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Five awesome things to come out of PAX this year

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PAX East has come and gone (a couple of weeks ago, to be honest), but I can’t help feeling like maybe we neglected the poor expo a little this year. Or I’ve just run out of things to write about, you decide.

Regardless, there were some pretty awesome things to come out of the expo this year, and in case you didn’t manage to catch everything, I’ve highlighted my five favourite; from hardware releases to awesome indies to a laptop so beautiful it brought me to tears. Find out what has me considering grand larceny, after the jump.

The scoop on the Steam Controller

The Steam Controller was on show for all comers to have a go at at this year’s PAX East, but it was PC Gamer who got the scoop of the expo – the controller’s release date.

A “trusted hardware source” (how Deep Throat, you have to love it) told the gaming magazine that Valve’s new toy will be arriving “in October or November” of this year.

Not only that – SteamOS will reportedly be shipping with “about 500” natively playable games. That’s a launch line-up that’s pretty damned hard to rival.

So far most hands-on accounts of the controller haven’t been all that positive, so it remains to be seen how well it’ll perform when working alongside its specialised operating system.

Source: PC Gamer

It's got to be good guys, right...?

It’s got to be good guys, right…?

Fenix Rage

I spent an ungodly number of sadomasochistic hours playing 2D platformer Super Meat Boy, so you can bet that self-loathing part of me pricked its ears up when hearing about Fenix Rage, a new platform title that’s said to be just as mind-bendingly difficult.

Our hero Fenix has the ability to jump infinite times in mid-air, as well as acquire the properties of whatever material he lands on. Jumping onto a lava block, for example, will allow you to smash through ice.

The most important thing in a game like this is the control – which reports so far claim to be excellent. It sounds challenging, frustrating, and fun as hell. I’m pretty damned excited for this one.

Source: Gamespot

MSI’s insane new gaming laptop

I have an Asus gaming laptop that’s getting a little long in the tooth, but despite these generally being a somewhat poor investment I can’t help getting all teary-eyed every time I see a new one. They’re just so… beautiful.

And MSI’s GS60 Ghost Pro is about as beautiful as it gets. Try not to openly weep while I rattle off these specs: Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 870M with 6GB of GDDR5 RAM, Intel’s quad-core, 2.4GHz Core i7-4700HQ, a 128GB SSD drive alongside a 1TB HDD (drool) and 16GB of DDR3-1600 RAM to hold it all together.

Yup, I did just say an SSD-HDD combo. Oh, did I mention the 3K display yet? Or how about it’s compact, thin and relatively light 15.6” form factor?

There’s something about that amount of power in that pretty a package that gets me all hot and bothered. Pity about the R20K+ price tag.

Source: TechRadar

So pwetty.

So pwetty.

Fascinating roguelike Darkest Dungeon

Roguelikes seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment, and apparently there were several million to choose from at PAX East (citation needed).

I’ve never been a huge fan myself, but one in particular caught my eye – Darkest Dungeon, a Kickstarter-funded title from Red Hook Studios.

What sets this particular game apart from its brethren is its use of mental health as a gameplay mechanic. Your character will accumulate “stress” through various encounters (and non-stop battling, of course), which can manifest in a number of different ways – anger, depression, paranoia, sadism, among others.

If you don’t manage your hero’s stress correctly, these mental states can create significant gameplay challenges. If done right, it sounds interesting. If done poorly, it’ll be an annoying, game-ruining gimmick.

What can I say, I’m an optimist.

Source: PC Gamer

Evolve looks ridiculously badass

As far as co-op titles go, this has got to be one of the best I’ve ever seen. It has a kind of Left 4 Dead feel to it (unsurprising, since it’s the same developer), but for me it’s a lot more interesting than the standard zombie fare getting churned out right now.

In Evolve, four players team up against a fifth player. Sound unfair? What if I told you the fifth player controls a massive freakin’ monster?

Yup, as the team of four, you have to hunt down your hulking, Godzilla-like friend. On maps which are reportedly “as large as a Battlefield map”. You’ll spend a good deal of time actually hunting the monster down, at which point you have to work as team to take it down.

What I like about this game is that teamwork is crucial – going alone will absolutely not end well for you. There are four distinct classes with unique abilities – Assault, Medic, Support and Trapper.

Assault and Medic do about what you’d expect, but Support has the ability to permanently shield someone (while leaving him/herself vulnerable) and the Trapper can create a giant battledome to lock you and your team in with the monster.

It’s unique, it’s interesting, it’s pretty, and I think it’s going to be awesome.

Source: Tom’s Guide

  • Byron Will-Noel

    I’m seriously considering the GS60 for my next upgrade from my GE70. It’s been great, but just too bulky for someone who moves around a lot. The GS60 might be what I’m looking for. I’m not sure I would take the 3k screen variant though.

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