That’s the morning queue to get into Pax Prime 2013. It’s hot and stifling in this room, and about an hour before they let people into the main hall, the crowd reaches Funk-con 4. Besides smell, the other thing the image doesn’t convey is the audio experience of Mountain Dew and Doritos blasting butt-rock while someone screeches about your chance to win an Xbox One.
Yesterday’s tour of Pax Prime 2013 was a down and dirty look at the Great Northwest’s premiere gaming convention. This time, let’s check out some of the gaming goodness!
This tour of Pax Prime 2013 has been brought to you by Mountain Dew and Doritos after the jump!
Just to refresh your memory, here’s a picture of what PAX Prime looks like while standing in line. The main exhibition hall is only open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Each line takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. The demos themselves run about 5 to 10 minutes each. Do the math. This is why people need to spend a few hundred dollars to stay a few days at PAX Prime. You’ll only get the chance to play a few games a day – not counting the four hours of Bejeweled Blitz you’ll play on your phone while waiting in line.
Sony had a large area set aside for Gran Turismo 6. Eager gearheads got to sit in these cool setups while they played the game. Sony knows that presentation is half the battle. Sit in these race cars! VROOM! Unfortunately, the game looked as sterile as ever. I asked one guy coming out of the demo what he thought of it. “Oh, it’s cool. It’s GT!” I guess that’s what all the fans want anyway.
In the interest of fairness, here’s what Microsoft’s Forza 5 area looked like. They also had one of those fancy sit down setups, but the guy running that area asked me not to take any pictures. Because of him, you get to see the standing setup with the hand sanitizer. Somehow, that bottle of sanitizer just makes the display look gross. Think of all the germs at PAX! Also in the interest of fairness, I’ll say that this game looked just as sterile as Gran Turismo 6. In fact, if it weren’t for the Xbox One sitting on the table, I could easily be confused by which racing game is which. Mission accomplished, I guess.
Speaking of the Xbox One, it was everywhere. Microsoft wasn’t shy about showing off the hardware. For a system that still doesn’t have a launch date, it appeared to be rolling off the manufacturing assembly lines just fine. Just for the record, the controller felt great.
In contrast, Sony had the PlayStation 4 stuck in a glass case. It made it incredibly difficult to take a picture of it. As it turned out, it didn’t matter anyway because a rep admitted that none of the PS4 games were actually being run on the consumer hardware. They were being played on dev kits hidden inside the displays.
Sony did have plenty of PS Vita units on-hand for gamers to try out. Fez, Spelunky, Tearaway, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, and Killzone: Mercenary were all playable. There were very few lines in the PS Vita area. Take from that what you like.
Some multiplayer Killzone: Shadow Fall was available nearby. The action was smooth and fast. The gameplay felt like Call of Duty’s fast snapshots mixed with Halo’s special powers and environments. They’ve really added a lot of color to this game! Killzone’s signature multiplayer wrinkle is Warzone which changes the goals during a round. You can go straight from team deathmatch, to capture and hold, to another mode all during the same match. It really helps vary the gameplay, and it also means that your badass defensive loadout can’t dominate because the match could switch to a mode that requires speed.
The new Dual Shock 4 controller felt markedly improved from the PS3 version. The analog sticks felt solid and the triggers had good pull. I think the PS4 controller performs on the same level as the Xbox One’s new controller, which means gamers can go from one to the other with little adjustment.
Now you’ve seen Titanfall. This Titanfall statue was on the other side of the floor from where they were actually showing off the game. That awkward arrangement was probably because the statue was gigantic, and the Titanfall gameplay displays were crammed into the middle of the Xbox One area. Titanfall had one of the longest lines at PAX Prime. People have heard a lot about this game, and they were chomping at the bit to play it.
The Titanfall demo was a playable version of the video from Gamescom. It was fantastic. The level combined lots of vertical areas with good ground cover. Pilots have a lot of quick movement ability and the Titans feel weighty without being slow. Players can combine Pilot loadouts with Titan configurations to mix and match weapons for their preferred playstyle. For example, you can have a CQB Pilot kitted up with a shotgun, pistol, and rocket launcher, but using a Titan carrying a semi-auto cannon and the ability to discharge smoke that obscures line of sight and messes with enemy electronics. Wall-running and double-jumping onto a rooftop to shoot an enemy Titan with a grenade launcher felt terrific. The folks from Respawn may be onto something here.
Tomorrow, all good things come to an end.
Click here for part one.