Game Previews from PAX West 2016, Part 1

World of Tanks, Panzer III crushing a toilet

PAX West 2016 has come and gone.  I was lucky enough to have gotten hands on, and in some cases behind the scenes, time with many build previews and a couple of games that are available now.  I’m going to split the coverage over the course of three days so as to not overload you or myself.  Without further ado let’s get into them.
Pit People
Pit People from Behemoth is an ongoing highlight of PAX for me.  Every year they’ve introduced something new.  This year is no different.  Pit People is a turn-based role-playing game (RPG) done with Behemoth’s recognizable hand-drawn art style.  Similar to a child’s doodle; blocky, easy to identify and amusing.  It also features Will Stamper’s awesome voiceover work. In this year’s demo, I got to play it in the new co-op mode.  At PAX they had some specially modified controllers that I wish they would make available to the public, but I’ll stick with what we know we will be getting.  The co-op mode lets you and a friend play Pit People.  As far as I could tell it didn’t change the number of enemies on the screen, they were just as tough as they were for single player.  Each player could also customize their character with items they unlock over the course of the game.
Pit People have moved from development into closed beta, which means we are on the downhill side of the development cycle.  It’s nice to see it get closer and closer to release.  Now, it’s just a matter of time before everyone can get their hands on another great game from Behemoth.  
For more information on Pit People see the official website

Hand of Fate 2
In 2015 Defiant Development released Hand of Fate; an action RPG with rogue-like, deck building elements.  In it you built a deck from cards based on tarot cards, then those that you chose cards would determine your adventure.  It was a fun game that I really enjoyed playing because the adventure would be different every time.
Hand of Fate 2 keeps all the elements from the first game and introduces new things to the game, such as your adventurer gaining companions to help you on your journey.  This is a big plus.  In the original you could end up with some bad draws that resulted in enemies and challenges beyond your abilities and your adventure ended quickly.  Now you have a better chance of survival.  Also changed is how you go through the game.  Before the dealer laid out a board of boss characters you chose from.  Now he has a map that is laid out for you to choose your path.  
For more information on Hand of Fate 2 see the official website.
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
The original version of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was a “choose your own adventure style” book that added in actual dice play.  It was the first in a series of such books.  Tin Man Games have now (after a successful Kickstarter campaign) created a video game version.
This new Warlock of Firetop Mountain plays like a turn based RPG game with miniatures.  One of the interesting mechanics is predicting the movements of your foes. Taking your time you to observe patterns is what will give you the distinctive edge.  If you do, then you can use your advantage and get a hit on them as they move into their square.  The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain is available now on Steam.  Playing the demo gave me a good sense of the game, so you can look forward to my full review in the near future.
The inspiration behind Dusk reads like a list of the greatest hit of first person shooter (FPS) games: DOOM, Quake, Heretic, Hexen, Half-Life, and Redneck Rampage.  The demo starts you off in a barn.  You are armed with two sickles against three men armed with chainsaws.  Needless to say, the odds might be stacked against you.
From there Dusk moves right into classic twitch run and gun FPS gameplay.  Shoot and move, don’t spend too long in one spot.  I had a very big grin on my face while playing.  The demo I played mostly reminded me of Quake and Blood.  Graphically it had the quality of Quake, but tonality it was closer to Blood with the seemingly supernatural satanic worshipers hunting you down.   This is one game that I am going to keep on my radar!
World of Tanks
The video above is a bit of fun from World of Tanks' "Crushing It" area at PAX West 2016.  They were crushing all sorts of things all weekend.  World of Tanks is a free online game I have reviewed recommended in the past for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  


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