PAX marks the first occasion Mighty N0o. 9 is publicly placed in the hands of someone other than its creators, and we played through an entire level and a boss.
Immediately after jumping into the game, I got a sense I was playing a lost Mega Man game. It feels like the bridge between Mega Man, and Mega Man X. The X series has always been much faster paced with expanded options for navigation with the wall jumping ability. Mega Man is paced a little slower with a stronger reliance on accurate platforming. Protagonist Beck walks at a reasonable pace. He can’t jump on walls, but he can dash and he is able to grab the edges of and climb ledges. It creates the perfect middle ground between the two iconic franchises making it feel different than both of them, but familiar enough that I got comfortable very quickly.
Beck can only shoot horizontally in front of him, much like Mega Man and X, but the way he takes out enemies is much different and changes the general play style dramatically. Beck has the ability to keep firing away at an enemy until they blow up, but the fastest way to dispatch them is to shoot them until they glow a certain color, and then dash through them.
When you think of space combat, your mind likely turns to games like Wing Commander, X-Wing, or even the upcoming Star Citizen. In those games, you're piloting a fragile snub fighter and, in some cases, running escort missions for larger ships like corvettes, cruisers, and even battleships.
But what if you were actually at the helm of a ship as big as Galactica instead of running interference from the pilot seat of a Viper? Yager's Dreadnaught is all about giving gamers an answer to that question.
In Dreadnaught, you are the captain of one of five classes of capital ship. These range from the faster, less armored corvettes (a larger ship by science fiction standards) to the hulking, titular dreadnaughts. Five-vs-five battles take place over sweeping vistas that benefit from the scale of being in such large vehicles.
Campo Santo, the super-studio made up of Telltale, Double Fine, 2K Marin, Klei Entertainment, and Lionhead veterans gathered at PAX yesterday to give us the very first look at the team's inaugural game, Firewatch. With art direction from famed 2D artist Olly Moss, the title is taking on a unique look, with lofty goals for player engagement.
In Firewatch, players take on the role of Henry, a newly hired lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. The game is first-person for both immersion and practical reasons. It's really expensive to make a third-person game," said Sean Vanaman (Telltale's The Walking Dead), one of Campo Santo's founders. "To do on screen all the things we want you to do in this game would be expensive, because of your expectations."
Players will be tying off ropes and climbing down, and with expectations high for what that should look like thanks to games like Uncharted and Tomb Raider. "'This is not Nathan Drake, therefore it's bad,'" Vanaman said of expected player response. "We're not going to hit Nathan Drake."
After a panel at PAX 2014, Firaxis showed the most recent trailer for Civilization: Beyond Earth. Watch as an Earth-based civilization struggles to survive in an alien environment and fights a Kraken in this six minute trailer.
Beyond Earth’s Master Control A.I. guides gives us a look at environmental terraforming, virtue upgrades, the orbital layer, and combat strategies against aliens in the most recent trailer for Civilization: Beyond Earth.
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In one of E3’s more left field announcements, the classic Lucas Arts adventure game, Grim Fandango, is coming to PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC. During PAX director Tim Schafer, artist Peter Chan, and composer Peter McConnell were joined by executive producer Matt Hanson and director of third-party production for Sony Gio Corsi to take part in a panel to reminiscence about the game, and talk about its remaster.
It’s important to note that the upcoming Grim Fandango for PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC is not a remake. Schafer says that to remake the game today would result in an entirely different game. Double Fine is calling it a remaster, and for good reason. The team is digging through the game’s original assets (which they were thankfully able to recover basically in full) and upscaling them. When the game released originally, every asset had to be compressed to fit and run on PCs. What Double Fine is doing is finding all the assets created before the compression and using those instead.
Double Fine relates this re-release to a Criterion Collection version of a DVD, and to further the comparison, Schafer says there will be lots of extras included with the game. When asked if that meant the game would receive commentary, Schafer couldn’t confirm, but said he did like to talk.
At PAX 2014, a large Halo panel from 343 Industries dove into the the future of the Halo franchise, including Halo 2’s myriad changes as it makes its way to Xbox One.
The panel included 343 Industry’s Frank O’Connor, Certain Affinity president Max Hoberman, Halo series executive producer Kiki Wolfkill, senior director for publishing Paul Lipson, and Halo: Master Chief Collection executive producer Dan Ayoub.
The panel began with a showcase of impressive Halo cosplayers where one (dressed as the comical Mister Chief) proposed marriage to another Spartan cosplayer. “Thanks for saying yes,” O’Connor said after she said yes to the proposal, “That could have been awkward.” After the romantic opening, the panel moved onto Halo.
Neverending Nightmares has come a long way since its Kickstarter reached its funding goal last year. Part of its Kickstarter pitch involved a downloadable demo showcasing a bit of gameplay, but creator Matt Gilgenbach said that so many improvements had been made to the game since then that he is now embarrassed about that demo as he invites me to check out the latest build in a darkened corner of PAX’s indie section.
As Gilgenbach detailed when he first sought funding for the game, Neverending Nightmares is a product of his own struggles with depression. It's not be a literal representation of the nightmares Gilgenbach has experienced, but many elements of the game, like the general tone and the gruesome self-mutilation, are products of Gilgenbach’s personal struggles and dark imagination.
The demo begins with the protagonist in his bed. He awakes suddenly, gets up, and begins walking around. I stepped into the bathroom to find three recently discarded teeth tossed in the sink. The game is in black and white, but the roots of the teeth are red with blood. As I explore the home, I make my way into a darkened basement. When it becomes too dark, I am suddenly transported back to my bed to start over.
One of the nice things about being entirely independent is you can work on whatever you want whenever you want and Team Meat, comprised of Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen, are taking full advantage of that status to finish up the mobile version of Super Meat Boy. Team Meat’s other ongoing project, Mew-Genics, has been placed on hold while the duo works on Super Meat Boy Forever – a version of Super Meat Boy built from the ground up for release on mobile and tablet devices.
You don’t control the direction of Meat Boy in Forever – he moves on his own. The right side of the screen is the jump action, while the left side the screen is a fast fall button or duck/slide action. You may lose the ability to control Meat Boy’s left an right movement, but the new fast fall option gives you the ability to aim for tiny platforms and dodge the ever-present saw blades positioned throughout the levels.
In the best and most complimentary way, Halo: Master Chief Collection's Halo 2 multiplayer feels identical to the game I’ve already played.
It’s hard to discover any intricacies or small changes made the game with only one round of team deathmatch on Lockout with the Master Chief Collection, but as near as I can tell, the game is unchanged except for its visuals.
After starting up the game, I jumped into the menus to change my controls a bit. I am one of those weirdos who plays inverted, and a representative from Microsoft even scoffed jokingly at my request to change. To make things more complicated though, I also play with the boxer layout, where your melee and grenade buttons are switched. Thankfully, both options were changeable, and the button layout is even still called boxer, which means other weirdos like me shouldn’t have a problem changing their controls to the way they remember playing.