It’s day 2 at PAX East and the sleep was lacking as was the food. We didn’t play as much as we did yesterday but we did manage to go to the Bethesda game event and the few games we did see, we saw for longer.
Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain
It might be weird talking about a new EDF game when a new one already came out the other month but here we are. Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is being made by a new studio that’s focused on giving the series a more western appeal. Its changes from the original series are immediately apparent with the ability to customize all your weapons and loadouts from an easy menu and the graphical bump also helps stand it apart from its predecessors. Some other changes include an actual story mode which is new for the franchise, revamped bug AI which had them actually actively pursuing me which through me off my feet. You rarely run for your life in an EDF game but here I was. Character customization was also fun with dozens of different armor types to make your soldier the perfect “you”.
Samurai Shodown is the return of the classic fighting game series with this new entry due to be out very soon. Unlike most fighters that are very combo heavy, Samurai Shodown is instead a much slower and methodical fighting game. There are no combos to string together and instead you focus on landing these powerful attacks that take chunks of health off. Knowing the length of the windup for an attack is key since starting it too late leaves you vulnerable to be hit and while this slower pace isn’t exactly my usual cup of tea for the genre, the game is still interesting enough to keep my interest flowing.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider co-op DLC
We closed off the day with the latest DLC in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Here you and a buddy have to work your way through one of the game’s tombs, working to either get a highscore in Score Attack or finishing it as quickly as possible in Time Attack. The tombs were always the best part of this series so a game mode based around them is very welcomed. What I particularly enjoyed was how you could find shortcuts when running through the tombs; paths will fork allowing you to shave as much as two minutes off a run. In one particular moment my partner went down a left path that had him moving past fire spitting statues and climbing walls while I found a right path that simply let me ride a zipline down to the same destination. As you can imagine he wasn’t particularly thrilled I beat him down there with zero effort. If you’re lacking in friends, the tomb can also be done solo and finishing them actually unlocks upgrades for your singleplayer file as well. If Score and Time Attacks aren’t your thing, there’s an “exploration” mode that treats it as a regular tomb for you to complete which is appreciated.
And that was the end of our second day at PAX East. We’ve had a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to braving the hell that is Saturday at PAX.