After two long years, PAX Aus was finally able to open its doors again in Melbourne this year and welcomed people in person once again this past weekend (October 8-10).
While this year’s event was perhaps a little smoother than usual – unlike in previous years, big titles and big publishers were quite few and far between – it still had a lot of tech and interesting games on display.
Below, we’ve collected some of the PAX Aus 2022 highlights from our time in the fairgrounds.
Red Bull’s immersive VR racing setup
At the Red Bull Playground (opens in new tab) booth, participants at this year’s fair were able to experience what it’s like to be a professional Formula 1 driver without having to enter the tracks. Just put on some VR goggles and sit in a replica driver’s seat frame and you’re good to go. In this setup, you can feel the rumble under your rear and the twists and turns around the track. Racing games are becoming more and more realistic and this feels like a snapshot of what a future avenue of racing could be (without the risk of an accident).
Cult of the Lamb PlayStation custom controller
This custom-made PlayStation DualSense controller is unfortunately not for sale, but its Worship of the Lamb (opens in new tab) aesthetics is on point. There is fuzzy wool on the handles to represent the lamb, the supreme leader. He also has the red eyeball of the holy One Who Waits, who is ever-watching and all-knowing, while the joysticks are the eyes of the cult leader’s eye on his journey. And of course, the standard boring PlayStation buttons have been replaced with the appropriate runes to help you complete your next cultist ritual.
Neon Genesis Evangelion PC by Asus
Evangelion fans will be pleased to find that the Republic of Asus players (opens in new tab) built a PC inspired by the EVA-01. It’s covered in the classic green and purple iconic color of Shinji’s Eva, and has its EVA etched both inside the case and on the front panel, which is continuously illuminated with RGB lights. It really looked like a mecha turned into a PC unit. All it needed was the iconic theme song exploding to bring back childhood nostalgia. If you want to get your hands on this magnificent work of art, be prepared to shell out around AU$8,000.
The Godfeather by Hojo Studio
Join the pigeon mafia and poop on unsuspecting citizens to complete their missions. the Godfeath (opens in new tab) is a hilarious roguelike indie game that is scheduled to come out early next year. You play as a pigeon on a mission to poop on citizens who are enemies of the herd, the better to reclaim a neighborhood overrun with nasty human clothes. You have to dive, fly and avoid police cockatoos and drones to do the mafia’s dirty work. Every poop takes you one step closer to regaining what is rightfully pigeon property.
Aftershock PC water cooled Taro Bobba
It `s cute. It’s pastel purple. It’s bubble tea! Aftershock PCs The silly water-cooled system could be seen from a distance, even with a crowd of people looking at it. It had taro-inspired purple boba tea swirling in its cooling system, and it was realistic enough to make us crave a shot of the milky drink. (Unfortunately, there was no real bubble tea for sale at the Aftershock booth.)
Aftershock showcased several other out-of-the-world custom PC versions at PAX, but this one took the cake as our favorite of the show. If it weren’t for AU$7,500, it would be in my suitcase, but unfortunately, we can only dream.
The amazing adventures of chicken
In this Australian feat indie platform adventure game (opens in new tab), you must complete each level and rescue chicken eggs (without breaking them). Imagine a Super Mario Sunshine co-op game, but with birds and more mayhem. The game might sound like a piece of cake, but I promise you it’s not. Eggs are extremely fragile and like to fall off platforms. Add a second player to the mix and you’ll be screaming as you accidentally eviscerate your prized egg with Thor’s hammer while trying to help your teammate. The game is currently available on Steam and is scheduled to release on console in the coming months.
Valve’s Steam Deck
the long awaited steam deck has not yet arrived in Australia for official distribution, but there was one available. Only one. It wasn’t an official booth from Valve or any hardware company, but it came from indie game developer Witch Beam (creators of Unpacking) who was using it to showcase their upcoming title. time (opens in new tab). I don’t know if the Tempopo team did this on purpose, but there were a bunch of people trying to play the Steam Deck. Brilliant marketing technique? Yup.
VR laser tag with HTC Vive technology
Laser tag is arguably the game of champions, and play it in VR and you’re in for a wonderfully chaotic experience. Imagine being completely immersed in a cyberpunk-like world where you must shoot lasers and dodge to win… while someone walks through a wall and accidentally crashes into you in real life. live (opens in new tab) is the HTC-affiliated VR system that is trying to get Australians excited about the future and present of the VR space. The lines for the two-minute demo were easily 30 to 60 minutes long. Are Australians getting excited? Oh yeah. However, for people with poor eyesight and glasses, you may need to do a little extra work to avoid a blurry reality feel with VR glasses.