PAX 2012: Is it worth it? (Update)

[Editors note: video has been added]

Since we went over how to prepare last year, we will take a look at some of the events going on this
year, and determine once again, if it was worth it.

The Panels:

If you’re not a gamer, or if you want to take a break from gaming, you can pop in on any of the panels
going on. Like last year, make sure you’re early enough to get inside. I was able to attend the “Make
a strip” panel with Mike and Gary (Creators of Penny Arcade) where the audience can see the comic
making process live. They were also available for Q&A during the entire process.

The Mass effect 3 Panel was fun as well as interesting. They answered all questions about the game,
including the much hated ending, and released a preview of the expansion pack. If you are playing this
game know 2 things: The expansion pack is free, and the ending does not change but is expanded upon.
I have some Audio of the Q&A at this panel: Click Here

On the Expo floor:

There were preview booths of quite a lot of games. There was Assassins Creed 3, set to release October
of 2012, Max Payne 3 set to release May 15, 2012, and also an expansion pack for Civilization 5 which
is in beta now, but the release date will be sometime this fall. The most anticipated game that I’ve
seen is Borderlands 2. Not only do you get to preview, but you also get to play. And it is BEAUTIFUL.
It has an almost comic-book art style which makes it unique among other games. Other cool features
include a more customizable weapon system, and a four-player online co-op mode. The release date for
Borderlands 2 is September 18, 2012.

An honorable mention would be XCOM: Enemy Unknown. This is also in Beta, with a fall 2012 release
date. What’s interesting about this game is that it’s going back to its original gameplay strategy that
it’s best known for. It will be turn-based with third person view, and each player will be responsible
for a squad of up to 6 people. If you lose someone in your squad, you lose them forever, which raises
the stakes of the game play. Additionally each combatant, both human and alien will have a variety of
different abilities.

One non-game related item that I’ve seen was a new mouse, shaped like a gun that was being used in
the Team Fortress display. It seemed like it made game play much smoother.

Free Stuff:

Ah yes. The stakes are higher this year when it comes to the swag. When you first register, you are given
a “Swag bag” with a free PC game called Rift. Max Payne 3 was giving out free t-shirts at their preview
and Ghost Recon had several different goodies, one of which included 3D glasses. A few companies were
handing free betas of their game, some of which included Civ 5 , and Funcom’s The Secret world. The
most interesting give away was from Far Cry 3. Their new character has a Mohawk, so the company was
giving out free Mohawk haircuts to anyone brave enough to volunteer. What makes the whole thing

worth it was the free copy of Far Cry 3 that you get once it’s released. I have some video footage of a
happy customer and his Mohawk:


Once again, I’m going have to go with Yes. Just being able to play some of the games not yet out, and
to be given multiple opportunities to grab some new games for free (and we all know how expensive
games can be) is enough for any gamer to stop in. And let’s not forget all the free t-shirts being thrown
around. I also think that being able to talk to some of the developers of your favorite games is a worth-
while experience as well.

The only thing I will complain about is that there was no Diablo 3 table anywhere. Couldn’t play it,
couldn’t talk to developers, but I’m sure they have their reasons. I’m really just nitpicking here.