other games was taken down about a week ago, when the creators received a case and desist letter from Take Two. Obviously the modders felt they had no choice to avoid legal action.

 

OpenIV had been going since 2008 and as well as GTA V had been used for modding it’s predecesor GTA IV and Max Payne 3. A lot of people used it and a lot of people loved it. However, the notice gave the developers little choice and they took down all the files and ceases distribution entirely.

 

 

The player response has not exactly been favourable to Take Two and Rockstar, with the Steam rating of reviews given to the GTA V game going from a highly Positive percentage down to Mixed – with many of the new reviews stating the takedown of OpenIV was what was causing them to review it as Negative now. Now a petition has popped up on Change.org asking Rockstar to ‘save’ the mod by allowing the team behind it to distribute it again, as well as asking that modding “be deemed legal again” across the series.

 

“The closing of OpenIV leaves 10,000s of people without access to be able to mod their games, and leaves 10,000s of people without the ability to continue their hobbies. All modding used by OpenIV is for singleplayer use only to make the game more enjoyable, the software OpenIV was never used to mod multiplayer or Grand Theft Auto Online so it does not harm anyone.”

 

However, the response from Rockstar a few days back disagrees on that last point about the mods being kept to singleplayer, as they stated that the reason Take Two had to tackle OpenIV was that it had been the basis for a number of recent malicious mods that “allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody.” They have also stated that they are working to find a way they can “continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.”


June 17th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

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