The folks behind Army of Two: The 40th Day were definitely making their presence felt at PAX 09. In addition to the fully costumed and rifle-wielding Rios and Salem walking the show floor, they were also handing out Army of Two iPhone skins (which I somehow accumulated about twenty of), and, of course, showing off the sequel to the original game on the exhibition floor.
We played a pre-alpha build, so to say that it was rough around the edges would be an understatement. And given that status for the game, we won’t get into the glitches and bugs we encountered, as those will more than likely get worked out well before the game goes gold. Instead, we’ll focus on where this franchise seems to be headed with this newest offering.
Back at E3 we had a chance to see Dead Space Extraction and at the time it was well received. The original Dead Space was a genius game that delivered genuinely thrilling scares all while delivering an excellent story and dynamite gameplay so a sequel really excited us.
Until we learned it was an on-rails shooter. Rail shooting/light gun games had a place… that place was arcades back in the 90’s. It was a concept that was really cool when it came out but today’s gamers are a more demanding breed and want more interaction and control over their experience. So being on a track where you have no input aside from shooting things directly in front of you just doesn’t sit well in the age of advanced gaming.
But we had to remain professional about it and check the game out – the demo on display at E3 was quite nice. Some great intro cinematics and a very heart pounding short segment of gameplay made us forget we were playing a rail-shooter.
So we were happy to see it was being showcased again at PAX and wanted to get our hands on it once more to see how it’s improved since early June.
Right next to The Beatles: Rock Band was a matching set up for the forthcoming LEGO Rock Band. Harmonix was hitting PAX in force, and they definitely made themselves out to be one of the most fun places to be at the show.
This was Team JRE’s first hands-on experience with LEGO Rock Band, so we were interested in seeing how it stacks up to the other games in the Rock Band catalogue.
I’ve c0vered more than my fair share of tower defense games for this site. And while I’m a fan of the genre, there’s one thing that is fairly universal to the genre: they all feature single player campaigns, and you are not a direct part of the action.
Yes, you set up the towers, and yes, you can usually throw them down even in the midst of an assault. But in every title I’ve covered, that is the end of it. Set the tower down, and watch what happens.
Well, the folks behind South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!, releasing exclusively for Xbox Live Arcade on October 7th, weren’t happy with that approach. So they decided to change things up by giving you a playable character that partakes directly in the action, and you can bring your buddies along too with up to four player co-op.
Today I had the opportunity to play EA and Pandemic Studios WW2 action/espionage title, The Saboteur. The game centers around a protagonist Sean Delvin and his personal quest for vengeance against the Nazi army during their occupation of France. The French locals are taking it laying down as the evil Nazi’s take over the town and their take over is symbolized by a lack of color through the region.
Yes – the occupation is quite depressing and as such the world is dressed in grey. No color save for streaks of red in the Nazi uniforms are present from the start. As you progress through the game color is slowly restored as Sean takes the city back through some good ol’ fashioned sabotage.
But how’d the game feel in the hands of a man such as myself with discriminating taste and a hard driving bargain attitude?
One of the most fan-friendly and fun places to be at PAX 09 was the Harmonix area, where every iteration of Rock Band under the sun was ready to play. In the front of their station was a sizable stage where players could climb up and play The Beatles: Rock Band, and behind that were four other full-band set ups all set to face each other, featuring different RB games. And after every song, the other gamers waiting for their turn would applaud those finishing their set (unless, you know. They sucked).
One game that caught our eye as we moseyed through the exhibition hall at PAX 09 was Alien Breed Evolution, a forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade title that was playable at the show.
Alien Breed Evolution is a dual-stick shooter, not unlike Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 or Smash TV. Playable in single player or coop, and viewed through an angled top-down view, Alien Breed Evolution provided a fun and entertaining – if not particularly innovative – experience.
One of the first titles to leap out and be very noticeable at PAX 2009 was EA”s Mass Effect 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the beloved space-faring RPG created by BioWare.
BioWare has made a reputation for themselves by combining epic, sprawling storylines with adventure and action, and they were definitely looking to showcase that in the Mass Effect 2 demo playable on the PAX floor. The game wasted no time in inserting us right back into Commander Shephard’s affairs, and there was cleary something big going down.
Over at the Ubisoft display at PAX they had a playable demo of the upcoming game Avatar (tied in with the upcoming movie of the same name). As I’ve said before on the site here games based on movies are usually rushed to shelves to coincide with the release of a movie and the end result is never pretty (usually).
James Cameron has stated that his upcoming movie Avatar is prime territory for a game and that he wants the game to have the time it needs to develop into something truly awesome that people would want to play. Well I took it at first as just over-hype but today having had a chance to play the game I’ve got to say – it’s looking good.
The following gameplay is pretty rough around the edges. We weren’t supposed to be filming the game directly but did so anyway (and subsequently got caught – the things we do for you guys…). While the bit of footage doesn’t show off all the cool stuff you can do in the game it does show some nice flying segments where Keyan embarrassingly crashes his aircraft and his charred body goes flying (hilariously) out of the cockpit.
Hit the jump for the trailer.
We’re pretty much dedicated to video games on the site here but today I had the opportunity to play something I normally wouldn’t have even considered.
A board game called Last Night On Earth by Flying Frog Productions (a local company here in Seattle) is for 2-6 players and the name of the game is surviving a zombie attack.
And a fine game it is…