SEATTLE—PAX West has overtaken Seattle’s downtown convention center with roughly 4,000 new and in-development games across its giant expo halls. Yet somehow, it’s the kind of ragtag show where titans like Spider-Man, Artifact, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can stand toe-to-toe with promising indies like Due Process and Risk of Rain 2.
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But before we post our usual best-of-the-best PAX wrap-up, we got a day-one opportunity to try two games that are quite unusual owing to their incredibly early status, their behind-closed-doors nature, and their “holy cow, these exist?” flavor: Streets of Rage 4 and Windjammers 2.
Axel to grind
Yes, the two PAX West games with arguably the biggest time gaps between sequels—24 years for both, if you’re counting—shared a press-only hotel suite mere blocks away from the PAX show floor. Both games will be published by the French publisher DotEmu, and both are clearly not ready for public consumption, thanks to missing assets and incomplete polish.