Pax Prime 2013

PAX Prime 2013 was this weekend folks, and as predicted it was a huge success. While I didn’t get to go all 4 days this year, I was lucky enough to go two of those days and got to see just about all that PAX had to offer. It was a very crazy convention this year with the Seattle Convention Center being sold to absolute capacity, with people from all over the USA and farther here to see the fun. At the Con, the big dogs were out in force this year, showcasing everything they had to offer this coming holiday season. Both the Xbox One and PS4 were both being showcased, taking up just about one full quarter of the Exposition Hall. Needless to say, there is going to be a lot of cover here, as I saw as much as one person could possibly see, so here we go!

Brief Look at the new Consoles:

XBox and Playstation signs at Electronic Entertainment Expo

On the first day, Friday, I spent a lot of the day walking around and scoping out where everything was. This was opening day and everyone was spending their time in the main hall. The PS4 and Xbox One were the most crowded of the two, of course, with people being able to get their hands on these two consoles and try out the games that are being released with them. Waiting in line for these two took forever, but it was worth it for the about fifteen minutes you got to use on a game. Both the Xbox One and PS4 look fantastic, their improved graphics and processing powers serve them well. Ryse, Gran Turismo and Battlefield 4 were being showcased and playable on the Xbox One and Killzone and Diablo 3 were on the PS4 side. Of course, there were more playable games but just to name a few that were the most popular. The controllers are more or less the same but more responsive and the PS4’s touch pad seemed like it would be an interesting mechanic that could be used in some games such as inFamous: Second Son.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

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After walking around talking to a few people and standing in more lines, I got to take a look at Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag. It was only a Dev Demo but it still showcased some new and exciting things for the next installment of the series. From the start of the video, they showed how you recruit new members of your crew, get info and have a nice cold one on a pirate beach hideaway. From the demo, you have to finish a bar room (Or in this case beach brawl) fight and win to gain access to the taverns resources. The developer then showcased the sync points and spoke briefly on how many locations there will be to pilot your ship to. I was excited to hear that there will be about fifty locations and an amazing one hundred and twenty places to see. A new mechanic has been added to the game, the use of a Diving Bell, which was a real thing that Navy men and Pirates used to dive underwater and salvage wrecks. In AC: Black Flag you have to use this mechanic to find underwater treasure from wrecked ships so that you can spend the gold on upgrades for your ship so this will be crucial to keeping your ship up to date with the best equipment to continue your pirate career.

While you are underwater, you might stumble across caves that you can enter and inside you can discover smuggler dens that are rich with treasure and danger. Through the video, the dev talked about how you can use stealth to get through the smuggler cave, simply because you don’t have any of your own personal gear. While you take people out, you can then use their gear to use while you go through the cave but sometimes stealth is better than an all-out attack. Next they showcased an exciting new mechanic, Pirate Hunters. From what was shown and we were told, the more piracy you do the higher your wanted level goes up. This doesn’t sound too terrifying, and in the video it was only a one on one ship fight but the dev said that the higher your wanted level the more powerful the ships and the more ships come. This could range from a one hunter ship to a whole fleet of ships coming after you. The ship to ship combat looked intense and of course, the dev took the enemy hunter ship out with ease, but he didn’t sink them. Instead, he showed the different ways you can interact with the ship after you have won the fight, you can take the vessel for your own fleet or let the crew go with the ship and lower you wanted level.

Finally, he talked about how you upgrade your gear. Instead of simply having to buy the upgrades, you have to hunt for the material. Hunting for material sounds boring, but remember, you’re a pirate! So hunting is harpooning! That’s right, instead of rooting around on land for things that seem useful, you instead have to go out and harpoon yourself a shark or a swordfish or even a blue whale! Of course, you can’t just go out and go right for a blue whale, you have to upgrade your small dingy boat to be able to go after the larger game. But the rewards are foretold to be worth the fight.

 Bayonetta 2:

bayonetta 2

So a lot of speculation has flown around with this game being an exclusive release on the Wii-U. Many fans of the game, myself included, were worried that the kiddy console would nerf the hyper sexuality and over-the-top BDSM punishing finishers would be cut and in turn make the game not as much fun. Well, great news! Even though the developers have been saying it, people still didn’t believe it, but they kept all that made the game fun in the sequel. I got my hands on the demo for the game at PAX and it was just as much fun as the first. The punishing finishers, the flowing combat and the over the top sexuality of the game is all still present in the game. That means it will still be an M rated title but that’s fine because that’s one of the things that made the game great in the first place. The game seemed pretty similar to first game, which was slightly disappointing but it was still refreshing and a nice. Over all, this game looks like a great sequel to the first but only by getting our hands on it will tell as the demo didn’t reveal much to me about anything brand new. New weapons, and a side kick to boot! (Jean, the white haired Umbra Witch) this game seems like it will be a great game, for anyone who has a Wii-U.

 

 Watch_Dogs

WatchDogs2

This is a big game right here. From the first time we watched the release trailer this game has been highly anticipated. This showcase was unfortunately only a Dev Demo, but it was an awesome look at what is to come. The demo was a quick one, and it showed just how powerful your characters ability to hack into the city wide surveillance system is. A quick video showed us what the dev said was just a tip of what they wanted to do, how interconnected everything in their game is. But the real surprise was what came after; the person showcasing and playing the demo was playing as a police dispatch of some kind on an iPad. The game is apparently completely connected to iOS, PC, Xbox and PS systems. From what we were told, as you play the game you can get random challenges from others on an iPad or iPhone and race to a designated zone to win. The person on the iOS system is trying to stop the in game player, they do this by using a helicopter and control the systems around the city to try and stop the player at all costs. The dual between the iOS player and the in game player was intense as the in game player began to just run over pedestrians and at one point got in a firetruck and began ramming everything in his path as a desperately tried to get to the goal point. In the end, the iOS player won by a small margin but this showed just how interesting this game can be. On a final note, the dev pointed out that other players from around the world will be able to drop into your game, I can only imagine like Dark Souls, and challenge you to some sort of MP match. And while they didn’t go into detail about that, the dev said there was still a lot they were working on to make this game a big success.

 

InFAMOUS: Second Son

inFAMOUS

I’ve never been a big inFAMOUS fan, mostly because I didn’t have a Playstation when they first two came out. But looking at this game, I’m quite interested in getting my hands on it to give it a go. Another Game Dev demo but the game was being played right before us and we got to see an interesting fight. From a small game trailer, the player plays the role of someone who is actually happy to have these powers and uses them readily to fight the enemy laid before him. However, he doesn’t have an evolving power as the other two people had, his power is to steal others from people like him. In the game demo we witnessed, we saw a fight at the Seattle Science center. The player had recently taken the ability to control smoke and was able to use this power to knock out enemies if he sneaks up behind them. He could also use the power to go up through vents and shoot himself into the air. The fight that was showcased was somewhat intense, using his powers to get around he has to fight these enemies all over a destructible environment which can be used to your advantage. One other interesting feature is the touch pad that can be used to control the characters arms individually and lift things in the game. This game looks very interesting, and as someone who has never played an inFAMOUS game before, I am excited to see how this one unfolds though I might have to play the others beforehand to get all the back story.

 

 Wolfenstein The New Order:

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So this is a thing. Wolfenstein is a very old series that dates back to when I was young and the gaming world was getting started. Instead of taking place during WWII the game takes place after the Third Reich has taken over. Somehow, the Nazis got the A-Bomb before we did and used it, effectively crushing the Allied forces. I’m thinking time travel, but that was not hinted at in the hands on demo or the trailers they played. In the demo, it takes place sometime into the game, a bomb has gone off and you survived, you find yourself crawling through the rubble and killing Nazi survivors before you get into some real fighting. I only had 15 minutes to play the game, and I made the mistake of playing the game on a semi-hard difficulty so I didn’t get to far into the game, but from what I saw, I think Wolfenstein got a nice reboot. The guns are brutal and you get a laser gun of some sort that opens new possibilities as you can cut through some objects. There are a lot of robots that are ridiculous to kill, and the enemies are all pretty much the usual cannon fodder. Not too much excited me but if they changed it around a bit then, I think this Wolfenstein game will be a nice surprise for anyone who already is a fan.

 

Dr. Radio’s Immersive World:

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Now this is a game that I have seen from the start, it isn’t going to get a big long lecture but I felt it needed to get a small blurb. I know the people making this small game personally, and they are still students in the game design degree at the Art Institute but they been putting a lot into the game and so far it looks really far along. It is far from being done but they had a small playable demo and a booth next to the schools. Overall, if they keep up the pace they are going at they hope to have it done sometime soon, but need the help of Kickstarter and the community to get it done. Their Kickstarter is up and running plus they have a Facebook page that you can check out.

Wildstar:

Wildstar-Online-logo

Now this is a new MMOs that is coming out soon. The game plays like most MMOs but with a few interesting differences. While the playable demo was limited to premade classes and characters, and could only play for about 15-20 minutes on that or they could take part in the pvp demo for a match. From the gameplay, you get to make a character from a few different classes; these being Warrior, Esper, Spell Slinger, and Stalker. Each has their own interesting abilities and can be tailoted to perform different roles with in the class. However, the most interesting aspect are the 4 Paths that you select when you make a new character. The four Paths are Scientist, Explorer, Solider, and Settler. These paths allow you to expand the way you play the games such as the Settlers can build towns for their friends and clans to live in or Soldiers can start and host pvp matches.

The ways that people can play this game is not just linear. When I spoke to one of the lead writers of the game, he talked about how the real game play and story quests don’t start until you are close to the level cap. This doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do, but it is mostly a story set-up and then you get into the real background story of the game.

 

Most of the other games there were being displayed were not single player only, but still really exciting games such as Battlefield 4, Wildstar the new mmo coming out soon, the new Nexon game Extraction, and loads of other things like the new X-Com DLC set to come out very soon. Even Vin Diesel was there to promote his new movie coming out this week. Overall, PAX was a huge success and these are just a few of the big games that I was able to get my hands on, get into to see or got to look at and go “OOHHH AHHH.” If you didn’t make it to PAX this year, there is always next year and Twitch and other streaming sites have been doing their best to cover everything they can. But there is just so much there going on at the same time that you really can’t catch everything; but we try! I hope this gives you an insight to the upcoming games and gets you as excited as we all are here at OnlySP.

Have a great night everyone.

Peter Carl
25 Year old Game Design Major at the Art Institute. I love playing games and play any game given to me. There are no bad games, just bad mechanics.

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