Greetings & Salutations Comrades!
It’s your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer, starving artist, and fellow geek ‘The CameraMan.’!
YES … I’m still here. I took a bit of time off to focus on my photographic endeavors but was called back into action to help cover PAX 2017. Honestly? How could anyone say ‘NO’ to an opportunity like that right? I’ll say this right off the bat. Although, somewhat subdued when compared to previous years … It did NOT disappoint! From titles released by the gaming companies you’re all familiar with to the up and coming independents just itching to breakthrough onto the scene with the latest groundbreaking concepts as well as ideas from the past reborn for the future. From the latest games, gear, and hardware for PC and Mac to the new releases for consoles and mobile platforms … PAX 2017 gave us a glimpse into the very near future and the future for gaming will continue to evolve. Besides all the still shots, video clips, and summaries you’ll find in this edition the following is what I personally had the chance to checkout this year :
Middle Earth: Shadow Of War:Mobile
From Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, we kicked off PAX this year in grand fashion when we were invited to check out the mobile version of Middle Earth’s : Shadow Of War Mobile where you can lead and command the greatest commanders, orcs, and champions of Middle-Earth on your mobile device in real time battles and combat!
Total War: ARENA
A joint endeavor between Wargaming.net and Creative Assembly, ‘Total War:Arena’ is the next evolution of the acclaimed Total War series. It’s a free-to-play team-based strategy game that gives you command of some of history’s greatest military commanders and their armies. Combining unprecedented attention to historical detail with strategy-based gaming the program places you in a massive 10 vs 10 RTS combat situation. Each encounter gives each military leader the chance to hone their skills and confer with allies seeking the best strategy to secure victory. With each level progression in the game you find new weapons, skills, and abilities which are unique to each commander.
Blasters Of The Universe (VR Bullet Hell)
Available on ‘Oculus’ and ‘Steam’, ‘Blasters Of The Universe’ is a game reminiscent of ‘Tron’ and ‘The Lawnmower Man’ movies. The first game of its kind, ‘Blasters’ combines first person VR to the bullet genre. In this game, the internet and virtual reality are combined as one. A crazed madman has uploaded his consciousness to the internet and you must venture into this artificial world to battle him and his minions and save humanity from digitized enslavement. The player must engage in battle through 4 campaign levels and shoot, dodge, maneuver, twist, jump, and fight their way through legions of enemies in order to fight enemy bosses and bring the enemies to its defeat once and for all!
From Mild Beast Games, ‘At Sundown’ is a top down 2D stealth game in which you battle against other players in various locations with the difficult but simplistic objective taking out all your opponents. The trick is, not only can you NOT see your opponents you cannot see yourself either. You must rely on your wits seeking out sound or other indications of movement by the opposing players around you like any disruptions in the surrounding environment and take your best shot with assorted weapons from firearms to blunt objects.
‘West Of Loathing’
From ‘Asymmetric’ the group that created the game ‘Kingdom or Loathing’, the makers of ‘West Of Loathing’ describe the game as a slapstick comedy wild-west open-world adventure stick-figure Skyrim with Beans and big hats role-playing game. If that isn’t enough to peak your interest, I don’t know what would be *laughs*. Seriously though, it’s a simple yet cool and engaging game that’s for all ages and available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and soon mobile platforms as well. They were debuting the mobile version at PAX and it’s definitely to be considered for your mobile device.
‘A Case Of Distrust’
This was definitely one of the more intriguing games in the Indi MegaBooth this year. The game follows a 2D narrative/detective novel-like game with a great style . You are Phyllis Candace Malone. A detective in 1920’s prohibition San Francisco. You must venture into smoky billiard halls, underground speakeasies, and other locations throughout the city. Seek out cases and search for clues, interview and take statements from witnesses, and use your wits to catch the bad guys and solve the mystery. Adding to your challenge is the climate of the time when female detectives and law enforcement officers we’re still few and far between and still facing the challenge of succeeding in a “man’s world”.
I think you have a pretty good idea from the title alone what comes next. We found this one just by chance and it was most fortunate that we did. A local company ‘GameSamba’, is currently working on a mobile game based on the popular Japanese dark fantasy manga. Currently under development, the game we had the chance to try appeared as a third-person real-time combat-style game reminiscent of early 90s console games like Contra and Ninja Gaiden only with vastly superior graphics. Each character will have unique abilities and weapons and you play one of the characters, an AI will control the others on your team until you decided you want to switch control to another character.
Already a winner of several independent game awards, Legrand Legacy:Tales Of The Fatebounds is an adventure/console/style console game in the vain of the earlier Final Fantasy games. You play the game as Finn, a young slave with no memory of his past. Yet soon begins to discover that he is not only meant for some greater purpose, but also has mysterious powers that may very very well be beyond his control. Finn must embark on a great adventure and bring peace and tranquility back to Legrand by fighting along side the ‘Fatebounds’ against a dark and sinister force.
From Oasis Games-
‘Hidden Dragon Legend’
Described as a ‘2.5-D Game’, Hidden Dragon Legend is an intense high-speed platform game that takes you back to the days of Imperial China. You play as the great sword master Lu. You engage in a bloody revenge-driven quest against evil cults skilled in the deadly martial arts. Slice, dice, and eviscerate your enemies over 15 levels in order to regain your enemy and exact your vengeance!
Designed with the PlayStation 4’s VR set-up in mind, ‘Light Tracer’ takes you to a world that has fallen victim to a mysterious power. You must guid the princess to the top of a Babylonian tower in a story consisting of 8 different chapters. The princess cannot die. However, the land will further succumb to an even darker fate if you do not safely guide her to the top of the ancient tower.
Fringe Wars –
Welcome to ‘The Fringe’. A region of space where various factions and planetary alliances are constantly at war over the area’s strategic and tactical importance as well as it’s high concentration of natural resources. In this space-themed multi-player online battle arena, choose your ship. Upgrade it with the latest weapons and defenses and eliminate your enemies with nothing held back to gain supremacy over this vital area of space. With superior visuals and a unique control dynamic courtesy of the PlayStation 4, this is most definitely a game that holds a permanent place on your gaming library!
Even with four days, one would never be able to experience everything there was to experience at this year’s PAX. These are amongst the big names and the independents that stood out to me. I honestly didn’t see one bad game at PAX and again, although subdued this year … It was a most excellent experience and good times were had by all.