That’s all, folks – PAX Australia is done and dusted for 2017, and boy did we have a blast.
The Penny Arcade Expo – or PAX – is the country’s largest gaming convention – and my personal favourite. There’s something about the atmosphere of PAX Aus that you just don’t get at other cons. It certainly helps that everyone in attendance lives and breathes video games.
Our weekend, as you will no doubt have seen, was jam-packed full of interviews, appointments and panels, not to mention browsing the show floor and taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells PAX has to offer.
We opened the show with Burnie Burns and his storytime keynote, where he doted on everything from Monty Oum to his beginnings at Rooster Teeth and starting Red vs Blue. We had a brief chat with Corsair and checked out their latest on offer, with the ST100 looking to be a very pretty headset stand. We had a lovely chat with network sponsors Linksys, about what it means to work with such a large event as PAX, and how they managed to pull it all together without so much as a hiccup.
However, the undisputed highlight of the day was Skyrim VR on the Sony booth. Saying I am excited for that is the understatement of the year. The demo they had on offer was the quest towards the beginning of the game, where you go inside Bleak Falls Barrow, encounter Arvel the Swift and face a giant frostbite spider. The movement is similar to DOOM VFR, in that you teleport a few feet instead of walking, but the real clincher is the combat. If you’re using Move controllers, you can swing your sword and hold your shield as if you were actually the Dovahkiin. I mean, look at me:
— STACK (@STACKmag) October 27, 2017
I could talk about Skyrim all day, but I digress. Day 2 had us catching up with Tim Stobo of Guerrilla Games to chat about all things Frozen Wilds – and that’s shaping up to be one hell of an expansion. We also had a chat with the enthusiastic Derek Kirtzic from NetherRealm Studios about Injustice 2, and he assured us there’ll be some special themed events happening around the release of Justice League in a few weeks. We spent some time with NVIDIA to check out their latest range of MAX-Q laptops that pack a graphical punch, and also got to play with the world’s first HDR enabled G-Sync monitor. They were running Destiny 2 on PC, and it looks beautiful at 60 FPS, let me tell you. Day 2 also heralded one of the most beautiful moments of my life – I witnessed a Master Chief cosplayer propose to his girlfriend in front of the Xbox booth. Don’t worry – she said yes:
— STACK (@STACKmag) October 28, 2017
Sunday was much more relaxed, and I got the chance to check out Riot Games’ panel in the morning, and then finally get some shopping in. I’ve had my eye on Million Dollars, But for a while, and managed to pick it up at the Hanabee booth, but was too tempted by the Kojima Productions stuff to trust myself to hang around any longer. We squeezed in a meeting with Razer, where they showed us their latest products, including the Destiny 2 branded headset, mouse and mouse mat, and the new Ornata Chromas, which are now the best-selling keyboards in the country. We jumped over to HyperX for a quick chat about their headsets and what’s next for them, and I even managed to squeeze in a squiz at a Rainbow Six: Siege tournament that was going on on-stage.
And so, as all things inevitably must, PAX Aus 2017 came to a close. As always, it was a bunch of fun, and it’s great to be surrounded by so many people brought together by their love of video games. My game of the show was indisputably Skyrim VR, but there seems to be a communal sense of intrigue around the upcoming PS4-exclusive Detroit: Become Human. Lines for that were consistently wrapped around the booth – moreso than anything else I saw at the show. Personally, though, I’d have to say the most impressive booth was Ubisoft; every year without fail Just Dance draws crowds, and it’s always a reliably fun spot to be. Couple that with photo ops for Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Far Cry 5, and everything (including The Fractured But Whole) playable, it was an enjoyable time for all involved. My cosplay pick of the weekend – not that you can really compare them because anyone who cosplays at all deserves 12 medals – would have to be Laura with this stunning D.Va/Harley Quinn crossover – check out her insta:
We can’t wait for the doors to open again in 2018. Until next year!