Day three of PAX is mostly our last one this year. We have a couple appointments and intend to wind down with a few games we missed tomorrow, but for the most part by now our coverage will pretty much be complete (look for a special PAX Podcast later this week).
Anyhow, here’s the titles I got to spend some time with today:
At Sundown is immediately understandable at a glance. The game is a top down shooter where everyone is invisible, only illuminated by their own gunfire, or the different types of lighting scattered throughout levels.
The simple premise still has a ton of potential for competitive play. I went through two matches with other attendees on the floor and had a great time trading kills back and forth. Before each match you can select your unique weapon (this can also be swapped out every time you die during play). I was particularly tickled by the compound bow weapon, which after being fired will remain stuck in the wall, when you tap the special action button your bolts unstick themselves from the wall and fire backwards, impaling whatever is unlucky enough to be standing behind them. I mostly skewered myself with the weapon but I’m sure with some practice there’s a lot of opportunity to set up clever traps for people.
There’s the obvious comparison to make to last year’s Screencheat, which also focused on characters that were completely invisible to the naked eye, but I think that At Sundown’s more basic play model actually makes it a little easier to pick up and also perhaps just hair more competitive.
Moonlighter (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
My distaste for rogue-likes is well documented on this site, but there’s something about a rogue-like merged with a store management simulation that I can’t help but find myself drawn to. I didn’t actually have an appointment to see Moonlighter today but after spending some time watching the game from afar, I couldn’t help but jump in.
Moonlighter has a simple premise, by night you’ll explore one of the four dungeons on the north end of town, killing enemies in a top-down Zelda-esque dungeon crawler. After you’ve loaded up on monster parts and resources you can make your way home where you can sell off your loot. The shop management system is simple on the exterior with a lot of depth underneath it.
You’ll place items up for sale, setting the price as you see fit. At first you’ll have no idea what the value of something will be, but once customers start arriving you can see their reactions and adjust prices accordingly. The game has a notebook that will track what prices elicited what reaction, so after some trial and error you can typically hammer down what the maximum amount you can charge for something will be.
Of course there’s other considerations at hand like current market demand for products. You’ll also encounter some customers who will have special requests that you can attempt to fill as you explore the dungeons.
All in all, Moonlighter really impressed me. The game is set to release in January, and there was even some talk of a Switch port which would be a fantastic home for this one. Definitely keep an eye out if rogue-likes are your thing, and maybe even if they’re not…
Immortal: Unchained (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Immortal: Unchained made some waves last week when it was announced on the Playstation blog. Despite a glut of information in the initial press release very little real game footage has been released to the general public so I was of course eager for the chance to get a private look at the game today.
Though I wasn’t able to go hand-on myself I did get to watch a half hour’s worth of live demo. The game wears a pretty obvious Dark Souls inspiration on its sleeve, with the biggest notable difference being its reliance on guns and artillery. Your character wields a set of melee weapons but it’s inadvisable to rely on them. I’d say that about 80% of your gameplay experience will be with using guns.
Initially I was suspicious as to whether or not this method would work but my initial reaction is that the gunplay actually fits fairly well. The game doesn’t offer a cover system, but it does feature a dodge very similar to what you’d see in Souls. The combat translates rather naturally to a ranged format. I was only able to grab a very brief looks through the different menus including a quick peek at the character stats screen but at a glance it looks like this one has the potential to be quite deep. We’ll surely get some public footage soon and you can make some decisions for yourself.
Normally we don’t book appointments to see phsyical media and hardware, but Thinkgeek’s collection of products at the show looked interesting enough that we thought they might be worth further investigation.
The company’s recently released Zelda line of products is of particular note. My personal stance on geek clothing is the more understated, the better. The Zelda line offers a few pieces that meet that criteria. The type of clothing that just looks like a sweater or jacket to the average individual but someone familiar with Zelda will recognize the different patterns and designs tucked away in the garment.
Conversely if you want to go all out and let the world know that you’re a die-hard Zelda fan, there’s options for that as well. The women’s poncho wraps and Link’s tunic recreations offer much less subdued, perhaps even borderline cosplay fashion options.
There were a bunch of other neat things adorning the company’s PAX booth, including an exact replica pip boy that doubled as a bluetooth smart watch. The device was particularly impressive when compared to the replica that came in the Fallout 4 collector’s edition. Unlike that device which required a phone to serve as its screen, this pip boy works right out of the box and serves as a fully functional smart watch.
If you want to see the rest of the ware’s Thinkgeek had on display at the show, you can see their lineup here.