Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Impressions From PAX East 2011

I, along with a friend and my wife, got to attend PAX East in Boston this year. I had a great time (besides all the lines... and the Broadway T stop, but that's another story), and I figured I'd take a few minutes to give some brief descriptions of games that I got to see or demo. There were many, many more games there than what I have listed here, but I'm only going to write about the ones that I remember and feel like I have something informative to say about.

Bioshock Infinite- This game is still a while away, and I heard the creators talk about where they got their inspiration from more than I got to see any actual gameplay. Even so, I have full faith this game is going to be amazing.

Brink- Didn't get a chance to play this one (the lines were out of control), but looked interesting. It's not exactly what I had pictured in my mind, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. It actually reminds me of Team Fortress 2 more than Call of Duty or anything like that. It's definitely a class-based squad shooter, with stuff like medics, engineers that can build turrets, etc. It still looked fun though, and I'm sure there's a lot more to the game than the small multiplayer demo that they had on display.

Duke Nukem Forever- Didn't get the chance to play this one, but watched some other people play, and it looks like it will be exciting and hilarious. It's also definitely an adult game - don't buy this one for your kids or little siblings. The booth itself was hilarious, they had portraits hung everywhere of Duke in ridiculous scenes: climbing Mt. Everest, space-walking, smoking a cigar while holding a huge fish he had just caught, etc. The game will probably seem a little dated when it comes out, but I'm definitely still looking forward to this one.

Homefront- Played a single-player demo of this. It was cool, but the game handles and feels pretty much exactly like Call of Duty. The story looks like it could be powerful though, and I didn't get to see any of the multiplayer. Hopefully that will offer something fresh.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge- This is a fantasy hack 'n slash game, but it handles and play a lot like Gears of War. It really emphasizes two player co-op (also like Gears of War), and the short demo my friend and I played was cool, if not amazing.

Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning- This game looks very promising even though it's a ways off (scheduled to come out sometime in 2012). It's a pre-alpha build and already looks very good graphically. From the live demo I saw, it seems like it takes the best parts of both the Fable series and Oblivion and merges them together. This game is the first game coming from the studio Curt Shilling founded (38 Studios), and the story of both the game itself and the whole history and lore of the world of Amular are being written by R.A. Salvatore, one of my favorite fantasy authors. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of this.

Lord of the Rings: War in the North- Made by some of the people who made the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance series, this game actually reminds me a lot of that, only with next-gen graphics and a Middle Earth setting/story. It's emphasizes three player co-op, which is kind of strange (you figure they'd make it so four people could play at once like most games). The characters you can control are an elven archer, a dwarven warrior, and a human who can do a little of both. The demo I got to play was cool, but like Hunted, I wasn't really blown away or anything.

Mortal Kombat- Didn't get to play this one (I'm not a big fan of fighting games anyway), but it definitely looked like they're taking this game back to it's roots, which is a good thing.

Nintendo 3DS- The two games I got try on this were Street Fighter 3D and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. While both of those games played well, the 3DS itself is what really blew me away. I've heard for a while now how awesome the glasses-free-3D technology is, and it really works. I actually tried this shortly after seeing a small demo of Crysis 2 on a giant 3D TV (using glasses), and while the 3DS obviously has a much smaller screen, the effect was exactly the same, but without the glasses on the 3DS. While the 3DS is awesome, I really cant wait until they perfect this technology enough to make big screen 3DTVs that you don't need glasses for. And I think we're a lot closer to that technology than the people who are buying expensive 3DTVs and glasses right now realize.

Rage- I got to see a live demo of some of the single-player for this game, and it did not disappoint. Let's just say that there has been a lot of hype for this game (especially in my mind), and what I saw in the demo did disappoint me in the least. In fact, I think I'm even more excited for this game now then I was before, I didn't think that was possible.

Red Faction: Armageddon- Played a small "destruction" demo, where you basically had to cause as much damage in as short a period as possible to win prizes (I got a t-shirt out of it). Obviously there will be more to the game than that, but as far as I could tell it looked and played exactly like Red Faction: Guerrilla, which was a good game when it came out two years ago. But I think a lot of people will be disappointed if Armageddon turns out to be Guerrilla 1.5. I really hope they've added a bunch of new stuff and improved on the first game.

Star Wars: The Old Republic- Saw a little bit of this game, but unfortunately didn't get to play the demo (like Brink the lines were out of control). It still looks promising, but the question now is when is it going to come out? First it was April or May of this year. That's obviously not going to happen now. All they'll say now is "still 2011", and some rumors have placed it coming out in September. Mass Effect 3 is also supposed to come out this holiday season, but I wouldn't be surprised if both these games wind up getting pushed back to 2012. Old Republic's been in the works so long now though, I feel like they need to release it sometime this year or else it's going to turn into the next Duke Nukem Forever. God forbid.

That's all I can remember seeing from PAX. Hope you found something interesting in here, and thanks for reading. As always, feel free to post any comments or questions you may have.


leebrew said...

mass effect 3 is Q4 2011. Which goes through January 2012

Sean said...

I too enjoy RA Salvatore. That's all I really had to say. What happened with Broadway? Curious.

lespaulio said...

Lee- I based my comment that Mass Effect 3 is supposed to come out "this holiday season" on the end of the official trailer that came out a little while ago. You can watch it here:


It clearly says "Holiday 2011" at the end. I wouldn't be surprised if it got pushed back, but I think as of now they are aiming for a pre-Christmas release (that's what saying "Holiday whatever-year" usually means).

Sadclown- The first morning (Friday) we got off the T (Boston's subway system) at the Broadway exit, which we thought was the closest to the convention center. We then proceeded on a 25 minute walk in the pouring rain with no umbrellas. We were soaked the rest of the day. After we got there we found out there was another T stop we didn't know about that was literally right across the street from the convention center. Needless to say, we used that one from then on (although, ironically, I don't think it rained the rest of the weekend).

Sean said...

Sucks. At least now you have an interesting story to tell along with the even more interesting gaming stories.