Unlike the slow and leisurely pace of Day 1, Days 2 and 3 were a blur. This is due in part to the fact that the bulk of visitors showed up on the last two days to the tune of over 58,000 people. Because of this, my time at each booth was limited but I still walked away with a lot of interesting info.
On the MMO front I got some face time with all of NC Soft’s titles. The first look at Aion by Western audiences was impressive. They are doing a true localization on the title by making the content relevant to audiences in specific portions of the world. This is unlike anything done by NC Soft to this day and I am looking forward to it. Exteel looked amazing now that they’ve shut down and now re-opened to retool the game. The visuals are stunning and gameplay modes varied. Dungeon Runners was around and seemed to be better for the time I spent apart from it. Tabula Rasa also saw vast improvements since launch and I can honestly say I had fun with it now as compared to the beta. During the beta I wanted to kick my monitor in due to the sluggish gameplay and lack of variation. City of Heroes is showing some steps in the right direction now that NC Soft is fully in charge of the direction. Overall, NC Soft was looking very good and moving forward with their best foot forward.
There were some other MMOs I saw besides titles from NC Soft. Champions Online by Cryptic was available in an early alpha form but was very unique. Customizable powers, cel-shading (it really looks like a comic book), and just off the wall humor really made me smile. More information will be found in the video interview we did with them. Warhammer Online was of course the game that EVERYONE wanted to see. It was in nearly release form there as it is launching very soon. The controls were very familiar, the GUI was easy to follow, and the gameplay was everything I expected. I am not sure if this title will be the “WoW killer” everyone is painting it out to be but it was a solid title nonetheless. Eve Online was showing on the floor as well, and they were showcasing their newest expansion. Since I have not looked at the title in over two years there were a lot of changes that seemed to be for the better. Turning to the pirate side of things, Pirates of the Burning Sea was there talking about international “Talk like a Pirate” day. They were some of the nicest people I met there and the tutorial for their game was nothing like I expected. Look forward to a full review on it soon. While Turbine was there, I personally had little time at their little corner of the floor. There were some interviews done with them though by some of the Onrpg crew so look forward to that.
What would this summary be if I did not discuss the other random games I saw while on the floor? In my opinion, the best single player game of the show was a title was X-Blades by SouthPeak. The only real way I can describe it is like a hybrid of pure action title like Dynasty Warriors with a game like Ratchet and Clank. What you get is a fast-paced action game that requires you to carefully think out your moves. The graphics were fantastic and gameplay left me longing for more. Best multiplayer game but not MMO would have to be the title Demigod by Stardock. What made this title interesting was the fact that it allowed you to play in so many different ways. It was an RTS/Action RPG hybrid that allowed you to decide how you want to play. When it comes to graphics, this game did not disappoint. There were so many tiny little details that most people will not even see and appreciate that will go unappreciated. Even still, it scores points with me for being something completely different than anything available right now. Expect an in-depth article talking about this title very soon as it has a lot of RPG and MMO elements to it.
To sum up PAX, it is absolutely mind blowing. There were like 30 companies there, all showing their games and instead of being staffed mainly with PR people, they were staffed with developers and writers. The community was great, the developers there were generally some of the best people I have spoken to, and really was a great time. While there will be more information coming out on PAX over the next week, this is an event I recommend you begin saving for now so you can attend yourself next year.