But first, the not so awesome things….
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
The title of this game should be; “Ghost Recon; Exactly Like We’ve Done Before”. How can this be a “future soldier” game when in every iteration of Ghost Recon, players had the ability to wallhack? Why is it fun to know where your enemies are?
Assassins Creed 3
What a waste of time! I should have known better than to wait in line for this pile of crap from Ubisoft. If you’re expecting anything drastically new from the last five iterations over the same number of years, (which I’m not sure anyone is) then you probably already have decided on whether or not you will be buying Assassins Creed 3. Assassins vs Templars taking place around the 18th century when America was first being colonized. Another year, another Assassins Creed game. It will also most likely be $60 on PC and most likely be another pass from me.
Mass Effect 3 Panel
Another waste of time. Bioware went out of their way to declare they would not be addressing the ending to Mass Effect 3. The good news is the audience was allowed to ask questions after the panel speakers were done talking. What a perfect time to confront Bioware! The panel included a producer of Mass Effect, Level designer, two writers and a QA guy. The first topic? DLC. Ok. Then some talk about Tali and how she’s a racist. OK. Then questions… And the audience elects to ask about; the Citadel, video game relationships to art, shooting Mordin, WHAT KIND OF TOOLS WERE USED FOR TESTING THE GAME, “If you could throw one character into the synthesis ending, who would it be?”and some lame question about Garrus. My fellow video gamers disappointed me.
Another sequel, another game you probably have already decided whether or not you re buying this. Me? I’m not. The first one is a giant mundane repetitive piece of shit. As much as I want to kill dogs for the first 30 levels I think I'll spend my time doing something more fun.
The Things That Were Cool…
Aliens: Colonial Marines; While waiting in line, we got to speak to the marines, who were not part of Sega marketing or any other contract marketing company, but were rather fans of the Alien franchise and had constructed their own Marine outfits. Sega found these guys online, and hired them to hang out at PAX, which was a nice touch to the authenticity around the Aliens Colonial Marines booth.
The game itself looks OK, definitely not what you would expect from 6 years in the making, but as we learned recently, the game was announced before production had even started. We saw "Pre-Alpha" footage of a live demo of the game. After the live demo, we got to play 5v5 multiplayer against the developers where we were the Marines and the devs were aliens. It was essentially Left 5 Dead only in the Alien Universe. The Aliens even had an equivalent of an tank.
What got me the most excited was this game is actually going to be the canon "sequel" to Aliens. So it follows the events after the movie. You board the Sulaco and see Bishop cut in half, two pods were jettisoned into space alluding to Ripley surviving.... later in the game you apparently get toland on the planet LV-426. One of my questions after the demo was whether the Space Jockey would be making an appearance. And the response I got was; "Well you can't land on LV-426 without bumping into the Space Jockey can you?"
Diablo III Beta Keys; ( I still haven’t received mine yet but the Blizzard dude said it would take 7-10 days… I’m still hopeful)
Primal Carnage; A multiplayer game that is Left 4 Dead, only putting dinosaurs against humans. The game we played was extremely buggy, but it was also extremely fun in the early pre-alpha development stages. Playing as a T-Rex, velociraptor or pterodactyl you can attack humans in exactly the ways you are envisioning as you read this. I have high expectations that future demos will be more complete and even more satisfying as this demo was.
Air Mech; The surprise of PAX for me. It’s a multiplayer RTS that can run in your browser. You can even play right now if you’d like; https://www.carbongames.com/chrome.html When you hear RTS you immediately think of Command and Conquer, but this RTS is less about placing/building buildings and more about using your super jet/robot transformer to fly over predetermined bases, build your army and attack your opponents in 1v1, 2v2 or 3v3 co-op play. The devs claim it’s also coming to steam later in the year but you can play the demo right now through your browser.
Super Monday Night Combat; Another wicked fun multiplayer game. Yes it’s a lot like TF2, but it’s more like TF2 on steroids... for free. It was actually released on steam yesterday before I post post this. Seriously, go there right now and you’ll start downloading it.
PAX East Summary: So yes, I hit up all the major titles and not one of them really sparked any huge interest. The two places I had the most fun were at the Air Mech booth and Far Cry 3, and the only reason Far Cry 3 seemed so fun was because I got to sit down and rest while I played. Overall I feel 2012 is a weak year for games and I'm surprised more gamers are not bored with the over hyped beaten to death franchises. My only hope is Valve can get me another release soon…
Good Movie’s I’ve Seen Lately
I meant to write full reviews for these but I haven’t had time, so very quickly people should go see, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance if it’s still around in your area. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, also known as the Crank guys (and Gamer), have put their own spin on the Ghost Rider franchise and it really paid off. It’s light-years better than the first movie that also stars Nicholas Cage. This is what Ghost Rider should look and feel like. Johnny Blaze (and Cage) come off as crazy lunatics. Now we need Neveldine and Taylor to tackle the Punisher.
Another great movie out right now is The Cabin in the Woods, written and directed by Drew Goddard, the dude who wrote Cloverfield and a bunch of Lost episodes and co-written by Joss Whedon, the dude who directed awesome movies like Serenity, Thor and the upcoming soon to break every movie record; The Avengers. It’s much better for me not to say why The Cabin in the Woods is so great, because it’s greatness is hidden in a bunch of misdirection in the way the movie was promoted. You just need to trust me that it should be experienced. Don’t ask anyone if they have seen it, don’t Google the synopsis, just go to the movie theater, see the movie and return here and comment on your reaction.