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Ten Great Things About PAX East 2013

We recap the event with a countdown of the coolest stuff at the show.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

PAX East 2013 has come and gone and like shows in previous years we saw a number of great things, including new game reveals, independent development highlights, and all around good moments that make each show a bigger draw than the last.  Many pretzels and drinks were also shared, of course.

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But there are ten specific highlights that made our list and shaped PAX East into the phenomenal community-driven event that it’s become known for.  Without further ado, here’s our countdown of the coolest stuff to happen over the weekend.

DuckTales Remastered Announced

Let’s start off with a nice blast from the past: the return of the DuckTales franchise to video game world.  Led by powerhouse development team WayForward (Mighty Switch Force, Contra 4) DuckTales Remastered brings back the good ol’ NES gaming days with refreshing graphics and audio featuring the show’s original voice actors.  And there was no moment like the game’s reveal in the panel when everyone – and we mean EVERYONE – was singing along to its theme song.  WHOO HOO!

Transistor Steals the Spotlight

Supergiant Games, the studio behind the critical darling Bastion, struck back with a vengeance with a similar action/adventure game called Transistor.  Dealing with an on-the-run musician and a mysterious weapon, the game transcends the storytelling arc of Supergiant’s previous effort while introducing an enriched combat system that could very well set the trend for downloadable games in the future.  We’ll have a full strategic preview for this one very soon, count on it.

The Last of Us, Playable

Though Sony didn’t have any sort of “full” booth at PAX East this year, it still had presence thanks to Naughty Dog’s upcoming epic The Last of Us for PlayStation 3.  The company had several hands-on demo kiosks of the game, featuring a pair of survivors overcoming the odds.  The game left quite an impression on us, which we’ll break down in an article over the next few weeks…

Cards Against Humanity Strikes Back

Though PAX East is a big show that’s about video games, we also can’t help but highlight this delectably evil – yet highly entertaining – card game that deals with “create your own answer” scenarios with a quick, sharp wit.  The team had a huge showcase at PAX East with a filled-up panel to take new card suggestions and a third expansion that sold out rather quickly.  If you were smart, you also picked up the exclusive PAX East card packs as well.  These guys were the cream of the crop at the Kickstarter arcade…and we can’t wait to see ‘em again next year.

The Elder Scrolls Online Party

Bethesda stole PAX East in its own special way, between the revealing of fresh new Dishonored downloadable content (which we’ll preview very soon) and the anticipated Elder Scrolls Online.  But the company outdid itself with a special event at The Castle Meeting Place, complete with medieval card competitions, a marketplace to score special goods, and food that could be purchased with special Elder Scrolls currency.  These guys really know how to throw a party and we can’t thank ‘em enough for the invite.

The Indie Game March

Every year at a PAX-related event, the independent game development community likes to come out in droves to show what they’re working on next and what surprises can emerge with a bit of know-how and development savvy.  We’ve seen quite a few gems in our indie game run, including Luftrausers from Vlambeer (the studio behind the hilarious and addictive Ridiculous Fishing), Nutjitsu from Ninjabee, and DiveKick – what could be the next big hilarious fighting game – from Iron Galaxy.  We’ll be looking at these games – among others – in the weeks ahead.  Most, if not all, are well worth picking up.

Assassin’s Creed IV and Other Ubisoft Winners

Though Ubisoft held very few surprises at its booth this year – no Rayman Legends or Beyond Good and Evil 2 to speak of – it also stole the show with various titles to keep gamers happy.  Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag made its much anticipated public debut with flying colors.  Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist also did rather well with an on-site theater set-up and Watch Dogs continues to be a bold original effort from the publisher.  ShootMania Storm, a popular online first-person shooter, was also on hand with plenty of competitions for people to partake in.  And who can resist the Frag Dolls?

Dungeons?  Check.  Dragons?  Check.

Along with DuckTales and forthcoming blockbusters like Lost Planet 3 and Resident Evil: Revelations, Capcom also struck a chord with the old-school crowd with the first public unveiling of Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara Collection, which will be released sometime this fall for various platforms, including Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, Nintendo Wii U eShop and Steam.  The game features two D&D arcade classics, including Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara, complete with various challenges, GGPO-powered online co-op, and a number of level ups to acquire for your character.  You also get to beat up dragons, which never gets old.

Ascend: New Gods

Several games stood out as highlights on the PAX East show floor, but one that’s hard to overlook is the latest from Signal Studios, the developers of the Toy Soldiers franchise.  Ascend: New Gods is a free-to-play effort that’ll release for both PC and Xbox 360, with players controlling large warriors as they call upon their followers to aid them in battle while also unleashing devastating attacks on their foes.  With a great multi-tier player system and beautiful graphics, this could easily be just as big a hit as the previously released Happy Wars – and far more popular with the mature action crowd.

Saints Row IV – and the Madness That Follows

Finally and not to be outdone, Deep Silver conquered the show floor with a presentation of Saints Row IV, a game that promises even more craziness than The Third.  With newly introduced super powers, a gun that can inflate enemies into bloody messes, a new tier of alien enemy (the Dominatrix) and plenty of over-the-top silliness, the game should be nothing short of a success when it releases this August.  We’ll have a closer look for you soon. 

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Prima Games Staff
The staff at Prima Games.