Gaming conventions. The place to get all the latest news, play new and upcoming games, and occasionally, get free goodies.
At EGX there’s plenty to do. You can try your luck at one of the many competitions, enter giveaways, buy merchandise, and of course, play lots of games. The chance to play upcoming titles is one of the big draws of conventions like EGX, but it’s not all there is to do there. For example, as well as the new releases there’s a large section dedicated to indie games. The availability of these indie games means you may get to experience a great new game you otherwise wouldn’t have known about.
There is also a retro gaming area where you can try out a multitude of old-school titles. Games that you’ve heard of but never had the chance to try? This is the place to go and give them a shot. It’s great for both young people to try their hand at the classics, and for older generation gamers to play the games of their youth. You may be surprised at what you find here, and how enjoyable some of the lesser-known titles are too.
Some of the games which have release dates that are further away don’t have playable demos but are represented in the form of trailers, or areas in which you can watch a demonstrator play a small section of the game. Some available playable games have already been released, but this gives you the chance to try them and see what all the hype is about. There are plenty of options for both playing and watching games.
eSports is growing bigger and bigger each year, and as such the space dedicated to it at these conventions has grown. More and more games have available competitions. This year EGX held a major CS:GO tournament and the Street Fighter V Capcom Pro Tour (CPT). For those who enjoy watching eSports, watching it live and in-person is a whole new experience worth trying.
As well as seeing the big tournament players do their thing, there’s also the opportunity to meet some famous YouTubers. Syndicate and Yogscast were the big names this time around, giving fans a chance to see them in person.
Developer sessions are also held for both big names in the industry and some of the popular indie developers, so if you have any questions to ask, this is where you can do it. Different developers are in each day of the convention at different times, so before buying a ticket it’s always worth checking the schedule to see what’s happening when.
If you haven’t had the chance to try out new technologies yet, conventions like EGX are a great way to do it. PSVR, the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift all made appearances with playable game demos. Some of these were only accessible by booking in advance, so when going to a convention, make sure to find out if any companies are offering timeslots or bookings. If you don’t manage to secure a booking, it’s always worth approaching early in the day and asking to see if you can get a slot, as sometimes they have cancellations and the like. I was able to have a go on the Rovr, a multi-way treadmill for virtual reality (also known as a virtual reality locomotion platform), and see how much more immersive it made the virtual reality experience.
There’s a plethora of other things to do at EGX that may take your fancy, such as cosplay displays and workshops. You can try out a variety of board games with instructions and demos, which is a great way to learn about board games if you haven’t had a chance to try them out before, or to see if there are any you might be interested in you don’t already know. The careers fair is a nice addition that not many other conventions have, and is a must see for any wishing to work in the industry or make some connections. If that’s your aim, it’s worth the ticket price even if you’re not interested in the rest the show has to offer.
EGX is no E3 or Tokyo Games Show, but it’s far more accessible and actually more varied in what’s available, not to mention closer to home for those in the UK. I fully recommend it to anyone with an interest in games, as it’s a great way to see what’s out there.
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