There were a lot of things to see and do at PAX Prime 2012 this year. I can't tell you about everything, but I can tell you about a lot of things. Over the next few days I will take a look at some the upcoming games and hardware that were featured at PAX Prime 2012.
Our first stop is Trion Worlds the publisher of Defiance. In conjunction with developer Crytek, they are co-publishing Warface, a new free-to-play first-person shooter.
Known for their high quality, AAA, series Crysis, Crytek looks to bring that same high quality to the free-to-play space.
Warface is set in 2023. Many nations have fallen into ruins. Rising to take over the fallen nations is a ruthless military force named Blackwood. Blackwood has turned whole cities and entire countries into war fields in the wake of their greed. The elite Warface force has been created in an effort to challenge Blackwood.
You will be able to choose one of four character classes; Rifleman, Sniper, Medic, and Engineer. In the demo I chose Rifleman. The game started us just after being dropped by helicopter on top of a roof. We had to fight our way down and across the city to a waiting boat. As I made my way around various features were pointed out to me.
The ability to customize your weapon was the first. I had various sights unlocked and it was suggested I mount a higher power sight. Weapons, weapon parts, armor, etc can be unlocked as you play the game and gain experience points. Unlike some FPS combat games, there is no set progression of unlocks. Crytek felt that making players grind forever to unlock higher end equipment wasn't the way to go. You have the potential of unlocking a high end weapon at any time. If you want to unlock weapons, you set your experience focus to weapons; armor set it to armor, etc. You can change the focus any time you want.
As I continued to move across the city I came under fire. I was shown a fun little move called "the slide," to help dodge bullets and quickly move through small holes. While moving (running or walking) you can switch to the slide. I was a bit surprised at how far I slid at first; still it was a cool move.
Eventually we made it to the boat. Once on the boat, instead of cut scene to the next location we got to battle from the boat while it made its way up the river. It had a slight "on-rails shooter" feel during this, but you weren't stationary, you could move around on the boat to get better cover or angles on shots. Shortly after the boat fight our time was up for the demo. There are regular co-op missions and there will be daily missions in the full game.
Crytek's Warface was fun to play. The bonus of it running on the CryENGINE 3 just means it's beautiful in its realistic graphics. From what I saw Warface could give Battlefield and Call of Duty a serious run for their money on the PC, with the bonus of being free-to-play. There are no plans at the moment for consoles, but it is not completely out the realm of possibility. Currently Crytek are taking sign-ups for beta at the Warface web site.
The next Trion game I got to play was Defiance. This game has an interesting concept. The game will be launched at the same time SyFy will launch the TV show of the same name. Defiance the TV show and the game will cross- influence each other. Players of the game will effect what happens on the show. While the TV show and game will take place in the same universe, they will be different part of the country. The Show will take place in St. Louis and the game will take place in Marin County, on a Earth has been ravaged by decades of war with aliens.
The game itself is a third-person action shooter. It has some MMO elements with the ever persistent world and character customization. I was thrown in on the deep end with the game as the match was already going on. The PC controls are either keyboard and mouse or gamepad; I decided to use the gamepad. The action was quick. I primarily used two weapons, a shotgun and an alien spore weapon. They seemed to be a perfect combo. The alien spore weapon fires spores into enemies. These spores start to grow into alien "bugs" that will eventually burst from the growths. As the aliens are growing the enemy becomes vulnerable. When the growths reach a certain "boiling point," switch weapons to the shotgun, and blam, a kill. Although this tactic worked, it took me dying a few times before I got it right. The graphics looked good with a realistic bent, but I think all the characters are placeholders since we all looked the same.
My time with Defiance was quick, but I am curious about the game. The premise and the TV show tie-in are something new, so it might have some legs. It will be available for PC, Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3 in 2013. For more information, see the Definace web site.