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Editor’s Thoughts – PAX 2015 Edition

The mind of our editor is a crazy place and sometimes it needs to be emptied. Thoughts flutter through the empty caverns of his mind that need to be placed on the virtual page. These ramblings are presented without context and it must be said that perhaps a warning is required. Dive into the brain of the Editor at your own peril. 

Editor’s Thoughts – PAX 2015 Edition

Indie Showcase

Is there a better gaming event in Australia than PAX AUS? I don’t think so. Despite having a good time at EB Expo there is something special about the big ball of gaming, table top and all round pop culture that is PAX. The wonderful focus on small games is always a real highlight and this year was no different with a huge selection of both locally and internationally developed indie titles. Without exception these titles proved that innovation and originality aren’t dead in the gaming world and that great things can be achieved by small teams. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to play these games and listen to the passionate developers talk about their projects. If you are looking for a reason to head to PAX next year then this is it. I promise it is worth it.

Editor’s Thoughts – PAX 2015 Edition
Objects in Space was just one of the great indie titles on show.

Tear Through

Speaking of great indie titles the official winner of “Hewso’s Indie of Pax 2015” is Tear Through. This game is very early on in development but there is a lot of potential there. A tactical top down game that is somewhat of a cross between SWAT and Hotline Miami it sees the player storming houses to take control of hostage situations and clear out gang dens. The game’s use of light really set it apart from the crowd. Using a torch can reveal enemies but it left you vulnerable so it might be better to shoot some holes in the walls to let light in or reconnect the electricity to turn the light back on. It is a clever system that encourages thought and tactics as opposed to rushing in guns blazing. I can’t wait to see how this one progresses.

Editor’s Thoughts – PAX 2015 Edition
Despite its simple look Tear Through is all class.

Hardware Goodies

As always there was a lot of PC hardware on display at PAX. It is a great chance to check some stuff out that normally I would have to buy to get a good look at. The first thing I looked at was the Alienware Steam Machines. These are an impressive bit of gear that basically acts as a PC console for your TV. I am still however not sure on their market. Most PC gamers will build their own rigs for significantly cheaper than the Steam Machines are selling for and with much better specs. Perhaps there is an untapped market of gamers out there too daunted by PC gaming that these machines are aimed at. If that is the case then the Steam Machines will be a perfect fit. I also managed to check out some of the gear on display at the Razer booth. Their new Keyboards, both mechanical and non mechanical, were comfortable to use and worked well as a typing keyboard. (something some gaming keyboards struggle with) I also managed to grab a Razer Mamba gaming mouse which I will be reviewing in the near future. In all PAX is a great way to check out some expensive gear that you may not be sure of prior to buying, so PC hardware enthusiasts should certainly book in for next year’s show.

Editor’s Thoughts – PAX 2015 Edition
There is no doubt that the Alienware Steam Machines are a sleek looking bit of gear.

Surprise Attack

I am not sure of how many of you are aware of a company called Surprise Attack. They are a wholly Australian owned games Publisher/PR company that has a massive focus on quality indie titles. I want to mention them specifically because of the huge presence they had on the show floor. Some of the titles on display were Hacknet, Rouge Continuum, Dungeon League, Super Mutant Alien Assault and many more. This is a group of dedicated people that are helping Aussie developed indies see the light of day and give them the leg up they need. So this is my way of saying thanks Surprise Attack for bringing gamers everywhere such awesome games that may not have made the journey to release otherwise. Bravo.

Editor’s Thoughts – PAX 2015 Edition
Rogue Continuum is just one high quality title from the Surprise Attack stable.

The Big Thank You

Finally I just wanted to quickly say thanks to my Deputy Editor Stephen del Prado who not only organised our very successful “Go Social or Go Solo” panel on the Friday night but managed all of the PAX coverage that appeared on Player2 over the past couple of weeks. Without his hard work our PAX presence would have been much reduced. Thanks Stephen.

Editor’s Thoughts – PAX 2015 Edition

Matt Hewson