Getting Some Play: PAX East 2012 Wrap-up

Welcome to Getting Some Play — the spiritual successor to Sarah Warn’s excellent Good Game column — where we’ll take a look at the latest releases, news and developments in the world of video games.

PAXing it

This weekend, Boston had the pleasure of hosting PAX East and Anime Boston at the same time. The city all but fell into a vortex of geeky glory — and what a wonderful time it was.

You could easily write a book out of all the news, impressions, and “culture” that gets put on display at something like PAX East, but we’ll pick a few highlights.

Dust: An Elysian Tail turned heads for its genre-mashing play and distinct visual style, Far Cry 3 looked absolutely gorgeous, Sleeping Dogs made up for True Crime’s absence, Borderlands 2 got classy, and X-Com: Enemy Unknown (the strategy game, not the FPS) had an excellent showing.

Speaking of nasty things from outer space, Aliens: Colonial Marines was many a fan’s highlight of the show.

I’ll be playing this in a Sigourney Weaver-style tank top next fall, thank you very much.

As for big announcements, perhaps the biggest was that Epic (your friends from the Gears of War series) is creating a PC only game — a change of tune from the usual console-centric chatter we’ve been hearing from major AAA developers since the mid 2000s.

Another big announcement — this one from the feel-good division: Penny Arcade’s prime charity (which largely raises money to buy games and toys for hospitalized kids) is being expanded to assist kids affected by domestic violence.

From Joystiq:

Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play charity is expanding its scope to assist children living with a parent in domestic violence shelters nationwide. The charity, known for donating toys, games and cash to hospitalized children, feels this a natural extension of its efforts.

“Children make up a significant percentage of the population that move through domestic violence shelters on an annual basis: providing them with a way to escape some of the stress and struggle is directly in line with what the charity set out to do.”

Nothing says PAX East quite like the Boston Indie Showcase, which highlights some of the coolest new games from local talent. Boston Indies recently posted some thoughts via the selected developers. It’s well worth a read.

Incoming

Skullgirls is a downloadable beat-em-up with crazy animation and even crazier cartoon style. It’s out on XBLA on April 11 and PSN on April 10.

Unless my eyes are deceiving me, Fez is actually coming out this month. The Indie Game: The Movie subject matter, and winner of many an IGF award, will soon be available to play: look for it on PC and 360 on April 13.

On the AAA side, The Witcher 2 will finally be available to console gamers on April 17 – via the 360. Of course, it will also be on PC’s in its fancy “Enhanced Edition” so all Witcher fans have something to be excited about mid-month.

Does any of this news have you excited?

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