This year’s EGX was huge. Like, really huge. With 75,000 visitors over four days, the event has placed the UK on the map for annual gaming conventions. With upwards of 200 games on display at Birmingham’s NEC, it’s a genuine paradise for anyone interested in gaming. Narrowing these games down to just 10 was nigh on impossible, but here’s the best of the best.
10. The Escapist’s The Walking Dead
Based on the mega-hit comic book series and TV show The Walking Dead, The Escapist’s The Walking Dead condenses the claustrophobic, zombie slaying action into the 8-bit glory of sleeper indie hit, The Escapists. As master Coral protector Rick Grimes, you fight your way through a post apocalyptic wasteland dodging undead hordes and growing grizzled beards. Imagine if Pokemon was a survival horror and you’re somewhere in the ballpark. Available: Now on Xbox One and PC.
9. Total War: Warhammer
Marrying the turn based, strategic action of the Total War franchise with the rich history of Warhammer seems like a no-brainer. Luckily, the resulting Total War: Warhammer game is huge amounts of fun. Even if, like me, you don’t have a great knowledge of Warhammer, you can still get a lot out of the game. Plus, you get to melt goblins with dwarven flamethrowers. That’ll always get my attention. Available: 2016 on PC, Mac and Linux.
8. Just Cause 3
If absurd aerial stunts and insane explosions sound like your cup of tea, then Just Cause 3 is probably going to be pretty appealing. Moving around the open-world island paradise feels intuitive and fun, with catastrophic amounts of destruction available with your character Rico’s grapple hook and wing suit. After two successful outings already under their belts, devs Avalanche Studios have gone all out to turn this franchise into a heavy hitter. Available: December 1 on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Remember when Bioshock was the best horror game set 20,000 leagues under the sea? Yeah. Not anymore. Indie devs Frictional Games (who also brought us Amnesia) have put together SOMA – aka a shit scary Amnesia of the sea. As you wander around the PATHOS-2 – a giant space gun submerged under water – you encounter a variety of bizarre monstrosities and fuck-that situations. Not one for the faint of heart. Available: Now on Playstation 4, PC, Mac and Linux.
6. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Launch controversy aside, Rise of the Tomb Raider is following in the footsteps of a hugely impressive game. The Tomb Raider reboot by Square Enix breathed new life into the series, and Rise of the Tomb Raider is set to continue Lara Croft’s gritty new persona. The controls feel grounded, yet sprightly enough for the nimble Lara, while the open-ended approach to missions doesn’t force you into a specific play style. There’s also the fact that this sequel will actually involve some tomb raiding, so that’s a bonus. Available: November 10 on Xbox One, early 2016 on PC and late 2016 on Playstation 4.
5. Need For Speed
Another franchise that’s been given a re-boot up the arse, is EA’s old faithful Need for Speed. Suffering from sporadic form, the game took a year off to get its shit together and has come out swinging on current-gen. Aside from the game looking beautiful, the customisation is a throwback to the likes of Need for Speed: Underground, which got many people interested in the series way back when. The story looks like it could be a stumbling point, as it’s told in weird, live action cutscenes lifted from late 90’s PC games, but the core gameplay is as solid as can be. Available: November 5 on Playstation 4 and Xbox One, early 2016 on PC.
4. Rainbow Six Siege
If you’re sick of fast-paced, twitch shooters and want something a bit more methodical, Rainbow Six Siege is looking like a solid alternative. Currently in open beta, Siege is best played with friends, or in a capable team that communicates. There’s a lot of talk about it being the next big eSports shooter, though in an interview with us, devs Ubisoft refuted any intent on making it competitive. The lack of a story mode is disappointing, and the open beta has unearthed some pretty blatant glitches, but if it’s handled properly, it could be a huge game for fun, co-op play. Available: December 1 (open beta until October 4) on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.
3. Elite: Dangerous
Ever wondered what it’d be like to fly around the galaxy in your own personal spaceship, pillaging or saving the galaxy one firefight at a time? Well in Elite: Dangerous you get to do just that. We only got the chance to play in a dogfighting arena at EGX against other players, but the core gameplay was rock solid, and judging from feedback and reviews, leaks out into the game as a whole. Probably the most appealing part about Elite: Dangerous, is that you can strap on a VR headset and put yourself in the action. Just be sure to take your anti-nausea tablets before you do. Barrel rolling in space is a weird experience. Available: Now on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Mac.
2. Tom Clancy’s The Division
New York City is in the grip of a worldwide epidemic. The government has fallen, and it’s kill or be killed as you face-off against other players in Ubisoft’s upcoming MMO shooter. We played a multiplayer section of the game where three groups of players attempted to reach an evac point first, in the hope of scoring valuable points used to level up your character. Naturally, things got messy fast. Aside from the intense online gameplay, the game looks absolutely stunning and feels like it could be a precursor to Naughty Dog’s the Last of Us with its anarchic style. The Division was huge fun and could already be a competitor for 2016’s game of the year. Available: March 8 2016 on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.
1. Star Wars Battlefront
Putting aside the server controversy and EA’s torrid history with micro-transactions and DLC, Star Wars Battlefront‘s gameplay is bang on. Nothing compares to the feeling of facing down an AT-ST with only a jetpack and a blaster to your name, or swarming into Echo Base alongside 20 other snowtroopers gunning down rebel scum. We played ‘Walker Assault on Hoth’ and co-op mission ‘Survival on Tatooine’ at EGX – both will appear in the open beta coming next week. While ‘Walker Assault’ was much better than it’s co-op counterpart, the overall feel of the game is perfect. Available: November 17 (open beta October 8) on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.