There was a lot of cool stuff at PAX Aus 2017, and it was definitely one of those shows where you couldn’t see it all in one day.
But damned if we didn’t try. Here’s some of our highlights.
Master Chief Proposing to His Girlfriend
— Xbox Australia (@XboxAustralia) October 28, 2017
I’d personally have made him remove the helmet first. I mean, that could’ve been anyone.
‘Crossy Road’ with Crazy Controllers
PAX’s big gaming competition, the Omegathon, unveiled its final game as Crossy Road. Very cool!
— The (David) Ma friend (@frostickle) October 29, 2017
But wait! There was a twist. To control the game, they had to use custom controllers made by Rudeism. The Youtuber/streamer is famous for his dastardly, impractical inputs, and this time had figured out how to control the game using a Wii Balance Board.
— Naysy ✨ Anais Riley (@Naysy) October 29, 2017
Well. That… That’s harder.
‘Detroit: Becoming Human’ Had Androids
It might not look like it, but that’s a real person behind the glass. To promote Detroit: Become Human, these poor souls had to act like androids in a glass box all day.
This of course led to everyone seeing how much they could mess with them, or trying to make them laugh. The androids performed admirably in the face of such larrikinism, remaining stone-faced like some kind of Buckingham Palace guard.
All Dat Cosplay
This warrants a whole post of its own, so keep an eye out for that. But cosplay was definitely one of the highlights of PAX Aus 2017.
For those who care about the cosplay scene, the good news was that a lot of the best cosplay you’d see on the show floor was paid for by the booths. It’s good to see the hobby’s value being recognised, and it’ll help cosplayers do what they love for even longer.
The ‘Street Fighter V’ Finals
Esports had a big place at PAX Aus, but a lot of it was just exhibition matches. Not so for Street Fighter V. The winner of this competition would have a proper title outside of PAX, even if it’s with the fairly new Throwdown organisation.
It was also nail-bitingly close.
BKSAMA’s Urien was enough to take down ROF’s Birdie, but not before ROF took him to the final stretch of the final match.
There was some highly strategic and technical play throughout the entire competition, but it’s awesome when a final is suitably climactic.
VR Was Everywhere
VR might not be everyone’s thing. But how can you tell if you haven’t tried it? While Youtube and Twitch has made it easy to show gameplay, VR is one of those areas where we still largely rely on our words to describe the experience. It can be a hard thing to communicate, and ultimately you’re never going to know if you like it until you’ve had a go.
Undoubtedly some people would walk away thinking it’s not for them, but it’s awesome that so many people were able to try it out. If you were interested in VR before PAX, this was great value.
‘Horizon Zero Dawn’s Art Exhibition
We wrote up a little something on the art exhibition that was placed between the show floor and panel areas. It was the perfect spot for passersby to notice out of the corner of their eye and wander over.
Featuring the best shots from community members and developers using Horizon Zero Dawn‘s photo mode, there was quite a lot of creativity on display. Not only that, but some of the pieces were technically impressive too. The artists may not have had to deal with the intricacies of operating a camera, but the game world has its own rules for lighting and physics to play with.
All Those Indies
Lastly, it’s a matter of Australian pride that the indie area has a strong showing of local talent. There were a few repeat booths from previous years, but lots of cool new stuff as well.
It’s usually in this space that you see the innovative ideas that will eventually get picked up by triple-A games three years down the track. As well as ideas that are too crazy to be commercially viable, even if it’s awesome that someone still made it.
You can check out some of the cooler indie games here.