There’s a lot of queuing to be done at PAX Australia — sometimes it’s worth it, and sometimes it isn’t. When you’re lining up to go inside a blocked out little room on the convention floor it can be hard to tell, however. Here are the games that are worth lining up for this year — and the ones that aren’t.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Where is it? Sony booth
What is it?
Horizon: Zero Dawn has one of the better presentations this year. Watch one of the game’s trailers, then watch someone demonstrate a short section of the game, around three hours in. After this, you get a solid chunk of time to go hands on with the game yourself in a sandbox-style demo that lets you play with various weapons and skills, and explore a small section of the world. Between the guided demonstration and your own hands on, you’ll get a nice feeling for how the game’s going to play (spoilers: it’s really good).
While you’ll be playing the demo on a regular PS4, Sony also has a singular demo with Horizon: Zero Dawn set up on a PS4 Pro outside. Seeing as they’re touting the game as one that will benefit hugely from the increased power of the Pro console, it’s worth checking out the souped-up demonstration as well.
Queue forecast: Long. Only seven people are able to play at a time, so wait times will stack up. If you’re at all interested in the game, I’d say it’s worth the wait, however.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Where is it? Ubisoft booth
What is it?
Just a playable demo of the game, no presentation. The demo plonks you right at the start of the game, where you discover your character’s ‘tragic backstory’, get a handle on the game’s controls and generally get chewed out by Cartman.
Queue forecast: Moderate. The Fractured But Whole will have no lack of people wanting to play it this weekend, but there are a whole lot of demo machines available. You should be able to get in with a little patience.
Where is it? Ubisoft booth
What is it?
A playable demo. Ubisoft has a few banks of four machines with For Honor set up. I played the training section, but it looked like the game was set up to allow multiplayer games with the people playing around you. This might be one that it’s worth bringing a few friends down for, just in case.
Queue forecast: Moderate. The queue should move through pretty quickly, especially as Ubisoft’s booth has a bunch of games set up to play.
It’s the year of VR, and while all the major headsets have seen their mainstream releases, they’re still out of budget for a lot of people. Here’s how you can check it out on the show floor at PAX.
Two major booths are showing off the Vive in the Expo Hall — Origin PC has Space Pirate Trainer up and running, while Intel also has the HTC Vive set up for people to try. As with VR most years at PAX, lines are likely to be long, but it’s always fun to watch the people who are having a go while you wait.
What’s great about the HTC Vive is that most exhibitors using it appear to have set up a nice, generous room-scale space for you to play with. Also look out for room-scale setups in the PAX Rising indie section!
Sony has brought the recently released PlayStation VR down to PAX again this year, and seem to have more devices set up than last year. VR Worlds and Batman VR are playable, and the line is pretty small compared to some (at least for Friday). You’ll still be in for a bit of a wait, but if you’re thinking about investing in the PSVR — the cheapest consumer VR option — you might want to hang around for a while and have a go.
Interestingly, I couldn’t spot anyone with an Oculus set up in my initial round of the show floor, but it will likely be present in some capacity. There’s also, of course, the VR Freeplay zone, which is a must if you’re into virtual reality.
While I haven’t had nearly enough time to peruse the Pax Rising indie section (you could spend the entire weekend just playing there), there are a few games I can recommend checking out:
Rivalry was one of the biggest surprises of the indie section last year, and it’s back again this year. Developed by a 15-year-old, it’s a slow-paced but hilarious fencing game that lets you gradually and painfully eviscerate your enemies. Bring a friend or two, or just stop by to spectate one of Rivalry’s surprisingly tense matches.
Goat Punks is another simple, fun multiplayer, with some seriously cute graphics. Race other goats to reach the top of the mountain and fight them to stay there.
Objects In Space is one for the hardware nerds. Check out the developers’ custom-built spaceship’s bridge controller, and even have a chat about building your own.
What Isn’t Playable
Just as interesting as the playable games are the ones that won’t be making an appearance this PAX. Here are a few notable ones.
The Last Guardian
There’s a line for The Last Guardian, but it’s not to play the game. There is a photo opportunity where you can dress as the main character, but The Last Guardian wont actually be playable this weekend.
Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Like The Last Guardian, you can pose for a cool Zelda photo op, but you won’t be able to get your hands on the game. Better luck next time.
Pokemon Sun & Moon
This is probably to be expected, with the demo having been recently released on the 3DS, but as with the above you can pose with a giant Pokeball if you’re super excited about the new Pokemon game.
Did you play something fun at PAX that everyone needs to try? Did you line up for something that was a total waste of time? Let us know in the comments!