PAX roundup : Games

I'll be posting some pictures and video later, when I feel like it.

Fallout 3

What can I say, I'm a sucker for a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Even more so one with gun and zombies. But this looks fucking brilliant. I'm excited enough about this to want to buy a next gen console. They've pegged the art - it is dirty, creepy, and beautiful. The wreckage of a lost world looms everywhere. The live walkthrough demo was great fun to watch - the developers of this game clearly are in love with it. Their glee and humor while doing the demo was contageous. That can only produce a more wonderful game, really. There seem to be about a zillion paths to take and eastereggs to find. They implied it's the largest fucking game ever, saying it's as big as Oblivion but much, much denser.

They put in a system where you can make your own weapons out of junk. This delights the pack-rat in me - maybe this old cable box will be *useful* down the road, right? To make a remote controlled auto-cannon? Why not!

They did some really smart stuff with the interface. You can play first person, or pull all the way back to third person above. The configuration and controls are all designed not to pull you out of the game world, they are devices you interact with. It sounds cheezy, but it really works.

The humor and strangeness that is a trademark of Fallout is definitely there. I am very seriously excited about this.


They didn't have a demo going, which sucks. I really wanted to see it. What they DID have was Templesmith's comic, so I picked up the one I missed. So that rules. They also had a really nice hardcover art book, with the concept art and a lot of discussion of the artistic design of the game. It was $5 and worth every penny, really.

The way they are developing this property appeals to me. Building a multi-faceted world, leading up to immersion. I really enjoyed the Dead Space comic, and I'm looking foward to the movie.

The game itself is sci-fi horror - the book said that the sci-fi tropes were well established, it was putting real horror on top of them that was the challenge. And seriously, they have put some thought into scary. And creepy. So that's exciting, because a lot of horror leaves me cold instead of shivering under the table as it should.

So yeah, excited.

Left for Dead

I'm not a big fan of run and gun shooters, but damn if they didn't do this one right. The interface is just stellar - you can see who your enemies are, you can see who your allies are, and you can see actionable items clearly. It leaves the rest of your attention to, you know, killing zombies. And the more time killing zombies, the better.

Guitar Hero World Tour + Rock Band 2

Guitar Hero World Tour introduces a mic and drums to the classic Guitar Hero gameplay. Honestly, I think it looks great. The drums look like drums. The interface, while a mimic of Rock Band, seems cleaner and easier to read. And people were having great fun rocking out.

Rock Band 2 looks like Rock Band, but with more songs. Honestly I don't see much new here. But it was enormously fun to see bands go up there and play on expert. The guys who switched instruments halfway - classy.

Also, only in Seattle do people actually still like Alice in Chains. Seriously. I never want to hear Rooster again.

D&D 4th Edition

Man! They fixed it! It is so great. I didn't get a chance to actually play, but I did watch Snow run a module with an RPGA judge, who happened to also be the writer of the module.

It is mini-focused, which I never thought I'd approve of. But really, it works.

The system has been streamlined to the point where it is easy to watch and know what is going on. Which I have NEVER found to be the case.

I went home and made a 4th edition character in anticipation of finding an RPGA game around here. I have blue dice and a frigid wizard. Look out world.

Magic Online

I have to confess, this looks fun. They've done a nice job on the interface and art, and you can see all of the pretty cards better. That's all.

Wii Games in General

Ok, I want a Wii. I want to wave my arms around and dance. I want to drum by waving controllers. I want to run around on a sensor pad. All of these things vastly appeal to me. Wii brings the cute. And if there's one thing I like as much as post-apocalyptic wastelands, it's cute.

Starcraft 2

Is preeeeetty. The gameplay is identical, from my observation, but they made it SO much prettier. Honestly, I have no idea why this should have taken so long to put out, considering it's really just a graphics engine change. But, it looks great, and will entrance me for some long period of time, I think.

Neverwinter Nights 2 Expansion

Roped into an enthusiastic demo, I actually thought this looked great. In addition to being pretty, it has a really great party control system, where you have tons of control over your party members without having to walk each of them around. And, they communicate! Seeing a party member tell you they're switching to their melee weapon, without you have to tell them to do so, is neat. If they ever get it together to put this out for Mac (the last one took forever and I'm not sure it's even out), I'll be spending some time in it.

More on the rest of the trip later, wanted to get this down before I forgot all of the cool shit we saw. There was probably more, but my mind is a sieve. Suffice it to say, the next year in games looks very, very bright.

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