“It’s great to see Coffee Stain Studios is taking a much-needed baseball bat to the ol’ bees nest for Sanctum 2, the upcoming sequel to its cool first-person shooter/tower defense hybrid, upping the danger and the action in the process. For instance, unlike their more docile brethren from the original game, Sanctum 2’s swarms of alien bug creatures want to gnaw your face off and curb stomp you into nothingness. They don’t mind taking a quick detour for a little human snack as they malevolently march towards your power core.”
“Rocketing through the stars in a hi-tech spacecraft is almost always 400 percent more awesome when you can transform mid-flight into a giant ass-kicking robot and unleash hell on the nearest swarm of enemy starfighters. Strike Suit Zero expertly channels the spirit of Robotech and its fellow mecha-minded ilk to make you feel like one bad mofo at moments, but I like the way it makes you work for it first.”
“As the newest kid on the crowded post-apocalyptic gaming block, Ravaged has a lot to prove if it wants to stand out among the heavily entrenched first-person shooters (Borderlands, Fallout, Rage, etc.) out there that cater to players’ Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome fetishes. Indie studio 2 Dawn Games’ strategy for its online multiplayer-only FPS debut is to open up the throttle with massive, vehicle-centric battles that unfold across sprawling wasteland locales. My time in the beta delivered many “Eff Yeah!” moments, but piling up a crew of 32 teammates into a deadly motorcade of gyro-copters, machinegun-mounted dune buggies, and ATVs, then crashing en-masse into an enemy base with guns blazing put a whole new spin on post-apocalyptic killing sprees.”
“The darkest reaches of deep space are colder and more merciless than any dungeon, and in Faster Than Light (FTL) — a rare sci-fi roguelike set in a star-filled realm of intergalactic turmoil instead of a dank subterranean dungeon — death awaits anyone foolhardy enough to rocket into the void. With a well-armed fleet of rebel star cruisers always nipping at my heels, playing FTL feels a lot like walking the plank. I’m doomed no matter how I look at it. But fighting to stave off the inevitable destruction of my ship and crew as we make a mad dash through the cosmos gets my blood pumping every time.”
“Drawing a wealth of knowledge from the good book of 1980s-era dungeon crawling 101, the folks over at Almost Human, Ltd. know their chops when it comes to exploring dank corridors, sticking it to drippy-mawed beasts, and scavenging for scraps of gear needed to survive. The indie studio’s upcoming Legend of Grimrock is absolutely awash in old-school nostalgia, channeling the spirit that made classics like Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master so hard to step away from as a kid. But pushing deep into the monster-filled innards of the game’s ominous subterranean realm during my hands-on time revealed much more to this dungeon crawler RPG than mere retro charm.”
Check out the full article here at GameSpy. Dig this? Why not follow @nmeunier on Twitter.
“When it comes to sweet questions like “why dodge an incoming missile if you can punch it back at the metal jerk that fired it at you in the first place,” Cobalt has all the right answers. As the first third-party indie project published by Minecraft creators Mojang, this little battle-intensive platform shooter, with its wide-eyed and heavily-armed robots, is disarmingly cute for the brutal, cutthroat combat contained within.”
“Precious few MMO games let you shotgun a virtual 12-pack of beer, run around nibbling the meat off of live pigs, and massage butterflies to extract their milk — and all in the span of just a few short minutes, no less. I knew Glitch was going to be a weird experience going into it, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the level of sheer wackiness waiting for me within its quirky depths. However odd it may be at times, it’s this free-to-play, browser-based MMO’s proclivity for the bizarre and the unexpected that makes it such a fascinating time sink.”
“Anyone held in thrall by a raging Minecraft addiction for the past year can attest — these are exciting times. While developer Markus “Notch” Persson’s surprise indie hit is pushing closer to its official release in a few months, the just-released beta update 1.8 ushers in some exciting new changes to the game’s sandbox realm… and the way you can interact with it. If you’re like me, you’ve probably already sunk an absurd number of hours into building and exploring in the game’s blocky world. But don’t retire your virtual pickaxe just yet; Minecraft’s 1.8 “Adventure Update” is here, and it’s awesome.”
I love going to PAX East. Walking amongst so many fellow nerdfolk for three days is both refreshing and exhausting, but it’s always a good time. This year I covered the convention for GameSpy, and during my many travels and appointments, I was able to check out some awesome games and meet some great folks. Here’s a round-up of a bunch of my PAX East-related coverage from the past week. I’m still working on a few other pieces that’ll be published in the next week or so, but this is the bulk of it.
Mega-PAX East Roundup Feature @ GameSpy [Read it here] I explored many facets of the convention and glob it all together in this massive feature that touches on a wide range of topics and events throughout the show.
PAX EAst 2011: Indie Gaming Extravaganza [Read it here]
There were so many awesome indie games out on display at PAX East that it was hard to catch them all. I spent a lot of time running around to check them out, and here’s a write-up highlighting some of the best I stumbled across.
Portal 2 Preview [Read it here]
The first Portal was awesome. Portal 2 is going to be 400 percent more awesome. I saw the first 6 hilarious minutes of the game at PAX East and also sat down for a lengthy interview with one of the games main writers. Here’s my impressions and rundown of the preview. My interview will be going up soon.
Gears of War 3 Multiplayer Hands-On[Read it here]
I spent some pew-pew time with GoW 3’s multiplayer beta. Good times. GameSpy Editor Will Tuttle grills me about the hot details in this Interrogation Room preview piece.
There are a few other PAX East related things still in the pipeline, so stay tunes.
PAX East was a blast this year, and I spent a lot of time running around to track down indie booths amongst the fray of booming craziness. It’s really inspiring to see just how many excellent independent studios there were out there on the show floor with truly awesome games to demo. I wrote up a large feature on this for GameSpy, and though there wasn’t enough room to include all of the awesome indies I was able to scope out, here’s a bunch of the best ones I was able to go hands-on with.