The 4 best finds at PAX East 2012

Now that we’ve had a few days to digest the big Penny Arcade Expo East 2012, GamesBeat has put together a list of the best things we saw at the convention. Here it is:

Mark of the Ninja
Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network
Summer 2012 

This 2D stealth-action title from Shank developer Klei brings a concept that’s worked well in big, 3D games and distills it into its most potent form. Not every gamer loves hiding in the shadows, causing distractions, and climbing through vents in genre classics like Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid, but Mark of the Ninja is so fun it could win over even those haters. Klei fights the usual trial-and-error frustration by giving players detailed visual information to illustrate the cause of a failure. It looks great too. - Jeff Grubb

Release date – TBA

Firefall is an ambitious project from an independent studio that knows a thing or two about online gaming. Red 5 Studios CEO and founder Mark Kern was once team lead for Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft, while lead designer Scott Youngblood once worked on the Tribes franchise. Combining fast-paced shooting action with role-playing elements, this free-to-play massively multiplayer online game features skill-based combat, gear customization, dynamic world events, a colorful sci-fi setting, and copious amounts of Player-vs.-Player support. Here’s our preview story.

Oh, and did I mention it has jetpacks? - Stefanie Fogel

Loadout game

Summer 2012

While developer Edge of Reality’s new third-person multiplayer shooter didn’t have the largest booth at PAX East, it was packed with gamers having a good time. Loadout is a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Its blood-soaked visuals are cartoonishly violent and often amusing, while its weapon customization options allow for some pretty bizarre creations. And, like Firefall, it’s absolutely free. - SF

Civilization V: Gods & Kings
June 19

After reworking most of the main mechanics for Civilization V, developer Firaxis is taking its time to focus on one or two major concepts in this expansion. Religion is back. It now has its own perk tree, which has players selecting beliefs to create a build-a-creed. Espionage also makes its return with a more in-depth micromanagement system. We can already see this Civ V remix will be eating up our late-night hours this summer. Also, in the days of $15 map packs, it’s nice to see an old-style PC expansion pack. - JG 

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