PAX East 2014: Round Up

As I’m sure a lot of you are aware PAX East 2014 has just come to an end. Quite a lot was shown this year, and whilst I didn’t follow everything that happened, so will have no doubt missed some things, I did keep my eye on it, and I wanted to talk about some of the things that I most liked the look of.

Firstly was watch_dogs. I had recently been feeling like watch_dogs had gone off the boil a bit. Not much had been heard or shown for a while, there were rumblings that the games graphics had been downscaled, and it was just starting to sound a little negative.

But since then Ubisoft has come back with a new trailers and has completely renewed my optimism in it. The first trailer (Welcome to Chicago) shown a few weeks before PAX, showcased the games world. It immediately made me think of GTA V, and that is in no way a bad thing. The game world looked rich and full of life. It looked like there was plenty to do. Basically over the course of the weekend, I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about the game.
The demo shown at PAX was on PS4, and was pretty much the final build, a lot of people have been saying it looks great, and looks like it plays very well too, as it wasn’t actually a hands on demo. So, yea, I’m happy again. It’s starting to look like it could be a really good game for the new gen.

In case you missed the Welcome to Chicago trailer, here it is.

Evolve is another game that’s really started to impress me. 4 player co-op all chasing down a huge monster controlled by another player, what’s not to like? A few new screenshots were shown, but I don’t believe any new footage was, please correct me if I’m wrong. A few people, however, did get to have a hands on experience with it. Plus executive producer Denby Grace was on hand to talk about the game. Some of things discussed were, buffs (basically perks) that a hunter can unlock, one example being ‘Animal Scent’ which allows the hunter to spot the monster from 100-200 yards away through scenery. Another was how each map can have different animals on them, and how they can affect the game, one example was the ‘spotter’ a meerkat type animal, that may give away the monsters position, with a screeching sound when you are near to it. The monster can also eat some of these animals, which can eliminate them giving away your position, but it will also leave a corpse behind.


The monsters look awesome!

One thing I am unsure about though, is the size of the maps. The way they are talking about them, they sound pretty big, and I guess they would have to be for the game to actually work like a hunt. Something that is for certain, is that you will have to work as a team to succeed in this game. The trapper is one class that seems pretty integral to success, being able to harpoon the monster temporarily, that will allow the rest of the team deal  major damage. You also have a medic class, which is pretty self explanatory, well they all are really. I’m just starting to like this game more and more with each little bit of info that comes out about it.

But the game that really caught my eye was Capybara Games, Below. Below is basically a dungeon crawler, but its execution of this genre looks fantastic. You will control a tiny warrior as you explore an extensive land filled with mystery. A lot of people are saying its Zelda meets Dark Souls. Whilst I’ve never been a particular fan of either of those games, for some reason this one really appeals to me. The most obvious draw has to be the fantastic art style of it. The grand scale of the mysterious world is really heightened by the fact that your warrior is so small against everything. The soundtrack from each trailer sounds beautiful as well, and as we all know a good soundtrack takes a game to the next level.

Below islandSunset

Below looks stunning

The game features a permadeath system of sorts, therefore it is meant to be brutal, and you will die a lot according to creative director Kris Piotrowski. When you do die, you will come back as a brand new adventurer at the last checkpoint you encountered, usually a campfire. You can then continue on a separate path, or go back and find your old character to collect your lost items, should you wish to.

The story sounds as though it is hidden in the within the world, and if you just wander about you aren’t likely to know what is going on, but if you pay attention to the little clues here and there, they will eventually lead you to some kind of narrative.

There is also a multiplayer side to the game, although details of this are very few and far between, so quite how that will work remains to be seen.

Below combat

Yes, there is a tiny warrior in there

All I can say is that it just looks incredible. The more I see of it, the more it entices me, the more it intrigues me. I want to explore the vast world, and the dank dark dungeons, and I want to uncover the secrets hidden away. GAH, I want to play it now!

There were loads of other things announced and shown at PAX such as the first Titanfall Map pack DLC, more details on Star Citizen, which just sounds incredible, but I fear that it would never run on  my laptop. Hotline Miami 2 was shown, a new Sid Meiers game was announced, Civilization: Beyond Earth, and much more. All in all it seemed like it was a pretty good show, and has got me super hyped for E3 in a few months time.

– Will




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