Highlights from EGX 2019
EGX was back in London this year for the first time since 2014, and the show was more substantial than ever! Covering a vast section of the ExCel Center, there were hundreds of playable games, ridiculous amounts of merch and some fantastic panels to fill it. I was sadly only able to attend the Saturday this year, but none the less was taken aback by the sheer amount to see and do. EGX is the biggest gaming convention in the UK and boy does it now seem like it. With so much on it's impossible to cover everything without listing it in a 50-page document. Instead, here is a selection of highlights from this year's show, and maybe some reasons to book your tickets to 2020.
The Big Games
What has to be the biggest draw of EGX is the big games, and some of the most anticipated games of the year were present at the ExCel. With players being able to get their hands on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Cyberpunk 2077 and many more, it was enough to have gamers foaming at the mouth. But with big games comes big queues to play them. One of the biggest highlights of the show for me then had to be RIOT Games newest venture, Legends of Runeterra.
LOR only announced a few weeks ago, so being able to play it on the show floor was amazing. Add to that the fact that it didn't take that long to get through the queue and play (thanks to a strict 10min time limit) AND each player received a tote bag for their troubles! RIOT certainly know how to exhibit a game, and some of the other AAA titles could learn a thing or two (looking at you Borderlands 3).
Big games are all well and good, but they have their drawbacks (the aforementioned queues). The Rezzed zone offers attendees the change to check our smaller and indie games with considerably faster wait times and a hell of a lot of variety. These games aren't just cheap and cheerful though. It's in the Rezzed zones that you find some fantastic gameplay experiences. I will be doing another article around my game of the show, but some notable highlights from this year's Rezzed section are Cat Quest 2, Flotsam, Necronator: Dead Wrong & Golf With Your Friends.
Check them all out, and I promise you will be impressed!
So much Merch
Merch, sweet, sweet merch! We love to see it and boy did EGX 2019 deliver on the merch. This year featured an entire area called the retail village to wet gamers appetites. As well as the usual array of t-shirts and hats, this year you could find everything from retro games (I may have picked up some PS1 gems), beautiful artwork, bags, badges and everything in between. This year show also featured tattoo artists meaning you could leave the show with a gift that's a bit more permanent than a t-shirt.
You can't ignore the growing popularity of esports and the influencer it's having on modern gaming, and lucky for us EGX didn't ignore it either. Companies left, and right were jumping at the chance to showcase competitive games at EGX, from Omen hosting Overwatch competitions to Nintendo pulling people onstage to play Smash. Not only did we get a chance to see professionals hash it out in front of our eyes, but for the first time, it felt like competitive gaming was fully inclusive at EGX.
Whereas before, EGX was all about seeing and playing the latest games, this year it was a treat to sit for a while and watch average joe's battle their hearts out on the big stage. For someone who's a big fan of the Overwatch League, spending so much time around others who felt and thought the same as me was as big a treat as playing an unreleased game.
In addition to the above, EGX 2019 had fascinating developer sessions, unbelievable competitions, stunning cosplay and of course meet and greets with some of the most prominent UK gaming personalities. EGX 2019 was and remains to be a must for any UK gamer, and we can't wait for 2020. Maybe next time we will get tickets for all four days!