How about my next report of Eurogamer Expo 2017? There were a lot of games, a lot of gamers and a lot of queues, but the event was a huge success for me this year with a lot to see and love. Although there was a tremendous amount of empty space on the showfloor, this really did help on this day due to the sharp increase in attendees. But, more importantly, how were the games? A quick note, I’ll only be covering non-Nintendo games in this article, if you wanted to see my thoughts on Nintendo’s showing, it was posted on Nintendo Scene and can now be found on here as well.
The main draw for me on the Friday was the Capcom Pro Tour Premier Event. After watching so many of these events on stream, it was fantastic being able to actually be there at one. Some of the best players in the world took to the stage to beat each other utterly senseless. What amazed me the most about the event was some of the techniques that players have discovered already for Menat, as I saw some incredibly dirty stuff throughout the day. My friend and I Also, it was fantastic to see the guys from the Brighton FGC participating in the tournament.
The first big, new game that I played on the Friday was the phenomenally popular Steam game that’s coming to X-Box One; PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds. After dropping onto the island, I treated the situation like I would do in real life in that I made sure I landed as far from built up areas as possible but close to a building. After collecting supplies from the house I landed near, I set off across the world map, but saw nothing and no one. Albeit I don’t think that a game like this is well suited to a short play session, but I found the experience completely boring. Furthermore, the premise felt distinctly like a poor man’s Battle Royale, so I don’t understand the fascination. Needless to say, I wouldn’t buy an X-Box One on the back of this title.
Next, we returned to Cuphead, for our sins. On this occasion though, how the game wanted to be played just clicked with us and we blasted through two bosses in a very short length of time. The game, for the uninitiated is a run and gun romp through an aesthetic inspired by vintage cartoons. The music and visual direction of the game is pretty much flawless and nostalgia charged, and the boss designs are both beautifully intimidating. The controls are both simple and very tight, and the gameplay itself was challenging but not unfair. In fact, owing to a combination of the controls and the gameplay, the demo was hard but I never thought at any point that my deaths weren’t my fault. Like Super Lucky’s Tale, this is another game that makes me want to buy an X-Box One, I just can’t justify it off the back of two games.
The final big game I played at EGX was the upcoming Ubisoft title; Assassin’s Creed Origins. I will be the first to admit that I’m not really a fan of the Assassin’s Creed games and my hype for the new one is pretty much non-existent. I did have fun playing the demo though. The game is breathtakingly stunning with an absurd draw distance, the locations and characters are beautiful and the newer mechanics (like the eagle scout) make the game feel fresh from a gameplay standpoint. My only niggle with the demo were the controls, which were a little cumbersome and the combat severely suffered because of it. So, not a game I would scramble to play on release, but a solid enough experience for a short fifteen minute burst.
So, that was my full experience of EGX 2017. It was a selection of fantastic games, some great shops, and some incredible eSports segments. Normally, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the last of these but now that I’m more involved in the fighting games community, I’ve been spending more time enjoying eSports so the Street Fighter V stage was wonderful. The only thing I would have changed is adding a few more shops that were erroneously missing (such as the Square-Enix store), and a few upcoming games that should have really been there (such as Xenoblade Chronicles 2). Here’s to 2018, when I will definitely be returning to Birmingham.