PAX East 2022: The 6 Most Exciting Games To Check Out

The upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a direct sequel to the arcade classics.


Tribute Games/DotEmu Games

PAX East has returned this year as an in-person gaming convention. In past years this event was North America’s largest gaming convention, even surpassing its sister show PAX West. While the shows have been on hiatus since the global lockdowns of 2020, PAX East is now back, and there are plenty of games on display.

At the show this year, I got to play several games that’ll be ones to watch out for later this year. In the list below you’ll find a quick rundown of games that stood out at PAX East 2022, including the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, the peculiar platforming game Tinykin and the Souls-like parody video game The Last Hero of Nostalgaia. 

Be sure to check back with CNET for more updates. I’ll be adding to this list as I discover more exciting games at PAX.

Evil West

Developer: Flying Wild Hog | Release Date: TBD 2022

evilwest

You’ll be facing tons of vampires and demons in this supernatural-infused Wild West shooter.


Flying Wild Hog/Focus Interactive Games

Developer Flying Wild Hog has honed its craft for fast-paced action gameplay with the Shadow Warrior reboot trilogy, and now it’s taking that knowhow to the Wild West with the action-horror game Evil West. 

Set in a supernatural take on the Wild West of North America, you play as a vampire-hunting bounty hunter who uses classic cowboy weaponry and advanced gadgets to slay demons of the night. Evil West is a third-person shooter that deftly blends shooting gameplay and melee combat, which opens up slick moments where you can disarm enemies and launch demons into the air with ease. 

This game came out of nowhere for me, and I like its pulp-style horror take on the Wild West. Very interested in seeing more of it later this year.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Developer: Tribute Games | Release Date: TBD 2022

tmnt.png

The entire Turtle squad, along with some help from April and Splinter, will work together to face off against the Foot Clan and other mutant bad guys.


Tribute Games/DotEmu Games

There have been a plethora of games based on the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series over the last three decades, but none have matched the impact of the arcade beat-em-ups. With the upcoming TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, we’re getting a spiritual successor to the classic beat-em-up games directly inspired by those from the 16-bit era. 

Developed by Tribute Games and DotEmu, this throwback game looks stunning in motion, and the gameplay offers that satisfying thrill of barreling through Foot Clan ninjas — something the classic games did so well.

Dolmen

Developer: Massive Work Studio | Release Date: May 20, 2022

dolem

As is tradition with Souls-style games, you’ll likely be running away from many battles.


Massive Work Studio/Prime Matter

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that FromSoftware’s Elden Ring — and other Souls games — have made a massive impact on the gaming industry. So much so that other devs are taking a crack at making their own Souls-inspired games. One game coming from Brazillian developer Massive Work Studio and published by Prime Matter is Dolmen, a sci-fi take on the Souls-style game.

In the far future, you play as a mercenary who travels to a planet hosting crystals that spawn multiple timelines. The gameplay will feel familiar to players of FromSoftware’s games, but with combat spiced up with the addition of firearms and energy powers. This might be one to watch out for if you’re itching for a Souls-style game that offers a change of setting.

The Last Oricru

Developer: GoldKnights | Release Date: TBD 2022

lastoricru

Split-screen co-op is available for those who want to bring a friend with them on their journey through this hardcore sci-fi/fantasy RPG.


GoldKnights/Prime Matter

One particular frustration with Souls games: they tend to have a fairly complex approach to co-op multiplayer. There’s usually a story behind it, but simply put, adding another player to the game isn’t that easy. That’s one thing The Last Oricru, another sci-fi Souls-like game, is looking to remedy — with the addition of couch co-op.

On an alien world you must decide which faction you’ll side with during an increasingly hostile war. But you won’t have to take on the fight alone. One skill the key protagonist has is summoning a hologram copy, which another player can control. Along with online play, split-screen co-op is possible, which means you and a buddy can pair and endure steep challenges and harsh defeats together.

Tinykin

Developer: Splashteam | Release Date: TBD 2022

tinykin

You’ll get to interact with many characters hiding out in the world of Tinykin.


Splashteam/Tiny Build

One game that surprised me at PAX East was Tinykin, a very peculiar but visually impressive puzzle-platforming game. Mixing 2D visuals with 3D environments, the game sports a style that looks right out of an animated film such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Playing as a shrunken-down explorer, you team up with miniature critters to overcome platforming challenges and explore the world found within a human’s house. The story and gameplay seems to borrow heavily from Nintendo’s Pikmin, but the game does present clever and surprisingly heartwarming twists on that premise. It looks like it’ll be fun for all ages, so keep it on your radar.

The Last Hero of Nostalgaia

Developer: Over The Moon Games | Release Date: TBD 2022 

lastheroofnostalgaia

This lowly, stick-figure protagonist will face off against hordes of video game enemies in their journey to become the great hero of the land.


Over The Moon Games/Coatsink

Yes, this is another Souls-style game, but it’s my favorite from PAX East 2022. 

The Last Hero of Nostalgaia is set within the world of a high-fantasy Souls-esque video game, where you play as a hilariously undefined protagonist that looks like a walking stick figure. With no class or backstory, you make your own tale within a game where the narrator has become self-aware and is actively trying to stop your adventure. The Last Hero of Nostalgaia is a parody game, and its fun combat is boosted by solid writing that pokes fun at the cliches and formula of fantasy games. Playing this was a riot, and I’m keen on seeing where this oddball will go when it’s released later this year.


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