The Electronic Gaming Expo is one of the year’s biggest gaming shows, the largest in the UK, and it’s open to the public. Now in its tenth year, EGX 2017 takes place between Thursday 21st and Sunday 24th September at the Birmingham NEC.
Not been before? There’s still time. Here are six reasons why a trip to the Midlands is well worth it.
1. You can play games BEFORE they come out
EGX not only gives gamers a peek into the newest games, but a chance to play them before everybody else. This year’s show, for example, will gives attendees the chance to get hands-on with blockbusters including: Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Call of Duty: WW2, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Far Cry 5 and FIFA 18.
2. Indie games get the recognition they deserve
Finding a good indie game on PC can be a hit and miss affair. But not when they’re all in the same building. At EGX 2017, over 150 titles are vying for attention, ranging from puzzlers and top-down wargames to side-on shooters and isometric adventures.
Games to look out for include pretty toon platformer Cuphead, Sunless Skies (the aerial sequel to Sunless Sea) and Batallion 1944. While the Leftfield Collection brings together some of the most interesting and downright weird titles around, like procedural adventure Jettomero: Hero of the Universe and mobile party game Triple Agent!
3. You can experience an esports event
For the first time at EGX, ESL is hosting a Premiership Final with over £20,000 of prize money up for grabs. In fact, two Premiership Autumn Season finals will be held during the show — the League of Legends Finals and the Counter Strike:Global Offensive Finals. ESL UK is also running the ESL Arena at EGX 2017, powered by Intel.
“The ESL Arena will feature two huge stages for professional esports competitions: The Twitch Main stage and ESL Premiership stage,” says the ESL. “The Twitch Main stage powered by Intel, will feature a variety of esports competitions with some of the biggest names in UK gaming.”
The show will also host the grand final of Overwatch Road to EGX, the UK’s biggest Overwatch tournament, supported by OMEN by HP and Blizzard. While the Capcom Pro Tour Street Fighter V tournament also comes to town, a Premier Event on the European tour schedule with ranking points and prize money on offer for the top players.
4. Meet Julian Gollop, original creator of XCOM
And not just him. The EGX Theatre will be hosting an array of presentations and panel discussions from renowned game developers. Actor Andy Serkis, for example, will be talking about Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier, Andreas Öjerfors will chat about Wolfenstein II, while Amelia Tyler and Jay Britton will spill the beans on what it’s like to be a video game voiceover artist.
5. There’s cosplay, tabletop gaming and more
EGX 2017 promises to be a colourful, out-of-this-world affair as it hosts the EGX Cosplay Championship and UK Preliminaries for the European Cosplay Gathering. Not only that, but thanks to the Playopolis game library, you can play a range of traditional tabletop games including Settlers of Catan, Star Wars: Rebellion and Cards Against Humanity.
There will also be opportunities to relive your gaming youth by playing retro games on retro machines. For me, that means Virtua Cop 2 on the Sega Saturn or maybe Lethal Enforcers on the Sega Megadrive. In addition, LAN gaming is represented by multiplayer sessions that include Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Dungeon Keeper and Quake 2.
6. You can play with the latest gaming technology
With so many great games on show, you’ll need a good machine to make the most of them. The Intel Experience Zone is the perfect place, boasting PCs powered by Intel® Core™ i7 Processors and Intel® Core™ i9 X-Series Processors running games like Overwatch and PES 2018. While VR booths will showcase the power of PC virtual reality and racing rigs promise the ultimate Project Cars 2 experience.