Following on from Day 1 at EGX 2015, Day 2 was more sedate on the game-playing front. But it wasn’t without it’s moments!
The crowd amped up a bit on Friday! It didn’t help that we didn’t have early access for Day 2 either, as it sold out fairly quickly. As such, we didn’t get to play any of the bigger titles. I will admit to being overwhelmed a bit during the first half of the day, but things went smoother in the afternoon.
Games were tried / planned to have a go at, but didn’t because of the lines were Homefront: The Revolution, Just Cause 3, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Star Fox Zero. There were a few games in the larger areas, like Nintendo and Sony, that we also skipped on because they only had one screen available, so we decided to pass on them.
Instead, we trolled around the Indie MegaBooth area, the Leftfield Collection, and the Rezzed zone. While we didn’t get to play much here either, we did collect a lot of cards and flyers to check them out at our leisure later on.
We attended our first sessions, both in the Rezzed theatre area. The first was on curating games – how to choose and sift games to go in collections such as the Indie MegaBooth and Leftfield Collection areas. This was interested because they discussed how to stand out as an applicant, as well as a few trends they are noticing – mostly, which ones are waning as the years go on and the genres submitted to them have shifted. An example of this was platformers – they saw a lot of platformers in past years submitted, but this has died down as interest has waned. The second session was an important one for lordwelshi, which was How to be Big on YouTube. It was hosted by YouTube Gaming and featured speakers from Mashed, Yogscast and Outside Xbox. This was a pretty informative and honest session, where the guys shared what analytics they viewed as most helpful, what their stance was on streaming, and how important honesty is when interacting with your audience (particularly if you’re doing sponsored videos! It’s the law in the EU now, folks!).
As the day drew to a close, we decided cool down by checking out Square Enix’s two demonstration theatres, Hitman and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Neither of these games were available for demo. I’m not sure if this was the reason why, but the openness demonstrated to us in the gameplay footage is a big too broad for a good demo session. There are just so many options in both that you’d be cutting off some people from the demo before they had a chance to execute their intricate, patient plans – and that just wouldn’t be fair. That said, both presenters were humorous and informative, and both games look absolutely stunning.
I’ve actually never given Hitman a look before, but it’s definitely peeked my radar now. The sheer amount of options for hit executions is astonishing. The game has been built with making every part of an area accessible, and therefore useable in you plans for assassination. The environments have been crafted heavily to make them feel like real places, down to creating little narratives in each space to show how it has been lived within.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes place two years after the first game, so I’ll have to finish/restart/really-start this one before the sequel comes out February 2016. The presenter advised that there were four “pillars” to the game: combat, stealth, social and hacking. When approaching a situation, there is always more than one method of approach related to the pillars, and there is more way than one to approach each method itself. If you choose to sneak, for instance, there is more than one path you can follow for this. They have also taken critique on board from the last game, and ensured that even the bosses are beatable in each method. This follows from the frustration and jarred experience of stealthing throughout a whole level, and then having to kill the boss anyway. Situations also evolve based on your method of approach. If you take a violent route for example, this will affect the situation later on (such as the boss being hostile to you, when he might have been cooperative otherwise) and it may affect future situations based on what you did. This, of course, makes you think harder about your actions, as they could have immediate or long-term ramifications.
That is, sadly, where our EGX journey ended. As it was our first go, we decided to only book two days rather than all four. It was probably a good idea, as I don’t know if I’d have been able to cope mentally with Saturday! We had a great time and are definitely looking at attending again next year – hopefully they keep the same venue (it seemed to be a hit with previous attendees) and we can get in as press (one can dream of those mystical purple wristbands)! Until then, we wait eagerly in our humble mountain of swag posters, flyers and one kick-ass Black Mesa varsity jacket I nabbed.