Why: Final Fantasy might just be back.
As a Final Fantasy fan since childhood I've lost a lot of mind share with the franchise over the past decade. Thankfully, Final Fantasy XV is shaping up to be an extraordinary JRPG. It has a huge world that invites you to explore it, action-oriented combat not too dissimilar from Kingdom Hearts, and an expectedly beautiful presentation. That's just what we know so far, and our list of reasons to be excited is sure to grow once we get our hands on it at PAX East 2015.
Why: It's a strategy game by The Behemoth.
There's no way around it, Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater were fantastic games. The Behemoth is one of the best independent developers in the business, so when it says it has a new game in development you have every reason to want to check it out. Made better, its upcoming game, Game 4, is a turn-based strategy game. So, now it's hitting a genre that's been needing love for a few years. We can't wait to get our hands on it.
Why: Guild Wars 2 was good.
There have been countless MMORPGs released during the past 10 years, only a small group of which are really worth your time. Guild Wars 2 is one of those few games, and an important one as it still stands as one of the better options in the genre. But monthly updates have only gone so far to keep the game fresh. The title's first expansion, Heart of Thorns, is going big by bringing a new profession, mastery system, as well as an array of PvE and PvP content.
Why: Halo 5's multiplayer is winning fans over.
The Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta was a huge hit. It effectively showed that 343 Industries is fully capable of making a proper next-generation Halo game. But the Beta was limited in content. So, at PAX East Microsoft will host 4v4 battles in its booth with new content, and might just share new information along the way.
Why: Virtual Reality is better than you think.
You might have noticed the slew of virtual reality headset announcements this week. Basically, virtual reality is almost here, and it's a big deal. Leading the charge is Oculus Rift, a device set to release this year. It'll be at PAX East along with a couple games to use it on. Don't be surprised if you hear some great things about it, once again.
Overwatch was the big new announcement by Blizzard at last year's BlizzCon. For the most part, only those at the convention have gotten their hands on it. That'll change this weekend at PAX East when thousands of gamers are able to take part in its hero-based and team oriented first-person shooter arenas. We expect big things, and so should you.
Why: It's Nintendo's new console IP.
Nintendo might not be bringing Wii U Zelda or Star Fox to PAX East, but it is bringing Splatoon. This is a game that looks like a whole lot of fun, and it's releasing in just a couple months. Also, it's a new IP from Nintendo. If it's as enjoyable to play as it appears, the first release is unlikely to be its last.
Why: Enjoy PC gaming in your living room.
This week Valve announced that Steam Machines will be arriving in November 2015. These are essentially a range of PCs that have been built for the living room. The platform hosted by SteamOS functions similar to a console, but brings with it the huge perks of PC gaming, such as having access to a large library at launch, having options for hardware, and being mod-able. At this year's PAX East AlienWare will be showing off its Steam Machine solution, and it's one of the most hyped of the bunch.
Why: It could just be GOTY.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is expected to be a game of the year 2015 contender with its progressive visuals, massive world, and exciting combat. PAX East will host a new showcase for the game, and you have every reason to be excited about it.
Why: It's a second chance to play Xenoblade Chronicles.
Xenoblade Chronicles was one of the best RPGs of the past decade. Sadly, many missed out on playing it since it was on the Wii. Now, it's making the transition to 3DS in the form of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. It'll be playable at PAX East, so soon we'll find out how well it's making the jump to handheld.