Day one of EGX 2015 drew to a close, after a long wait at the early entry queue while a video played we eventually got onto the show to have quick look around before I had a day of booked up sessions with developers and press, many of who’m have stated that they will send screenshots and game codes, but obviously not in time for such a quick article as this. I will be focusing on a few of them in detail either in the main article or in their own separate game-play and review articles as necessary.

I started off the show having a play on the upcoming rock band, which I will go into detail more about in the later video. Sufficed to say it is a fun experience and quite easy to grasp the new 6 key system, although a few changes to the controller itself will be missed such as the strum board, and the gimmick of playing live on stage is a much better on screen experience than the usual cartoonish feel of the game.

After this I hit up the playstation and xbox one zones, checking out what they individually had to offer. The xbox area was spread out with separate queue’s for each section and a collectors card system to win a prize if you can play in all segments much like playstation had the previous year. While the playstation zone was very different having a sealed section with queue’s for the games side by side and a few set props visitors could pose for photo’s with.

I had a little time to check out the latest assassins creed, where I decided to try and do everything within the mission parameters within the time limit, failing as I seemed to despawn one of the allies I had and spending far too long attempting to track down his location, even with eagle eye highlighting character locations this proved impossible. The mechanic to essentially zip line between locations made traversing without getting spotted pretty much a predetermined fact, however when it came to the actual free running element I found that you were often stopping where you expected the character to jump off the small ledge as the system appears to have been adapted in a manner that jumping from ledges is not permitted whether you would take damage or not, and jumping while free running is entirely impossible.

This method doesn’t feel as satisfying and correct as previous games, and sometimes when you come to the end of a path you’re running through you find you end up jumping to the side or a path you never intended to and have to go out of your way to get back down to the floor. Other than these factors though the game felt smooth and like a typical assassins creed game, hard to see what other new mechanics there are by such a short demonstration.

I arrived early to the press zone so took the opportunity to watch the latest hitman footage, where it is stated you will travel in varying locations across the world taking out hits on characters in any way you see fit, with a variety of methods depending on your stealth, cunning, patience and exploration of the level you can execute each hit a significant number of different methods, from straight hit and run to downright perfect execution planting c4 on the stage-lights and influencing factors to get the target in question onto the stage to fall victim of a “tragic accident” while you’re in the crowd where it couldn’t possibly be you that caused his death. The developers want you to feel powerful as agent 47 able to use disguises to gain entrance to different area’s and only area’s established for the specific uniforms and that you could essentially roleplay as each of those for as long as you aren’t discovered. A good feature is that the supervisor (or gang leader, or whatever is relevant) of the particular group you’re dressed up as gets highlighted on the map, so you can be sure to avoid that particular person as they will be able to instantly identify you as incorrect knowing all of their staff. It isn’t clear if you can become said leader by using their uniform as yet.

After this I spent the entire day in pre-booked sessions, starting out by playing a press competition of eternal step, a game I will be looking forward to showing you separately, an action rogue-like where you collect treasure cards which you use at the end of each floor to discard or modify your equipment in order to progress as far as possible before inevitable failure (or possibly success when the game is completed and has an ending.) The game is very fun and can get very challenging when you’re running low on hp with no potions, I made it to the first boss on floor 20 before inevitably failing, but I did set the record where other press have only managed around floor 11 and 12 at most.

The rest of the day was spent around the indie gaming section playing on sublevel zero which I had to get out there as involved in the team is phi from tinykeep, and the game itself is a challenging homage to decent with additional elements such as crafting your weapons and modifying your ship as it stands it is a very difficult game with sprawling procedurally generated worlds.

After this I played a space station management sim which I proceeded to break and another point and click adventure which again broke, don’t forget that a lot of these games are early in development and not fully finished so you can expect all of these issues to be resolved upon full release, after this I had a session with riot: civil unrest which was an interesting riot simulator which rather ambitiously provides each individual crowd member with their own ai and adaptive ai which responds to how you have acted throughout the game, so crowds get more frenzied if your police force are heavy handed and have a bad reputation, but also adapt to how they have individually been treated so at this state it currently allows for around 10 minutes of playtime before the game crashes, this will be fixed in time for a full release and additional factors such as vehicles and more gameplay modes will be activated but it is definitely an interesting concept to keep an eye out for, which I shall hopefully bring you more on as it progresses.

After this I had a session booked with pollen, a space simulator in virtual reality on a station on a moon on titan, however as the queue’s were busy I only got to play for 5 minutes before being ushered off despite booking a session which was said to last for 30 minutes in the email so I cannot tell you much about the game itself unfortunately, I have emailed the developer but have yet to receive a response.

I’m not sure if I covered this in the video but I did get to play on rise of the tomb raider at the end as well, when I had a problem attempting to leave the first area I had to ask for help, because it had not been tutorialised that you needed to shoot blocks of concrete to destroy them on spikes, which appeared to be the largest unbreakable part so even with experimenting I shot at the cracked wood, the thin pillar it was attached to and everything but the large and in reality least likely to break part of the blockage.

The representative stated that they wanted to have a more “dark souls” experience not providing any information to the player, however this seemed a major blockage not only to progress but attempting to enjoy the demo. Thankfully after this I was able to progress and even found for myself a hint button essentially listening to lara’s heart (as it beat a heart while giving a slight hint to the solution highlighted with a vocal cue) however the platforming elements proved very awkward, as many of the scenery elements which were climbable looked identical to those which you could never climb, and a lot of the action came down to quicktime events rather than actual fun gameplay elements. I had hoped this would be a return to more of the original tomb raider elements however I was left disappointed simply with the way the platforming and navigation of the rooms worked, being unable to climb onto pillars and surfaces that were completely reachable, not being able to climb the same ribbed wall as you climb elsewhere just because that isn’t the path to progress, and ultimately black screening the game as perhaps I passed the time limit being stuck in the first room for 5 minutes before asking for help because the very factor to destroy the blockage was never tutorialised or hinted at.

On the way out of the show with things closing I managed to get a quick play on total war arena, which if you enjoy the total war franchise is a much simplified version of the game, with point and click ordering of troops, activatable powers and real time online multiplayer in 10vs10 action. Troop customization and leveling occurs outside of the actual gameplay to make combat quick and fun with no pausing or problems and meaning that real time adjustments to all of your troops in a quick and efficient manner is a must.

I will have a much more in depth review of the actual show in a separate article and a few of the games I will be able to bring to you in much more detail in their own reviews also, so watch this space for more.