Things I played at PAX

  • Horizon: Zero Dawn -
    Game looks good. Demo was short, probably the same one that's been at previous conventions where your goal is to take out some "Watchers" and hack a mount. It might have just been me, but I kept having to look down at the button map to figure out what button I'm supposed to be pressing, but it may just be because I've been playing a lot of simpler games lately, and am out of practice with stealthy third person action RPGs. Also, I'm apparently ass as sneaking up on robots. One of the "goals" of the demo is to stealth kill one of the Watchers, and I got seen all three times. I noticed too late that the mounts will give you away. If they see you, the Watchers know where you are and come hunting for you which makes stealthing them much harder... I had to mele the watchers and killed all three of them that were apparently in the demo, thereby not being able to complete all the objectives. I DID manage to pin down and hack a mount, though I had to chase them for a while since I'd spooked them and the ran off. Game story and dialog so far kinda gives me some Princess Mononoke vibes, and I think I'll be picking this up next year.

    Pyre -
    I'm a big fan of Transistor and I've been looking forward to the followup since I first saw it. The demo I played today was probably like 15 minutes long and it seems like the intro to the game. It introduces the characters and the mechanics for the Rites, which are the sport like game inside the world that seem to be the key to progression and possible "escape" from the world you all seem to be trapped in.
    The Rites seem to take the place of combat in this world, and the mechanics of the game could be described as soccer/football/rugby, kind of where only one of your team of three can move at a time, if he's holding the orb, he cannot attack. You can pass to either of your team mates, but this seems to leave you open to attack by a nearby enemy and when you get attacked, you lose that "team member" for a brief amount of time that can leave you outnumbered. The demo didn't really explicitly detail this, but I get the idea that as the game progresses, your synergy and capability of movement and control over your team could increase to the point where you're seamlessly shifting and positioning your various teammates to exploit and handle different enemy strategies. The intro fight against the first set of NPCs (after the tutorial) seemed to be pretty simple, and you can, once you get used to the movement, easily overwhelm the opponent with your speed character while using the other two to destroy anyone attempting to gain control of the orb.

    Outside of the Rites, you're travelling and talking to your teammates and NPCs. You can also choose every night at camp to read the old tomes (to gain new knowledge and maybe help the team overall in a small way) or train a specific team member and increase their stats and possibly level. There was a third option, but since you were only camped a couple of times during the demo, I didn't choose it, so I can't really remember what it was. There's branching pathways during travel that may have an impact on your resources and quests. I had the option to travel through a town or go through a marsh area, and the town option said that someone in that town owed one of my team members an item, and the marsh option had a good chance of gathering supplies. It seems like you cannot travel if you run out of supplies, as you caravan is driven by tiny creatures of some kind, so there'll be some kind of resource management aspect to the game.

    Overall, in the 15ish minutes I played, it was beautiful, kind of easy, and interesting. I'm not sure I got a real firm grasp on the world as immediately as I did in Transistor, but I will also say that I'm excited to play it and learn more about the world and it's challenges.

    Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Edition HD -

    I was hoping to check out the differences between what I remember and the ZJS, but I couldn't remember how to access the grid or look at the jobs or anything. The Graphics look nice. The fast speed mode is cool, but is kind of wacky and twitchy... Everything runs at like 3x speed, making enemy encounters kind of button mashy. Still looking forward to getting back into this. Will probably look into the Zodiac Job system more before the game comes out though, since I have no idea what to expect or how that influences the game.