7 Games you Absolutely Must From PAX Online
This is not my first PAX and this certainly won’t be my last. Despite it being a rather unusual and different format this year, much of the same feelings still linger: the thrill of trying out new games, the complication of booking appointments to learn more about a new experience from the developers, and trying out new games you might otherwise not have considered. The downside of PAX is that there is never quite enough time to check out each and every game that developers and publishers have brought together for us to see. Of the dozens I had an opportunity to look at, there were a select few I wanted to highlight – if only briefly – that I hope you will take the opportunity to look into and see just what kind of majesty these games have in store for us.
Set in a futuristic, cyberpunk world, Foreclosed is absolutely dripping with personality. Humans are given bionic implants and upgrades at birth which are owned by the state. Corporations buy the debt for these implants and, in essence, own you. Your debt – and indeed your very identity – is being auctioned off, but something is different about your implants, something experimental. Foreclosed is a third person action shooter that is dripping with style and a gorgeous comic book aesthetic. Foreclosed is set for release in Q2 of 2021 and will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Think of it like a reverse Turing test as a party game. You and your friends – up to 4 local – are thrust into a sea of NPCs just walking, moving, and doing their usual everyday tasks. You are transformed to blend in and then… you have to find each other by punching one another in the face! How well can you act just like the robots and blend in? A variety of stages and appearances keep the game fresh with all manner of random events taking place to keep you on your toes. Is a bomb about to go off? Is anyone fleeing from it in a particularly logical fashion? Time to go punching! Last person standing wins! Unspottable is due out in October 2020 and will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Sometimes kids get up to some silly things like throwing rocks, skipping school, or unleashing a nuclear apocalypse on the town with irradiated squirrels. Wait what? Maybe in Single Valley is an action puzzle platformer that sees you accidentally kick off the apocalypse and try to make things right in your small little town. The game features 3D environments and 2D characters for a crisp and amusing aesthetic to go along with the rather harsh reality of what you’ve done. Mayhem in Single Valley is coming soon to PC.
One of the more emotionally complex and introspective games of PAX Online, Lost at Sea is a first person tale about life. It is a beautiful exploration of personality, of memory, history, and family. It is a solemn and somber look at the complexities of human nature, which – for an indie game – is a marvelously large subject to tackle but one that looks like it will be handled with kindness and genuine compassion. Not everyone enjoys a good heartfelt or existential game, but Lost at Sea is too promising a title to pass up. The game is set for release sometime this year and will launch on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X.
One of the most bafflingly bizarre games this year that I so wish I could have played, Tower Princess is a charming action-platformer set in medieval times where the dashing knight must save and protect the valiant princess… right? Wrong! You’ll play as a random knight who must first go on a date with the princess and get to know her, with each different princess having their own abilities and means of helping you overcome the procedurally generated dungeon and slaying the dragon! A roguelite dungeon crawler with a comical dating aspect is a hilarious concept I have yet to see and I will personally be keeping a very close eye on Tower Princess as it seems like hours of fun! Tower Princess is coming soon to PC.
Indie developers have the joy of experimenting with weird and wild ideas to create classic gems, and Genesis Noir is right there with them among the best. This puzzle adventure game is stylized in classic noir and spans across time and space. As a love triangle between cosmic beings goes south, a gunshot fired by a jealous god kicks off The Big Bang and starts the ever-expanding universe for you to explore. The surreal subject matter, art style, and gorgeous lighting that compliments the gray scale colors is absolutely stunning to behold, and this brave creative step forward is exactly the kind of game we like to see at PAX. Genesis Noir is coming soon to PC, MacOS, and Xbox One.
If there was one game I wish I could get my hands on this year at PAX, it would be Young Souls. Two siblings living in a new town as outcasts, you are tasked with protecting the world against the forces of darkness that lurk on the other side of the portal. An emotionally heavy narrative with fantastic RPG mechanics, you’ll delve deeper and deeper into the underworld with a sword in hand as you power up and take the fight to the enemy to keep them at bay. The art style is absolutely stunning and the customization options are fantastic. The siblings share an inventory so if you want to play as a tank but the other one has the good armor you’ll need to bicker like, well, siblings, to get what you want. I cannot wait for Young Souls to launch next year in 2021 on PC and I hope to see more of it soon.
So there you have it, these are my seven games you absolutely must see from PAX Online. What are some of your favorites? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or the Comments section below, and for all things PAX Online be sure to keep it locked on COGconnected.