This year's PAX Prime, which once again took place in the heart of Seattle, Washington, was well met by the thousands who got to score some great swag while playing upcoming games and chatting with the community through board games and multiplayer sessions.
Of course, leave it to us to figure out ten definitive moments from the event that really made the trip for us. These were all so hard to decide, but we finally voted on our favorites. In no particular order, here are the top ten things we'll take away from this year's PAX.
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
Hideo Kojima not only celebrated the 25th anniversary of his beloved Metal Gear franchise with his fans, but he also unveiled a great new PlayStation 3 project, one featuring the return of Big Boss as he infiltrated a prison base. Though the gameplay was too brief for its own good, the new engine it's using is showing an immense amount of promise. We'll have a preview soon.
The Oculus Rift
Ladies and gentlemen, VR is back. Well, sort of. The Oculus Rift, successfully funded through a KickStarter program, is a headset that projects awesome 3D imagery and real-time head movement through a visor that straps on to your head. It's a little surreal at first -- and after you take it off -- but it’s a wonderful project with a great future ahead of it. It's just a shame we couldn't take a review unit home. Ah, well. Soon…
Gearbox Software Panel
We already did a full recap of this in a previous article here at Prima Games, but we couldn't help but bring back up how wonderful Gearbox treated its loyal fan base at what was obviously the most popular panel at the event. They didn't disappoint, showing off a number of new features for Aliens: Colonial Marines and Borderlands 2, while also providing information on the forthcoming revamp of its Furious 4 project. And of course, everyone got to go home happy with Borderlands 2 season passes. Yay!
Edge of Reality had one of the better independent multiplayer experiences on the floor with Loadout, a game that, at first, looks like a mod to Valve's more popular Team Fortress 2, but has a few interesting tricks that make it more original than most wanna-bes on the market. We'll have a preview in the weeks ahead…it'll be worth the wait.
Chatting with Warren Spector about Epic Mickey 2
Warren Spector actually sat down with us to talk one-on-one about his team's upcoming Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, as well as walk us through the new level that he's added into the game, one loosely based on the Disneyland attraction Frontiertown. Though he didn't discuss everything in the stage, he went into quite a bit of detail, and continued to show his passion for everything video games. We'll have a preview for you in the weeks ahead.
Frag Dolls/Twitch TV Assassin's Creed III Party
PAX Prime was home to a number of great parties over the week, including Avery Alix's shindig, Destructoid's bar mixer, the Minecraft party (which was a little too full for its own good) and the Hawken bash. However, if one true party stands out in our minds, it's the Frag Dolls/Twitch TV Assassin's Creed III ball. Not only were the drinks free and plenty of the female gamer team on hand to chat, but there was also a crazy Assassin's Creed III photo booth, which we happily took advantage of. And to end the night, the DJ played "Gungnam Style", much to everyone's delight.
Bethesda came to PAX Prime in full force with not only Doom 3: BFG Edition, but also its highly respected first-person action game Dishonored. Featuring a new stage that takes place during a ballroom party, the demo requires you to question guests as you hunt for a specific target, then sets conditions before you can move in for the kill. It's tricky, borderlining on impossible, but a great way to see what lies in store with your abilities. We'll have a preview soon!
The return of Twisted Pixel and the Behemoth
Many PAX favorites made a return in 2012, including two companies that continue to be well over with fans. Twisted Pixel returned with some of their older favorites, while also showcasing a new build of Ms. Splosion Man on the iPad and some early gameplay from its forthcoming LocoCycle. (Check out our impressions, which are up now.) As for the Behemoth, they came back with plenty of figures, as well as Battleblock Theater and the traditional Castle Crashers four player arcade game. Good times! Also earning points was Telltale Games, who were big hits with fans thanks to The Walking Dead t-shirts and zombie turkey legs. Yum!
Steve Wiebe Going For Records At GameWorks
Steve Wiebe, the former top-scorer for Donkey Kong, came to PAX with one goal in mind -- to dominate Disney's arcade game Fix It Felix Jr. Featured in the upcoming movie Wreck-It Ralph, the game definitely has a classic vibe to it, and is available for download now (for free) in the App Store and other mobile devices. Wiebe managed to set a record -- though it was temporary, as several other lucky players topped him and got free screenings of the film as a reward.
Nariko, Sir Dan and Raiden For PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale
Finally, three key additions were made to the roster for Sony's upcoming Smash Bros.-esque fighter, and they're vital parts to the cast. Heavenly Sword's Nariko returned to the gaming scene, packing thunderous blades and a few nasty attacks that will send her opponents reeling. Sir Dan from Medieval also hacked and slashed his way into the brawler, complete with supernatural abilities and a goofy grin. Finally, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance's Raiden will do some major damage in All Stars, complete with a devastating super attack or two. This one should be hot when it arrives this November for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita.
What were your favorite moments? Sound off in the comments below!