Spiderduck @ PAX East 2013: Mercenary Kings
One of my favorites of PAX East this year was Mercenary Kings by Tribute Games. Tribute Games is a small independent developer out of Montreal who have only released one other game so far and that was Wizorb. I was a big fan of Wizorb, so I decided to check out their newest title Mercenary Kings and I was not disappointed. Here is the trailer:
From the trailer I'm sure the one of the biggest comparisons would be to SNK's classic Metal Slug series, and from a core gameplay perspective it is very similar. There is a lot more to it though. Mercenary Kings takes that old formula and adds modern features to it. The biggest one will be the option to do four-player split screen and the level designs encourage you to take the branching pathways and actually split up to complete different objectives. At PAX East this year they were showing this off with four connected Xbox 360 controllers (for Windows), and it was a lot of fun even when you weren't in the same area as one of your teammates. The final game will also include 30-40 different missions, and it seems like these missions are pretty lengthy so there is a lot of game to play. They have also added a crafting system into the game to make a variety of weapons. You gain the materials for this by looting enemies as well as finding secret areas within the missions, so it's always good to be an explorer. Little things also improve the gameplay, such as the addition of active reloading like in Gears of War. While checking out the game, I got to talk to Tribute Games Co-Founder Jonathan and he said they were targeting a late spring-early summer release on Steam. Anyone who orders it ahead of time will get it at a discounted price and there will also be updates after the game launches. The development team also has a license with Nintendo and Sony, so after they get the PC version finished and released they are going to start porting it to consoles. Nothing confirmed, but seeing it on the Wii U, Playstation 3, or even the Vita wouldn't be out of the question. I can't wait to check out the final release, and I encourage everyone to check it out!