PAX East 2016: Five takeaways from the event

The Penny Arcade Expo or PAX was initiated by the authors of Penny Arcade webcomic, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik in 2004. Since then, it has been hailed as one biggest and most popular event solely dedicated to gaming in all its aspects. Among numerous editions of the event, PAX East – 2016 was recently concluded at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Just like former editions of the same, the event managed to allure large amount of fans from all over. The event featured what it does best, major game developing companies, as well as indie game developers lit up the discussion panels. A large PC and console gaming section provided the players access to new games and vibrant cosplayers added colourful touch. Here are five things from this year’s PAX East which we were most intrigued about: Overwatch Overwatch’s ‘Uber’ promotion: Blizzard’s first person shooter, ‘Overwatch’, which is slated to release on 24 May 2016 was promoted by the company with custom designed vehicles in accordance to few of their characters namely, Tracer, D.Va and Soldier 76. Although one of the vehicles, a Ford F650 Supertruck, with Soldier 76’s branding rammed into another vehicle, fortunately, no damage was done and no one was hurt. The campaign was named ‘Uberwatch’. Warcraft new posterDirector’s perspective on the Warcraft movie:  After the Spider-Man director, Sam Raimi parted ways with Warcraft’s directorial venture, Duncan Jones of Moon fame was brought in for the role. During a discussion in PAX East, the director revealed that, according to him the former director’s version of the movie was flawed, it portrayed Humans as good and Orcs as evil, which is not actually the case on the lines of Warcraft’s original story. According to Jones, he proposed script changes to Blizzard and they went along with it, although, the new storyline will also “Veer Off” the lore in some parts. A new poster featuring Draka was also released during the event. Warcraft is set to release on 10 June, 2016. A tease on Borderlands 3’s fate: During a panel discussion at the event, Gearbox Software, CEO, Randy Pitchford teased about the upcoming version of Borderlands by saying, “Obviously, there is going to be another Borderlands.” But he also hinted that it might have a different name by further stating “We don’t even know if we’re going to call it that.” Pitchford further confirmed that Scott Kester, the art director of Borderlands 2 will be retaining his post for the new edition of the game as well. Developers anecdotes on Mafia III: The Mafia III fans got some information about the anticipated game as well. The Hangar 13 panel asserted that the game is designed in such a way that, every player can create his own journey through the world, in their words, “every player’s story is unique”. The game also boasts of an open world and thus, multiple possible endings. Adding to that, he also made clear that decisions taken early in the game will have long term impacts throughout the journey of the game. Mafia III is set to release over PS4, Xbox One, and PC on 7 October. The music connection to games: This year’s PAX East witnessed games and music tracks going hand in hand as developers seemed to have put more efforts into it. With famous songs like “House of the Rising Sun” in their trailers, developers from Hangar 13, at a panel discussion at PAX East revealed that, the much awaited Mafia III will have numerous other famous sound tracks. They also stated, that more, already licensed songs have not been announced because of music licensing issues. Also, during a panel discussion, original Tomb Raider composer, Nathan McCree confirmed a package called “Tomb Raider Suit”, featuring tracks and music from the three initial games. The album will also be performed at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in England by a “famous orchestra.” Even Gearbox, during their panel discussion, revealed that their characters from Battleborn will be noticed in the popular music rythm game, Rockband 4. They even teased it with an image of Battleborn characters, Thorn and Miko. Apart from these, indie games made their presence felt throughout the event. Indie Megabooth had already released their list of games that were featured at the event. Games like Kitfox Games’ roleplaying game Moon Hunters, RalphVR’s Daydream Blue and Prologue Games’ Knee Deep were some of them. Outlast 2, developed by Red Barrels Games, lived up to its name as a sequel to its previous version. The first look of the game looks absolutely terrifying. The ambience and setting of the game is perfectly blended with the sound effects which add more horror factor to it. All in all, this year’s edition of PAX East was filled with exciting news and development from the gaming industry. Fans got to try their hands on some of the most anticipated games of the year. Its completion definitely leaves us wanting more, although we will have to wait for the next edition.