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‘Doom Eternal’ And ‘Magic: Legends’ Were Highlights At PAX East In Boston

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Mar 3 '20 | By entertainoiam2admin | Views: 44 | Comments: 0

BOSTON — PAX East is a four-day opportunity for gamers of all kinds to visit Boston’s Seaport district and see what’s now and what’s next in the gaming world. That means a lot of standing in lines to play games coming out soon, watching Esports gamers square off and getting access to one of the bigger board game libraries you’ll ever see.

It can all be overwhelming, especially when you consider the hundreds of games on display from major publishers and indie developers are all vying for a place in a market already chock full of options to take up your time. Even with some major developers like Sony dropping out due to coronavirus concerns, the show floor was packed with some great titles many were excited about.

Other than a lot of Untitled Goose Game cosplay, here are some of the highlights of what I saw in Boston over the weekend.

March 20 Is Worth The Hype

Bethesda held its own event just outside of the Boston Convention Center where it showcased Doom Eternal and Fallout 76‘s update, called Wastelanders. The highlight of that is the March 20 release of Doom Eternal, which will pair with Animal Crossing: New Horizons as the weirdest video game release paring in some time. I got to play both, and if you’re already excited about either game there’s absolutely no reason that should change.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons plays great and looks like everything fans of the series will expect. Put yourself into bell debt to Tom Nook and turn an island into a home, complete with themed housewares and clothing. It plays well on the Switch, and I can’t say much more other than you’ll be happy with the results if you’re counting down the days to run errands for island pals.

Doom Eternal, meanwhile, uses its reputation for gore in a very good way in the demo. I watched a lot of gameplay and tried it out for myself and it certainly looked smooth and handled itself well. The first level didn’t dive too much into the story, but just know there are a lot of bad guys to kill and there are a lot of ways to get that done. For those that didn’t get inside Bethesda Game Days to try it, the wait will be worth it here.

Fallout 76’s Facelift Looks Good, Too

There are NPCs in Fallout 76 now, which seems like a weird thing to get excited about but should be welcome news to those that perhaps were turned off by 76 when it was released in 2018. The demo I played basically reran the original course of the game’s opening measures, and this time there were real, live humans out there to talk to.

Another year or so of polish to Fallout 76 in general means a much smoother experience, though it’s entirely unclear if the new factions and storyline in the game will bring back gamers for a second chance. It’s certainly good news for those that have stuck through the game as its growing pains have been worked out.

You Might Make It To The Moon In Kerbal Space Program 2

Private Division showed off Disintegration and allowed gamers to check out the squad-based, hover vehicle first-person shooter. We’ll have a bit more about what they’re developing in the coming weeks, but it shows plenty of promise. They also showed off a sneak peek of Kerbal Space Program 2, which was perhaps even more exciting for space nerds. The good news is that the game looks to be much easier, so you won’t need an advanced degree in astrophysics to understand how to get off the ground safely. We didn’t get any gameplay here, but it’s safe to say you’ll get farther in Kerbal 2 than you did in the original. Whether that means going to the moon or interstellar space travel, it’s all possible. Some that are actually good at the game might be disappointed by that news, but making a more accessible game is welcome news for most. It certainly seems like there’s infinite possibilities with new ship designs and launching in zero gravity, and the hilarious Kerbal antics and explosions will still be there. It’s an evolution for sure, but very much a good one.

Spaceteam Has VR Now And It Might Actually Work

Spaceteam is a wildly popular mobile game that makes you look and sound like a lunatic by giving a number of device-holding players partial information about tasks they must complete to keep a ship from complete chaos. It’s very fun, and now there’s a VR version on the way. Spaceteam VR was featured in the expo’s Omegathon gaming final, and on Monday came the official announcement that it would be cross-platform, meaning people playing on mobile and VR platforms like the Oculus and Playstation VR. There’s even a single player mode with two robotic teammates, which might make this the most accessible multiplayer VR game we’ve seen so far.

Magic Legends Builds Off The Card Game In A Very Good Way

Magic Legends was a booth that saw long lines all four days, and a huge screen out front of the booth showed off some Diablo-like gameplay. Based on the ubiquitous card game, Legends hits PC later in the year and takes the parameters of the card game and puts them into a real-time action RPG.

The four main buttons on the controller serve as conjuring and spell casting options that reload in real time, and a bit of lore knowledge can help you successfully stack abilities and find success in the field. But the game plays well if you’re a Magic newbie, an inherent knowledge of abilities and classes isn’t required to jump in and play. That makes for a learning curve that’s easy to overcome, and it’s certainly satisfying to take down a dragon and execute attacks successfully. Developer Cryptic Studios stressed the demo was pre-alpha and things could change, but the concept certainly works and it should be a thrill for Magic fans to see some of their favorite cards transformed into digital creatures battling it out.

Some Board Games Of Interest

I got to demo a lot of games, and one I liked best was actually based on artwork for our national parks. It’s called Parks, and it plays out as a journey two hikers take through a path that gets longer as the four seasons go on. Players collect wooden tokens they use to “visit” parks and earn points, and the beautiful artwork from each park is a real strong suit here. It would definitely require another play to get the mechanics fully down but there’s an expansion coming on Kickstarter and apparently another print run to make it a bit less expensive than it is some places online.

Root was another game that sold out at PAX and drew considerable crowds around its learn-to-play tables. There’s a video game version coming later this year as well, which perhaps was a reason why it got a lot of attention. We’ll have more about all of this in the future, as well as some stuff about two Game Works titles: Metro X and Abandon All Artichokes.

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