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Top Draws of PAX East 2011

William Murphy Posted:
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As show season starts to rev into high gear, PAX East is the only show on the Atlantic Coast that really matters… until NY Comic-Con in the fall anyway.  With that in mind, we all sat down and mulled over what we’ll be seeing at PAX this year, and just what we’re most excited about.  You never know if there’s going to be a major bombshell at a show like this, and while GDC had the accidental world-wide reveal of the Ranger, one has to wonder if some of the other games might not let some new details slip at PAX.  Last September after PAX Prime, we were the first site to report that Guild Wars 2 PvP would be server versus server versus server.  Maybe at this show we’ll find out a little more about just what that entails.  Anyway, on to the List!  No particular order again, this week.  Just drink it all in.

Star Wars Demo

While plenty of folks have played the game at PAX Prime now, there’s still quite a bit left unexplored of BioWare’s ambitious story-driven MMO.  We’ll be treated to the world premiere of the Taral V dungeon, and the Jedi home-world of Tython will be available to fans for the first time.  It’ll be really interesting to see just how far TOR’s come since we last saw it demoed for fans, and I’m personally hoping I get to go hands-on for the first time but only if Mike Bitton doesn’t hog the keyboard the whole time. 

City of Heroes Panel

City of Heroes is one of my first loves in the MMO space.  Between it and Asheron’s Call 2, I was forever lost to this genre.  In any case, this year’s PAX is showcasing a panel from the City of developers called “Ascending to the Next Level of Super-Powered MMOs”.  We’re all very curious to hear what the studio has to say not only about their game, but Champions and DC Universe… and maybe in what direction they’ll be taking City of Heroes 2?  We all know it’s coming, and while I doubt we’ll get an announcement maybe someone will get the devs to squeak a little bit out.

Firefall Playable

Red 5 Studios’ first game was announced last year, but little more than video and some gameplay details were shown.  But that changes come March 11th when fans and press alike will be getting their hands on the title for the first time.  Personally I’m pretty stoked.  I’m a big fan of MMOs that shake things up a little bit.  I love Global Agenda’s blend of competitive shooter and MMO staples.  But Firefall looks like it’ll be taking the idea one big step further with massive PvE scope taking center stage.  Very anxious to try this one indeed.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Demo

Recently our own Jon Wood got to take a look at 38 Studios’ PC RPG.  As a sort of precursor to the MMO set in the same world, we’re all really anxious to see how the fantasy world of Curt Schilling, RA Salvatore, and Todd MacFarlane plays out.  And considering that the single player game (Reckoning) is being helmed by the man behind the Elder Scrolls series (Ken Rolston), there’s little doubt that the title’s going to have some major draw for MMO gamers as well.

Guild Wars 2: Norn and the Thief

There’s a simple beauty of being “press” at PAX… we get our own scheduled demo time.  There are going to be over 20 PCs playing Guild Wars 2 at the event, but I’m betting that won’t even be enough.  There’s no denying that GW2 is the game to beat in terms of hype.  And with the new playable race in the Norn and class in the Thief, we’re willing to bet the lines will be pretty long for this one.  And I can guarantee that just like PAX Prime last year, each one of the staffers going will bring you a unique report on their experience with the game.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.