What’s up FanBros! PAX West 2017 has come and gone in bold fashion. But, we’ve found ourselves embraced with an upcoming line-up that will have you on your feet. Let’s take a look at what we’ve carefully voted as our favorites in each genre for this year:
Best Surprise: Biomutant
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Experiment 101
THQ Nordic brought their A-game in a way that I don’t think any of us was expecting while entering the show floor. Biomutant is a Triple-A, third-person action game(ala-Devil May Cry), that looks and feels amazing. The ability to shoot, swing, dodge and roll in combat is incredibly fluid and natural enough to make the addition of powers/abilities to your arsenal welcome when strategizing against different enemy types. This includes creating body modifications from the parts of other enemies that will change your stats. And your customized loadout isn’t just cosmetic: you choose if you want to be a giant, slow-moving attack brute with tons of defense. Or a small, speedy, limber, action movie creature that is impossible to catch. This will definitely be the breakout hit of 2018.
MOST ADDICTIVE STRATEGY GAME: Frost Punk
Developer: 11 bit studios
Publisher: 11 bit studios
The developers of the hit This War Of Mine are back and they have not made a happier landscape, but have definitely returned to finding ways to make you want to fight for human survival. This time in the form of a Real-Time Strategy game. Frost Punk puts you in a Civilization-like control perspective where you must navigate your community through a frozen post-apocalypse by collecting supplies to build a town and work a generator for humanity to survive and flourish in. During this trial, you’re rebuilding civilization’s laws, technology and wading through the political conflicts that come with that. Will your community be happy? Will they overthrow you in an uprising? Will you kill them all by accident by overworking them or forgetting to get more supplies for the generator? Definitely keep your eyes out for this one.
BEST STORY: Church In The Darkness
Developer: Paranoid Productions
The story of this game is compelling beyond anything I was expecting as I approached this booth. The imagery of the booth alone gave me chills for reasons that are quite rare: It was a representation of the bastardization of religions. The game centers around your main character going on specific missions within cult camps that range from themes of genocide, sacrifices and even apocalyptic worshiping. But, what makes this so amazing is that the entire story is dynamic. Your successes and failures will change what the cult is and their overall goals. Whatever you do, it will create a new experience each time you play. Kidnap their leader = their entire cult changes. Kill a ton of people = They will adapt to kill you. I can’t wait to get my hands on the full release.
MOST IMMERSIVE VR EXPERIENCE: Detached
Developer: Anshar Studios
There are very specific rules in VR: 1) Don’t take the controls away from the individual. 2) Don’t make your player sick. 3) Make it easy to navigate. Anshar threw all of these concepts away and made you feel the struggles of an astronaut spinning wildly through space. I will say this now: THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. I felt motion sickness myself when playing as I was acclimating to my own movements. And even heard other people around me watch me play and they were sick from just looking at my screen. It’s intense and amazing, as you are constantly searching for oxygen while being stranded alone in deep space. I recommend it to the brave.
BEST RPG: Masquerada
Developer: Witching Hour Studios
Publisher: Ysbyrd Games
I love KOTOR. I’ve obsessed about it from high school to Mass Effect and it still brings back fond memories of being so good, it revitalized Star Wars for me during the prequels. So, when I say I like how Masquerada has improved upon the gameplay mechanics that I’ve loved for decades, I hope you understand I do not take that lightly. While the fantasy world is extravagant, it’s themes are based within the French Revolution. The action has you controlling one character within a top-down view, but everyone else can be given general commands(attack, heal, support, etc.) within your party as the A.I. takes control and confronts other enemies around you. While the game is currently released, look out for a release on the Nintendo Switch(!!!) in the future. I may have even personally demo’d it on the console.
BEST OF SHOW: Keyboard Sports
Publisher: Humble Bundle
Is this a really weird pick for the best? Yes. Is this out of left field? Yes. Is it my personal list? It is. And I can’t tell you how much fun I had playing this quirky game. Anyone I watched come near the radius of it was usually smiling from ear-to-ear and bursting with laughter. Your character is controlled with every key on your keyboard and each key represents a grid that he can walk on. Without giving away spoilers(the first joke is my favorite joke ever in a video game), there’s tons of wonton destruction, obstacles, extreme violence and constant quality jokes on display. I will purchase an entire bundle just for this game. And you should too.
What titles got you most hype at PSX West 2017? Let us know in the comments or @FanBrosShow!