I survived day one of my first PAX and all I have to show for it are some game previews, impressions, interviews, and a handful of photos. And I had a great time!
Some friends warned me that given the size of PAX and the tininess of the Washington State Conventions Center, Friday might be a little bit of a challenge to a first-timer, but I have to say the healthy amount of attendees were well behaved, at no point did I get smacked in the face with a replica sword, and the mood was pretty enthusiastic (spoilers: people like games).
After the jump, I’ve got a brief rundown of my first day along with photos from the show floor but check back throughout the weekend for full posts about the games and panels
First, I got some hands-on time with IGF winner Super Time Force, the side-scrolling, time-rewinding shooter from Capy (Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery, Critter Crunch). While I’ll of course, have a longer piece up soon, it was great to finally get a chance to mess around with Capy’s title. Highlight: ramming a dinosaur to death with a riot shield, promptly getting killed by another dino, rewinding time and avenging myself of said dino.
Speaking of dinos, I was a little less enthusiastic about the humans vs. dinosaurs FPS Primal Carnage, but to be fair I only gave it about 10 to 15 minutes of my time. Set in what looked like the ruins of a Jurassic Park-type environment, me and the three other players on the dinosaur side of the team spent our time hunting down and trying to kill some well-armed humans. I never really got the knack for controlling the big guy, though, and never once stumbled on any of the opposing players on the map. Let’s chalk this one up to a game that might just need a second look at some point.
And since I’ve tried to split my time between some of the smaller titles out on the floor as well as the big-budgeted, AAA hits, I had lengthy conversation with the teams behind Hitman: Absolution along with some hands-on play time with IO interactive’s stealth action game in the Chinatown demo level they’ve been showing throughout convention season. My main takeaway from my time with the game: feedback is key and the average player will have a little bit of a learning curve discovering how best to apply their assassin’s skills to the environment.
I also spoke to Seattle-based indi dev U4iA about their free-to-play FPS Offensive Combat, and my impression is that they’ve been thinking a lot about how to make an impact in the F2P FPS space and some of those ideas are really pretty clever.
Double Dragon: Neon is as straightforward as they come, but that’s almost kind of the point, isn’t it? The remake/homage/spoof looks great and controls a lot like games from that era, but I’m wondering how the humor will land for some gamers.
Oh, and I messed around with Shank developer Klei’s Mark of the Ninja and that game is dooooooooope (hope I spelled that right). What I mean to say is, even in the initial level I played, their stylized stealth action side scroller has a lot of systems to learn and very coherent, clear ways of communicating them to the player.
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