EGX 2022 Impressions

Back for the second year since COVID put a halt to live events, EGX 2022 was a marked improvement on 2021’s outing thanks to a far more diverse line-up of games, as well as more big hitters too. There’s still work to do – and the aforementioned pandemic is clearly still being felt – but we came away feeling much more optimistic about the show as a whole going forward.

EGX 2021 was, in our eyes, perhaps a misguided attempt to bring things back a bit too early, lacking as it was in games of much note that either weren’t already out, or didn’t quite have the profile to get people excited to venture out in public yet. 2022’s offering seemingly took this as lesson No.1, coming packed with a handful of big hitters in Call of Duty Modern Warfare II’s multiplayer, Sonic Frontiers UK public debut, and Street Fighter 6, as well as a decent selection of Indies such as Deceive Inc. and Unspottable. Queues for the first two stretched out over a good 45 minute wait, although later on at the Friday session this reduced significantly. There were a good amount of smaller Indies here too, both older returning titles and new ones, and my only regret of the show was not spending quite as much time here as I’d have liked.

We reviewed Unspottable a while back, finding it to be a good laugh with friends

The layout was similar to last year’s event, albeit slightly larger in my recollection, with plenty to see and do outside of gaming. If anything, there was perhaps a bit too much in the way of extras, with a massive chunk of the floor taken up by shops full of gifts and booths for hardware brands to hold prize tournaments and activities. Street Fighter 6, Rocket League, and eFootball had large event areas cornered, while the likes of Lenovo had a huge booth showing off hardware and games that was all but moot thanks to the Crystal Maze-style wind booth in which punters could win prizes that took all of the attention. I’ve no issue with these types of things (hell, I even had a shot myself) but all of the aforementioned parts took over basically as much space as the actual games did. I still remember walking into my first EGX (called Eurogamer Expo back then) and being bombarded with games from start to finish. Here, while we wait for the effects of COVID to subside more, it feels more like a game themed exhibition at times.

I don’t want to get too hung up on this aspect though, as there was far more of the EGX spirit alive here this year. Again, it was great to go hands-on with Sonic Frontiers at last (separate preview thoughts to come soon), and despite the above paragraph there was more to enjoy here in general. Deceive Inc. – a multiplayer tactical espionage title in the vein of Among Us x No One Lives Forever -was a nice surprise, as was AR game Hado. Here, players strapped a few iPhones to their face and wrist and engaged in real life techno dodgeball. It was immediately playable, albeit a little disorientating, and a lot of fun – and the exact type of extra-curricular thing I love to see at events like EGX.

We’ll be back next year, and hope to see yet more games and fun extras shown off

The Retro Zone returned with all manner of titles to make us olds feel all warm and fuzzy, packed as it was with N64’s, arcade cabinets, Dreamcast’s, and even a handful of consoles I’d never seen before! This was open in the After Dark part of the show as well as during the day, where we enjoyed a couple of beers as Graham beat us all repeatedly at Bomberman again…

The main take away for me though was just how many people – both fans and devs/PR – packed the place out. It was great seeing all the cosplayers and other industry folk milling about, as well as people from all walks of life enjoying games together. It’s great to see new games early, but being able to chat with strangers about what you’ve just played – or what you’re hoping to see – is the crux of why these events are important. EGX 2023 has already been confirmed for Oct 12-15th, and you bet your ass I’ll be there again. Let’s hope the improvement trend continues and we get some truly excellent things to play and discuss next time round.

I couldn’t not share Ladie’s Favourite Daniel’s ‘energetic’ attempt at some Beat Saber…
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I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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