Day 2 and 3 of PAX East has come and gone and man, it was such a good time! We got to meet and talk to many more developers, try a ton of games, and see so much that is being offered! So, let's dive in to some of the awesome video games we tried!
We started off heading to Raw Fury and playing some more of their games. We started with Pizza Possum, an arcade-style hide-and-seek game. As a possum, you will have to run around the world, stealing as much food as possible while avoiding the guard dogs. Utilize new items to distract or blend in, all while exploring a beautiful landscape to look at!
Before this, I never heard of Pizza Possum, but I am so glad I played it. The game is really enjoyable and the concept is really simple. Get the food, stay out of the guard dogs sight, and get even more food. You will get new items and unlocks based on how much food you have eaten and how big your score is when you get caught, which changes the way you can play the game and get past the dogs! The full game should also have local co-op, which sounds like an even better time! It does have gamepad controls, and with how it looks and seems to run, this could be a great Steam Deck game.
Next, we headed over to try out Superfuse, which feels incredible to play. It combines some of the greatest elements of games like Diablo with some unique mechanics like the fusing system. All of that with a stylized comic-book look and it becomes this addicting and gorgeously presented game.
I personally love the look and gameplay mechanics presented here. Using superpower-like abilities with the ability to fine-tune it the exact way you want to is fantastic. The Raw Fury rep told us of one ability he would use to essentially turn a simple wall of fire into a devastating blaze that shoots out in multiple directions, which sounds like it is devastating and so cool. As you level up, your DNA/skill tree will grow and you can keep unlocking new abilities and find new ways to make your character your own.
With the character customization, you will also be able to enjoy online co-op to take on your enemies with a friend. Though the best part is, you can enjoy this one now! Superfuse is currently in Early Access for $25 and has plans to bring on new story content, a new hero, new loot, and controller support (YES). We can't wait to dive into this one on the Deck!
I am not a big boxing game fan. I have enjoyed them in the past, but I never really fell in love with them or felt compelled to play more. Undisputed has changed that for me. The first licensed boxing game in years, Undisputed brings in a sense of realism with over 50 licensed fighters, gorgeous visuals, and physics-driven interactions that make each fight feel so lifelike.
I played this one with Shelby, our CTO, and I knocked him out 3 times! The game looked and felt way too realistic and intricate with you being able to damage different body parts and see a bar to see how much swelling or how many cuts each fighter has. There are no comments on Steam Deck support just yet, but the game itself looks and feels phenomenal. It is in Early Access right now for $30.
As a prequel to Road 96, we will be able to start exploring the past of Zoe and Kaito. This is more of a rhythm game and a big departure from Road 96, but it is fantastic. The levels I played feel varied and very stylized, with the two there having very drastic visual differences, and the music is awesome. I wasn't super good at the game, but I did have way too much fun playing and experiencing the music and the exciting ways it was displayed.
I also loved how the story is being told. Just like Road 96, Mile 0 will have multiple endings (to a lesser extent), but I personally love how the visual depictions of how the character's feel are presented. In one of the levels, Zoe is leaving home when her father doesn't want her to. But in the level, she is skating away and her father is running after her, growing bigger and bigger into a giant who chases you up a building. This can signify that she is feeling suffocated and overwhelmed by how much her father tries to stop her, seeing him as a giant obstacle. It is beautiful and I honestly can't wait to play this on the Deck.
Dead Island 2:
I don't know how much more I can say about this insane open-world action game, but god damn it is fun. Playing it, I absolutely loved how the game performs, feels, and how they have expanded on the original. The flesh system was such a joy to play around with and the little details put in made it feel much more authentic. If I slashed with a blade, cuts would appear on the zombies. If I hit their mouth, their jaw could come off and start swinging around, slightly attached to their face. Limbs could be cut off dynamically, faces could be morphed, it was a blast.
Then we have the elemental effects and how they interact with the world. Zombies in Dead Island 2 sometimes have elemental attacks like lightning screamers, so you need to choose your weapons wisely with them instead of mindlessly bashing with a singular weapon. You can also use your surroundings like bringing zombies into a spot where water is coming down and using electricity attacks to continue shocking them. There is even bullet penetration so if you shoot a zombie with grenades or something explosive on its back, it will penetrate the body and could hit whatever is behind them to explode.
The attention to detail has captured me and immediately made me want to play this game as much as possible. While we do know it will have some form of FSR, it will not be making its way to Steam. As of right now, it will only be launching for EGS, which doesn't mean it won't run on the Deck, but it is a little more up in the air.
Next, we got to check out Everspace 2. We had a nice talk with the team and man, the game sounds like there is a LOT going on to enjoy here. Marketed as a looter-shooter over a space game, you will go through the story after choosing one of the varied ship classes. After that, you will complete missions, get into frantic dogfights, and customize your build to a tee. And with full controller support, this will be one to really enjoy on the Deck.
One of the things I really loved seeing here is the emphasis on how influential the community can be. ROCKFISH really takes to heart what the community has to say and wants to improve the game, so they are actively listening and taking to heart the praise and criticisms they get. For a game like this with post-release content planned, this is incredible to hear and gives me a lot of confidence in what they are bringing to the table.
Ever since I saw this dark and gloomy 2D metroidvania, I was hooked on it. The world of Animal Well is so stylized and breathtaking in its design that it was hard to leave it. With items you will get to manipulate your environment, you will explore an interconnected labyrinth to reveal the many secrets within. The game plays flawlessly on the Steam Deck, which I was able to test thanks to BIGMODE having Steam Decks ready to try the game on!
Ever since BIGMODE was created, I have loved what it stood for and watched out for what games were going to come from this publishing label. I also got to meet Videogamedunkey and Leahbee while we were there, both of whom are incredibly nice, and I am looking forward to discussing the publishing label with them more in the future.
Navigate through high school while killing weirdo humans and horrible demons in this beautiful RPG. Use streamlined tactics to take out your enemies. Using your wits, you will plan out your attacks, seeing how they effect your ideas, before you actually attack the enemy. Plan your school schedule and get to know 15 characters that you can build relationships with.
The game takes on some heavy influences from multiple games, but the biggest and most apparent ones are Persona 1 and 2. The viewpoint is uncanny due to the viewpoint of the camera and, but pair it with the social system and you will get a relaxing and enjoyable game we can all enjoy! The game has full gamepad support and should have no chance of not being able to run on the Steam Deck.
This is a unique one here. I actually didn't try any of Toge Productions games while I was there, but I have played them in the past (Coffee Talk is fantastic). I did get the chance to sit down with them and talk though, which was a big highlight for me. I love that their studio prioritizes the passion and heart in each of the games they develop and publish, which you can really see from the games they release.
I also got to speak to the director of A Space for the Unbound and learn more about their process and influences for the game. The amount of care and love that was put in, as well as personal influences, make this game feel so much more real and authentic than others that do something similar. If you haven't checked this game out yet, please do so. I personally love this studio and I can't wait to dive further into the game.
Angry Mob Games
We went and checked out Angry Mob's upcoming game, Trinity Fusion and damn...it is really good. This 2.5D rogue-lite platformer is addicting and feels fantastic on the Steam Deck. You are tasked to save the multiverse, and to do this, you will have to team up with 2 alternate versions of yourself to combine the worlds and keep everyone from dying. You will constantly get new gear and need to dodge and destroy your enemies. It definitely won't be easy, but it will be fun.
Angry Mob Games came to PAX ready for us and had a Steam Deck in-hand as we came to their booth. After playing for a bit though, I left away massively impressed. With no TDP cap, the game kept a solid 60 FPS the entire time, apart from some minor stuttering loading in new maps. There were a couple areas that spiked battery drain to 22W, but overall, it stayed around 11W - 13W and felt very fluid. The team also hasn't gone through the full optimization ring yet and primarily focused on the stable framerate, which I can confidently say they have achieved. If this keeps up, it will definitely be an essential game on the Deck!
As an astronaut, you are sent to go investigate some weird occurrences happening on the moon. When you get there, you will be met by full cities and civilizations that you will get to investigate. This will just be the beginning and the more you discover, the deeper secrets you will uncover.
Lifeless Moon is a spiritual successor to Lifeless Planet and while it continues the same psychological themes from before, there is a bigger emphasis on puzzles this time. I felt the demo they showed off was a little out of place and just dropped you in with little context, but it definitely peaked my curiosity. I would consider it a success from that viewpoint!
With heavy influences from Final Fantasy Tactics and similar games, Arcadian Atlas shines with its emphasis on story and unique artstyle. While most games like this will generally be anime themed, this one decides to go a very different route and I love it. While the game is projected to be around 10-12 hours, the mechanics being introduced make me very excited for what is being brought to the table. Having spells or environmental effects being able to affect multiple tiles is fantastic! This is a personal game I can't wait to play on the Deck.
Berzerk Studio/The Arcade Crew
We got to try out the newest update coming to Infernax too, which adds in full local co-op to the game! This 2D castlevania-inspired game is incredible to say the least, so adding in multiplayer takes it to a whole new level. This wasn't just an easy drag and drop situation either, the entire story and mechanics needed to be re-worked to account for 2 people instead of just 1. Not only did the team succeed here, but they went over and above. From upgrading the characters to making each of the 3 feel distinct, this is going to be a fun time.
There will be no online co-op for this title either. It is only couch co-op or local multiplayer, but you can use Steam's Remote Play feature to play online. You can also play solo and swap out the characters on the fly as you please. Overall, this is definitely an amazing game to play and runs amazing on the Steam Deck. The Deux or Die update will be available on April 5th.
Going into another co-op game, this one saw all 3 of us sitting down and trying to work together. This top-down co-op shooter with roguelite elements is phenomenal in its presentation and really addicting to play. Though it was not the greatest team building game as the first thing both my colleagues did was kill me themselves. What a great team we are. Overall, I want to play the game more and feel it has so much potential to be an incredible experience. Ocean Drive definitely has something beautiful cooking here and we can't wait for the release (and it has full controller support).
I can’t say too much about what we saw with Apogee Entertainment, since it is under embargo, but the games we saw are fantastic. Definitely watch out for these games and announces from them this year, and yes, we will be covering them! That's really the most we can sat right now, but the team there is great and the games are even more exciting!
Brace Yourself Games
FTL meets Slay the Spire in this gorgeous game! Cobalt Core will take you through a procedurally-generated map, fighting enemies and upgrading your cards. You will have around 130+ cards that can all be upgraded in 1 of 2 paths, which brings the total with upgrades to over 400!
There will be multiple characters you can recruit to your crew, which will have some effect on the cards you draw. Each character has their own personality and story, which you’ll be able to discover the more you play. And they pay way more attention to what you do than you would think! It will have controller support on release and be fully playable on the Steam Deck!
One of our favorite and most hectic multiplayer games we played, Super Raft Boat Together will have everyone running around to destroy the enemies and build out your raft. Collect trinkets to give permanent effects and choose one of the characters and weapons to play with, all with their own unique strengths. You will face off enemies in rounds and then head to shops to spend your hard earned cash on hearts and trinkets to keep on going until you hit the boss to get as far as possible!
Man, this game is hectic in all the right ways. I was able to play with 2 others and it was such a good time! We all had to plan around each other a bit and choose weapons to complement each other. I will say it did feel a little bit too distracting at times, I did get lost a couple of times, but overall, I still had such a good time. And with gamepad support, I believe this will be a great game on Deck!
The Necrodancer is back in a new spin off that takes the series in a new direction! Rift of the Necrodancer takes it to a new level, bringing in some more traditional rhythm gameplay similar to Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Rift mode will put you on a 3 lane rail where you will have to hit the up, left, and right arrows to the beat. There will be a good list of songs, boss rush, mini-games, online leaderboards, and even mod support!
As someone who really loves rhythm games, and grew up with Guitar Hero, this game completely spoke to me! The music is incredible and the mini-games feel quite varied. I also got confirmation that a dance pad will be supported with this game too, which I think is really awesome. Mod support is coming as well, which means more people will be able to make content here, and that means there will always be more!
And those are the big games we checked out on days 2 and 3 of PAX East! We will be going over our final day's highlights tomorrow, and some more to talk about very soon!
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