Each week PC Gamer probes the previous seven days to scientifically establish what rocked our world and made us despair for its future. As usual, we begin with the good stuff…
PAX East 2014
Unknown Worlds describes Subnautica as a blend of role-playing and exploration. A reductive but maybe more effective way to describe it is an underwater Minecraft. It doesn’t look like it will allow for Minecraft’s level of customization, but it focuses on non-violent exploration of an underwater world, allowing you to design, build, and crew a submarine. Unlike Minecraft and its simple presentation, part of what makes Subnautica interesting is how it will render colorful coral reefs, strange sea creatures, and other sights that make for a great nature documentary. Judging by the first batch of screenshots, it looks like Unknown world is off to a good start.
One of my PAX East discoveries was that a media badge and a camera gives me full license to talk to strangers. After our panel on Friday, I spent some of Saturday cruising the LAN and BYOC area and the rest of the show floor to survey PC gamers on what they're playing, what they're looking forward to, and what they love about our favorite hobby.
Civilization: Beyond Earth was the big, unexpected announcement at PAX East this year, but there was plenty more happening on the show floor in Boston. Tyler, Cory, and I talked through their favorite games of PAX East, including Darkest Dungeon, Evolve, Subnautica, and Below.
The very first thing I notice when I start playing Below is how tiny I am. Noticing this makes Kris Piotrowski, Creative Director at Capybara Games, extremely happy. "That's the point," he says. I'm supposed to feel vulnerable, miniscule, and alone. Even in a crowd of gamers who are getting their first taste of Capy's upcoming roguelike, I do feel alone.
You wouldn't know it by looking at it, but Source started out as an iPhone game. As indie developer Fenix Fire explains, it grew from a simple mobile idea to a full-fledged metroidvania, which is now headed to Steam Greenlight. It has a unique and beautiful look that reminds me of something between Tron and Descent. If that doesn't sound interesting to you, I bet the trailer will change your mind.
Going to PAX East? Chances are pretty good that you'll run into the PC Gamer team. There's our panel, The (Incredible) Future of PC Gaming, happening on Friday at Noon. Evan, Tyler, and Cory will be on the show floor all weekend, just waiting for you to say hello. And if you somehow still can't find us, consider yourself invited to our very own party.
Virtual reality, SteamOS, fiber broadband, 4K displays, holodecks (you know, maybe)—the next five years of PC gaming will radically transform our immortal hobby. What new experiences will the PC games of the near future provide? How will technology surprise us? This April at PAX East 2014, we'll look into that glowing future with the innovators and PC gaming stakeholders shaping it.