The 5 biggest games we played at PAX 2019

After a barrage of impressive indie titles, I simply had to make another top 5 to round out the rest. So without further ado, let me bring to you the top 5 overall games from the PAX Aus 2019 floor. Keep in mind, we only got to see or play brief moments of the final product, so these entries are by no means reviews, final impressions or previews. Let’s get stuck in.

5. Roller Champions – Ubisoft

I put this one a lot lower on my list for a few reasons. Firstly, the game is currently in pre-alpha, and is nowhere near the finished product. But damn was it fun to play. Roller Champions pretty much plays out like a super stylised roller derby, where two teams must duke it, as each team must fight for a ball, skate around the rink counter-clockwise, then throw it through a hoop to score. I know it sounds strange, but that’s exactly why I like it. It’s super colourful, stylised, and most of all, fun. Playing this game with complete strangers who, like me, were still coming to grips with the controls made for some great moments, while remaining accessible enough for players to feel like they can make an impact after a few rounds in the rink. It might be the underdog of the bunch, but be on the look out for Roller Champions. Check out some gameplay for yourself down below:

4. Fall Guys – Devolver Digital

Trust developer Devolver Digital to bring something completely whacky and charming to the table in the for of Fall Guys. Much like Roller Champions, Fall Guys is a multiplayer experience where players control strange creatures as they compete through multiple rounds of what can only be described as MXC for kids. Each round throws players into a fun mini-game, with variety a major key. As you compete, each round limits the number of contestants who pass onto the next round, leading to some tense moments particularly in the later rounds where the mini games get much tougher and more competitive as a result. It’s super accessible, charming, and most of all, fun. Check it out below:

3. Watch Dogs Legion – Ubisoft Toronto

Dedsec is at it again, as the Watch Dogs franchise returns with an interesting twist. In case you hadn’t seen any footage surrounding this game, you can recruit and play as anyone in Watch Dogs Legion. Yes, anyone. We got to check out a behind closed doors alpha demo that both highlighted and explained this mechanic, and I have to say I was impressed. I was stunned at how much detail actually went into this system, with each character having their own back story, quirks and perks. The demo focused very much on the same themes seen in the trailers, but as we see an old lady recruit a new member to Dedsec by using a spider drone to hack into a facility to complete their dirty work (yes, it’s as crazy as it sounds), we switch control to this new recruit to complete a combat heavy mission, and I could not help but be amazed at just how much the game is going to offer in terms of variety and scope. Watch Dogs Legion is definitely paving new ground for the franchise and for that, it should be admired. While we didn’t get the chance to capture the demo, check out some more of Watch Dogs Legion’s ‘play as anyone’ mechanics below:

2. Final Fantasy VII Remake – Square Enix

It may sound strange, but this demo was kind of a blur for me. Firstly, I could not believe I was standing in front of playable piece of something I though might never come to fruition, but the demo was also sparingly deceptive in exactly how much it showed off. From what I can tell, most of the demo takes place very early on in the game as both Cloud Strife and Barret Wallace explore a factory which seems to be located somewhere in the city of Midgar. A few initial encounters with enemies introduce you to the basics of combat. Combat seems to follow in the footsteps of Final Fantasy XV’s real-time combat as you hack and slash, filling up your ATB (Active Time Battle) bar. This bar, when full, allows you to slow down time, harkening back to the turn-based combat we know and love. It’s a great mix, but as Cloud and Barret come up against the Scorpion Sentinel, a huge robot spider, your skills a truly put to the test. As you mash away, you” find yourself begging for ATB chances to slow down the pace and even the odds. You can also switch to other characters in your party at the touch of a button, making combat feel incredibly varied and involved, particularly when party members are dispersed. Overall, combat feels great, and it’s worth adding that this version of Final Fantasy VII looks so gorgeous, it might just be worth the wait. Check out some near identical E3 2019 gameplay below:

1. Marvel’s Avengers – Crystal Dynamics

This is the big one. With a whopping 7 months to go before its official release, it’s no wonder why everyone flocked to this booth. We got to spend 20 minutes with this beast and it was… pretty damn good actually. I know it was revealed to lukewarm reactions, as I myself reacted accordingly. The demo given to us played out almost exactly the way the E3 2019 reveal did, taking place on A-Day, a celebration dedicated to The Avengers, as the Taskmaster decides today is the perfect day to steal a piece of Stark Tech that could destroy half the city; of course. While not much more was revealed in terms of story, we did learn that Ms. Marvel, who has since been revealed as a major character, was present during A-Day, and was somehow affected by these events. From a gameplay perspective however, Marvel’s Avengers really stood out as a satisfying, if a little traditional third person brawler. I can safely say that Captain America’s hand to hand mechanics felt the most polished, but I also felt that each hero was given enough in terms of combat variety, making each character feel different within the confines of the existing mechanics. It felt natural to switch between each hero as most of the controls remain the same, be it punching, flying or shooting. Marvel’s Avengers hits 15 May 2020, and I can’t wait to sink more of my teeth into the full experience. Check out the E3 2019 trailer below:

Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is a games and technology author at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @chunkys_world and Chunky's World on YouTube.

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