PAX East 2013 News Roundup

PAX East isn’t known for big announcements and this year was no exception. However, there were a few noteworthy tidbits to come out of this year’s convention.

DuckTales Remastered

Sorry, let me compose myself for a minute. It’s a remake of the classic NES game based on the classic Disney cartoon, both of which we all know and love. In addition to the graphical updates, WayForward seems to have added a bit to the game as there are some parts of that trailer that I don’t recognize.

My only question (besides an actual release date) is about the music. The Moon level’s music is considered to be among the best pieces of music written in the 8-bit era. I’m hoping that the original music for that level comes back but as long as that piece comes back in some form or another.

Firaxis had a couple of interesting tidbits for us from their panel at PAX East. First was some good news for the Apple folk. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is coming to Mac on April 25th. They are also porting it over to iOS with a planned summer release date. It’s kind of amazing how far mobile devices have come along that they have the power to run a game for this console generation that also won its fair share of awards last year. This is big for adding to the legitimacy of mobile as a gaming platform… Unless you’re on BlackBerry like me.

There was also a teaser for a new piece of XCOM content. The teaser shows The Council’s spokesman warns you that there’s a new threat before being cut-off. Whether this signals a new game or an expansion, we don’t know. I do know that more XCOM is definitely a good thing.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Blizzard announced a new game and they even say that it’ll come out soon. Even they admitted that they don’t mean Blizzard soon but actually soon.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is an entry into the free-to-play market for Blizzard. It’s card game in which you play as one of WoW’s nine classes, collect cards and battle people online. The game was described as Magic: The Gathering with Warcraft characters.

It doesn’t look particularly exciting but I’ve not been one for card games as standalone video games. The card game minigames in the Final Fantasy series, for example, were fine. I wouldn’t play one as a standalone game, though. It’ll be interesting to see if this dies a quick and silent death or actually grows a following.

Saints Row IV
New Saints Row publisher Deep Silver have announced that the next entry into the franchise is coming out on August 20th of this year. Their announcement also indicated that this would be the final game in the Saints Row series.

In SR4, the Saints are now running the country. The boss has been elected the President of the United States (a job that was originally intended for Stephen Colbert but that doesn’t seem to be happening). The game doesn’t take place in a Saints run Washington or America but in a giant simulation after aliens invade.

A hands-on demo wasn’t available for this game but reports say that it looks very similar to Saints Row The Third. Apparently, the plot is also very similar to what was planned for the Enter the Dominatrix DLC for SR3 that was cancelled. I hope Deep Silver has deep pockets because I just get the feeling that this one isn’t going to be as successful as previous instalments, especially with GTA 5 dropping less than a month later.

Mass Effect
BioWare had a Mass Effect retrospective panel at PAX East in which they went over the Shepard trilogy, the upcoming Mass Effect 4 that BioWare would rather we didn’t call ME4 and the Mass Effect movie (which I think is a terrible idea but let’s leave that for another day).

First, Casey Hudson says that he’ll still be a producer on the series but he’ll be sticking around in the Edmonton studio while BioWare Montreal does the development. In a very vague tease, Hudson described the upcoming game as “something fresh and new” though he did note that they’re “starting to get ready to develop” the next game. From the sounds of it, we’re still some years from ME4.

As for Hudson, he says he’ll be developing a new universe with a team of Mass Effect bosses. I just hope that they have their plans for a continuing saga ready before finishing the first game. That includes the eventual ending.

Elsewhere, BioWare released an infographic about how people played ME3. Hudson also briefly mentioned the Mass Effect movie which is being produced by Legendary Pictures. He didn’t give any info away but apparently it’s not dead. That’s a shame because there’s a lot of stuff in those games to cram into a two-hour movie.


About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on March 25, 2013, in Games and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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