Sure, everyone likes to kick back once in a while, but sometimes you just want to get the ol' heart rate up. There was plenty to love on the show floor at PAX Australia when we visited, but there were definitely some titles that kept us coming back for more thrills. Here's our list of the top 5 most thrilling games at PAX Aus. If you're after something a little different, cleanse your palate by checking out the chat that we had with Cecile Richard, the creator of Continental Drift.
Top 5 Most Exhilarating Games at PAX Aus - Fork Knights
The name of the game is chaos. Well, it's actually Fork Knights, but it is incredibly chaotic and that's what makes it so fun. This is a multiplayer brawler take on the kind of ethos behind Nidhogg. You and your opponents are all fencers, but a hit will mean death so you better watch your neck, your back, and, well, your sides. The theme is a bit kitschy (as the name suggests, prepare for food jokes), but the revolving maps and traps mean that you have to keep your eye on more than just each other's pointy ends as the frenetic action rumbles on. You can find Fork Knights on Steam.
Top 5 Most Exhilarating Games at PAX Aus - Never Give Up
Celeste was a difficult yet meditative platformer which released to critical acclaim. Never Give Up takes a decidedly more gory approach to incentivizing you to aspire to platforming glory - you get turned into mincemeat. Sometimes literally. Sometimes you get a torso full of missiles. This is one brutal game, both in design ethos and aesthetic, and each time we were pulped after an ill-timed jump felt like an encouragement instead of a deterrent. You can now find Never Give up on the Switch or on Steam.
Top 5 Most Exhilarating Games at PAX Aus - Blood Metal
This is probably the first FPS to have made our PAX lists, but its over-the-top nature was just irresistible. Drawing heavy inspiration from 80s action films, from the gratuitous gore to the music, Blood Metal prides itself on being a glorious hail of bullets and blood, and for having "anatomically-correct" innards for the enemies that you're ripping a trail through. Blood Metal is still in early alpha, but hopefully we'll be able to look out for it in 2020. You can follow along with the title's Facebook page for updates.
Top 5 Most Exhilarating Games at PAX Aus - Dead Static Drive
Full disclosure: this one made the list partly because we died about 3 times in just as many minutes when we tried it for the first time. Dead Static Drive, billed as "Grand Theft Cthulu", is at its core a survival adventure set in the 80s after an apocalyptic event. It starts out idyllically enough on a quiet highway, but soon turns into a race for your life as you flee from gigantic monsters with way too many legs and chittering mouths. Trying to escape is easier with a group, though, so you'll have to recruit people with unique skillsets in place of actually arming your own character up with more abilities. Be warned, though. As the world decays, you're bound to lose allies, but which ones will you let go? Dead Static Drive will hopefully be released in 2020 on the Xbox and PC, and you can keep up with the game on its website here.
Top 5 Most Exhilarating Games at PAX Aus - Death Hall
Death Hall really ups the ante by having a literal monster of death loom over you as you attempt to leap, scream, and escape from your hellish surroundings. As if the pressure wasn't already on, you've got to deal with being chased through maps that invoke a terrifying amount of teeth, bone, and an almost impossible amount of unease. You're forced to think quick or risk being snapped up, and the non-stop action will definitely keep you on your toes and your heart beating out of your chest. You can download Death Hall now on the App Store.