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Console Gems from PAX East 2018

Console Gems from PAXEast 2018 by JoPaWrites

A Penny Arcade Expo can be quite overwhelming for those new to the experience. There are hundreds of games on display and it feels impossible to see them all. This is especially true for games found outside of the major booths such as Sony, Xbox or the like. Yet there are quite a few that are deserving of a closer look as they bring something unique to the table. Below are a few from PAX East 2018 to be on the lookout for that will be coming to various consoles in the near future.

Since the very first “Souls” title the desire to play increasingly difficult action titles has become ever more popular. Sinner takes inspiration from those games while applying its own unique twists. The game will be solely focused on the bosses you must defeat, each of which represents a different sin. There are no long distances to travel or anything to fight aside from the various “big bads”. Three were available to play at the convention and all were quite different from one another. Each has its own lair to master as the environment can kill your character just as easily as your enemy can. The bosses themselves have a variety of attacks, various speeds at which they move and dozens of ways to kill your character. It is a very difficult game which can become addicting as you inch closer to winning a battle.

Yet what makes Sinner stand out from the crowd is its progression, or rather, regression system. The protagonist must sacrifice a part of himself in order to advance to the next boss. This leads to an extra layer of strategy for which order to take them on. The loss of strength is told in weaker armor, weapons, health and more as he looks worse off the farther he battles. Visually the game is dark and gritty as again it’s the bosses which look quite awesomely grotesque. Combat is difficult to master as you learn to use the various items at your disposal, but that makes it even more rewarding ultimately.

While Sinner currently has no confirmed release day, it is expected to arrive somewhere in the summer of 2018. The game will be available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and recently it was announced by Another Indie that it will make it onto the Switch at a later date. This is definitely a game to recommend for those who enjoy high levels of difficulty while mastering a combat system.

This is the only title on the list already released on the computer. It’s a relatively unknown shooter which can initially feel a bit like Left 4 Dead, but with aliens replacing zombies. But there is definitely more to it than just a clone of another series. The four-player co-op is both exciting and challenging as you plunge through the foreign looking enemies. Defenses must be fortified as characters hurry to build their weaponry with 3D printers. Meanwhile, the lore of the game can be unraveled not only through the campaign missions, but also Lore items that can be found in the world.

While not available to test on a console, the game looked very sharp on PC. The environments were very seamless while the aliens were varied yet horrifying to look at. While not completely over the top, exploding aliens can be quite a satisfying experience that harkens back to older arcade shooters. The game’s controls feel crisp as is necessary for modern shooters, but the multiplayer is where the game shines. While it’s entirely possible to play solo with AI as teammates, the experience is definitely improved with your friends by your side.

Earthfall is slated to release this spring on PS4 and Xbox One as the game moves out of PC early access. The developers have shown that they are ready and willing to listen to the community to keep the game updated. If what was shown by Holospark at PAXEast is any indication, Earthfall has a chance to be a surprise hit when it fully releases.

The culmination of an excellent story told by Stoic Studios, Banner Saga 3 picks up where the second leaves off. It is a game built around player choice in a way few others dare to be. You must manage a caravan full of warriors and civilians, make difficult choices on when to attack or retreat, and make all sorts of other decisions that can be the difference between life and death. Combat takes the form of a turn-based tactical roleplaying game which can require a bit of a learning curve.

The art style and music really separates Banner Saga from many of its contemporaries and the 3rd definitely lives up to that reputation. A Nordic theme is ever-present in the game in the fantasy setting. It is a mature title where comrades will most certainly die along the way. The demo at PAX gave just a hint of things to come and it has been announced that there are a few new playable units including some former enemies in the dredge.

Banner Saga 3 will be coming to the Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, mobile and the Switch in the summer of 2018. For anyone interested in quality storytelling or RPGs in general, the Banner Saga series is definitely one to play. And if you haven’t played the first two it is highly recommended you do so before moving on to the third.

When you first look at The Swords of Ditto it looks to be a standardly cute roleplaying game. But there is much more to the title than that as there is a twist to your quest to save the world. The game does not end as your character dies but instead you take over as a new main character 100 years from when the last perished. Once awoken you find the entire game world has changed, from the village you reside in to the dungeons you must delve. This twist makes everyone’s play through different while ensuring a level of replayability other action RPGs lack.

The controls are not difficult to pick up while the lock on system of your character’s attacks is more fluid than many others. There is a progression to the game as you go through various lives and figure out the tale behind The Swords of Ditto. Further improving the title is a co-op option which makes it that much more enticing as the game is quite fun to play with a partner.

And for those interested, there isn’t long to wait as Swords of Ditto releases on April 24, 2018. It will be coming to PS4 and PC while publisher Devolver Digital has yet to announce if it will make its way elsewhere down the line. For fans of action RPGs who are looking for a different kind of adventure, this game would be right up your alley.

PAX East 2018

It was very difficult to walk past Haimrik on display and not stop in wonder at such a unique looking title. It appears to be lifted from the pages of a newspaper comic yet even more appealing. There is a stark lack of color when initially playing the game which makes the eventual use of it all the more impactful. The deaths are graphic as blood sprays the screen if you slip up, so you must choose your words very carefully. The medieval setting includes at least one large dragon as well as a rather humorous tone.

The gameplay mechanics are also quite different from the majority of games out now. Haimrik uses interactive words to help him navigate through the game. There are puzzles he must solve in order to progress and a variety of different challenges to overcome. Haimrik will also be killed many times over so players shouldn’t feel bad when they lead him to an untimely demise. Unsurprisingly the characters Haimrik comes across in his tale are also quite peculiar as well.

Haimrik arrives on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on June 6th, 2018. Below The Game have created a standout title which needs to be experienced firsthand as it’s rare to find one that is so outside of the norm. This is especially true if you have a darker sense of humor while enjoying rather cartoonish deaths.

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