PAX 09: Sunday Recap (finally)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Here we are folks. Terribly late and cold to the touch, it's the last day of PAX in a nutshell. Let's get things rolling with the Saboteur. I snuck over to the EA Booth late in the day to take a look at this game. I knew a little about it from what I'd read in the handful of captioned sreenshots and capsule articles I'd discovered over the past year.

You'll probably remember it for it's stark black and white look and splintery cellish gameplay. What you might know is that the game actually starts in full color. You play as Sean Devlin, an Irish race driver who's hired by Morini Racing to drive one of their cars in France.

I shouldn't spoil it for everyone, so I'll just say that something happens during a race that leads to tragedy and an event that drains all the color out of the world. From there it's your work for the resistance that slowly lets the color creep back in.

The basic tenet of the game is to get in quietly and out fast as your carefully placed explosives don't really come with a silencer. The game was actually pretty hard. Sneaking may seem like the more difficult route, but rushing headlong into an artillery base isn't exactly a walk in the park.

Right around the corner was Uncharted 2.It played much as I hoped expected it to. The gunplay is essentially the same though the enemies don't seem like the bullet sponges they were in the first. Thank God for that.

Other than those two, most of the games we looked at on Sunday were members of the PAX 10. I'm looking to have a larger piece dedicated to them but here are a few snippets about them.

Osmos is sort of a Flow meets Solar kind of feel. You are a blob called a mote. You float about the arena eating other motes. You can propel yourself in specific directions by ejecting some of your mass. This is where the challenge lies. It's a relaxing and beautiful game.

Then there was a game called What is Bothering Carl. This game is actually an interactive storybook, telling the story of Carl, a Cyclops with something troubling his giant mind. It features a full story, memory game and even a couple music videos using the incredibly catchy music from the game.

Also on offer was Carnyvale, the Xbox live game where you play as a circus performer called Slinky. You crave fame and notoriety and long to become known as the world's greatest acrobat. To that end you fling Slinky across each level, using new skills as you move on. It's an addictive game, I almost think they should keep the time limit they have for the demo.

Finally, Machinarium. I didn't get a chance to play this adventure title because there were so many people there at the booth. From what I've seen though I'm very impressed by the art and the classic adventure game look and feel.

The puzzles look difficult (= good stuff) and the character is certainly endearing.

While the big titles I mentioned early on aren't out yet, you can pick Carnyvale and Osmos right now for less than $15 each. I really encourage you to check out the indie games out there, it's hard to make it in the games industry these days and the people behind these games made them because they wanted to, not just because it was their next project in the lineup.

It's people like them that make PAX great.