Back finally after a whirlwind weekend at the Penny Arcade Expo. I’ve seen and heard so much over these 3 days and I’m absolutely exhausted. As tired as I may be, I’m going to use today to kick off the weeklong coverage of everything that went down in Boston. I’ll be bringing you the sights and my hands on impressions from a ton of games including Rage, Red Faction: Armageddon, Homefront, Battlefield 3, Brink and a ton more. I’m going to kick off this PAX blitz on a lighter note with some just odd and interesting things I saw this weekend.
Do you even work here?
So the Bethesda booth provided a couple of interesting sights. First, while waiting to go hands on with Brink, the line looped through the Hunted: The Demon’s Forge area. From what I could see, there was only 1 person manning this section and she looked about as interested as a vegetarian in a steakhouse. When asked what the game was all about she replied with this gem: “Well, it’s good. If you like RPGs, you’ll probably like this one.” Compelling. Way to sell people on the game. After that she promptly left the booth.
On a similar note, I learned that people are brought in to help out at the booths and aren’t all employees at the dev studio. How did I learn this? Well, after replacing someone on the show floor for Brink, a man was asked about the game. He was asked what a player could use the experience points earned in the games on, and he replied with “I’m not sure.” Going further, he was asked if you could customize your guns in addition to the character and again replied with “I believe so, but I’m not sure.” He later admitted to missing the training session for the game an even told people that the wait was about an hour and was going to take a while. Way to be a downer guy.
Not to say everyone there was hired help. There were a ton of developers there supporting their games including Cliff “CliffyB” Bleszinski from Epic Games, Paul Wedgewood, CEO of Splash Damage, and Matt Hooper, from Id Software. It’s definitely cool rubbing elbows with these guys on the show floor. I also walked right past Adam Sessler and stood in for a live taping of Xplay near the WB Games booth. Blair Herter and Morgan Webb were also seen walking around amongst the people. The guy that plays ‘Chuck’ on the NBC show, Zachary Levi, was also spotted walking the show floor.
It’s a given at any convention to see people dress up as their favorite characters. I saw some zombies chasing plants around the convention center. Numerous assassin’s were seen as well with costumes ranging from “Whoa, that’s complex” to simplistic but still cool. Waiting in line for Rage, I also managed to see an entire group dressed as the Scott Pilgrim characters. ‘A’ for organization there guys. I was blown away by a couple of guys dressed as the Ghostbusters. They had some seriously complex outfits. The backpacks alone were so high-tech with blinking lights and metal. Two bigger guys were also dressed as….well….I’m not entirely sure. I’m going to say a cross between Isaac Clarke and the guys from Army of Two.
WWE Invades PAX
I’ll admit, I haven’t watched wrestling for quite a long time, but the current WWE Champion was walking the show floor. Complete with championship belt and everything. He managed to stand out pretty easily.
Irrational Gets Prime Space
Greeting people as they entered the BCEC was the antagonist from Irrational Games upcoming shooter, BioShock Infinite. Quite an interesting sight as they had a HUGE statue of “Him”, the big daddy-esque robotic bird gargoyle creature. Not bad advertising for your game when that’s the first thing they see upon entering.