The weekend of March 5th – March 8th I had the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with a multitude of games. All of this week I will be putting up previews, news, and opinions on what I saw at Pax East 2015. I will be covering newly announced games like Gigantic, highly anticipated titles like Overwatch and the best ports to consoles at the show.
My PAX East adventures started off with a bang when my editor-in-chief and I went to a pre-PAX community event with the one and only Larry Hryb, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson. Larry and the team at the local Microsoft Store set up a great event for fans that gave players the chance to get there hands on Ori and the Blind Forest and Screamride.
Spoilers: Ori and the Blind Forest is amazing!
On Friday, we headed to the show. Media badges in hand we attended the special breakfast hosted by The Behemoth. Behemoth had a great set up at their booth. They had all their games from Castle Crashers to their yet to be named game, cleverly codenamed, Game 4. All their games were adorned with arcade-style cabinets and controls. Sounds a bit off, but when you witness these “behemoth” cabinets you are going to want one at home. After breakfast, we headed to the floor. Taking total advantage of the short lines I knew I wanted to head for the Overwatch booth, which of course did not disappoint.
After OverWatch we happen to run into the Drinkbox booth. To my surprise they had Severed (vita-exclusive) being shown to the public. I do not want to say too much, but the nods to other classic games and the culture rich artwork are very reminiscent of Gucamelee, that is a good thing. Later that afternoon, we left PAX and attended Adr1ft’s screening hosted by IGN. Calling this game Gravity the game would be an understatement. The sound quality (amplified in the movie theater) was astonishing. After hearing the projects that the sound designers were a part of it is no surprise how well the game introduces ambience and desperation. Checking out four games on Friday would have been enough, but of course we attended after-hours events.
After the first night of Dev parties, Saturday at PAX slowly crept. However, we tread on, split up, and hit some more booths. Running into my NYC friend, Graham Reid (@GrahamOfLegend on twitter) creator of Hecticube, was probably the best thing that happened that day. He convinced me to check out Axiom Verge. Despite how terrible I was at the game, it seemed interesting to see how someone who was influenced by classic games like Super Metroid, translate that to a new game. The developer talked to me about how originally the game had very different game mechanics and that he was rudely awaken by the reality of his desires. I think that a restricting factor or limit to what can be done is key to development of classic games and allows for a many ways to experiment within parameters. After checking out Axiom Verge, it was networking, networking, networking.
My final day at PAX ended with one last game, Smite. Smite was definitely a game I could have seen earlier in the weekend. The version I got to see was the Xbox One version, it was fantastic. Being a person who fell out of love with MOBA’s and the “master race” of PC gaming, I was intrigued by Smite. The folks over at Hi-Rez Studios have done a great job in the translation of the game to play with a controller. After the Hi-Rez booth I saw all I needed to see so I went to hand out LevelSave’s game of the show awards to the lucky winners and completed my last day at PAX. Later on, headed to an IGN community event to continue the drinking and networking. The community event officially marked my last PAX East 2015 adventure.
Stay tuned this week for my impressions of the games I saw, and follow me on twitter @ChrisZev
For anything else PAX related keep your browsers pointed at LevelSave.com, and be sure to check out all of our PAX East Best of Show winners.