Tuesday, 1 September 2015

5 Great Games @ PAX Prime

Though in terms of size and impact both E3 and the Tokyo Game Show take the biscuit in the gaming industry, the Penny Arcade Expo, also known as PAX Prime, is not an event to be scoffed at. Originating from the creators of the much loved Penny Arcade web-comic that sprung up in 1998, the event is now home to game reveals, trailers and all kinds of cosplay shenanigans. However, like any gaming event out there, we're here to help you cut through the bullshit and give you the info on the games worth knowing about.

Dark Souls 3

How could Dark Souls not be here? A sequel to last years entry in the nerve punishing franchise, Dark Souls 3 on the surface looks like more of the same, outside of a few obvious exceptions. However, that's not really a bad thing when the previous two games in the series were some of the best games within the past decade. Much like before, the grim world offered here is expansive, disturbing yet oddly beautiful. Enemies look to have been beefed up in terms of A.I and attacks too, and though they may not attack with the unrelenting anger that was seen in Bloodborne, they look smart and keen on baiting the player into taking the next move.

Outside of the superbly dark visuals on showcase here, Dark Souls 3 is clearly starting to fine tune the combat system used throughout the series. In previous games combat looked like some deadly dance, while here it looks like some kind of fluid brutal ballet. Looking a little more slick than it did in previous games, Dark Souls 3 just might end up bettering both previous Dark Souls games and the outstanding Bloodborne.

Dragon Age: Inquisition- Trespasser

Last year I reviewed Dragon Age: Inquisition and loved it. I didn't think I would considering since EA got their claws into Bioware, the legendary developer has become a shadow of its former self. With shitty releases like Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 under their wing, I wasn't expecting the third Dragon Age game to be anything special. So with the announced of the final chunk of DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, I was overjoyed. Set two years after killing Corypheus and closing the Breach, Trespasser essentially tells the story of what happens when the world doesn't need saving anymore, and ends turns against their previous protectors, who in this case are the Inquisition.

No direct gameplay is shown in the trailer, but Trespasser looks like it's going play pretty much the same as Inquisition. Still though, that's all fine for me as Bioware have stated that Trespasser is the end of the Inquisitor's storyline, and essentially serves as a epilogue for Inquisition. Haven't played Inquisition yet? What are you waiting for?

Salt and Sanctuary


Did you ever wake up in the morning and say, "Man, I'd love a 2D Dark Souls game"? No? Well I have, and now it's finally becoming a reality. Well, sort of! Salt and Sanctuary is an intriguing indie game that pretty much looks like a 2D Dark Souls game. From it's dark yet beautiful atmosphere, it's hordes of demons and monsters to wipe out, the fact that demons drop items that can level you up but you can lose upon death, and its addition of safe zones in which you can rest your character before heading back into the fray, this is Dark Souls through and through.

It's all topped off by an incredibly unique look to the game. Everything looks faded, shrouded in web, old and almost like some kind of hazy dream. This, coupled alongside the fact that is literally plays like Dark Souls, is instantly making this a must-play, personally. Sure, it could be seen as some kind of rip-off, but at least by brining it into the realm of the 2D side-scroller, developer Ska Studios are trying to put a new spin on the formula.

Minecraft: Story Mode



This looks f*cking awesome. Developed by Telltale Games, the same team behind the heart breaking The Walking Dead and head chopping Game of Thrones game series, comes Minecraft: Story Mode. However, this isn't a typical Minecraft game. Like the developers previous titles it's essentially a point-and-click adventure of sorts, but because it completely takes place within the Minecraft world, all the usual Minecraft stuff is here- mobs, crafting, annoying pigs, chunky lava and block heads. However, Story Mode goes beyond the basic world of Minecraft as it's clearly trying to add a worthwhile story and interesting characters to the mix.

So far I really like what they're doing with the franchise. Though there is a possibility that it just won't come together and that Minecraft fans will be disappointed by the lack of exploration, it's in good hands with Telltale Games at the very least. They most likely won't screw it up, but I just hope they do the Minecraft franchise justice.

RIGS: Mechanized Combat League

With the HTC Vive coming out near the end of the year and the Oculus Rift out early 2016, the world of Virtual Reality is almost upon us. However, Sony have their own little headset in the making, and the latest Morpheus exclusive title they've shown off is RIGS: Mechanized Combat League. Placing you in the seat of a mech and shoving you into an arena, the game, developed by Guerilla Cambridge, looks like its either going to be a huge success or massive failure. Right now it's just too hard to say.

I've tried VR in the past and while I didn't feel ill during the games I've played, I do know what would make me sick. I think RIGS would bring me to the brink of being ill just by looking at it here, but it could also just as easily be an incredibly thrilling online experience. Time will tell I guess...

Denis Murphy 

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