The 34 Coolest Games From PAX East 2020 You Need To Play
What did we see at PAX East 2020?
As the years go by, PAX East continues to grow in significance. Now outpacing the original PAX convention, PAX East is presently the largest video game convention in North America, which makes it a prime spot for developers, both AAA and indie alike, to show off their latest games. At PAX East 2020, we saw a suite of games along with many events and reveals showing off new content for some recurring favorites. On the Borderlands 3 front, we found out the game is coming to Steam and what kind of DLC and other content is on the way. Meanwhile, Larian showed off the first Baldur's Gate 3 gameplay and we got a better idea of what to expect from its revival of the classic RPG franchise.
With PAX East 2020 now behind us, we've finalized our list of the most exciting, imaginative, and bold games that we saw on the show floor and at surrounding events. These games include Nintendo's upcoming life-sim Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Bethesda's Doom Eternal, and Sega/DotEmu's Streets of Rage 4, Platinum Games' Wonderful 101 Remastered, and so much more.
In addition to this roundup, the editors at GameSpot also came together to talk about some of their favorite games of the show in a video. 2020 is looking to be an interesting show this year, and PAX East 2020 served as a great start to get a read on what's new in the games industry, and what could coming in the months ahead. More on PAX East 2020, including all of fun news and gameplay breakouts, be sure to check out our PAX hub for all the content we've published from the show.
30XX | Batterystaple Games | PC | TBD 2021
30XX very much follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, 20XX, but a new art style makes a surprising difference. The sequel embraces the pixel-art style, with a crispness that makes it appear akin to the PS1-era Mega Man X games. It's most obviously a roguelike Mega Man homage, but it borrows liberally from other retro games like Contra--complete with a spread shot--and Super Metroid, with stacking power-ups. The game is very early--creator Chris King jokingly estimates it will probably be done around 30XX--but it's imminently playable and a blast with a co-op partner.
For more on 30XX, go check out new gameplay from our hands-on time at the show.
Ageless | One More Dream Studio | PC | TBD 2020
Time is a fairly common puzzle mechanic, but Ageless puts the flow in your hands via a special bow. You can fire arrows that age and de-age objects and animals found in each standalone puzzle room. Age a horizontal plant to create a vine you can run across, or de-age a vertical branch to clear the path forward. You can also cycle animals through their young, adult, old, and deceased forms. For example, an adult rhino will charge forward, eliminating obstacles in its path, while an old, heavier rhino can fall through fragile platforms.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons | Nintendo | Switch | March 20, 2020
The next entry in Nintendo's iconic life-sim series is almost here with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and it was playable on the PAX East 2020show floor. We were able to get around 20 minutes of hands-on with it and explored a bit of Tom Nook's vacation island, saw how some returning features have changed, and learned how in-depth the crafting was. Granted, the true Animal Crossing experience takes place over days and weeks, but it was still nice to see how the series is evolving.
We walked around the new museum, which is much more expansive with a biodome for bugs you snatch, a large exhibit for fossils you collect, and a serene aquarium for the fish you catch. Fashion is going to be big in New Horizons, too, and we got a taste of all the customization with outfits and accessories. We also got to run around with others in the couch co-op features where up to three other players can follow the party leader around town.
You can catch up with the game in our breakdown of 19 things we learned from the Animal Crossing: New Horizons direct and recent hands-on preview.
The Artful Escape | PC, Xbox One, iOS | Beethoven & Dinosaur | TBD 2020
From the mind of Johnny Galvatron, lead guitarist and founder of the indie-rock band The Galvatrons, comes The Artful Escape, an adventure game focusing on the exploits of Francois Vendetti. Following the death of his rock-star uncle, Francois goes on a spiritual journey to discover who he is, which takes on imaginative jaunts through his subconscious as he takes on different personas and visits new worlds. Coming from indie-game publisher Annapurna Interactive, The Artful Escape looks to showcase a journey that is both introspective, and outwardly extravagant--which should make for an exciting trip.
Curse of the Dead Gods | Passtech Games | PC | March 3, 2020
Curse of the Dead Gods defies easy categorization. The isometric point-of-view and action combat make it appear Diablo-like, but the dungeons are shuffled from different pre-built floors and the tough-as-nails enemies borrow from roguelikes. Some dungeon rooms are crawling with enemies while others are filled with traps. It also introduces a distinct Curse meter, which saddles you with modifiers as it fills up. Despite the name, the curses aren't entirely bad--one that explodes enemies can actually be turned to your advantage. They just force you to think on your toes and plan around them from run to run.
Dangerous Driving 2 | Three Fields Entertainment | PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch | TBD 2020
Revealed just before PAX East 2020, the follow-up to last year's Burnout-like will bring the fast-paced racing to an open-world setting. The original Dangerous Driving was a return to arcade-style racing from Criterion's Burnout series, with your chosen car taking part in thrilling races across various highways and tracks, narrowly avoiding traffic in a high-stakes competition to be number one. Dangerous Driving 2 keeps up with the original's focus on fast cars, tight turns, and aggressive driving, but places it within an open world, allowing you freely drive around and take on different events at your leisure. We got to spend some hands-on time with an early build of the game, and it certainly continues with the no-frills racing action that's loaded with brutal car wrecks. Here's hoping we can see more of the game soon. And yes, the original game's inspired Spotify integration will make a return for the sequel.
Disc Room | Terri, Dose, Kitty, and JW | PC | TBD 2020
Coming from the developers of Minit, Disc Room is a sci-fi dungeon crawler that makes it clear almost immediately that you will inevitably meet your death--quite often. As a reimagining of the team's itch.io game released in 2016, the new take on the hardcore dungeon-crawling dodger places you in the role of an interstellar scientist who has to explore a massive underground network filled with rooms filled with killer buzzsaws. As soon as you come in contact with the deadly hazards, you'll meet a grisly and over-the-top end. But that's not where your journey ends. Once you respawn, you'll see that your repeated deaths can satisfy certain conditions, such as surviving for a certain amount of time or dying at the hands of a particular hazard, which will allow you to access more areas of the facility.
We had the chance to go hands-on with Disc Room at PAX East 2020, and its masochistic approach to a challenge reveals a surprising depth to its progression. You certainly have to do a lot to survive in the various rooms of death. After your demise, your character can adopt certain traits following their death--which includes an ability to dash, gained from rapidly moving buzzsaws. It's an incredibly challenging game, but the unusual and bizarre setting makes it worth going another round in the proverbial meat grinder. According to the devs, what will kill you in Disc Room will make you stronger, giving your means to survive long enough to see what lies ahead.
If you want to see Disc World in action, then check out our PAX East 2020 gameplay.
Disintegration | PC, PS4, Xbox One | V1 Interactive | 2020
Disintegration has been touted as the next game from Halo series co-creator Marcus Lehto and the new studio V1 Interactive. It's a first-person mech-based shooter that integrates some light MOBA elements where you spawn and command units simultaneously. Getting the hang of these mechanics is crucial for winning in the competitive modes, which we experienced in the recent closed beta. A full narrative-driven single-player campaign is also in the works.
Disjunction | Ape Tribe Games | PC | TBD 2020
If you mix Metal Gear Solid with Deus Ex, then you'll have an inkling of the type of tone and gameplay Disjunction strives for. Set in a dystopian-future metropolis run by corporations, you play as a hired gun named Frank, who will take on numerous tough jobs that range from tracking down high-profile marks to corporate espionage. Blending stealth with action-gameplay, you'll often need to stick to the shadows to evade roaming guards and AI drones. While you're often asked to keep a low profile, sometimes the loud approach can work out. However, depending on your method, Frank's contacts will react accordingly, which can lead to alternate paths with the story. I enjoyed the tone and mood that Disjunction exudes, and it'll be exciting to see how far the game's conspiracy goes.
Doom Eternal | PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch (later) | id Software | March 20, 2020
We recently played Doom Eternal at an extensive preview event where we got to rip and tear through the first three levels of the game, and we'll have another chance to get hands-on during PAX East 2020.
We have the game covered from several angles with our in-depth Doom Eternal preview, our breakdown of how the combat has evolved since Doom 2016, and a look at how new platforming elements are changing the level design and pacing. The game pushes you to stay on the move and cycle through its wide array of guns during intense combat scenarios by giving you the tools to keep your health, armor, and ammo replenished, and by pitting you against enemies with their own strengths and weaknesses.
We also recently had the chance to chat with Doom Eternal developers Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin about the game's weapons, and they broke down what made them so special in a fight. Along with that, we got the first gameplay of an elite demon that the Doom Slayer will face off against in the final game. Doom Eternal is shaping up to be a wild ride that builds on the Doom 2016 formula in meaningful ways, and we'll see more of it at PAX East.
Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos | Artefacts Studio | PC | Summer 2020
Dungeon of Naheulbeuk would appear to be an odd inspiration for a turn-based tactical RPG. The French audio drama began in 2001, and has been adapted into a series of comic books, but otherwise has retained an indie, cult status. That means the game, fully titled Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos will likely be the first introduction for many audiences, and Developer Artefacts Studio has treated it as a gentle way of easing into the madcap world. The characters, named only after their fantasy archetypes like "The Rogue" and "The Barbarian," are easily recognizable as broad parodies, and the dialogue is suitably funny despite the occasional translation oddity. The gameplay is surprisingly deep for such a silly concept, offering tons of tactical wrinkles like the ability to end a turn facing in eight directions, or spilling a keg of beer to create a slipping hazard for enemy races too dumb to watch their step.
The Falconeer | PC, Xbox One | Tomas Sila | TBD 2020
We get to see a new spin on aerial combat gameplay with The Falconeer, which has you taking control of large bird-like creatures to face off against rival factions. Set in a dark, wartorn world, you'll have to learn the ropes of maneuvering your winged beast in order to keep up the fight against your enemies. According to game creator Tomas Sala, The Falconeer is an open-world game that lets you explore the skies and the expansive sea of Ursee, a world that pops with color despite being so bleak.
Foregone | Big Blue Bubble | PC | Available Now (Early Access)
Foregone is an action-platformer with pacing of controlled chaos and loot-gathering that calls to mind the recent hit Dead Cells. Studio Big Blue Bubble isn't shy about acknowledging the influence, but a few notable differences set this one apart. Most notably the stages are pre-made rather than procedurally generated, and the grind for better loot can simply be heading back to take on bosses again. It also sports a post-processing filter put over 3D models, which gives it the distinct look of a highly polished sprite game but with beautifully smooth animation.
Gestalt: Steam & Cinder | Metamorphosis Games | PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch | 2020
Gestalt: Steam & Cinder makes an immediate impression with a stylish Steampunk world and equally fashionable protagonist in the trenchcoat-clad Aletheia. The pixel art and responsive platforming is reminiscent of Symphony of the Night, but the enemies--ranging from mechanized contraptions to Mad Max thugs--grant it an entirely different flavor. The combat can be brutal, and the combination of influences make it feel utterly unique.
For more on Gestalt: Steam & Cinder, check out some new gameplay from PAX East 2020.
Fall Guys | Mediatonic | PC, PS4 | Summer 2020
This cute and colorful Fall Guys takes a page from battle royale games by forcing you and your fellow fall guys through a deadly obstacle course in a race for survival. Everyone is free to push and shove each other out of the way--and into various hazards--to thin the herd. Each round will end with fewer guys until only one is left standing. You'll probably want to gather some friends and see who can push, shove, and bounce their way to glory.
Garden Story | Picogram | PC | Spring 2020
Described as a cross between The Legend of Zelda and Stardew Valley, Garden Story is an adorable adventure where you play as a heroic grape named Concord, the newly appointed guardian of a village that's threatened by a mysterious Rot. The gorgeous pixel-graphic game tasks you with restoring the dilapidated island and solving the mystery of the Rot, and you'll also gather resources to care for your garden and build structures, develop relationships with the villagers, take on side quests, and more. There's also some minor combat and dungeon exploration with puzzles. The PAX East 2020 demo wasn't long, but it's clear the world of Garden Story is rich with potential. We can't wait to see more when the wholesome adventure releases later this spring.
Ghostrunner | One More Level | PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch | TBD 2020
Ghostrunner's mix of first-person action and acrobatic traversal works well with its Hotline Miami-style combat arenas. It's a little reminiscent of Mirror's Edge with the emphasis on parkour, though it challenges you with one-hit deaths which forces you to stay on the move. Our demo took us through the opening of the game that set the cyberpunk-inspired tone, which quickly ramped up by showing us how all the abilities worked, pushing you to use them in order to progress. Sliding, wall-running, swinging with the grappling hook, dashing, and slow-motion dodging are enough to get through combat, but the key is to be able to pull any and all of these off in quick succession.
Although Ghostrunner is said to be around five hours for a regular playthrough, additional modes of play are planned for the game. For more on this game, check out our hands-on with the opening level of the game. Ghostrunner is set to launch sometime this year for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
Going Under | Aggro Crab | PC, PS4, Xbox One | TBD 2020
There's been many roguelike action-RPGs as of late, but I can guarantee you that you haven't played one quite like Going Under. Taking place in a near endless string of failed tech start-ups, you play as a young monster-hunter who's tasked with clearing out the monsters who've taken up residence in the remains of failed businesses. Using a variety of makeshift weapons like brooms and other odd office items, you'll eventually acquire new skills and items from high-tech delivery drones to take on even more challenges. Coupling comedy with a familiar roguelike formula, Going Under offers a really fun spin on the established subgenre.
Hardspace: Shipbreaker | Blackbird Interactive | PC | Summer 2020
How would you like to rip apart a spaceship, piece by piece? That's the oddly satisfying fantasy of Hardspace: Shipbreaker, a game that puts you into the puffy space boots of an indentured scrapper hired by an unfeeling corporation. With a few select tools like a cutter and a grapple, you break apart the derelict ships that are brought into the shipyard, careful to keep the most valuable pieces intact and avoiding risks like nuclear explosion and explosive decompression. It's a strange, zen experience picking apart a ship, even with the ever-present threat of a calamitous mishap. But in the event that you cut the wrong spot at least the parts are still salvageable--in itty-bitty pieces.
Magic: Legends | Cryptic Studios | PC, PS4, Xbox One | 2020
A Magic: The Gathering-themed Diablo-like seems like a no brainer given the similar styles and tones between the two properties. But Magic: Legends, Cryptic's take on the isometric action-RPG, has more going for it than mere homage. It cleverly borrows from its source material with a deck-building mechanic, letting you assemble a pool of spells that populate randomly across the four face buttons. There's enough strategic meat on the bones for Magic acolytes--the menu even shows off your mana curve!--but it's easy enough for novices to jump in and start casting spells, assured that any of them are powerful. With practice, you'll be able to quickly read the icons in the heat of battle for high-level play. Best of all, the randomized nature of the spell-mapping requires you to think on your toes as you deal with mobs of enemies, or sometimes strategically save a spell for when a good synergy cycles around. The result is definitely in the Diablo family, but has its own unique flavor.
Maquette | Graceful Decay | PC | TBD 2020
Ahead of PAX East 2020, Annapurna Interactive announced it will publish Maquette, a first-person puzzle game that first shown at the Game Developers Conference in 2011. The world of Maquette is gorgeous and brightly colored, and it features an interesting mechanic where you manipulate objects inside a small-scale model of the world around you. An object you move inside the model will appear much more significant in the "real" world. For example, one puzzle has you pull a key out of an unlocked door and lay it across a bridge in the model. In the real world, that key will become gigantic and appear across the corresponding bridge, allowing you to cross.
The game's first puzzles are no cakewalk. Similar to another first-person puzzle game, The Witness, you're thrown in with minimal context, and you must slowly piece together the rules of this world. All the while, you'll hear voice-over conversations between a man and a woman that slowly reveals the story of their relationship. The various text will appear in the world around you, snippets of thoughts that flesh out the story as you go along, similar to What Remains of Edith Finch (another Annapurna game).
While this is developer Graceful Decay first game, Annapurna Interactive has a track record of publishing some of the best indie games in recent years (Outer Wilds, Kentucky Route Zero, and Florence, to name just a few). So we've got high hopes for Maquette after what we saw in the PAX East demo.
Moncage | PC | OPTILLUSION | TBD 2020
Puzzle games have explored the idea of forced perspective before, but Moncage takes a different approach. Rather than move through various environments, you're locked to a single position with a lone focal point--an ever-changing cube. As you play, the five visible sides become windows into diorama scenes, ranging as small as a desktop or as large as a dock, with the ability to zoom in on key areas. Lining up pieces of objects between the sides activates them, encouraging you to look at everyday items from different perspectives. The arm of a lamp might become a part of a construction crane, or a playground slide could be a piece of assembly line machinery. The full experience aims to be short-but-sweet, but you'll rack your brain at the puzzles while it lasts.
Othercide | PC | Lightbulb Crew | TBD 2020
If you mix XCOM: Enemy Unknown with Silent Hill, then you'll get something that looks similar to Othercide. As a horror turn-based strategy game, you'll command a squad of fighters known as Daughters as they make their way through a desolate world full of demons and other monstrosities. As you defeat enemies, you'll be able to level up and collect the memories of fallen foes--allowing you to get a glimpse of the larger story. As you delve deeper in the game's dungeons, you'll learn that some tough choices need to be made, which may have you sacrifice some of your squad mates in order to live to see another day. It's a decidedly dark take on classic strategy gameplay, which definitely makes it stand out from the rest.
The Pathless | PC, PS4, iOS | Giant Squid | 2020
From the creators of the meditative deep sea exploration game Abzu comes The Pathless which takes you well above the surface and into wide plains and dense forestry to traverse and open skies to soar through. Things look to be a bit different as The Pathless incorporates action elements with a bow-and-arrow to take out targets and the threat of some fiery entity hovering your serene landscape. It was first revealed in 2018 and later showcased as a marquee game for Apple Arcade, but not much is known at this point. However, we'll get our first hands-on with The Pathless at PAX East 2020.
Recompile | Phigames | PC | 2020
Metroid meets Reboot in the action-adventure game Recompile. As an AI that has gained sentience, you're attempting to escape your own deletion within the world of a mainframe. You can hack enemies and environments as you gain new skills and abilities, defeat corrupted subroutines. The crux of the game is in having multiple critical paths, inviting replay even once you've successfully freed your AI persona.
The Red Lantern | Timberline Studios, Inc. PC, Xbox One, Switch | TBD 2020
The Red Lantern may have concerned canine lovers with a trailer that emphasized bear attacks, but rest assured dog survival is both your goal and a major part of the win condition. The game itself plays more like a visualized Oregon Trail, consisting mostly of menu prompts over when to hunt, rest, or inspect hazards and points-of-interest as you make your way across the Alaskan wilderness with a band of sled dogs. The setting makes for some lovely vistas, but survival in the cold and wild north is difficult to manage.
Fortunately you have your sled dogs, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Each specializes in aggression, speed, or smarts--making them apt to chase down game, reach locations faster, or find hidden items--but they all have a dose of personality with their own weaknesses as well. Chompers, your default lead dog, loves squirrels so much he'll always give chase, while another has a fear of loud noises. Managing your pack's mental and physical health adds an extra wrinkle to your journey through the lonely landscape. And yes, you can give scritches.
Relic Hunters Legend | Rogue Snail | PC | TBD 2020
Relic Hunters Legend is the sequel to the freeware game Relic Hunters Zero, and it's taking on a similar gameplay loop found in games like Destiny. At its core, Relic Hunters plays like a top-down twin-stick shooter with different abilities on cooldown to help you take down hordes of enemies, but the game incorporates the system of earning better gear with some RPG progression--the developer cited Warframe as inspiration. The demo we played here at PAX East 2020 showed the early story missions and some multiplayer instances that emphasized tougher combat scenarios. You'll hit a flow of firing away at enemies, throwing magnetic grenades, and using the melee dash kept combat moving, and it was necessary to get the hang of it because Relic Hunters can get challenging.
Developer Rogue Snail also plans on treating Relic Hunters Legend as a service-type game with continual updates and post-release content. Relic Hunters Legend is said to launch sometime this year for PC. If you want to see Relic Hunters Legend in action, check out our hands-on gameplay from PAX East 2020.
Saturnalia | Santa Ragione | PC | TBD 2020
The spooky survival-horror roguelike Saturnalia is set in the fictional Italian village of Gravoi, where the population has gone mysteriously missing. Exploring the village slowly alerts a monster lurking in your midst, and when you lose one character to the creature another of the four playable characters take their place. Losing all four resets the entire village and everything except key items from your previous run. The visual style helps drive the tension thanks to dim, narrow and oddly-angled streets modeled after real historic European villages. And the characters themselves have a unique rotoscoped look, thanks in part to the artistic decision to lock them at 12FPS--while the world around them moves at a smooth 60FPS.
She Dreams Elsewhere | Studio Zevere | PC | 2020
Hear me out: Undertale meets Persona in this solo-developed RPG called She Dreams Elsewhere. The perspective in the overworld and in combat are heavily inspired by retro RPGs, especially Earthbound, but this game has an identity of its own.
She Dreams Elsewhere looks to get narratively heavy; Thalia is in a coma and what you playthrough is her dream-like state, digging into her relationships with her friends and the things she still worries and cares about. Interacting with the environment gives more insight into what the main character Thalia thinks and feels. This setting also affords the game to get surreal by messing with the environment to communicate the complications of Thalia's physical and mental state.
The actual turn-based combat pulls from Persona, not just through the mechanics of exploiting enemies' elemental weaknesses, but in its stylings. While the damage numbers and party-based link attacks call back to Persona's aesthetic, the theme of fighting manifestations of your psyche also allude to the RPG series.
There's much more to unravel in She Dreams Elsewhere which is set to hit PC and Xbox One later this year.
Sludge Life | Terri Vellmann & Doseone | PC, Switch | TBD 2020
From the people who brought you cool Devolver joints like High Hell and Heavy Bullets comes Sludge Life, a game where you… well, mainly feel gross. The best way to describe it might be to say that it's a free-roaming exploration game where your primary method of progressing is tagging the grimy industrial city you're in with graffiti. Tag spots are located in hard to reach places, of course, and the primary challenge comes from finding a way to reach obscure nooks.
But the hook of Sludge Life, at least initially, is more about meeting the weird characters you stumble along the way, and soaking in the crude atmosphere of the place. The city is brown and sickly, filled with trash and smog. Aside from tagging, bespoke interactions include drinking, smoking, and throwing a jar of eyeballs (I think). Even its menu--a laptop filled with malware and pop-up ads you need to close to get anything done--kinda disgusts me. It's definitely got a vibe about it, a weirdly curious one, and one that we might only be able to get a good handle on when it releases this Spring.
Streets of Rage 4 | Dotemu | PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch | 2020
Streets of Rage has been a dormant franchise since 1994, but it's never too late for a comeback. Streets of Rage 4 brings back the iconic beat-em-up with a beautiful new art style leapfrogging on the success of Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. The new game features returning characters Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding, Adam Hunter, plus new characters Cherry Hunter and Floyd Iraia. It will feature local co-op for up to four players for the classic arcade brawler experience.
At PAX East 2020, we got our first hands-on with the game's four-player local co-op gameplay, and it was getting to team up with an entire squad of brawlers to clear the streets of roughnecks and gangsters causing trouble.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous | Owlcat Games | PC | TBD 2021
Coming off of yet another successful Kickstarter campaign, Owlcat Game's Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous continues with its predecessor's focus on storytelling and in-depth combat. Focusing on a new adventure path during the events of the years long war shown during Kingmaker, Wrath of the Righteous focuses on a new party exploring a demon-infested land known as the Worldwound. The developers have stated the sequel is focused on expanding the scope of the world while taking the story to darker territory. While their crowdfunding campaign is still ongoing, the developers made the time to drop by PAX East 2020 to show off new gameplay of their CRPG.
During our hands-on demo, we took part in an epic battle where our party had to defend a settlement from invaders. According to the devs, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous will maintain the original's focus on intricate storytelling based on the Pathfinder tabletop RPG series. The team also acknowledged that they wanted to ensure the game could live up to fan expectations. In addition to focusing on real-time-with-pause combat, Wrath of the Righteous will also feature an optional turn-based combat mode for players who want a different approach to engagements. Though the CRPG is still a ways off (it's set for sometime in 2021) Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is shaping up nicely based on our hands-on experience.
Be sure to check out new gameplay of Pathfinder from our hands-on from the show.
Welcome to Elk | Triple Topping | PC | 2020
An adventure game with heart and heft, Welcome to Elk describes itself as a "biographical adventure." You play as Frigg, a big-city carpenter who recently moved to the small town of Elk for a simpler life. But as Frigg explores the whimsical burg, she discovers everyone has a story to tell, ranging from the weird to the heartbreaking. Notably, Welcome to Elk is based on true stories submitted to the studio, giving them an extra layer of significance.
Welcome to Elk uses surrealist imagery to tell very intimate, true stories. The animation is playful and bizarre, inspired by cartoons like Bojack Horseman, and the characters move like marionettes with jerky motions along their joints. The dialogue is equally strange, offering dreamlike exchanges that invoke a sense of mystery alongside the oddity. But then it goes quiet, and sometimes deadly serious, and that's when you know it's telling a true story. To drive the point home, some are complemented by video footage of a real person recounting the story in their own words. The blend of styles and tones creates something completely new and delivers very human stories with a sense of grace.
The Wonderful 101: Remastered | Platinum Games | PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch | May 19, 2020
Platinum Games is gearing up for their return to the cult-favorite team-based hero brawler The Wonderful 101. Following the success of their crowdfunding venture on Kickstarter, the Remastered edition of Platinum's much-loved game brings the hero character-action gameplay to PC, PS4, and the Nintendo Switch with several upgrades. Retaining its focus on rounding up citizens to form a superhero brigade, the leader Wonder-Red works with his legion of heroes to fight off an alien invasion with a variety of heroic skills and abilities that pull together the team in strange yet exciting ways.
During PAX East 2020, we had the chance to go hands-on with The Wonderful 101 Remastered on the Nintendo Switch. The new edition of the game still sticks with what made the original such a blast to play. With that said, this remaster will also include new bonus content and side-modes that will make the revisit even more enticing for long-time fans. Releasing on May 19, the Wonderful 101 Remastered is not only a chance for long-time fans to dive back into the game on new platforms but for newcomers to see just what's so interesting about Platinum's lesser-known game.