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This weekend all gaming eyes will be turned to the city of Seattle, Washington. The Penny Arcade Expo has become a sort of Mecca among gamers. Thousands of fans, industry folks, and media descend on downtown Seattle for PAX West, Formerly PAX Prime. Over the past several years the show has only expanded to include a greater and greater portion of the downtown area. Basically, every hotel function space within walking distance is dedicated to PAX.
Passes for PAX sell out within minutes every year because of all the things that gamers get to experience while they're there. From getting a behind the scenes look at this year's biggest titles, to actually getting a chance to play them early, everything gamers could want will be along at some point during the four days of PAX. We're as excited as anybody. Here's what we're looking forward to checking out.
Checking Out More VR
Virtual reality is the newest hot topic in video games. We're at a point where we're truly in the middle of realizing concepts that have only been part of science fiction prior to now. However, while you can get a good feeling about most video games from watching somebody play them on Twitch, VR doesn't allow for that. The immersive nature of the games really means that in order to truly experience them you have to put on that headset. There are several VR titles that will be on display at PAX, and we'll be getting our eyes on as many of them as possible.
Who would have dreamed that watching people play Dungeons and Dragons could possibly be that entertaining? And yet, watching the players navigate an adventure live before you, with Wizards of the Coast's Dungeon Master Extraordinaire Chris Perkins at the helm, is one of the most popular events of the entire weekend. If you're never experienced an adventure with the group known as Acquisitions Incorporated, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The latest entry in the ongoing series has become so popular that those not in attendance can view it at their local movie theater. We'll be getting in line early for good seats.
While not usually the first event on the PAX schedule, there's no better way to start your weekend than with the official keynote address. Amy Henning is one of the most accomplished people in the video game industry. If she were only responsible for the brilliant Uncharted series, her place in history would be assured, however, she's currently working at EA on something new involving the Star Wars license. While we're guessing she won't spill any secrets on that title, we can dream, can't we? We'll still love to hear everything she has to say about her career during the PAX Keynote address.
As the brains behind the fantastic Borderlands series, the guys at Gearbox are as irreverent as the characters they create. While their current focus has been Battleborn, we're sure they've got something new up their sleeve, and we're hoping PAX will be the spot where they'll let us in on their secrets. Whether or not we hear anything new about the future of the Borderlands franchise, we're sure we'll have a good time. Still, we're betting if there's an official announcement coming for Tales From the Borderlands Season 2 it'll be made here. Telltale has so much more to discuss at their panel.
Final Fantasy XV
Saying that the new Final Fantasy is a highly anticipated title is not news. Every new entry in the series is in high demand. However, thanks to the game's delay, it will be just that much further out when PAX starts up, meaning we don't want to wait anymore. We're excited to see how the game is shaping up and just how much more that two-month delay is going to be giving us. It's clear that Square Enix wants this release to be a big one, even among the Final Fantasy series. We need to see if it will measure up.
Gears of War 4
The new Gears of War game is the first one not designed by Epic Studios. As such, it is as much a brand new game as it is a new entry in a series. While we expect the basic gameplay to remain the same, we want to see what new things The Coalition is bringing to the table. Will this be something truly new, or a rehash of the same old thing? The original Gears started a trend toward cover based shooting. Will the next title start a new trend of its own?
One of the centerpieces of PAX every year is the Omegathon. Starting at the beginning on the con, and running until the very end, is a massive game tournament played by a couple dozen preselected attendees. When the competition is down to the final two, they take each other on in the final event of the weekend. The final game is always a mystery. It's often a classic title, but occasionally a not yet released experience. The unveiling of the title is an event to itself, watching the two players fight to win can be some of the most heated competition you've ever seen.