Games of PAX 2009

by: Robert “fReAk” Dillard


A few weeks back I went to PAX 2009 in Seattle, WA – along with about 80,000 other geeks, nerds, cosplayers; I call them gamers. This is a little con put on by the amazing team at Penny Arcade where gamers can get hands on with lots & lots of games. Everything from games coming out next week to games not yet in closed alpha; from board games and CCG’s to games controlled by keyboard and glove…yea, picture Nintendo’s Power Glove on crack.

At any rate the following games are the ones that I felt worthy of talking about during last week’s podcast and so I thought you should also see ’em. Enjoy.

Split Second
Genre: Racing / Action
Dev: Blackrock
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Release Date: 2010

Disney – yea that’s right Fucking Disney – they invaded PAX this year with a giant booth and an amazing game. They didn’t really build it they’re just pushing it out like the crack dealers they are – fuggin mouse!

The game, Split Second, is a racing game – but not your typical game by any means. This game puts you in the seat of a driver in a car (typical right?) riding in a city thats rigged to blow. The clincher is that you have the ability to blow it up! It’s Death Race meets GTR4.

Rather than bore you to death about how awesome the UI is with a HUD that doesn’t clutter your screen I thought I’d just let you watch it!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Global Agenda
Dev: Hi-rez Studios
Publisher: TBA
Release Date: TBA


Currently without a publisher Hi-rez studios has created a game that is just awesome. It attempts to take on the marriage of my two favorite things, FPS & MMO gaming. As long as they don’t get picked up by Sony for publishing we should see an awesome Sci-Fi game hit the market.

The idea is that in the next century we humans will ally ourselves into factions struggling with one another for power meanwhile all factions are fighting off the totalitarian World Government that is bent on global domination.

As good as the game looks gamers shouldn’t have to worry about shelling out tons of gold on a next gen PC as GA is built on the Unreal 3 engine so it’s very solid and runs great on todays PC’s as the engines requirements are not as intense as more modern engines.

Sound fun? Well watching is better than reading so enjoy.

No Elves Trailer:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Game Play Trailer sorta:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Old Republic
Dev: Bioware
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: TBA

If you ever wished that KOTOR and KOTOR II could be bigger, better, and never end – alas all our prayers were answered with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Set in a period thousands of years prior to the rise of Darth Vader, all hail Vader…..ummmm…..TOR allows players to play both sides of the epic science fiction masterpiece.

Technical cool shit: TOR is a fully voiced MMO – that means you wont have to read anything, every NPC will talk to you and every one of your comments are voiced. Hopefully they do a better job than SoE’s EverQuest II – SUPER laggy when every freaking npc is yelling at you all at the same time! But I have faith!

Another cool idea is that every choice you make dictates what side you’re on. Start robbing and killing foo’s then to the Dark Side do not pass go! Want to play the more compasionate role, you little Jedi Care Bear you, and on the lightside yourself you will find <– Yoda Speak Rocks!

This also means that the game won’t be the same every time you play it through – it’s great for the content story whores and bad for the over achievers. You can actually play this game through with each class and have a different feel and story each time through.

But Robert won’t there just be like 20,000 Jedi running around? YES! Wipe that uber mad nerd rage look off your face AND stop typing that hate mail to Lucas Arts! The game is set in a period when there are literally thousands of Jedi and Sith running around – so we don’t have to be angry about it.

Enough of my ramblings watch the videos – pssst I snuck in two videos it’s that awesome!

Theatrical Trailer: Deceived
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Game Play Video
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Star Trek Online
Genre: Sci-Fi MMO
Dev: Cryptic Studios
Publisher: Atari
Release Date: Est. 2010

Star Trek Online, now in closed beta, makes a big bounce back since it’s days of being mishandled and generally fucked up by Perpetual Studios.

STO allows players to take sides choosing between The Federation and the Klingon Empire. The basic idea is that you play the role of captain of your own ship going boldly where no man has gone before. You will take part in ship based missions where you will hunt down the opposing side and dispence some justice. As captain you will also get to beam down to the surface for some good old RPG avatar based missions, complete with Red Shirt Guy!

Typically games that try and conquer both vehicle combat and avatar combat, one or the other is usually bad. However, not the case for this title; but what else should we expect from Cryptic.

Overall the planet based stuff is good, the ship based stuff is good – the game looks good; and you get to play out some of the story lines from the original T.V show what more could you want?

Official Trailer 2009
Vodpod videos no longer available.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Dev: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date: Est. 2010

Well, no gaming con is complete without the big dawg WoW making a showing. The problem with this game is – well it’s too fucking big! I personally am sick and tired of this game and wish it would go away – appearently 10 million other people disagree.

Blizzard came with a playable demo of WoW’s next big expansion: Cataclysm. The expansion will increase the level cap, change the environment – dramatically in some areas, such as The Barrens, and bring out two new playable races: The Alliance Worgen & Horde Goblin.

The Worgen can shape change as their racial ability and the Goblins get rocket boots, run faster and shoot them at people.

Aside from that and new quests that’s it. Blizzard is now just farming it’s player base for the $50 for what should be a free patch IMHO!

Watch the video if you dare!

Cataclysm Video
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Indie Games:
Scrap Metal
Genre: Racing / Action
Dev: Slick Entertainment
Publisher: Microsoft Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Release Date: Est. 2010

This was the best Indie game of the show IMHO. It takes us back to the top-down, aka bird’s eye, view of popular racers in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Adding to the mix the fun demolition style blow up of games like Twisted Metal.

Scrap Metal was extremely fun to play with a very low learning curve. I think the single player portion of the game may leave a low replay factor for the game; but the multiplay – more players = more carnage = more fun = more play.

I don’t have a ton to say about this game, but I’ll leave you with this. Sometimes it’s great to see what two guys can do with some open source code and passion.

Scrap Metal Gameplay
Vodpod videos no longer available.

All in all PAX 09 was amazing, packed and an all over exciting event crammed to the gills with games and an appearance by Steve Jackson in the LFG section. Due to population limitations Penny Arcade is looking for a new venue to handle the crowds – I’m voting for Los Angeles Convention Center! If you get the chance to go take it and I hope to see you there.

Well game fans it’s late here….yea right I just wanna get back to gaming!

Peace….Rob out!


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