Games Meet Metal: The PAX Report Part 1

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The PAX Report Part 1

Finally, at long last, let's talk some PAX! Sorry for the long wait, but losing your job can cause quite a bit of drama among those you live with. Never mind the fact that they don't have any jobs to speak of, but that's neither here nor there. Plus, add in the fact that I was starting to turn into a miserable jackass made things even more of a joy to be around. Now I have my head on straight, and I'm ready to yap about PAX!

This is gonna be divided into two posts. The first one, for today, will center on what I thought was the best of the show, as far as booth presentation and games being show. The next post will be a ton of smaller observances, as well as a few things that stunk. Don't worry, we're mostly in the category of "win" here.

And now, the best of the best!


The big subsidiaries of Take Two may have only showed three games, but they did it with guns blazing and monoliths for their booths.

Taking center stage was Duke Nukem Forever. It's official: it's not vaporware. It exists, and it looks pretty damn good, considering this is a product of the late 90's. As such, Duke himself was his crass, non-politically correct self as he bested a hyper-demon in a football field and kicked a field goal with the prick's eyeball. Then, we got something new for Duke: a driving section through a desert valley, then a pretty tough gunfight at a mine entrance, where I was flattened by a space cruiser thingy. Duke Nukem looks to be upping the difficulty a bit, as the desert area actually gave me a good challenge. But as soon as i was gonna give it another go, my time was up. Bugger damnation! I'll just have to wait until May to spank grown women in school girl uniforms. Yes, that's supposedly a feature.

Next up: L.A. Noire!

L.A. Noire was, sadly, unplayable. However, there was a tech demo being played by some of the developers, and they talked you through the first art of the game. For those not in the know, L.A. Noire is a gritty detective story set in the late 1940's, as a couple of gumshoe detectives try to solve some grisly murder cases, including that of the Black Dahlia Murder. I ain't shitting when I say grisly. The first murder demoed for us showed us the victim, a naked female who was beat very badly. No beauty here, as this scene was pretty damn brutal. From there, we followed clues to a bar, the victim's residence, and then to the husband's apartment.

At the apartment, we got to do some heavy questioning, and it was here where the much talked about facial expressions really showed their strength. As you're questioning a witness, you have to watch their body language, and also look at their face. If they're not looking you in the eyes, or a re noticeably twitchy, you can call their bluff. Of course, that all depends on if you collected the right evidence. well, our guy was right, and the husband freaked. he started punching the cops, but luckily, our hero is a former soldier, so he dealt with the suspect very easily. That's where the demo ended, and when I was completely sold on the game.

Bold prediction: L.A. Noire may be able to out-movie Heavy Rain. We'll see on that one though.

2K's final game was a surprise: The Dakness II! It was a big surprise, as they were selling it big time even though it had only been announced a few weeks previous.

No video here, as we get a nice, long 30 minutes to mess around with the first level of the game. Darkness II puts you back in the shoes of Jackie Estacado, after he did some bad things in the last game. Like, say, killed his girlfriend. The story is told flashback style, as Jackie is being held prisoner by a wizard(?) who wants the Darkness for himself. He takes Jackie through how he ended up here, and you get to play through those memories. You start at a fancy restaurant, which quickly turns into a massive mob hit. People are dying all around you, but you're being pulled away by your mob buddy, shooting baddies as you go. 

Eventually you make it outside, and that's where the Darkness decides to manifest itself. Now you're digging out bad guy's hearts and ripping them in half. You also get reacquainted with your little demon helper, who's sporting a torn English flag as a shirt. Iron Maiden reference, I hope. That's about when my time ended, and I was willing to go further. 

Onto the next winner, Ubisoft, and their big game, Child of Eden.

Child of Eden is the game that got all the hoopla way back at E3 for being able to shoot the baddies with just your hands. the creator is the same as the guy who did Rez, so every action you take ends up being in beat to the music being played. the perspective is first person, and the world is dazzling through your eyes. Seriously, this is the prettiest game I've ever played. Usually, pretty equals very lame, but Eden is a blast to play. It evokes old school shooters like Gradius and Raiden, even if you can't change your perspective.

Finally, let's hit up Valve, and take a look at Portal 2!

Like L.A. Noire, Portal 2 was a video tech demo, but what a demo! The video goes over the beginning of the game, and reintroduces you to the dark humor of the original Portal. It also shows you some single-player footage and some blue bouncy gel. While I wasn't sneaky enough, someone else was able to sneak in a camera and record both parts of the video presentation.

Everything you needed to hear was in that video. For me, I got sold when Schillinger from OZ was yapping about mantis men. I snorted while I laughed.

So, that's the best of show for me. Come back tomorrow, when I'll showcase some of the smaller titles and some other silly awards.

1 comment:

  1. L.A. Noire just sounds better and better the more I hear of it. And if it does out-movie Heavy Rain, hopefully it doesn't do it with a twist ending that makes no sense based on a particular scene like Heavy Rain did. I liked that movie (I watched a Let's Play, didn't play it), but c'mon!

    All I remember about Duke Nukem is a time when for some reason we decided the N64 should be in my room despite my brother being older and allowed to play that game; a scuffle ensued when I woke up to the imagery and sounds of Duke Nukem in a bathroom; it does look like just the over-the-top action I'd enjoy these days though, given how much I enjoyed Kick-Ass.

    Sad to say the only thing I know about Portal is that "the cake is a lie" is a popular internet saying and I don't entirely know why. And that JJJ's actor is involved, which would sound awesome if I had a gaming PC. The British robot is cool too.