Kicking off PAX East 2022 is none other than Gearbox Entertainment, a big name in the gaming industry. The developer is best known for the Borderlands series, one that has turned into one of the most recognizable franchises in the world. Today is a special day for Gearbox not only because of its presence at PAX East, however. It is also Randy Pitchford's birthday and the main man himself cut no corners to impress.
Sporting a unique blue and yellow suit ensemble, Randy welcomed everyone in attendance and those watching on stream back to Boston. While Gearbox was live-streaming the event, being there physically gave off an entirely different vibe. For many, panelists and guests included, this is their first major con following the COVID pandemic. As PAX East was postponed for in-person attendance, seeing everyone show up to support the company resonated with Pitchford. Of course, other wackiness that would be expected from a Gearbox event was featured, but it was something that was missed by the community.
He then went on to discuss recent acquisitions that Gearbox had acquired, including Lost Boys Interactive, the co-developers of Tiny Tina Wonderlands. Gearbox Publishing has also opened new studios in San Francisco and Amsterdam. Another studio has opened in Los Gatos with a partnership involving Cryptic Studios.
The games that were shown during this segment was Hyper Light Breaker, the sequel to Hyper Light Drifter that will be in early access in Spring 2023. Have A Nice Death, which is currently in EA, was another game featured. Homeworld 3, the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic PC game, had its collector's edition revealed. This includes an impressive spacecraft that will no doubt be a prized possession for collectors.
One of the new games announced during the show was Relic Hunters Legend, developed by Rogue Snail. Described as a "Free To Play Looter Shooter RPG," the game aims to take the core of looter shooters while placing them in a colorful environment. From the gameplay trailer alone, it looks to be an interesting take on a genre exclusively to "FPS." Relic Hunters Legend has its own Steam page for players who want to wishlist when it's close to release.
Another premiere was Eyes in the Dark: The Curious Case of One Victoria Bloom, developed by Under The Stairs. This game focuses on using the light to fend off shadows in an art style that reminded me of Don't Starve. It reminded me of other 2D survival horror-esque titles like Little Nightmares except the flashlight is a means to fight larger-than-life enemies.
The title will be released on July 14, 2022 on both Steam and Epic Games Store. Those who preorder the game will get an exclusive digital soundtrack for free. With many more projects along the way, Relic Hunters Legend and Eyes in the Dark are shaping up to be frontrunners for the future of indie development within Gearbox Publishing.
The rest of the show covered Borderlands 3 and Tiny Tina Wonderlands, specifically statistics in-game. When developers faun over statistics such as "over a billion dragons were slain" or "10 quadrillion dollars were looted," it's always endearing. According to Gearbox, most players who have played Tiny Tina Wonderlands have not played a previous Borderlands title. I've shared that the last game I played in the series was BTS and to me, Tiny Tina Wonderlands was a breath of fresh air. It turns out that most players dig the fantasy setting as well as tabletop RPGs.
So when the official announcement and unboxing of an actual Bunkers & Badasses playset was done by none other than Randy Pitchford on stage, it made it that more poignant. Table top RPG games have been a defining influence in the game's development and players could now experience the joys themselves. Gearbox is well aware of the popularity Tiny Tina has, with collaborations including G Fuel and Power A controllers featuring exclusive merch.
By the end of the presentation, Gearbox hinted there were more projects on the way. A follow-up to Telltale Games' Tales From The Borderlands will be done in-house and will release sometime later this year. Other unannounced projects were teased, but the gist of the Gearbox showcase was to welcome its fans back to in-person attendance. It was an enjoyable experience, plus I got a poster from it that I may or may not hang in the office. (If the boss lets me)