Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PAX East 2013: Wrapping Up


The weekend is done and PAX East 2013 is over. Even though the work week can be tiring this past weekend at PAX was tiring in its own way. From all the people to the games to the cosplayers, it was one of those weekends that will keep you going just to see as much as you can. Today we're going to look back at the weekend and think about all the great new games coming out. Elder Scrolls Online, Watch Dogs, Last of Us and even a remastered DuckTales game; just games upon games to check out and try.

Every year PAX East gets bigger and bigger. This year's was no exception with those few games everybody was crowding to see and play with these being the most notable ones that I checked out. A lot of times you have to pick and choose what you want to see as you will be waiting in line a lot and there is just no way to see it all.


First up is The Elder Scrolls Online. An exciting new MMO from Bethsada Softworks that looks to take the joy and fun you have in playing Skyrim or Oblivion onto a much bigger stage. Everything you love about those games is put into this one with smooth gameplay that will take you back to the countless hours spent among the world of Skyrim. They did a great job of blending the adventure, skillbuilding and gear of Elder Scrolls into the MMO setting, with putting spells or types of attacks on hot keys that make fighting a welcomed task. With no set date of release yet, but when it comes out it could challenge World of Warcraft.

Next is the Ubisoft showcase, with Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. These three games had grand presences at PAX East 2013. All three were not playable, but had some great gameplay videos that shows Ubisoft has still got what it takes to put out some quality games. Watch Dogs is going to be a lot of fun when it comes out (hopefully this fall). Who wouldn't want to play a game where the city is yours to control via a smart city that lets you takeover electricity grids, subways and cameras? When Watch Dogs hits the market it'll likely cause many a restless night for numerous gamers.


Splinter Cell:Blacklist was looking pretty awesome as well. I got to check out two different levels of gameplay: a day mission and night mission on top of seeing how you interact in between the missions too. They meshed the gaming menu together so that there's no switching between menus when you want to jump from single player to co-op or multiplayer; everything you do is in the same menu which makes gameplay a lot smoother and results in less waiting. Being able to upgrade your gadgets and playing the missions how you want to on four different difficulty levels, Splinter Cell: Blacklist has something for all fans of Sam Fisher. It's not coming out until August, so you'll have to wait so many more months to get our hands on it. These two games were two of my favorite from the floor.

Alongside the AAA titles there were tons of mobile and arcade style games that were looking good too. State of Decay, the remastered DuckTales game, Third Eye Crime, Transistor (an awesome new game from the folks who brought you Bastion), Lords of New York; there were just so many that blew me away. The new game from The Behemoth named Battleblock Theater was also one of those games that is super fun to play and everyone was looking forward to playing when it comes out April 3. If you were a fan of Castle Crashers or old-school, two-on-two battle matches, you will enjoy some BattleBlock Theater.

The amount of mobile games there was amazing compared to last year and that area of gaming just keeps getting better and better. And let's not forget PC games beyond The Elder Scrolls Online. There were a good number of them as well. One that I got a chance to try was called the Curse of the Nordic Cove, a very tongue-in-cheek golf game that had me rolling. On top of the PC games the amount of PC hardware they had on display and for sale were things that will take your gaming to the next level with some great headsets, graphic cards and all the things you need to get the most out of your gaming.

Everything at the show in terms of games was just so good. The amount of indie games there was just amazing, reflecting how big a focus they had at this PAX. Sure all the big publishers were there, but with a number of indie showcase games at the Indie Mega Booth, the small guys definitely had their presence felt and made some noise. Every year PAX East just gets better and bigger putting on quite the show for gamers. With E3 being closed to only members industry insiders, these other shows are filling the void for giving gamers access to all the new games. With another year done and a countdown for PAX Prime this August, PAX East 2014 can't come soon enough.

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