Another day at PAX come and gone, another day of gaming news to share with you all! Today I got a look several excellent games coming down the pike, so lets jump right in!
The day was kicked off by going directly to the Watch Dogs Station to see more of what’s in store for us come November. Alas they didn’t have a playable demo, but I and my fellow attendees did get a look at some unique functionality the game will be leveraging. With Watch Dogs, Ubisoft is looking to offer a more integrated cross-platform experience than what we’ve seen in the past. To demonstrate this, we were shown how the console game and the tie-in tablet game interact. It was a sort of multiplayer, with the console player trying to reach several checkpoints before time runs out, and the tablet user taking control of the City OS and doing everything they possibly can to stop the console player. I don’t know if I’ll personally ever use this feature but I have to say that it looked like a blast. There was no lag between commands given by the tablet, and the all out rush to stay ahead of the tablet user made for the perfect excuse to cause all manner of mayhem on the console side. I’m not one for phone or tablet tie-ins for games, but I have to say that this looks like they’ve handled it right.
Next up we have XCOM: Enemy Within, a soon forthcoming expansion to XCOM: Enemy Unknown for those who haven’t heard about it yet. No playable demo for this on either I’m afraid, but very exciting nonetheless! What we got was a sneak peak at a new Dam level and some of the new units, Mech Warriors for both the Sectoids and XCOM, and genetically enhanced soldiers for XCOM. Doesn’t sound exciting I know, but I’m telling you that we ourselves a show! The XCOM Mech was devastatingly powerful, taking down dug-in enemies along with their cover and punching unprotected aliens right off the dam! We looked on in excitement as we watched two genetically enhanced soldiers display their unique abilities. We had the pleasure of seeing what a sniper with augmented muscle density could do as she leaped up to a high vantage point and took down an Sectoid Berserker. We saw that that the Sectoids don’t always have the psionic advantage as we watched the other soldier rebound a Sectiod Commander’s attempt to mind-control him, with disastrous results for the alien.
According to our demo guide this was just a small piece of what’s in store for XCOM fans come November 12. I don’t know about you, but I’m now on a mission to get through the main game so I can be ready for this at launch!
I got a good look at some of the indie offerings at the show today as well and I have to say that what’s coming out of the indie-sphere has me very excited. My first stop was Mists of Stagnation, an online multiplayer game which is being developed by the fine minds of Osiris Studios. I’ll have a full interview for you all later this week, but for now, here’s why Mists of Stagnation has me excited.
First off, it’s a solid blending of FPS and RTS gameplay mechanics. Doesn’t sound like it would work right? It’s exactly what I thought until I got a chance to see it in action for myself. How it works is that each team has their own mech suit called “The Commander”, and the player controlling this mech is tasked with utilizing the resources captured by their team, as they run and gun throughout the map capturing and defending checkpoints. What the Commander controls are the attributes of the team as a whole, everything from weapon loadouts to respawn times. What’s more, the way the team gets upgraded follows a sort of skill tree. So as the Commander, you literally get to decide exactly what kind of team you and your allies will be! The Commander is on the map with everyone else and can definitely be destroyed but just destroying the Commander won’t guarantee victory. It’s important to success but not vital, which I think strikes a nice balance.
What’s more, the steampunk theme isn’t just for show, it really has influence over the gameplay. My prime example is their unique variation on the flamethrower: the Steamgun. This weapon looses a deadly cloud of super-heated steam, which can be used to fry and enemy where they stand, or since it billows out like real steam, create a temporary barrier to help hold a control point. Very cool no?
Mists of Stagnation does not have a set date yet but Osiris is hopeful that we’ll get to see a finished product by the end of 2014. Like I said, I’ll have more on this game for you later this week, but in the meantime, check out their IndieDB page and see it for yourself!
Finally, I got some hands-on time with Tiny Brains, developed by Spearhead Studios. It’s a 1-4 player game optimized for cooperative play, and let me tell you that if you do happen to have 3 friends you can play with, you will have an absolute blast with this one. The entire game works around solving puzzles by utilizing and combining the unique powers of the “Tiny Brains” in ever more complicated and creative ways. There are four characters to choose from, a rabbit with a force-pull ability (the one I used in the demo and my current favorite), a bat with a force-push ability, a rat that can switch places with objects, and another creature I couldn’t peg that can generate blocks of ice. My experience with the demo was challenging, fast-paced, and completed with an ever-present smile! Cooperation is key here, and there will likely be many challenges that require some talk and planning, but the during challenges that I played (with three people I’d never met before I might add), collaboration was instantaneous; No verbal communication necessary! All I had to do was look at what my allies were doing on screen and I could instantly understand what they were trying to do and how I could assist. It’s that intuitive. Seriously, If you enjoy coop at all you should look into this one. It’s a real gem.
The game sports a regular campaign for people to make their way through as well as several additional challenges that dare you to get a highscore. Everything will have leaderboards tied to it so you can have ample opportunities to compete against other groups of friends.
Tiny brains will be launching with the PS4 and will eventually be available through Steam and on other platforms as well. If you’d like to see more, check out there site. Spearhead Games.com.
That’s Sunday for you, which leaves on one day left! Check out our facebook page for more pictures of the show, and check back tomorrow for the details!