PAX East 2013 has come to an end, and this year's lineup of games was impressive. The event was absolutely packed, but luckily it was very well-managed. Crowds and long lines prevented me from playing most games, but I was able to watch and even privately preview many. Here are the top three games I'm looking forward to playing after seeing them at PAX East 2013.
1. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
This game absolutely blew me away (my full review can be found here); the wait to privately view the preview was nearly two hours, but it was worth it. Beautiful scenery, landscapes, and features such as improved naval battle have me more excited for this game than I have been for any game in years.
Set in 1715 in the Caribbean islands during the golden age of pirates, players will get to experience a beautiful, tropical, Caribbean island complete with coastal villages and harbors, sandy beaches, and a vast inland rainforest. Underwater exploration will also be possible, which looks gorgeous and thrilling. It's currently set to release on October 29, 2013.
2. Elder Scrolls Online
Though I didn't have time to wait in line for this game and experience it hands-on, the massive video screen looping an impressive trailer was enough to sell me. The trailer boasted beautiful graphics that surpass those of any other game in the MMORPG genre, along with stirring battle scenes depicting mass battlefields and epic medieval weaponry.
Giant dragons and other monsters such as mammoths will apparently populate the land as well, which should provide a winning formula for fans of fantasy-RPGs. According to Wikipedia, the game has been under development for over five years, which means it's sure to be packed with rich content and adventure. It's slated to launch in mid-to-late 2013.
This is another game I had the pleasure of privately previewing. The game is set, Grand Theft Auto style, in a futuristic Chicago, where almost everything is connected and automated via artificial intelligence; traffic lights, security cameras, vehicles, ATMs, and even personal cell phones. Players will play as Aiden, a stealthy, James Bond-type character who has somehow figured out how to hack into this artificial intelligence network, allowing him to manipulate almost anything in the network freely with his cell phone.
The video depicts Aiden using his cell phone to access private information about people walking down the street, hacking ATMs to withdraw money, manipulating security cameras, and even derailing a train. It's a futuristic stealth thriller that has me excited to delve into its story and essentially become a high-powered super hacker in a real-life environment.