EGX 2019 was host to more than 250 playable games, with gamers from all walks of life, and all formats of choice, combining as one to take in the latest, the greatest, and the most intriguing titles. But with the likes of Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, and DOOM Eternal seeing the queues build, yet again it was the indie scene which provided the greatest of gaming glories. But what were the little indie titles that stole the EGX 2019 show? Well, you’ll certainly want to keep an eye on this little lot…
Zombie Army 4: Dead War
Many may not see Rebellion as an independent developer, but it is they who have been found crossing the line between the indie and triple-A scenes with some stunning experiences; think of the Sniper Elite series and the brilliant Zombie Army Trilogy for example.
It is with the latter franchise that the Rebellion team are back and at EGX 2019 they were showing off the rather stunning, rather hotly anticipated, Zombie Army 4: Dead War.
Playable as a solo or cooperative experience, Zombie Army 4 was recently confirmed to release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC in February 2020, and for us, the third person shooter can’t come soon enough.
Set in 1946, a year after Hitler was defeated, we find his hordes returning for more as the Zombie Army series gets taken to an all-new level. Expect to find a deep campaign mode that will be massively interesting to cooperative players, huge levels that take us across a variety of locales, some stunning weaponry and the now standard X-Ray Kill Cam, and the chance to customise things to your heart’s content with dozens of unlockable skills, attacks, upgrades and more!
If you wanna go zombie slaying, Zombie Army 4: Dead War is going to be the game for you.
Hiding away at the back of the indie stalls, Circuit Superstars may well have been overlooked by many. But those who got hands-on with the ‘90s inspired circuit racer would have been left wanting more, as the addictive personal-best beating action became hugely interesting.
A top-down racer, this unique racing game experience is due to come to all the usual suspects in 2020 – that means a launch on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC – firing off an arcade style racing experience that will cater for both the newbie, and the veteran hardcore racer.
Featuring a whole range of car styles and circuit types, EGX 2019 saw Circuit Superstars play host to both single player and competitive multiplayer, letting gamers go hands-on in order to try and shave milliseconds off their best times over and over again.
A lovely handling style, and visuals to die for, if you’re interested in the motorsport world and hark back to when the top-down racer was king, then Circuit Superstars is going to be one to keep an eye on.
Initially in development under the ‘Formula Fusion’ tag, Pacer delivers 4K 60fps anti-grav racing, with a whole host of clever ideas added for good measure.
Visually stunning, Pacer from R8 Games thrusts anti-grav combat racing into the modern era, running at a pace that is out of this world, as players get the chance to take to the track and battle it out with others in a fight to the finish line.
With 14 different tracks included, but then multiple game-changers dropped in like reverse tracks, night modes and the opportunity to enable combinations of each, Pacer is certainly gearing up to take the racing scene by storm.
When you then also consider numerous racing crafts are available, each of which can again be customised in terms of ship type, weaponry and cosmetics, and signs are looking good for anyone in need of a modern WipeOut or RollCage.
Keep an eye out for it over this coming winter.
Back in the early months of 2017, Mad Fellows released their light-racing musical-powered Aaero. It’s pretty safe to say that it went down damn well, enticing gamers to settle down to immerse themselves in a wonderful beat-fuelled world. Now though they are back, with Aaero 2.
Playable at EGX with a demo created exclusively for the show, Aaero 2 takes pretty much everything that was great about the first game, but then raises things to a whole new level as Mad Fellows introduce new beats, a new combat system, and a rather stunning 2-player mode.
Cooperative Aaero is a thing of beauty and by placing a set of headphones on your head and found grabbing a controller immediately sees you thrown into the colourful, immersive landscape, as you attempt to move your ship to the rhythm of the beat.
With a 2021 release on the cards, we’ve got some time to wait until Mad Fellows launch Aaero 2, but until then, it gives us the chance to drop back into the amazing original game and relive the wonders that it brings once more.
I’ve been a fan of E-Line Media ever since the first time I went hands-on with the stunning Never Alone back in 2014. You see, not only do they create great games, but they ensure that those games are educational, pushing home ideas that many developers wouldn’t usually bother with. The next educational title in their library is that of the stunning Beyond Blue, created in collaboration with the BBC and their Blue Planet II series.
Beyond Blue is set in the near future, placing gamers below the waves as they search out the many mysteries of the ocean, all seen through the eyes of Mirai, the lead of a new research team.
Delivering a rich story that combines with a smattering of resource management, Beyond Blue will task you with working your way through the uncharted ocean all in order to discover the soul of some of the world’s most magnificent and intelligent creatures; expect to bump into pods of bottlenose dolphins, mobs of whales, and many schools of smaller marine life. With multiple mission objectives seeing you casually swimming under the waves in order to discover more about the world below the big blue, your time with Beyond Blue will easily become one of the most satisfying, educational, experiences yet.
It helps that E-Line have created a beautiful visual look too, and when you also include the fact that the Blue Planet II production team give further insight via never-before-seen footage, you’ll certainly not want to miss this one.
Remember those wooden train tracks that you had as a kid? Perhaps your own children have various pieces scattered across your living room floor? Well, Tracks brings those wooden masterpieces into the video gaming world, letting you create tracks that are pretty much only limited by your own imagination.
A beautiful toy train set builder, Tracks will give you the tools to play how you see fit, all without limits as you fall into an expansive sandbox arena to go about creating a world of your own.
By laying down track pieces and connecting them together just like you would in the real world, you’ll be found creating routes with bridges and intersections with glee. But from there on out you can also decorate the surrounding areas, building towns, and so on, all as you see fit, by utilising a deep inventory of many items.
As you would expect though, you can then also ride the train, dropping into first person and being left to marvel at the world you’ve created. Throw in some delicate mission structures that task you with transporting little Weeble-styled people from a platform to a nearby station, sometimes with a time-limit attached, and very quickly you’ll discover that Tracks is much more than just a standard track builder.
With an early November launch, Tracks on Xbox One will not just appeal to the little kids, but will no doubt find a place in the heart of the biggest kids too.
EGX 2019 was a show that delivered the goods on a variety of games, and alongside the six detailed above, consideration must also go out to the likes of the wonderfully unique Road to Guangdong, the story-driven Unto the End, the re-imagined Darksiders Genesis, the much anticipated JRPG Cris Tales, and all manner of other exciting indie offerings.
The question is, what were your favourite indie games of EGX 2019? Were you wowed by the breathtaking Beyond Blue, or delightful Tracks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.