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PAX East 2011

X-Play's PAX Prime Coverage Begins Tonight!

Tonight on X-Play, we head back to the Pacific Northwest to show you what went on at last month's PAX Prime 2011, where you'll get some protips on PAX cosplay from Kristin Adams, get a look at the top indie games from the show with Blair Herter, and go On Location with Sucker Punch honcho Nate Fox in their Bellvue, WA studios.

But that's not all! The rest of this week will also be dedicated to X-Play's PAX Prime 2011 coverage, as Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb take you inside the first-ever Halo Fest, and get a look at Borderlands 2. We also bring you the sights, the sounds, and the magic of late summer in Seattle. You won't want to miss it.

X-Play's PAX Prime coverage premieres tonight @ 6:30PM ET, and continues Wednesday, September 7th, and Thursday, September 8th, also @ 6:30PM.

Also, for G4tv.com's comprehensive PAX Prime 2011 coverage, don't forget to visit our PAX Prime 2011 headquarters!

Dragon Nest

PAX East saw a flood of exciting news this year. G4 was on the floor with their hands on every demo and preview they could cram in during their time in Boston. In case you missed any of the coverage, we’ve rounded up all the news, previews and reviews that focus on one of our favorite gaming genres, the MMO. Take a look at all of our coverage, and decide which multiplayer realm you're going to dive into.

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Upcoming action-RPG Deus Ex: Human Revolution was at PAX East 2011 so fans could get a sneak-peek at the game. We caught up with the Game Director, Jean-Francois Dugas about the four pillars of gameplay. The pillars are combat, stealth, hacking and social. Those four modes are used alongside with exploration to make sure gamers won't have a shortage of things to do.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Story & Gameplay Preview »


Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be released on August 23 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.


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Adam Sessler got to speak with Chris Rippy, the producer of Orcs Must Die! at PAX East. Orcs Must Die! takes a new spin on tower defense games, putting you right in the action and allowing you to lay traps and cast spells to kill as many possessed orcs as possible.

Orcs Must Die! PAX East 2011 Preview »


Orcs Must Die! is coming out on the PC and Xbox 360 this summer.



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Faxion

Free-to-play massively multiplayer online role playing games were in abundance at PAX East, but because of its setting in Limbo (the area between Heaven and Hell) Faxion  from UTV True Games really stood out. We previewed the game, which seems to be a mix of a typical modern MMO and EVE Online "lite".

"Each zone in Faxion is designed around one of the seven deadly sins: Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Pride, and Greed. For example, the zone we played through, Avarice Canyons, was supposed to embody greed with its mines riddled with diamonds. Other zones like Gardens of Ardor represent the sin of Lust, featuring lush gardens with flowing streams and deep red flowers."

Are you going to be an angel or a demon? Check out our full Faxion preview and make your decision.

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At PAX East we took  a few minutes to speak with Mike "HuskyStarCraft" Lamond, one of the premiere StarCraft 2 commentators in North America. In the interview, he talks about his love of the game, the growth of eSports and its community, as well as how he got started and what he's looking forward to next.

 

Mike "HuskyStarcraft" Lamond Interview At PAX East 2011 »


Husky was also part of the State of the Game Live panel at PAX and had a lot of interesting input there as well. Even if you're not familiar with professional StarCraft 2, Husky is the perfect person to help hold your hand as you test the waters. Check out his YouTube page for some fun, lighthearted SC2 commentary.

 




Portal 2 was at PAX East and it was definitely a fan favorite. The gigantic booth featured never before seen footage featuring Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Merchant, and Cave Johnson, voiced by J.K. Simmons. Morgan Webb caught up with Portal 2's project lead, Joshua Weier, to get some details on the upcoming game.

Portal 2 PAX East 2011 Preview »


Portal 2 will be released for the PC, Mac, PS3, and Xbox 360 on April 21.

NEWS: Meet Cave Johnson, Portal 2 PAX East Preview


We got a small taste of Star Wars: The Old Republic at PAX East last week, and now because you've been so nice we're bringing you more. In this video, Adam Sessler talks to Cory Butler, one of the producers on Star Wars: The Old Republic, about the space combat that you'll find in the game. He describes the combat as "fun and action packed" and from the video it looks just that.

 

Star Wars: The Old Republic Space Combat Preview »


Butler also mentions something that every Star Wars fan has been dying to hear: the game will be released in 2011! Sweet.


Gamescom 2010: Guild Wars 2 Hands-On Preview

It seems every time we see ArenaNet’s massively ambitious MMO Guild Wars 2, we come away more and more impressed and intrigued than we were before. As you’d expect, this happened yet again during PAX East where we attended ArenNet’s panel presentation that was, for the most part, devoted to answering fans’ burning questions regarding one of the most talked about MMOs around. Our own Leah Jackson was in attendance, and here’s a snippet of what was discussed:

"One thing that the developers heavily focused on was the game's combat. We got to watch the Thief profession video that was released at GDC, and Game Designer Jon Peters explained that combat in Guild Wars 2 is extremely important to the developers.

'People are pretty tired of looking for groups, not being able to dodge missiles, and monotonous healing,' he said."

Check out our full Guild Wars 2 PAX preview for more.


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By Dennis Scimeca

PAX East Panel: It's Not The Length, It's The Mirth - Game Length Versus Value

With so many platforms and mediums on which to purchase and play our games, how do we decide how much a game is worth anymore? Lord of the Rings Online is an infinite experience which is entirely free to play. Limbo only takes three to four hours to complete and actually costs you money. AAA titles with ten-hour-long campaigns cost $60 while an iPhone title like Angry Birds, which for many gamers is the gift that keeps on giving, only costs $0.99. Is there any coherent math by which we can make determinations of value anymore? 

According to Christopher Grant, Editor-in-Chief of Joystiq.com, and moderator of the panel, time-per-dollar metrics break down very quickly. Compared to Tetris, Dragon Age is a ripoff, he jokingly suggested. Grant cited websites like Gaming Age and Cheap Ass Gamer who complained about the short playtime of Limbo, which was also a title that won a slew of awards. In this case, the time-per-dollar metric doesn't seem to make sense versus a quality-per-dollar analysis. So what does make sense? Read on for more.

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Pax East 2010

PAX East 2011 was an unqualified success. The show sold out totally; organizers say the final attendance number was as high as 69,500 people, making it the most well-attended Penny Arcade Expo ever held, bigger, even than PAX Prime 2010 in Seattle. 

If you were not one of the attendees of the last PAX, sorry, buddy. Have faith, though. According to Big Download, PAX East 2012 is scheduled for April 7-9. Start saving for your hotel room and beer tab now!

Check out our PAX site for everything that went on at the show.

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By Dennis Scimeca

The Hidden Value of Punching Trees

 

Alex Leavitt, a researcher of Comparative Media Studies at MIT and Microsoft Research, wants us to view Minecraft as a lens through which to view the current state of game culture, but first we have to tackle the question of what "game culture" actually is.

Game culture can be eSports fans hanging on the edges of their seats while they watch a Starcraft match. Or the wonders of the Nintendo Power Glove. Or a skilled Dance Dance Revolution player with one leg, on crutches, rocking out a score that most everyone else could only boggle at. Game culture could be hanging out with friends in World of Warcraft, or breaking our television with a Wii Remote. 

The fact that most of you reading this article will, in all likelihood, be familiar with one or more of the things I just spoke about underscores Leavitt's proposed definition of game culture: "A shared understanding of our cultural interaction with games." Or, to put it another way: game culture is the way people interact with the medium, mechanics, design, and narrative of games. So, what can Minecraft tell us about this culture? Read on to find out.

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By Dennis Scimeca

PAX East 2011: Legal Issues In Gaming

This session at PAX East consisted mostly of Q&A from the audience, but IGDA Director Tom Buscaglia wanted to open up with a discussion of Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the court case that centers around fines for sales of violent video games to minors. Seth Krauss, Executive VP and General Counsel for Take-Two interactive, said, “The Supreme Court case is indicative of the challenges we face in this industry.”

Political figures, said Krauss, use the video game industry as an easy target due to misrepresentation of the industry and who it represents. Take-Two is based in 22 countries and according to Krauss, “We face these sorts of issues of 'opportunistic individuals' everywhere.” And there's more. Keep reading to see what legal issues in gaming still loom large.

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Pax East 2011 Photos: The Showfloor

I'm afraid the The Morning Hangover refers to actual hangovers for a lot of the gaming world. PAX is over, and a lot of people are, shall we say, "recovering."  I didn't go, so I feel great. I spent the weekend playing a Game That Must Not Be Named because it isn't out yet... although if you watch Feedback this week, you'll know.

So, if you went to PAX, what was the coolest part? If you didn't, what did you play this weekend?

Facebook Panel
By: Dennis Scimeca

The overarching lesson I took away from the "How Your Favorite Game Companies Use Facebook" panel at PAX East 2011 was that if you're a company that makes games for Facebook, like EA Playfish, you know what to do with the social networking tool because you're already on it. Sam Houston, the Online Content Manager from Playfish, said that his company leverages Facebook as much as possible to send people into their games or their forums, whatever is valuable to Playfish as a company and to their community managers. For Houston, Facebook is a no-brainer. For everyone else on the panel, figuring out how to utilize Facebook is more of a challenge.

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