Find us on Facebook

PAX East Day 2 – Wrap Up

Another day has passed at the Penny Arcade Expo East and yet more fun was had by tens of thousands of video game fans in Boston. was present to learn all about the upcoming hits of 2013.

Saints Row IV has had a perilous journey.  Its original publisher THQ went out of business at the tail end of 2012, sending it to limbo for a few months.  Announced just a few days ago, the game is already back on track thanks to Deep Silver and Square Enix.  It combines the developer Voliton’s original plans for Saints Row IV with some ideas from the cancelled Saints Row III expansion pack Enter The Dominatrix.  Although it wasn’t playable, a lengthy gameplay demo was shown.

Following a natural progression of the story, the leader of the Third Street Saints has become President of the United States, and gained super powers.  Now players will use their presidential authority and super-human might to save the Earth from a race of malevolent aliens called the Zin.  The free-roaming mayhem showed off powers not seen in the previous Trouble With Clones DLC, and these abilities include Ice, Telekinesis, and super jumps.  Saints Row IV is definitely looking like a healthy dose of fan service for anyone who enjoyed the antics of the previous games in the series.

Ubisoft was showing its line up of blockbuster franchise games, notably the new Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed games.  These weren’t playable, but the publishershowed players a large section of a mission in Splinter Cell Blacklist and demonstrated how the “Active Sprint” will be used to make Sam Fisher quickly sneak around the levels, rapidly killing enemies without ever being noticed.  The slow pace and methodical stalking of enemies from the early games in the franchise is gone, replaced by a system where Fisher “should never have to stop moving.”

The next installment in Assassin’s Creed also works the word “Black” into the title.  Here it’s Black Flag, a nod to the the new pirate theme.  In Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, players will take to the seas of the 18th Century Caribbean as a “Pirate trained by assassins”.  video from the pre-alpha build was shown, but it sill conveyed the piratical mechanics involved in the naval combat and cutlass swordplay.  Despite the piracy, many of the traditional elements of the series are still present, including a focus on stealth.

A new IP coming out of Ubisoft is Watch Dogs.  This new game is set in a world where the ubiquitous use of mobile technology has resulted in omnipresent surveillance.  The protagonist is a man who rebels against these all-seeing eyes, and uses this city-wide network for an unknown purpose.  The non-playable demo showed elements of parkour (A major theme in several of Ubisoft’s upcoming games), and a versatile ability to utilize the environment to disable enemies with tricks like controlling mass transit, or causing electronic devices to overload.

PAX attendees who braved the Boston cold could attend an after party held by Bethesda who were promoting their upcoming Elder Scrolls MMO.  Everyone who came received a pouch of coins that could be exchanged for flagons of beer and exotic foods from the far corners of Tamriel.

PAX East heads into its final day on Sunday, and Explosion with be back with a final wrap up on the gaming news to come out of the Expo.

Charles is a proud contributor to Explosion, as well as the Xbox/ PC Department Lead at Player Affinity, a weekly columnist for Default Prime, a reviewer at The Indie Game Magazine, and a Special Agent at the U.S. Department of Electronic Entertainment.