This year at PAX Prime 2013 we had a host of solid games to look at. Many had playable demos on the show floor and some had amazing things to show off in panels and presentations. Overall we want to thank every game at the show for bringing us out and allowing us time to play. So without further chatter, let’s get to the MMORPG.com PAX Prime 2013 Awards.
Editor's Note: Each game can only win one award (though they may be nominated in others), with Best of Show being awarded to the game we believe to embody the most out of each category.
Best of Show – WildStar Online
WildStar may not be coming out until early 2014 now, but that doesn't mean the sci-fi fantasy MMORPG isn't getting more impressive with each passing show. The PVP was on the floor, showing exactly how the active combat will work in a competitive space. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, we were treated to an excellent demo of the dungeons in Nexus. Simply put: they're the kind of group experience a lot of folks have been craving since 2004. While there's some controversy surrounding the telegraphs in combat, we can safely say they work well to help coordinate in groups, and we're now anxiously awaiting our beta invites. Spring of 2014 can't come too soon.
Best Hybrid MMO – Planetside 2
There weren't a huge amount of cross-genre MMOs shown at PAX this year, but that doesn't prevent Planetside 2's Player Studio additions, Hossin map, and Battle Island "Nexus" from putting SOE's MMOFPS at the top of the list. Tramell Isaac's enthusiasm for the community driven Player Studio content, the brand new infantry focused map, and eSports potential of of the Nexus battle island shown through his private presentation to MMORPG.com. The game's also recently made a strong commitment to enhancing performance across a wide range of systems, with SOE not content to rest on their laurels and early success of the game.
Rising Star – The Repopulation
We finally got some hands on with The Repopulation at PAX Prime, and the title's vision, ambition, and overall throwback to the days of SWG really got our blood pumping. With a small alpha underway, and a beta ramping up in coming months, this little Indie gem that could just might be what a lot of you sandbox enthusiasts have been looking for. Our own Carolyn Koh will tell you all about her time with The Repopulation later this week.
Most Innovative – EverQuest Next Landmark
As you can read in our write-up from the weekend, EQN's Landmark is a wholly contained MMO due out this winter, and it's one that will test the boundaries of what players can do to alter their game world. Like Minecraft on steroids with the freeform movement of a game like Mirror's Edge, plus crafting, trading, guilds, and even hints of potential combat coming to what we thought would just be a creative social experiment...Landmark is quickly moving into the MMO space as one of the most unique titles we've ever seen. Oh, and your characters will carry over into EQ Next proper when it launches. So there's no reason not to get your hands dirty in Landmark.
Most Anticipated – Elder Scrolls Online
No game is carrying quite as much weight as Elder Scrolls Online. The follow-up in the TES series to the cultural touchstone that is Skyrim, there's a lot riding on Zenimax Online's ambitious story-driven and PvP focused MMO. Thankfully, every time we see ESO it looks more and more like a contender. Cynicism and controversy surrounding the payment model aside, Elder Scrolls Online is shaping up to be a very polished and entertaining journey into the wide world of Tamriel. We want to see it, play it, and really dive in to see if it lives up to its namesake. With beta continuing to ramp up and loads of secrets and content left to uncover, ESO has earned this spot as our most anticipated title of PAX Prime.