PAX East Showcases New Games, Old Franchises

Aaron Bui ’15

It’s that time of year again where new reveals and releases are announced at one of the most well-known gaming conventions. For those who don’t know, here’s the rundown. The Penny Arcade Expo is hosted several times during the year in the US and even in Australia. PAX East, which is held in Boston, was held on March 6-8. It has LAN events, booths for indie and major game developers, and multiple panels for question and answer sessions. But in the gaming community, it is a place for some type of gaming-related announcements until the next gaming convention.

The last installment of the Witcher series, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was shown and demoed at PAX East, showing off the different magical skills, combat skills, and lush scenery of the game. The graphics of this open world RPG are just breathtaking and combined with the rich lore of the series, it will definitely immerse you into the game. You take control of a monster hunter, otherwise known as a witcher, named Geralt who has special abilities and weapons to aid him in the hunt. This third-person RPG should be on your watch list in the upcoming releases. The game is set to release this year on May 19.

For Borderlands fans, the fourth DLC in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has been announced called Claptastic Voyage coming on March 24 along with the release of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. Just a heads up, The Handsome Collection will include Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel with all of their respective DLC. If you have been keeping up with Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands, Episode 2 has also been announced and will be releasing on the week of March 17 and will feature Handsome Jack.

For Final Fantasy fans, a demo of the upcoming and highly anticipated Final Fantasy XV was shown during the convention. It features an open world game with gorgeous graphics. Besides that, the gameplay is fluid and amazing to watch. You can get your hands on the demo on March 17. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is the first expansion for the MMO Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which I recommend for you to check out. It includes new regions, new races, new classes, and much more. It is set to release on June 23.

Now, I know MANY of you play Hearthstone on your iPads, so I am happy to point out that the Blizzard is releasing a new adventure called Blackrock Mountain, which will include new cards and a new table set. The new expansion will have a dwarven theme from their Warcraft IP, and there seems to be no intention of splitting off into Diablo or Starcraft. The Blizzard team has also been working on porting and redesigning the game to smartphones, so you don’t have to lug around your iPad everywhere anymore. The game is only going to be more successful as people are able to play it just about anywhere.

A new hero has been announced in Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm. Sylvanas Windrunner, the Queen of the Forsaken, is said to be a high DPS hero. Along with this announcement, Blizzard had stated that they will be redoing the user’s interface as well as adding and endgame score screen, clans, and the ability to mute players. The game is currently in an invite-only, closed beta for player feedback.

The free-to-play space combat game Dreadnought, developed by Yager Development, has a new mode: team elimination. It pits you in a five versus five match set on a round-type basis. Each player only has one life and when one team is eliminated, the other will win that round. To win the game, you must win three rounds, which could amount to a total of five playable rounds. It is similar to team deathmatch where you try to destroy the other team, but this game mode adds more strategy to the mix for experienced players.

Two indie titles have caught my eye where one still needs the support of the community and the other is heavily influenced by Dark Souls but has more social interaction.

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is a third-person action adventure game which, as you could probably tell, is influenced by Little Red Riding Hood. It revolves around a city where a single factory has spurred up its success but the owner has died, so the son takes over. The son begins replacing all of the workers with machines, but soon, the workers themselves disappear. One of these workers is Red Riding Hood’s father, so she sets out to find him, but with an axe in hand. The gameplay is similar to that of the Darksiders series, where you try to combo minions with different attacks.

The other indie game I mentioned is called Necropolis, which has a unique flat art style. According to the developer, you are trying to escape a dungeon, but the only way out is down. You only have one life with each character, so every time you die, you lose everything yet the social interaction concept is tied to that character. Sometimes, there will be one unique weapon spread out across all gamers and when one person gets it, a tweet will be sent out that someone has it. Yet, when they die, another tweet will be sent out saying that the weapon is up for grabs and another person can claim it. Also, expect Dark Souls difficulty, as the developer is a huge Dark Souls fan.

Well, this is all the things that caught my eye in PAX East this year, some stuff I’m interested in, other things that I know the rest of the other gamers at Strake Jesuit would be interested in. I hope I gave you some interest for gaming this year as last year was a bit shaky (some call it the worst year for gaming), but this year, it seems that a new generation of gaming is going to kick things off.