The Penny Arcade Expo has come and gone, and another year of early mornings, long nights, coffee and drinks, burgers and fries has slipped away. We’ve seen games and developers from all walks of life during four long days of interviews and off-site meetings during PAX Prime, and it’s about time you know what the best of the best has to offer – according to each of us here at PowerLeveled who made it to the show.
Editor’s Choice awards at PowerLeveled.com come not by way of review scores or graphics, but rather are based on pure fun. If we would play your game, and we want to play it in the small window of time we have between articles and reviews, you may be worthy of the honor of the Editor’s Choice award. With independent editors selecting their game of show and runner-up honors given for those who deserve special mention, each of these games are fun and addicting, and worth more than their weight in gold. Whether you are a developer, publisher, writer or gamer, you can be sure to love your experience with the titles herein, so reach out and get them as soon as you can.
Editor’s Choice – Joseph Madding
Game of Show – Tome: Immortal Arena
With the passion of League of Legends or DOTA 2, minus the time required to play, Tome took everything about your favorite MOBA titles and eliminated the pieces of these which would stretch out matches, leading to infuriating losses. With beautiful graphics and clean, even game play, Tome: Immortal arena took the Twitch.TV booth and made a browser-based MOBA my Editor’s Choice Game of Show. This game feels leagues ahead of the competition in a 3v3 combat setting by reducing the “jungle” camps and emphasizing the in-lane combat. If you’re losing the early game, the curve for coming back might be higher, but losing the entire game doesn’t feel as disappointing while your success feels just as amazing as in any other MOBA.
World of Warships
Set in the Wargaming universe, World of Warships continues the Wargaming standard of extreme attention to detail and delivers the most entertaining naval combat title in history. World of Warships is one of the finest demos I’ve ever put my hands on in the simulation combat space, and any fan of the “World of” titles will love Warships. On a person level, I found World of Warships to be MORE addicting and fun than World of Tanks – and that’s saying something for a fan of the series.
Developed by Motiga, Gigantic builds on the traditional features of the competitive MOBA scene with third-person action and objective-based victory. Offering up a unique twist, in Gigantic you won’t find yourself attacking buildings to make your way to victory, but rather stealing the life of a massive enemy Guardian. Smash your way through enemies on your way to the destruction of the opposing Guardian, or focus on building the strength of your Guardian. Players may build on tactical defense points strewn across the map, allowing for new respawn points, damage dealing monsters or local healing points to ensure victory in this spell-slinging, sword slashing, crossbow sniping MOBA. Forget about any “meta” game in Gigantic and have the time of your life when this title comes to the PC soon.
Editor’s Choice – Mike Polinder
Game of Show – Tales from the Borderlands
As the next installment from Telltale Games comes to retail soon, Tales from the Borderlands builds on the established Borderlands universe with fantastic humor, a compelling story, and the depth of selections that we’ve come to expect from Telltale games past. Focusing on the Borderlands series brings Telltale away from the popular Back to the Future and Walking Dead TV and film series, landing in a pre-made video game world for the first time. With brilliant execution, there’s no reason not to buy this on day one, and replay value continues to be amazing in Telltale’s latest adventure.
Motiga’s Gigantic sees its second vote for Game of Show, in this runner-up selection.
Created almost exclusively for the fun of multiplayer LAN parties, Gang Beasts is an up to 8 player simultaneous brawl with physics found nowhere else. Reliant on only your fists which can be used to grab or punch, your top-heavy fighter must simply survive in an obstacle-driven fight to the finish. With matches such as the WWE-style Battle Royale and rooms full of spinning turbines, the goal is simple – don’t get thrown out. This addictive local toss around sent the crowds of Seattle’s Hard Rock Cafe and the PAX show floor screaming into the night when eight fighters got to work, and will surely do the same with your local parties.
Editor’s Choice – Steve Jeffreys
Game of Show – Gigantic
Making its third appearance as an Editor’s Choice, this is the first time Gigantic will make Game of Show from one of our Editors. Fantastic work, Motiga.
As the MOBA space becomes more diverse, Strife breaks the mold with extraordinary single player options atop a solid multiplayer, as well as fast-paced game play and energetic style. Allowing for faster regeneration and the ability to purchase shop items and have them shipped to your characters through courier, Strife builds on the accepted standard while varying from the norm in all the right ways, making this title more ideal for entry-level MOBA players than most.
The Evil Within
By channeling the survival horror games of old, The Evil Within is taking us back into a generation of games that could not only make us jump scared, but leave us emotionally scarred. While The Evil Within won’t be ideal for everyone, the title is bringing horror back to its true nature in gaming – something that hasn’t been available until only just recently with with development of PT, a demo on the PlayStation 4. For those who love a scare, but aren’t just looking for a quick heart-stopper, The Evil Within is the complete package from what we’ve seen so far.
Editor’s Choice – Kyle Lambert
Game of Show – Gigantic
As the only title in the show to be nominated unanimously as a contender for Game of Show, Gigantic and developer Motiga are clearly setting the gold standard by which we should follow. We will be following this game for a very long time, and will continue to update you on everything Gigantic in the coming weeks.
With classic board gaming inspiring today’s modern games in an all-new way, 2K studios’ Evolve pits players against each other in one-on-four combat, as players take on their friends in a format similar to that of Dungeons and Dragons. Given an all-original story, characters and creatures, your campaigns in Evolve will build on friendships as users either attempt to ward off a single player’s monster, or work together to fight off the monster and protect your team’s primary base of operations. Set on a distant planet colonized with human life, Evolve will play out in a sci-fi environment with 12 hunters set to take down this towering force of evil.
Built by the team behind Castle Crashers and Battleblock Theater, The Behemoth is at it again in old tradition. Tentatively titled “Game 4”, the coming strategy title is breaking through with a change to how strategy games are played. Set on a hexagon-based map, Game 4 will not dictate your character’s attacks by your command, but rather by your location, allowing for a compelling and dynamic game. With predicable attack actions, and indirect commands, Game 4 is one of few local-ready strategy games where turn-based action is viable and fun. Keeping in with familiar art styles from The Behemoth, get what you know and love on PC and Xbox One coming soon.
Editor’s Choice – Keone Young
Game of Show – Dreadnought
If city-scale warships and tactical combat appeal to your fancy, Dreadnought by GreyBox is right up your alley. Control your Dreadnought class warship in aerial sub-orbital combat as your flight crew is under complete control. Focus on tactical maneuvering in Dreadnought is essential, as your hulking beast of a ship deals a great amount of firepower, but won’t be agile at moving its multi-kilometer hull outside of warp. With combat similar to that of Wargaming’s system, Dreadnought is great for those who like to win a fight with their mind, as opposed to their trigger.
World of Warships
Making its way to the runner-up category again, World of Warships’ strong game play, beautiful graphics and great physics continue to resonate in the back of our minds with this vote.
Once again on the runner-up list, Evolve is breaking through and doesn’t miss the target. We look forward to more time with the title, and more details on additional classes.
With all of these great titles, it is tough to choose just one as the Game of Show, but with our compiled top three averaging out, Gigantic from Motiga takes the cake as the finest product on the show floor. Gigantic is not only an outstanding product, but almost everyone who played the MOBA loved it well enough to make the top three, and Gigantic is the only game to earn two game of show votes. Playing a cut above the rest, look forward to Gigantic, and sign up for the game today over on their official site.
After four long days and nights of gaming, we’ve run the gamut and played everything under the sun headed forward. If you would like to know more about the Penny Arcade Expo, and the coming indie and AAA lineup of games, keep it locked here on PowerLeveled where we’ll detail all of these award-winning titles and more in the coming weeks. Thank you to all the developers and publishers that we’ve worked with in the last week, and we look forward to many more in the future.