PAX East 2014 was full of new game reveals and gameplay demos from both AAA developers and Independent developers, which bodes well for the industry as a whole. If anything, this trade show of sorts has shown that the Indie game movement is here to stay for good, and that the games being made by smaller studios are highly coveted by both new and old gamers alike. That’s not to say that the AAA developed games have lost a step either, because there were more than a few mega-titles at PAX East that garnered lines of gamers that wrapped around the show floor.
Over the past few weeks we have diligently provided previews of some of the games we checked out while at the show, but now it’s time to play the ranking game, because we know how much gamers love to sort things and place numerical values on them. With that being said we wanted to approach this “Best of PAX East 2014” piece with both AAA and Indie games being ranked in their own lists. Below you’ll find the top five AAA games from PAX East 2014, as well as the top five indie games.
Top 5 AAA Games From PAX East 2014
5. Orcs Must Die! Unchained – Robot Entertainment
Robot Entertainment has reinvented the Orcs Must Die! franchise with its latest offering – Orcs Must Die! Unchained. Rather than just being a co-op title, Unchained opts for a new twist in the series by employing a brand new multiplayer gameplay model. Two teams must now battle it out in Fortress Siege style gameplay on brilliantly designed and lovely looking maps that promote strategy over brute force. Teams must use a balance of offensive and defensive measures to win the day, so if you’re more of a lone wolf this game won’t bode well for you. The game is set to hit PCs sometime in 2014, and will incorporate a free-to-play model. You can read the full EB preview here.
4. WildStar – Carbine Studios
Make no mistake, WildStar isn’t an indie title by any means. This massive MMO from Carbine Studios had one of the largest booths at PAX East, as well as advertising banners sprinkled throughout the streets of Boston. With that being said, it’s also deserving of that amount of attention and promotion. WildStar looks to be the first real contender in the MMO space to give WOW any sort of challenge. Its slick Pixar inspired visuals give it a unique look and feel, and it’s massive 40v40 Warplot matches promise to be some of the most intense PvP action to hit the Internet in quite some time. If you’ve been wanting to get back into the MMO scene WildStar should be the game to welcome you back to 10+ hour game sessions, and endless gallons of Mountain Dew consumption. Prepare for your social life to end on June 3, 2014. You can check out the full EB preview here.
3. Murdered: Soul Suspect – Square Enix
This detective drama with an ethereal twist was one of the more surprising AAA games that we played at PAX East 2014. Its gameplay is reminiscent of L.A. Noire and Heavy Rain’s sleuthing missions with a splash of Ghost. Solving crime scenes as a dead guy is much more engaging and fun than it sounds, and the main character Ronan is interesting enough to want to learn more about his checkered past. If you’re up for a new take on third-person gameplay, then you should definitely plan on checking out Murdered: Soul Suspect when it releases on June 3rd. You can check out the full EB preview here.
2. Evolve – Turtle Rock Studios
Evolve was easily the most popular draw at PAX East, as it had lines of gamers patiently waiting to play its 4V1 multiplayer demo for hours on end each day of the show. The whole 4V1 gameplay model is fresh and unique, and it’s most definitely a blast to play the role of the Goliath. On the other hand, if you love teamwork and strategy, playing as one of the four hunters is also a seriously enjoyable endeavor. The gameplay is tight, and looks slick thanks to the game being developed only for the new consoles and PC. Turtle Rock’s experience with the Left 4 Dead franchise is immediately clear the first time you fire up a 4V1 match, so if you enjoyed blasting zombies with friends, you’ll surely feel the same way about Evolve. At this time an official release date has yet to be announced, but the game should ship in 2014. You can check out the full EB preview here.
1. Wolfenstein: The New Order – MachineGames
No, we’re not high on drugs, MachineGames’ Wolfenstein: The New Order is easily the most fun AAA game we had a chance to play while at PAX East. Its wild take on WWII and the Third Reich will capture your attention the moment BJ gets awoken by flak being shot at his plane. The first person gameplay is both challenging and rewarding thanks to the perk system, and the level of gore is obscenely awesome. Dual wielding assault rifles is more manly than Chuck Norris, and blasting Nazis into shiny little giblets never gets old. Wolfenstein: The New Order is easily the most surprisingly fun game of 2014, and based on the 2-hour demo we got to play, it also has potential to be included in GOTY conversations. You can get your hands on this title May 20th, so in the mean time you can check out the full EB preview here.