Our EGX 2016 weekend highlights – Virtual Reality, BioShock Cosplay, Fallout merchandise and more
This past weekend The Nerd Recites attended the UK’s seminal gaming expo, EGX. For those who are unaware, this is a huge yearly gaming event held at Birmingham’s NEC where developers show off the latest upcoming games. From impressive cosplay to Project Morpheus Virtual Reality sessions, we traversed every corner of the exhibition halls to bring you our weekend highlights below.
Virtual Reality on Project Morpheus
With Sony’s game-changing Project Morpheus release right around the corner (October 13th), VR was the heart and soul of this year’s Expo. With only a few select stalls offering the experience and not many gamers realising that pre-booking a slot was essential, demand far outweighed supply.
Consequently, when one central VR stand offered a “the first fifty people to the barrier get a go on VR” window to the general populace, chaos ensued. As a rush of fully grown adults (who should definitely know better) elbowed and shoved their way forward, even amongst little kids, it did leave us feeling like this particular portion of the event could have been better organised. A lottery drawn from a hat, numbered tickets being handed out; anything like that would have been preferable to the teased lure of “we’re going to open up at a random location around here near 1pm”.
That being said, one of our number did reach the barrier and managed to secure himself a brief spot on a VR game called Robinson. This is a dinosaur game based on a distant planet. The brief outline given to us was that the player is trying to reach their crashed ship, along the way, coming across a variety of very familiar Earth-like dinosaurs.
The demo included a pit of velociraptors leaping up at the player from below, a brachiosaurus blocking a path and pterodactyls beating their wings near the player for a moment (who would choose to attack only if you provoked them, we were told). It was a relatively short demo, but we saw it on screen as it happened and our team member reported back great things about the gameplay (if not about the graphics, but this might be due to this game being in early stages with a Q2 2017 release).
Elsewhere, we managed to hop on a smaller VR effort called Windlands. In a similar style to Monument Valley, this game is made up of various high points to reach, with a glowing blue light as your end goal, which sits far and high up in the distance. The player has two vines – functional via the PS4 controller – that can be used as grappling hooks to grab onto any bushy surface within their immediate vicinity. The player must use this shooting motion and careful judgement not to fall into the abyss below.
This game charmed us a little, even through its simplicity. Where the Robinson demo was very step by step, Windlands held a more challenging set-up to it and it’s one that we could see us spending hours trying to crack.
As with any major geek event, cosplay at EGX was rife and very well done indeed. Our personal favourite cosplayer was a woman (Skyfire Cosplay) dressed as a Big Sister from the BioShock franchise. Elsewhere roamed Daenerys, Victreebel and more. The level of effort and detail that these Cosplayers put into their outfits was nothing short of exceptional.
One thing EGX wasn’t light on was merchandise stalls. From the classier outlets like Gametee, which was certainly our favourite, to the clearly knock off stalls selling makeshift t-shirts and caps, we spent hours circling the arena, visiting each stall many times over.
There was quite a large Fallout representation across the board, which we were grateful for. There was even one huge Vault Boy state (pictured) and many Funko Pops to choose from.
Overall, we loved the entire experience that EGX provided. For some of us this was a first and we’ve come away eager to attend next year (if perhaps for one day rather than two).
You’ll catch The Nerd Recites next at London’s October MCM, which we’ll also be covering.
Image credits: Sony, Irrational Games, 2K Australia, 2K Marin, Bethesda