Tag Archive

Mass Effect: Andromeda jumps into PAX East

Posted on March 10, 2017 by Meghan Kass

With Mass Effect: Andromeda quickly approaching, PAX East was alive with the anticipation of what was going to be revealed at the development team panel. The main theater was filled with hundreds of voracious, excited fans as the team was prepared to entertain and answer any last minute questions or concerns while showing off the project they worked hard on and were passionate about.

After the team was introduced, they shortly fired up a mission for the game and Ian began to show off some story and gameplay. The team made sure to point out that their new Frostbite engine enabled for some beautiful views of space and mission settings and, fluid, impressive character animations. The change over to the Frostbite engine seemed to be appropriate for the feeling of a new start the team wanted to emphasize, which was mentioned multiple times in the panel. The characters are new and different, the story is more light hearted and the look is more advanced than the previous trilogy. While there were some throwbacks to the previous installments, such as mention of your Shepherd’s gender, loyalty missions and the like, the team wanted to start fresh and try to step forward trying new things for the series, even saying “it’s always exciting to start with a blank page”.



While some fans express concern that Shepherd is not involved and that it is trying to distance itself from previous games, the team only seemed confident that this was the right way to go with the series. They expanded exploration and the environments without making the world feel empty, revamped the battle system by allowing one to switch between favorite roles (such as vanguard or soldier) “on the fly”, the ability to jump and puzzles involving jumping, displaying stats in both multiplayer and single player and even more romance options that seemed to be spoiler free for the panel. The team also addressed the concern over multiplayer affecting story; they stated that multiplayer will no longer be a “story changer” but optional for players to add to the experience. While it appears that the team has learned a lot from past mistakes in Mass Effect games, just like for our new protagonists, it is all a new (and slightly scary) experience and we will all have to see how the final product will turn out March 21st.



A Tabletop Focused PAX Event Is Coming To Philadelphia, PAX Unplugged!

Posted on January 29, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

PAX Unplugged

Do you enjoy table top gaming? How about vividly imagining you are a stealthy rogue or a super strong barbarian? Then you are going to love attending the brand new PAX spin-off event that was recently announced. PAX Unplugged. Taking place between November 17th and 19th this new convention focuses exclusively on tabletop roleplaying games and other offline entertainment activities.  All of this sword wielding, arrow slinging and backstabbing action will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center!

Unlike the gaming focused PAX East, PAX West (formally PAX Prime), PAX Australia and PAX South events PAX Unplugged focuses primarily on tabletop roleplaying, collectable card games, board games and other non-electronic / online entertainment activities. Attendees will also have the chance to check out concerts, panels with industry professionals and themed tournaments.

The official PAX Unplugged site has recommendations for hotels in Philadelphia that are close to the convention center. Tickets are currently no available for PAX Unplugged but they do offer an email blast to potential attendees as well as information for perspective exhibitors.


Jesse Rapczak from Studio Wildcard Answers ARK Community Questions

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Ark: Survival Evolved

At PAX East 2016 we got the chance to ask Jesse Rapczak from Studio Wildcard some questions from the ARK: Survival Evolved community. Topics varied from: Will we ever see popular community mods in the console version of the game? Will we ever get Greek Fire throwables? And most importantly – Why are canons so OP?

Surprisingly Studio Wildcard had a major announcement that happened to coincide with our interview – that Primitive+ and The Center will both becoming to the Xbox One version of ARK: Survival Evolved.  The Center, a fantasy themed map that more than doubles the playable space within ARK will become an official map in both the Xbox One and PC versions of the game later this month. PlayStation 4 players will get access to both mods when that version of the game goes live later this year.

Regarding Primitive+ Cedric Burke, Community Mod Manager at Studio Wildcard wrote on the Xbox News Wire:

When I first opened the development kit and began creating Primitive+, I only had one goal in mind: Provide people with a more immersive experience by expanding upon the primitive nature of the game. Little did I know it would present an opportunity of a lifetime – to have my work seen and played by millions of people. A lot of my childhood dreams were realized simply by opening up the development kit.

[youtube id=”cHegBLR-Rfs”]


LawBreakers was the best game at PAX East

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

The most fun I had playing a game at the recent PAX East convention wasn’t as I had expected one of the many Xbox games on demo (gears 4, Mirrors Edge 2) or even the VR experiences. It was in fact a new twist on the old school genre of the arena shooter. That game is called LawBreakers from Nexon, and it’s incredible. Arena shooter are nothing new, this year alone we have Gearbox and 2K’s cell shaded Battle Born, Blizzard’s massive Overwatch, and now LawBreakers. Arena shooters it would seem are back, and I for one could not be happier. So it should be no surprise that my favorite game was a shooter, but the one it was might surprise you. That game was LawBreakers.

LawBreakers was a bit of a stealth game prior to this PAX, the only thing I had seen for it was a B roll of highlights and a really well done CGI story trailer. Last we heard it was to be a free to play arena shooter with some moba like elements. The game was basically completely off my radar because of that. Now it has reemerged, a resurgent force in the new pantheon of arena shooters. The free to play model is gone, the game will now be exclusive to steam, and everything looks great. Since I hadn’t heard any of this prior to the convention,  I was quite surprised to upon reaching the floor  PAX find that it had a booth of its own, and quite a large one. The booth was adorned with character art, and a large screen playing some highlights of the game.



The roll playing on the large screen in back was what first attracted me to the game, and I was not disappointed. A fast ninja character swung outside the map to reach higher ground, a heavy soldier launched rockets, and a rocket carrying guy fired at his feet to launch himself up the air. My interest was peaked. It turned out that LawBreakers was a fast fun, class based arena shooter, so I got in line to give it a try. Since this was the media hour there weren’t many people waiting and I was able to get in quite quickly. As I settled my butt down in to one of the DxRacer chairs I really had no idea what to expect, I knew this was going to be a shooter with abilities, similar to several other AAA arena shooters scheduled for this year, but it really doesn’t look like those other ones at all. Instead it has the aesthetics of Quake or a Doom, with its own unique twist.

The game is really pretty, and as I got started I couldn’t help but look around at the beautiful world that had been created, but I found myself with no time to admire it as the game was beginning. To get an idea of how fast this game is you really have to play it, but I’ll do my best to describe it. I picked the generic soldier character with a rifle, sprint ability, a grenade, and a rocket launcher that you activated and then it sort of charged up and you could lock on and fire. He also had a secondary weapon that shot a large ball of lightning which a developer explained to me was basically a shotgun.

For this demo we were playing a 5v5 mode which was a sort of a capture the flag where you would pick up the flag which was called a “Battery” and then take it to charging station, where it would slowly charge and when it was full your team scored a point. The game was a timed mode, so the most points at the end of the time won. Our team managed to score two points in about 15 minutes of game play.

My team was composed of two of the fast movement based character Kitsune (classed as an assassin), one me (playing as the Breacher, classed as a gunner) and two Maverick’s (classed as a skirmisher) this was a pretty fair team comp. The skirmisher is a heavy gunner, the assassin is mobile, fragile, DPS unit, and I fell somewhere in between, giving us plenty of movement and ability to counter the enemies heavies and firepower to back it up. The only class missing was the games most advertised a heavy rocket solder called Cronos (classes as a Titan).

Teams thus assembled we began, and oh what a beginning, the battery began in the center and both teams rushed to it. I was also given a sprint ability which made me really much faster than the rest of the other players, but was very limited. So I used it to sprint to the center of the map. The center area of the map we played on (the Grand Canyon) was one of the games signature zero G areas. These areas see you able to jump much higher and sort of float, and are the reason I found this game so unique. Most if not all of the characters in the game have a movement ability, which comes in greatly handy when you’re dealing with an area that has no gravity in it. I found that if I jumped headed for a ledge I would sometimes make it and sometime snot which felt really fun and interesting as a game mechanic

As the game continued I got a little better at this area, and could after some time manage to get myself out of the zero g area by shooting or using grenades. My team eked out a win after about 15 minutes of game play, and it wasn’t easy! The battery was constantly back and forth between our two teams, and the great level design meant that when the battery was in your base charging you couldn’t just camp it because there were too many ways in. I also want to mention that this game features the older school method of a large health pool that does not regenerate. So when you have low healthy (which will happen a lot) you have two options, first you can stay in and maybe die, or you can disengage and go to a health station, of which I found three on the map, and stand in it for a while to regain health.  This was a cool mechanic that I wish more modern shooters would use; I dislike the regenerating health that seems to be the standard, as it seems to encourage small quick engagements and then fleeing.  Each different character also has a different amount of health, so your tanky Titan characters will be able to take more hits than say an assassin Kitsune.

The game does have melee, in the form of a kick, and thank god for that, because otherwise Kitsune (the assassin) would be so overpowered it would be sickening. She’s still quite powerful in the hands of a good player, but others will quickly learn to kick her back and shoot at her to prevent a slicing dicing death.  These little bits of attention to detail, like giving the long range soldier a short range option in his secondary weapon, really made the game feel complete and balanced.

The whole game felt amazing, complete, and ready to go, I didn’t catch any major bugs or errors in my short time playing but I did notice that maps weren’t rotating so it seems like only that one map was ready at the time of the demo.  The gravity elements didn’t feel contrived and all of the classes felt like they were balanced. Each one could do damage, get kills, and do enough damage to be considered viable.  Overall I really cant wait to play this game when it eventually hits shelves.

you can sing up for the Alpha test phase of LawBreakers here.


GameWisp stream tools aims to bring a sub button to the masses

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

GameWisp is a new product designed for streamers who are not partners on Twitch to be able to get themselves the same type of benefits that partners get. The main benefit they provide is a sub button just like the partnered Twitch streamers have.  CTO Eli Hooten was kind enough to take a few moment from his busy PAX schedule to tell us what GameWisp is all about.


Though I have not been able to try GameWisp out yet myself, it seems like it fills a much needed niche in the industry for smaller non-partnered streamers who usually have to risk the minefield that is Paypal to accept donations on their Twitch channels. I have our featured streamer Roblogfett trying it out, and will publish another report once he gets a good feel for how it handles.


Total War: Warhammer Scenario Walk Through with Andy Hall

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Total Warhammer is an upcoming tactical army battle game from SEGA and Creative Assembly. We had the amazing chance to watch a guided play through of one of the games missions with Andy Hall. Andy walked us through an attack scenario where he was playing as the humans and attacking a group of vampire counts. 

During his play through we were able to see many of the games mechanics, including the new ability to control in first person many of the games artillery units, and the improvements that have been made to calvary units to make them feel more impactful. From what I saw and was able to play, the game is taking shape as a wonderful telling of the Warhammer: Fantasy world put in to the frame work of a total war game.

Ill let Andy do most of the telling, but when the video starts up Rae and I are standing next to Andy and he’s about to get down to business with our human faction taking on the Vampire counts. Keep an eye on the screen while you listen to his narration and explanation of whats going on as he fights for the fate of man. 


I for one can’t wait to get my hands on Total War: Warhmmer when it releases on May 24th. 


Knight Squad PAX East Guided Demo & Video

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

ChinsawAwesome’s 8 player indie brawler Knight Squad had their own booth at PAX East and we were able to get a guided tour of the mayhem filled multiplayer title from one of the developers. Players take to the arena was one of several colored Knights with the objective of capturing a chalice placed within the arena.  Just don’t think it will be easy to capture because every player has access to different power-ups and ability pick-ups placed throughout the map!

Last man standing style death match isn’t the only activity isn’t Knight Squad’s only mode – players can also test the strength of their friendships with Medieval Soccer, Capture the Flag, Capture the Grail and more. Knight Squad also supports up to 8 players for chaotic evil online times!

Knight Squad is currently available on Steam and the Xbox Live Marketplace.

[youtube id=”vW_gGwYhns8″]


Hard Reset Redux is simply amazing

Posted on April 27, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Hard Reset is a game from flying Wild Hog game, that came out in 2012. It was the studios first game development effort, and by 2012 standards was a fantastic game. With a Doom like vibe, and an awesome cyber punk setting the game was atmospheric, challenging, and gathered a cult following.Now Flying Wild Hog are returning to their first ever game, with a full engine rebuild, and lots of new tricks under the hood

Hard Reset Redux, is not just a remake of Hard Reset in a new engine, it is so  much more, it has a katana! In all seriousness, new enemies have been added, enemy locations have been changed and the whole game has been overhauled to run better on modern hardware. A quick dash has been added to allow players to escape from enemies in an all new way.

I had the opportunity to speak to a few of the games programmers from Flying Wild Hog, and they were kind enough to allow me to capture video of one of the games giant boss fights.Read More


Borderlands 3 is in developement

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Many people wondered where Gearbox would go after their most recent game Battleborn launches on May 3, now it seems we have our answer. At a panel (which your truly did not attend sadly) yesterday at PAX East studio CEO Randy Pitchford said it’s no secret there’s “going to be another Borderlands. We don’t even know if we’re going to call it” said Picthford. “We could call it Borderlands 4 for all we know.”

Whole Randy can sometimes be a bit eccentric this is essentially a low key announcement that we will indeed be getting another installment in the much loved Borderlands franchise. With three games already completed and several expansions and extra content for the first three and all have been well received so it just makes good sense for them to do another. art director Scott Kester was named in the panel as also heading up this project (so expect the same look as all the other games) while writing will come from Mikey Neumann a veteran of the series, and the head writer for Battle born.


One small hint was dropped as to when this game will take place, Neumann said in the panel about scooter a character whom he voice ““I did this whole Scooter thing, then I pitch-shifted it up like seven semitones so it sounds like a chipmunk and it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard,” said Neumann. He added nothing was official at present, though.” perhaps a child of scooter? Either way I can for sure tell you that the game will feature twisted humor, a lot of bullets, and a decent story line.

Personally I have not played a Borderlands since 2 but maybe a new franchise will convince me that its time to come back to the cell shaded world of tomorrow.


The Many Boothes, Game Stations & Custom Stuff From PAX East

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

The Penny Arcade Expo floor is absolutely massive and it’d almost be impossible for one person to see every game, exhibit and custom piece of kit being shown off. Over the course of the last three days I’ve checked out everything from hardware manufacturers, to Square Enix’s latest offerings to the Indie Mega Booth in search of some of the coolest stuff to be found on the show floor.

Fionna shot an excellent 7 minute floor walkthrough video that gives you a small taste of the PAX East experience.

[youtube id=”VqAjUZDMSVQ”]

Read More


Lucid Sound wants to reinvent gaming heaphones

Posted on April 24, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

How many times have you been out while wearing your gaming headphones and thought “I bet I look pretty un-professional”? If you answered yes to this question Lucid Sound has the answer. Found by a series of alumni from Triton and Mad Catz these folks are no strangers to video game peripherals.  We got a chance to talk to Alex Verrey about the brand new product and I was quite impressed.


For the audiophiles of you out there here are the technical specs of the headset:

Speaker Size: 50mm

Sound Space: Amplified Stereo Sound

Power Output: 70mW 32ohm per channel

Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz

Characteristic SPL: 97 +/-3dB

Lucid Sound also includes 3 EQ Modes already baked in to the headset: Normal, Bass Boost, and Treble Boost

The headset I tried out is the current production model the flagship LS-30. I got to try out the white model of the LS-30 (color makes no difference in quality i just like white headphones).  I found the LS-3o to be extremely comfortable, Alex told me it weighs just 188 grams and so I hardly felt it sitting on my head. Padding was ample with out being obnoxious. He went on to explain that the idea was that this is an everyday headset, to use with your phone or PC to listen to music, but to also use when you are sitting down at your Xbox or playing CS:GO.

To accomplish this goal of every day carrying (EDC) Lucid has done several things, first and easiest to see, these are just dam pretty headphones. Modeled off of hi-end sets like the AT-M50Xs and the Beats range of headphones they are sleek and made of metal and hi grade plastics. Appearance is a huge part of EDC headphones for me, so seeing something as professional looking as the LS-30’s always makes me feel more confident that I look good.

The second thing that’s been done is to remove clunky gaming controls, and integrate all of the controls in to the headset it self. It sounds odd, but its quite intuitive. The volume is a twist of the right ears outer casing, the balance of game vs voice is on the other side. Both controls feel smooth and are easy to use. Tapping one side mutes your mic, with the other silencing the speakers. This has the effect of removing the large amp box that many gaming style headsets come with, and means you can be rocking out to your music one minute, then go right back to your game the next with out fiddling with a bunch of cords.


The LS-30 can be operated either wired in to your choice of sound sources, or wireless with what Alex told us was a “new proprietary loss-less Bluetooth technology”. I got a few minutes of playing some Call of Duty in with the set and I have to say, despite it running on wireless the base was deep, footsteps sounded good, and I couldn’t see much of a difference from my much more expensive “gaming” headset that has wires strung across the floor of my living room.

The unit is fully rechargeable and Alex told us that a brand new set would get up to 12 hours of battery life on a 2.5 hour charge. Many people will appreciate the fact that the boom microphone is removable, but that even with out the boom mike the headset can function as a hands free phone device, as there is a secondary mic tuned for just this purpose. At an MSRP of $149.99, the LS=30 is available at Best Buy, Game Stop, and Newegg. If you are interested in more information you can check out  the Lucid Sound website




Crossout demo’s Beta at Pax East + A Beta Code Giveaway!

Posted on April 23, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Our two winners were: OG Nico Givenchy
Roland Sajovoelgyi



Today at Pax East I had the chance to get a hands on play test of the newest vehicular combat game on the block Crossout, made by Gaijinn entertainment the company’s own Alexander Trifonov gave us an interview and walked us through the basics of the game and Rae got a chance to go hands on. The game is at its core a sort of loot based MMO with vehicles instead of bipedal characters.

The game play looks fantastic, its set in a post apocalyptic world where you spend your time crafting, looting, and driving around blowing things up. The game will be free to play and wont include any feature gating and  will feature some new and interesting mechanics. One of the main Mechanics of the game is building your car. You will start out with a small vehicle, and throughout the game be able get more weapons, and other pieces to add to your vehicle, and even build some new ones.

The whole community of the game will be able to build and share their cars and other types of vehicles with the rest of the game. This means that if you cant decide what you want to build you can just pull something down from the web, and as long as you have the parts you can build it. This aspect means that even the most uninventive person (like my self) will still be able to sport a cool mech like this one.


Is this a Vehicular combat game or METAL GEAR!

Since this is a loot based game your going to spend most of your Time in PvE which is what we got a demo of and what will be most of the games content. The main objective will be to go out blow up vehicles, and bring back their bits, to improve your vehicles.

Building, is only limited by what you can imagine, and the parts you have available. Each vehicle will have weight and an amount of available power, which you can use to fit things on to your to vehicle. Building will be regulated by a 100% controlled player controlled economy. Only players will be able to add or subtract from what is in the game economy. This idea is similar to EVE online where players take control of whats made via blueprints and and mining. For now mostly what we know is that there will drops of crates, which will contain the games items, and players will be able to loot these for later game supplies.

Perhaps most interesting of the features we got to see was how end game content is going to be handled. This is a loot based game, your car will be PvE fighting other cars to get loot drops. Alexander even described the game as being all about loot.  During our preview I was able to see that there are at least four rarities of loot to pick up. So lets say you are a top level player, and you have the very best PvE vehicle you can build. You can make that vehicle in to an PvE end game mob which a group of players can then take on.

If these players manage to defeat your boss mob, they will get some loot, but if your boss mob kills off all of the players, you will be rewarded with some of the players loot. This dynamic will all be tracked on the games leaderboards!

Accorind to what we were told, nothing in the will require money to unlock, all content will be avilable to all players either free or paid, and anyone who buys in with founder packs will retain their items after a final server wipe when the game gets ready for release around December of this year.


If you paint it red does it go faster?

The game is currently in Closed Beta, but we have keys! Make sure to comment on this post if you want get in, and we will do a drawing in a week, on April 30th.


Streamline is fun fast, and wacky

Posted on April 23, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

One of the first things I got to see at PAX this week was Streamline, a new game from Proletariat. The game it self is really quite simple, you play either as the broadcaster, who runs around trying to wack the contestants with a giant stop sign, or as the contestnats who run around collecting pac-man dots of varying values. Thats the whole game. I spent time playing as one of the runners who has access to a variety of jumps and a sprint. Game play is really simple, deceptively so. There are tons of ups and down areas where you can jump, double jump, and wall run to. The complex part comes with the sort of fighting dynamic the game has. You can attack other runners, and the streamer attacks at you with that Sign. The whole thing feels very professor Genki from the Saints Row series. Everything is bright and neon. A lot of particle effects, and whole lot of pastels.

From my brief round with it the game plays fast and loose. Its in Beta right now so im sure there is a lot of tweaking still to do, but perhaps the most interesting thing is how this game is effected by the people watching the stream. Proletariat has built a companion app where the audience can vote, on what effects are applied to the game. So for example they may have wanted to add low gravity, and it will turn up or down the gravity in the game. This aspect really seems like something that bears exploring.




Necropolis Hands-on Video & Details

Posted on April 23, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Delving into the darkest dungeons of gaming can be a fools errand for those who are unaware of their surroundings. Washington based developer Harebrained Schemes hope to take the concept of a challenging dungeon crawler and turn it on it’s head with the addition of rogue-like elements in their upcoming game Necropolis.

Each dungeon in Necropolis is procedurally generated with new item, weapon and enemy placements. The player is tasked with advancing down the dungeon’s many levels, with each floor bringing of a challenge than the last. Upon death the player loses all of their collected weapons and power-ups save for hidden “tomes” – which provide a small skill increase that persists between plays troughs.

The final version of Necropolis will be released on Steam later this summer. Check out our hands on game-play video featuring Harebrained Schemes’ community manager below.

[youtube id=”cKCKI344nJE”]


Get the latest articles and news from BrokenJoysticks and a selection of excellent articles from other sources.

Simply fill out the form below and you’ll be on your way to getting our upcoming newsletter.