IDL FEATURE – PAX Prime Day Three: Mad Max, Gabe & Tycho, and QWOP

-Day Three is here, the last full day of PAX before everyone heads home. Today was another solid day of cosplay and panels.


DAY 3 – PAX Prime 2015

-Today the plan was to attend a few more panels, explore the rest of the exhibition halls, and play some games. Breaking our fast early we head off in different directions. 2 of the group wanted to check out the Dark Souls III line, myself and the lady willing to hit the 6th floor to see the smaller devs, and stores. I still haven’t located the RTX merch booth though. Strange, they may not be here.

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-The plan was to meet up at the Benaroya Hall for the Gabe and Tycho Q&A #2, around noon for the 12:30 panel. The panel was presented in FULL DOLBY ATMOS, and started off with the Star Wars Battlefront Hoth demo trailer in full volume. It was quite the visual and audible spectacle. Gabe and Tycho took the stage in epic fashion, and proceeded to answer prepared questions for a prompt hour, bowing and leaving.

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IMG_5055-We then headed off for a bite of lunch on our way back to the main building. We split up again, as the other group wanted some Dark Souls III hands-on and the leftovers left to wonder the halls to see what else was exciting.

-We stopped by the Twitch booth for a bit and laughed as a few contestants failed at QWOP, and then sat for a bit in the Xbox lineup featuring Mad Max.

-Mad Max is a fun game. It looks gorgeous. An open world game set in the desert wasteland. Not tied to the movie, we play Max, just trying to survive. The world is littered with strongholds, and enemy convoys. The game heavily features driving, vehicular combat, and hand-to-hand combat. The demo crew presented us with two options: take down a stronghold, or take down a convoy. I chose the stronghold.

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-Starting up the game, we’re dropped into our vehicle and asked to reach an elevated look-out point. Right away in the vehicle, the game plays nice, but the controls seem a little counter-intuitive, so it may take some getting used to. The vehicle feels a little sluggish and floaty when trying to attempt precision moves, but we also have our very own War Boy in the back to man the grappling hook. The tow cable allows us to bring down sniper towers, or pull down walls. A neat mechanics and fun. It is Left Bumper to aim and this slows the world down, and B to shoot. Right Trigger is used for acceleration in a vehicle or running on foot. On foot, B to shoot feels weird as LT to aim and RT to shoot is so ingrained, but the controls are consistent throughout, so once I’m used to it, it’ll be fine.

-After fending off some enemy vehicles, we reach the bridge and scope out the stronghold with our binoculars. Back in the car, we race towards the sniper tower, attaching our tow cable and tearing it down. It feels nice when the line goes taught as it feels like we actually hooked something with weight, and can watch the car struggle to pull it over.

-Driving through a couple smaller turret towers and we’ve reached the front gates. Lined with guys, there’s a couple different routes we can take, but I spot two propane canisters and rip them off the wall with the car’s tow cable, and the wall is free of enemies. Next step is the wall itself, and then I’m on foot, vaulting over a barricade and run face to face with a large group of weapon wielding enemies waiting inside.

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-Mad Max’s fist to fist combat feels reminiscent of the Arkham games. X to punch a bunch, Y to deflect or block when indicated, and occasionally a finisher move will present itself. It works the same with a melee weapon in your handf, or you could clear house with the shotgun which felt powerful. The grenade-tipped spears are handy, and can be thrown at groups of enemies or into barrels for huge explosions. This is how we take down the strong hold in the end, and walk away, never looking back.

-This build felt really solid, only lacking some polish and refinement. This was a stand-alone demo, so it’s hard to say how close this was built to the final gold game, as it launches this Tuesday. Fun nonetheless, just was not given any indication of story, or length of the game.

-Everyone met up again at the Skybridge at 4PM, and we closed the afternoon off fairly early, as 2 of the group were leaving tonight. We saw some more cosplayers on the way out, and upon leaving the convention hall, spotted the whole fleet of Mad Max UBER vehicles, with the warriors standing on top for photo ops. WITNESS ME!!!

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-Back at the hotel we chilled for a bit to rest our weary legs, and played some Xbox games to relax. The 2 leaving said their goodbyes, and myself and the girlfriend left again for the evening to get some dinner and watch the Late Night Dub Fights. Dinner at the Sport Pub and then a quick walk to the Monorail and on to the convention hall, arriving breathless with barely enough time. We were 2 of the last 10 to enter the hall, and sat at the back.

-The Lat Night Dub Fights is a group of panelist voice dubbing over terrible old cartoons, commercials, and TV show clips. Totally improve, the evening is filled with laughs and a few embarrassing groans. Wrapping up right before 11PM, we jog back to the Monorail to catch the last train, and close out the evening.

-Last day is tomorrow, day 4, and then sad goodbyes to PAX 2015. I’m looking forward to a relaxing drive back home, assuming the wind hasn’t impacted our route.

-iRogan

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