If E3 is gaming’s number one press event each year, then PAX is gaming’s number one fan event. And while the glamour and glitz of E3 is enticing and unlike anything else in the industry, PAX is a venue that’s filled more with gaming’s true patrons than the folks who make it their business day in and day out. And surely while we “do business” through this site, make no mistake that we’re all fans of gaming first and foremost. So it’s always good to hear that the game companies themselves take PAX just as seriously as E3 when it comes to giving the players something to talk about. We’ve got a mountain of appointments lined up, and hopefully we’ll get a slew of goodies to drop on you all when we return from Seattle. Bearing that in mind, here’s a list of five things we hope to see/learn/play at PAX this weekend.
5.) More Vindictus Info
Vindictus was playable at E3, and was incredibly fun to boot. The game’s fantastic blend of over the top action and destructible environments made for one of my most memorable experiences at the show. It even had me physically jump and wince when my character was bowled over by a massive swinging piece of timber and she crumpled like a ragdoll. But there’s still a lot of unknowns when it comes to Vindictus. We know that as a F2P title the game has a sort of a Diablo approach to characters in that you pick one of a select few who each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but we also know that you’ll get armor, weapons, and other upgrades to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. But then what? It’s not a secret that Vindictus isn’t looking to be a typical MMORPG, and instead is focusing on the action. But there’s still plenty to learn about the game as it nears launch, and hopefully we’ll see some more light shed on the title at PAX.
4.) The Old Republic’s Ship Combat and Demo
The announcements of TOR’s space combat has people divided, but personally while it’s not everything it could be, I’m kind of excited to try it out. I doubt we’ll get to at PAX, but we’re attending a panel that should probably give us more info on the system as well as the advanced classes. But perhaps more than that, I’m looking forward to actually getting my hands on the game. That’s right; I was probably the one guy at E3 who didn’t sit down to play The Old Republic. But I’m changing that at PAX, and I can’t wait to see how the game’s coming along.
3.) Red 5 Studios News?
Formed several years ago now, Red 5 Studios has been plugging away on projects in secret for some time. Well, here’s hoping that maybe we’ll get a look at what they’ve been working on all this time. Because chances are if it’s not at PAX, we won’t hear anything until next year during the next round of major shows. And with The9 backing them now, there’s a good chance that whatever they’re building will be well-funded. Money may not be a guarantor of success, but it helps! I just hope that if they do reveal something, it’s more than just a trailer.
2.) Torchlight 2
I know that Torchlight’s not an MMO, but as one of last year’s more surprising hits a sequel was more than warranted and pretty much all of us going to PAX are eager to get our hands on the title. With LAN and online co-op being added on top of a much larger game over-world, it seems Torchlight’s sequel will do for the original what Diablo 2 did for its predecessor. On top of that we know the MMO-ized version of Torchlight is still in development. Perhaps we’ll get some hints at PAX as to just how TL2 is going to lead into the MMO. At the very least, it’ll be fun to see what’s new with the Alchemist (my personal favorite class from the original).
1.) Guild Wars 2 Hands-On
Finally, after months of developer blogs and video getting us all worked up, we’ll finally get our hands on time with ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2. Sure the folks who attended Gamescom are a few steps ahead of us, but trust me when I say that none of us are worried about how long it took to finally get our hands on the game, we’re just glad we get to this weekend. And while GW2 is still a while away from release, the PAX demo will be a good indicator as to whether or not the title is shaping up to match the hype and expectations riding ominously behind it.