PAX can be daunting, but if you know what you want to check out – or at least know your biggest priorities – you’ll have a blast. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s what at the big games booths this year.
There’s a bunch of first and third party stuff scattered about the Nintendo booth, but the star of the show is, of course, Super Mario Odyssey. Otherwise, the naturally Switch-centric array features Splatoon 2, the much-anticipated Skyrim, Fire Emblem Warriors, NBA 2K18, FIFA 18, Tekken Tournament DX, Sonic Forces, plus indies Golf Story, Putty Pals, Rogue Singularity and Death Squared.
We were super-excited to get our hands on God of War… We queued for ages… We got to watch a video. The latest from David Cage, Detroit: Become Human is playable though, as is Monster Hunter World. otherwise there are several PSVR releases – including Skyrim – but appointments are required. Old school is represented by Parappa, Crash and Wipeout, while recent releases such as Gran Turismo Sport, Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Middle-earth: Shadow of War join the friend-friendly PlayLink range. What? No indies? Hmm.
With their biggie (software-wise) for the year dropping recently in Forza Motorsport 7, it takes centre stage – along with plenty of Xbox One X hardware. Old school platformer Super Lucky’s Tale is playable, along with a mix of old and new in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Killer Instinct II, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Ashes Cricket, Minecraft, Halo Wars 2 and a bunch of cool indies, including Ooblets, Strange Brigade, Robocraft, Path of Exile, Hello Neighbor, Hand of Fate 2 and, of course, Cuphead. Meanwhile, MMORPG fans will dig Black Desert.
There’s quite a mixed bag here, starting with Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and continuing on with Injustice 2, MXGP3, Gravel and a highlight for cockies everywhere, Pure Farming 2018. There’s no LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 though. Bummer.
If you can’t find their presence that’s because it’s upstairs near the Diversity Lounge, where you can get your hands on Call of Duty: WWII.
Keeping it simple, there are a heap of machines running Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Code Vein.
Saving some of the best until last, because alphabetical, you can get your hands on Far Cry 5, plus the rather frenetic car/boat/plane action of The Crew 2. Assassins Creed: Origins has a huge presence, of course, as does Cartman (as he always does) in South Park: The Fractured but Whole. If you’re either brave or extremely extroverted, you can take to the stage with Just Dance 18. We politely declined the offer.