Pax East 2015 Guide: 9 Things We're Excited to See in Boston This Weekend
Pax East, the second Pax of the year is finally here and it's going to feature some of the best sci-fi video games from around the world. From demos of some of the biggest game releases of the year to exciting Indies that have crept onto our radar, these are the things we're most excited to see at Pax East 2015.
When it was revealed at last year's E3, Nintendo's Splatoon was one of the most visually striking products of the entire week. With players traversing wacky environments to tag everything they possibly can with squid paint guns, Splatoon has all the hallmarks of a classic Nintendo game and Pax East 2015 marks the first time the public will be able to demo the product ahead of its May release.
Affordable Space Adventures
Just the title is enough to convince you that this Wii U product is going to be a little bit different. Showcasing the Wii U's Gamepad to the fullest extent, Affordable Space Adventures sees up to 3 players controlling a spacecraft so cheap and nasty its more bottle rocket than Millenium Falcon. With one person controlling the ship's movement, the other controlling engineering and the final team-member controlling the ship's headlights, navigating the game's fast-paced, side-scrolling levels is sure to be a frustrating, but ultimately rewarding experience.
I won't even bother going into specifics on this one. Whenever Occulus Rift has a booth, you know they're going to bring some of the most innovative interactive experiences in the industry. Whether you're using the headset to travel through space, to exploring alien landscapes, Occulus Rift is always a hoot.
Halo 5: Guardians
It's not scheduled to hit stores until later this year, but Halo 5: Guardians is expected to be the marquee attraction at Microsoft's booth at Pax East this year. According to developer, 343 Industries, Guardians will bring a hugely improved multiplayer system to this year's event, but I would be surprised if we see any of the single player details before this year's E3 in June.
From the people who brought you Guitar Hero and Rock Band, Amplitude has already been experienced on the PS2, but after raising close to $1million in a kickstarter to bring the game to PS3 and PS4, Harmonix is promising some of the first gameplay demos to be unveiled at this weekend's event.
I'll admit, I don't know a great deal about this particular indie, but the few details I do know sound rather intriguing. This first-person exploration puzzler places you on the surface of Mars as Jessica Rainer who, after her ship crash lands, must piece together everything from mission logs to fuselage wreckage to discover what happened and figure out a way to survive. The story may not be anything out of the ordinary, but what's special about this game is that the Martian landscape has been lovingly constructed using real NASA imagery of the red planet, which means as you explore, you're witnessing the most accurate vide game depiction of Mars ever seen.
The Blizzard Panel
Wherever Blizzard is, magic tends to follow. Early on this weekend, Blizzard are hosting a panel which will likely see a number of big announcements relating to their various projects, which include Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. This is going to be one of the biggest events of the whole weekend, so you better brace yourself.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Sure, Occulus Rift's booth will be exciting, but there are a number of developers at Pax East who are using the OR headset to create brilliantly innovative gaming experiences of their own. One of the most unique is 'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes', a puzzle/party game which sees one member of a group using an Occulus Rift headset to discover a bomb. Said bomb must then be defused, but only the team members without an OR headset possess the bomb defusal manual. So, as the developer's official description says, "The catch is that each side doesn't know what the other sees. Now it's up to everybody to communicate what they see clearly and quickly. It gets loud, it gets tense, but keep talking and maybe, just maybe, nobody explodes"
We already mentioned Blizzard's big Friday panel, but a special shout out needs to go to their highly-anticipated first-person shooter, Overwatch which is expected to be playable on Pax East's demo floor. Whenever it is that Overwatch lands in full release, it's going to be huge and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us in Boston.