Gaming Diary: PAX East Write-up
I had my very first PAX experience this past weekend, and while I didn’t get to meet up with any strategy guide publishers, I did get to play and see a number of games coming out. Some excited me, some bored me, and some made me really want to play other games I don’t own yet but always meant to play. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to see everything I wanted to–those lines were scary beyond my imagination–but I think I got a nice well-rounded sampling of what the show had.
Games I Can’t Wait to Play NOW – Transistor, Saints Row IV, Remember Me
I have honestly been wanting to play Saints Row the Third for awhile now, but for various reasons, I’ve never gotten around to picking up the game. Yes, you can go on ahead and blame THQ’s downfall on me, that’s fine. One reason why I’ve always wanted to play is because it sounded so incredibly over-the-top, and I love games like that. Well, Saints Row IV is going to be no exception. I laughed during the entire presentation, and I cannot wait for August 20th to come soon enough. You can read my full preview at GameRevolution, but I can sum up my reasons for wanting this game now in two words: dubstep gun.
Yes, you read that correctly. There is a dubstep gun that you can shoot at victims to make them dance to death. The demo for this weapon lasted several seconds, and the entire room laughed the whole time. It really never got old, and the longer it went on, the funnier it got. My PAX roommate, Jen Bosier, didn’t believe me that such a weapon could be as awesome as I led on, but after she saw the demo, she was in my camp rather quickly.
Transistor is from the same people who created the critically-acclaimed Bastion, another game I have always meant to play, yet this is one I already own. Transistor features the same watercolor art of Bastion, and it has a large sword, so naturally I’m already intrigued. The story appears to be unique–from the short time I had with it–and the gameplay is truly unique–a combination of hack-n-slash and turn-based play. I have a full preview submitted to ActionTrip, but it’s not posted yet for whatever reason.
The game’s biggest disappointment is that it will release sometime in 2014. When the demo was over, the end screen literally said, “Release date: 2014 possibly?” That better be early 2014, because I want it now.
I’ve heard of Remember Me, but I’ve continually dismissed it from knowledge for whatever reason. I watched a bit of someone playing it on the showroom floor, and then I got in line myself. It’s a combination of action and platforming, but it’s platforming akin to Uncharted or Tomb Raider, meaning it didn’t really bother me at all. The plot is slightly unique, and it’s visually stunning. I wrote more at ActionTrip in case you are interested. At least this one I won’t have too long to wait for, just June 4th this year.
Games That Still Haven’t Won Me Over – Assassin’s Creed IV and WatchDogs
For a game that is releasing THIS YEAR, I was shocked that there was only PRE-ALPHA footage of Assassin’s Creed IV for people to view. I understand that they may be saving a hands-on demo for E3, but they had nothing else but pre-alpha footage at the time? Really? Well, whatever I guess. While it was cool to see some of the exploration and treasure hunting the game will feature, not to mention a historically accurate rendering of Blackbeard, I’m still left wondering what the overarching story will be. Also, as soon as they showed those ship battles I hated in Assassin’s Creed III, I was out instantly. I fully expect those to be a focus of the game, considering it’s about pirates, so the likelihood I’ll buy this game for myself is considerably low.
Now the footage they showed for WatchDogs disappointed me even more than ACIV, simply because it was the exact same footage they showed at the PS4 press conference. It was packaged together slightly differently, and it had a different narration, but the footage itself was the same–Aiden Pearce stopping a random woman from being attacked by her ex-husband and then eluding the police by hopping on a train. So yes, I still remain a bit unimpressed with the gameplay just because I haven’t really seen anything new that has screamed at me that I must play it now.
Games I Have Zero Interest In – Dead Island: Riptide and Shootmania
Shootmania is Ubisoft’s upcoming MMO FPS for the PC, and while I admit I have zero interest in the genre in the first place, I was not counting on being so bored while playing. After one round, I was done. I had to play for seven, and I cared less with each round. So all you do is run around in the same map and shoot one another, all while trying to capture and defend two flags? This is why playing multiplayer portions of shooters does not appeal to me; I need a story, and just running around to kill other people bores me to tears. The guys around me seemed to really enjoy it, but it’s clearly a genre not meant for my tastes.
So then let’s move on to another game that doesn’t interest me at all: Dead Island: Riptide. I knew nothing about the series before I played, so imagine my utter disgust when I learned this is basically the exact same game with the exact same story as the original Dead Island. That’s lazy, and the developer should know it. In addition, I found the gameplay to be awkward and clumsy and kind of repetitive. The demo portion I played ran like this: small break, stop the infected from invading, small break, more infected coming, repeat. Maybe if I wasn’t forced to skip through the cut scenes by the PR reps I wouldn’t feel that way, but sadly I was, so I wasn’t able to get a feeling as to why I should care about the story or my chosen character. I’m not in zombie games anyway, so this one really comes as no surprise that I didn’t like it.