Enjoy this smug vlog about my first day at the show in over four years. I didn’t intend to focus that much on it shadow of doubt, and I’ll be doing a proper preview in the coming weeks, but I can’t stress that enough – it’s brilliant. Rarely is such a bold vision surpassed by its implementation. It reminds me a bit of Cloudpunk, which I really liked, but I really wanted to have a less passive relationship with the city itself. With its impressive sense of immersion and commitment to granular interactivity built into the game’s core design, I feel like Shadows of Doubt delivers on that aspiration very well for me. Can’t wait for the full version to come out next year. It won “Britain Game of the Show” at Gamescom a few weeks ago, and it’s blindingly obvious why from the second you start the demo.
It’s day two of the EGX as I write this: Yesterday was one of the best times I’ve ever had at a show. It really does feel like events are finally back, and it’s easy to forget how big the deal is after months of relative post-pandemic normalcy. I say relatively because of course Covid is still with us – I’m not ready to shed my mask just yet – but I prefer the sweetness of relative normalcy to the alternative of no human contact outside of poorly framed webcams.
I didn’t really think about it leading up to EGX. I’m fairly new to this job and mostly saw it as a good opportunity to finally meet some of my VG247 colleagues in person (and how important it was – I finally know what Connor looks like in 3D, and really not him without the bevel of one recognize the laptop screen). But I was really struck by the sight of groups of friends, mostly in their late teens/early 20s, dancing around the exhibit floor together, cosplaying, laughing at silly jokes, buying Hatsune Miku t-shirts, and generally just doing normal things — something her generation was denied for a good 18 months, during some of the most crucial developmental years of her life. I hadn’t really considered this aspect of the pandemic until now. I’m almost 40, I’m sedentary, my social days are well behind me and I like to sit on my bum. I find myself in the most privileged position where Covid has been a mutilation more than anything.
After the events of the last few years, trade fairs have gained a new dimension in importance. Spending some face-to-face time together is vital to our collective healing as an industry and as a society. I had forgotten what it’s like to actually talk to the people behind the games we cover – to feel that excitement that comes from someone when they describe their artistic process, their hopes for the project, their inspiration. It’s rare that these undefinable aspects of human communication are conveyed via streaming video. Indeed, you can understand why film actors have to train for years to get anything good, and why the good guys are so well rewarded for their work: it’s hard work getting raw human emotion through the lens.
As beneficial as the work-from-home revolution has been for those of us lucky enough to enjoy it, it nourishes the soul to do things IRL, if only for a long weekend.
If you’re at EGX on Sunday, come and watch the VG247 Best Games Ever Podcast: Live! Infront of people! Maybe you!
https://www.vg247.com/egx-vlog-you-simply-must-play-shadows-of-doubt EGX Vlog: Shadows of Doubt is a must play