EGX was a parade of every new release imaginable and there was a lot to play and we did get to play a lot of it! In case you didn’t know, EGX is the biggest games event in the UK and it showcases the imminent and the far away releases of games on every and all platform! They let you play around with board games or video games, popular titles or subtle indie darlings, and we went to have a look around and three games stuck out to us as games to keep an eye on.
Man of Medan – Tom Buckland
This game wasn’t designed for a convention floor – nor is any horror game, really. The world can’t be as immersive or suspenseful as intended when there’s other convention-goers walking by you and conversations all around.
Whilst playing the game I wasn’t disappointed, but my hunger to know what was in store with this game wasn’t sated either. They haven’t steered far away from how their games normally play and the gameplay was reminiscent of Until Dawn, Supermassive Games’ previous iteration, which isn’t a bad thing. The demo was short, but as previously mentioned, this game is going to pride itself and succeed proficiently in its horror, which is something they can’t execute very well in a convention environment. I made very few choices in the game and also saw very few consequences to the ones I made, but it’s tricky to show choice and consequence in a short demo of a horror game.
I must say I am eager to see more and this hasn’t put me off the game in the slightest. There was enough there to keep me engaged, but not enough to be a demo that I’m really going to remember. There’s no official release date for Man of Medan, which may be why the demo was lacking, but we do know that the game will be available at some point in 2019.
Metro Exodus – Luke Baldwin
It seemed only fitting that a game as tense and atmospheric as Metro held it’s demo within a dark and dingy bunker, replicating the games ominous post-apocalyptic environment. Players were plunged right into the heart of the open world with very little in the way of hand-holding or signposting. Combine this with a deep and interesting crafting system and it’s easy to see that 4A have developed a survival horror game that truly embodies the spirit of the franchise. But it’s also worth noting that some of these thematic successes come at the cost of gameplay. A lack of HUD and minimalist map means that exploration, whilst immersive, is at times confusing. Goals and objectives can easily be lost amongst the dull browns and saturated greens of the wasteland.,Shooting feels simple and clunky, perhaps in an effort to reflect the savage nature of the setting, but in reality it simply isn’t up to scratch in a major FPS. Metro Exodus is a game which certainly hits all the right notes in terms of vision, but deludes that vision when it comes down to basic mechanics. However, better that way than vice versa; with almost four months until release there’s still plenty of time to deliver that extra bit of polish the game desperately needs.
Kingdom Hearts 3 – Tom Buckland
With a game that many have been waiting what feels like forever for, EGX granted us the pleasure of two different demos to choose from. Whether you took a trip into Olympus (the Hercules-inspired world) or the Toy Box (the Toy Story-inspired world), the demos did an excellent job at leaving us anticipating the release of what we can assume is the conclusion of this excellent franchise.
The game has refined every single criticism people can hurl at the previous iterations and everything feels natural. No longer do Goofy and Donald look like stiff robots with dialogue written for them by people that had never watched anything Disney; instead these characters and the others (such as Woody and Buzz Lightyear) are instantly recognisable, not only by character model. The combat and the general gameplay is nothing new, but has clearly fixed the issues that the combat had before. The level design is fantastic; the world felt truly expansive I was truly astounded at how expansive the world felt. As I clambered out of the window of Andy’s house in the Toy Story world, it genuinely seems like you could go anywhere on the street, and if not for a time restricted demo, I surely would’ve. Honestly, Square Enix have satisfied everything I wanted from this game and other fans will be pleased when the game is finally released on the 25th January 2019.