I recently had the pleasure of attending EGX, which is the biggest gaming convention in the UK, it used to be held in London with the main location being The Excel in Earls Court. I have been attending the convention for a few years, witnessing the growing popularity of the event. Within the last few years it was moved to a bigger location, The NEC Birmingham which for this happy gamer is right on his door step.
I was overwhelmed with the event this year as it was the first time that the UK got their hands on a playable build of Kingdom Hearts 3 and also saw the return of many big companies such as Sony, Nintendo, Ubisoft and many more. Leading up to the event you are able to follow news and also see what games will be playable on the four days, this is a good place to start when playing your EGX journey because you can see what will be there. A few days before the doors open they’ll release the map layout for the venue, for me this was purely to see where I needed to dash so that I could get to play Kingdom Hearts 3 but it gives the guest a chance to plan their day wisely so they can make the most of it.
Four days seems like a lot of time but you know what they say, time flies when you’re having fun. I lost track of times so badly because there is so much going on that your inner child is brought to the surface and you turn into that kid on Christmas day. Personally I’d recommend getting more than one day in at the event if possible, the event is easily accessible by public transport and there are plenty of hotels that can cater for your overnight stay. If you can only get one day at the event I would buy an Early Access ticket, as this will allow you to get in an hour early before the masses flock in.
The event is very big with plenty of space for everyone. I had no issue getting around and definitely didn’t feel trapped or rammed together. It has excellent disability access which for me is really important as it allows for everyone to attend and not get left out. There are also plenty of venders at the show to pick up your gaming merchandise from, T-Shirts to replica weapons there is something for everyone. Even having board games for sale and EGX merchandise to brag about the time you went to EGX and also what year you attended. Ticket prices for the event are affordable and don’t put you out of pocket ranging from £13 to £28 depending on your ticket preference, it’s a good day or few days out. Personally don’t believe you can ram all the content of the show into one day but each to their own.
The games are the selling point for me, it’s nice to see people from the industry and have a chat with them and also attend the Game Industry fare to get an understand of what you need to do for a chance to be a part of the magic but ultimately the events golden eggs are the games themselves. I had so much fun playing Kingdom Hearts 3, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Soul Calibur 6, as well as plenty of other games. There is also plenty of relax areas for you to go and grab food, play table top games or to play your own games with fellow gamers.
The game that surprised me the most was Metro Exodus, I haven’t played the series but have always been interested in it, so getting to play this game was a huge bonus and have to say has won me over. Love the mechanics in the game, the fact that the weapons and equipment have wear and tear and have to be maintained, the landscape really makes you value your ammo and makes you want to explore every nook and cranny and overall a visual pleasing experience. There was a lot to take in for a small slice of the game but it did enough to entice me to get it at launch. While I wait, think it might be time to play the others in the series.
Sony and Nintendo didn’t disappoint, bring their heavy hitter to the show. The likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man, Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Kingdom Hearts 3 for Sony and Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Super Mario Party and Pokemon Let’s Go! for Nintendo. For me this was enough to make the event worth attending, especially for the Nintendo Switch as it looks to be a busy next few months for them with critically acclaimed games hitting the shelves. Smash Bros Ultimate has the biggest character selection to date in the series and runs perfectly on the Switch and Pokemon Let’s Go! is a perfect 3D recreation of the 1st Generation game which was fantastic and very nostalgic for me. Soul Calibur 6 was incredible, probably one of the best fighting game to date that I have played. It ran smoothly and was very welcoming to players that might be new to the series with easier combat allowing to pull off huge combos with ease. Visually pleasing as well and how can you not like the fact the Geralt from the Witcher franchise is a playable character. I managed to catch the Dead or Alive 6 PlayStation Access show but didn’t get to play the game but from what I saw it looks very promising and fun to play. If you have played Assassin’s Creed Origins then you will be familiar with the gameplay present in Odyssey but don’t let that put you off it. The Greek landscape and time period they have gone for this time is brilliant. The world is vibrant, colourful and the level of detail was incredible. The mechanics are similar to what we have experienced in the previous game but it was worth playing because it confirmed to me that it’s another game to add to the list of must get. Though the main highlight of the show for me was Kingdom Hearts 3, we have been waiting so long for this game and from the hands on demo I got to play, I can honestly say it’s been worth the wait. Two playable locations Olympus where you fight one of the Titans from Hercules and Toy Box which is based in the Toy Story Universe. Personally loved the Toy Story level and was so awesome fight alongside iconic characters from films I watch and love. Who knew that mixing Final Fantasy and Disney would make one of the best game series of this generation.
Overall EGX is an event that you don’t want to miss out on, if you’re a lover of video games or want to get a slice of the industry it should be on your bucket list. With affordable ticket prices and ease of access to the venue makes EGX a must. The only negatives with the event would be queue times but if you come prepared with a handheld console or just chat to fellow gamers in the queues you make new friends and don’t really notice the wait. It’s the best way to get hands on with the games that will be coming out and it really does cater for every type of gamer, which is why EGX is hands down the best event in the UK for everyone to come together and play awesome games.