PAX Prime 2012: Previewstravaganza
Seeing how I’m running late on a lot of this PAX stuff anyway, I thought I’d just roll all of my (non-video) previews into one. Here we go.
The Last of Us
Here’s the gameplay trailer they showed at E3. You now know as much about this game as I do.
The preview for this game was in a closed off room (with a line wrapped halfway around the convention floor) designed to look all post-apocalypticy, complete with a fake rotting corpse in a tub.
The demo they showed us featured the same section of the game as the E3 demo, but they spent a few more minutes exploring and showing off puzzles.
It could be a great survival horror game. Or it could be a slightly less grey I am Alive. I’m not getting too excited for this one until I actually play it.
Oh, and the demo gave Meagan motion sickness, so if that is an issue for you with some games, The Last of Us might not be for you.
You can run up ramps now. Apparently this is a big deal.
Oh, and multiple cities, the wilderness around them, fighting wolves, jumping from tree to tree, the setting of the weird game-within-a-game thing they have going jumping forward to the American revolution, and really awesome looking ship-to-ship combat.
We didn’t get to play this one either, but at least we got to sit on some not-that-comfortable wooden crates while we watched.
I really haven’t gotten too excited about any of the past Assassin’s Creed games, but between the new setting and naval combat sections, I might just have to pick this one up.
We actually got to play this one!
I wasn’t sure how well the precision sword swinging would work or how it would play into combat, but it’s not bad. It works as more of a finishing move in most cases, but it is simple to control and fun to mess around with. But to be honest, I had more fun with it cutting up random objects in the tutorial section than against real enemies.
Oh, and the camera was a pain in the ass during the fight against the helicopter. Because why would you need to pan the camera up if you are fighting something twenty feet off the ground?
I’m backing off a little from my opinion that the game would be all style and no substance based on what was shown earlier in the year. Now I think it will just be mostly style. Very little substance though.
This is still Anime: The Movie: The Game in the worst way. It just might be fun to play for parts of it.
It looks like a competent shooter.
They are trying some interesting things with the story about the toll war takes a the guys involved, but it seems contained to some cutscenes featuring super creepy character models.
As in, they were going for super realistic CGI charachters, and failed, resulting in some weird uncanny valley shit.
Cody was mad that every helicopter in every shooter game either blows up or gets shot down (because he flies in one for a living).
Castlevania 3DS (or whatever the hell it’s called)
I’m not even going to bother looking up a screenshot for this.
I wanted to finish with Herold because most of this post has been less than enthusiastic. This was the most pleasant surprise of PAX for me.
In Harold, the player controls Gabe, a (mostly off-screen) guardian angel tasked withe helping Harold, the worst runner in the world, win a series of foot races. Adjust platforms, traps, and other obstacles both to help Herold and hamper his opponents.
One of the most notable things about Herold is the high quality animation it features. As Moon Spider Studio head Loris Malek explained, many of the animators have previously worked for Disney, Dreamworks, or even Studio Ghibli. Moon Spider is located in southern Florida , where many major film companies used to have animation studios. When those studios moved elsewhere, some of the animators stayed behind, leaving an incredible animation talent pool and not much to do with it. So along comes Moon Spider and voila! A lower profile indie game with better animation than the majority of AAA titles.
I’m weary of sounding hypocritical while praising Herold for its visuals while calling the Crysis series some of the most overrated games of all time, but this is different. This isn’t some blind rush for higher and higher polygon counts. It’s artists adapting their craft to a new medium.
Honestly, I’m looking forward to Herold more than any of the other games I saw at PAX.
Well, that about wraps it up. I’m pretty sure I played a few other games while I was up in Seattle, but I can’t for the life of me remember what they were.
I think that pretty well sums up to videogame industry right now. A bunch of games coming out, but nothing sticks.