Updated Fri, Apr 18, 2014 by Sardu
As the three ring circus known as PAX East continues to evolve, so too has the presence of online gaming for the fifth year of the event. The expo hall that was once sparsely populated by a sprinkling of juggernauts with plenty of breathing room in between has grown into a dense jungle of gamer bliss. The spectacle of the event has reached that arena rock tipping point to be sure.
Amidst all the glamorously packaged demos and determined developers our small team from Ten Ton Hammer did our best to seek out the best the event had to offer. Some titles all but smacked you in the face with their presence – such as the massively marketed WildStar – while others were content to reside slightly off the beaten path.
What we typically do during one of these events is run ourselves ragged for three days solid and attempt to crank out an inhuman amount of coverage while the event is still in full swing. For PAX East 2014 we decided to take a slightly different approach. This time around we were a bit more selective with our appointments, seeking out the best the show had to offer rather than the blanket approach of trying to cover everything but not really being able to do as good a job as we’d like with specific games.
So instead of the all night, caffeine-fueled writing sessions that ultimately lead to skimming the surface of what was genuinely cool about the event, we’re shaking things up a bit. Much like the way we’ll often play an MMO beta event or preview session and allow the experience to sink in a bit prior to putting our thoughts down on virtual paper for our readers, we’ll be doing something quite similar with our coverage from PAX East 2014.
The intent here is to properly reflect upon what each individual appointment in our schedule had to offer, why we found it to be impactful enough to write about, and then do so in our natural habitats rather than while we’re still fighting crappy hotel WiFi (not to mention the wall of white noise news these events tend to generate for their duration), or our brains are slightly muddied from attempting to absorb too much new info in too short a period of time.
To kick things off, we put together a preview of our top picks from the event – the titles that impressed us the most in some way that we’ll further expand upon over the next couple of weeks. As a polite nod to the shift towards community involvement and an increasing amount of transparency during the development process, we’d also encourage our readers to take a look through the titles previewed here and let us know if there are any specifics they’d like to hear more about in our more in-depth follow up articles.
As a final note before we dive into our Ten Ton Top Picks from PAX East 2104, the games covered here are only a cross section of what we’ll be covering over the next couple of weeks. Each game on this list impressed us in meaningful ways, bring cool new ideas into the realm of multiplayer online gaming, or were simply a flat-out fun experience.