The 9 Coolest Games From PAX West 2022

2022 saw the biggest PAX West in years. Here are our picks for the most exciting upcoming games that were playable at the convention.

PAX West 2022 in Seattle is one of the largest video game shows in North America, and this year saw its return to form following the global lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic. While PAX West 2021 felt like a soft re-launch, the 2022 edition of PAX West brought the convention closer to how it felt in 2019, and featured several games to try out ahead of their releases in the coming months.

In fact, there were so many games at PAX West 2022, we wanted to narrow things down to the most notable titles at the show. The convention’s line-up featured games set for later in 2022, early 2023, and even beyond that, including the likes of Lies of P, Goat Simulator 3, and Planet of Lana.

Here are our picks for the coolest games at PAX West 2022:

lies of p

Lies of P

Release Date: TBD 2023
PC, PS5, Xbox Series X

The upcoming Lies of P asks, ‘what happens if you put Pinocchio in a nightmarish Victorian-era city inspired by FromSoftware’s Bloodborne?’ It’s undoubtedly a strange concept, but actually playing the game proved to us that it’s more than just an off-the-wall idea – it turned out to be a very intriguing pairing.

Playing Lies of P felt extremely familiar as someone who has spent countless hours with both Elden Ring and Bloodborne’s challenging and tactical gameplay. The twist here, however, is that Lies of P leans heavily into the mythos of Pinocchio – albeit with a darker, Soulslike twist. This reimagining takes many concessions with the childhood fable, but it’s hard to deny that Lies of P is already quite a compelling take that’s got our attention.



Release Date: TBD 2023
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

One of the strangest and most intriguing games of PAX West 2022 was the recently revealed Umbilical, a survival horror game playable in either single-player or co-op. The idea powering Umbilical is the union between the character Alicia and her organic drone, and how they’ll need each other to survive.

Managing your precious energy is the key to surviving a ‘run’ in Umbilical. Movement and attacking enemies will consume power, and going too deep into the world with little energy will lead to an untimely death. Umbilical’s world is eerie, and blends elements of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding – the latter being a significant touchstone for the team. Umbilical is still a ways out, but there’s a lot to unpack here so far, and hopefully, the devs will reveal more of the game soon.

The Last Case of Benedict Fox

last case of benedict fox

Release Date: TBD 2023
Xbox, PC

Revealed during Microsoft’s Xbox Showcase in June, The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a mesmerising homage to both the Metroidvania sub-genre, and the otherworldly fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. The evocative and detailed art style looks similar to the works of filmmaker Henry Selick, the creator of the James and the Giant Peach and Coraline films. Playing The Last Case of Benedict Fox was exciting, as getting to explore environments that blended Victorian-era mansions with the gross and organic textures of the underworld made for a bizarre yet still curious world to explore. This is one Metroidvania-style game to watch in the future.

Shovel Knight Dig

shovel knight dig pax west 2022

Release Date: 23 September 2022
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

It took many years, but developer Yacht Club Games finally made a Shovel Knight game centred around the titular hero’s greatest skill; digging. What’s cool about Shovel Knight Dig is that it’s not only a tribute to the classic game Mr. Driller, but also a unique take on a dungeon crawler.

As you collect gems, defeat enemies, and power up your skills while making that descent deep into the earth, you’ll eventually expand your base of operations to make your journey into the planet less arduous. In my short time, I came to like the faster pace of this game, and it was so satisfying tearing through levels and making it to new areas. The Shovel Knight series has been a consistently enjoyable franchise, and Shovel Knight Dig is shaping up to be another knockout entry.

Goat Simulator 3

goat simulator pax west 2022

Release Date: 17 November 2022
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

No, you did not miss out on a Goat Simulator sequel. According to the devs, they originally wanted to call their follow-up to the original Goat Simulator 4, but their publisher pushed back, so they stuck with Goat Simulator 3. Much like the original, the sequel is a wild and off-the-wall parody game that puts you in the role of a seemingly average goat that can bend the world to its whims.

Even in the short PAX demo, there was immense chaos and dumb fun to get into, like getting the goat to spew fireballs at cars while rail-grinding. The game is so bizarre that I couldn’t help but respect it for going so hard. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of the action when it releases in the coming months.

Friends vs. Friends

friends vs friends pax west 2022

Release Date: TBD 2023

The recently released Neon White showed that fast-paced FPS gameplay and deck-building mechanics make for a clever mix. Another game following suit is Friends vs. Friends, which brings that concept into the realm of an arena shooter. Focusing on either 2v2 battles or 1v1 duels, Friends vs. Friends is a wacky and surprisingly tense shooter with a slick sense of style borrowing from the low-polygon look of PlayStation 1 and Sega Saturn games.

Armed with a deck of cards that grant weapons and power-ups, such as turning your character into a giant that can toss poison bombs or use bullet time, the battles that take place are surprisingly tense yet still maintain a sense of outrageousness. It’s a zany take on an arena shooter that brings a lot of style, and I cannot wait to play more of it.


wrestlequest pax west 2022

Release Date: Early 2023
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

WrestleQuest is a creative and satisfying blend of the mythology of pro wrestling with classic SNES role-playing games. Taking gaming cues from Super Mario RPG and Earthbound, you follow the parallel stories of two up-and-coming wrestlers who brawl, grapple, and powerbomb their way through a fantasy world moulded by the legends of wrestling.

It’s not only a game that pays tribute to the fandom and thrill of professional wrestling and classic JRPGs, it’s also a clever adventure through a bizarre world where ‘kayfabe’ is everything.

Tails: The Backbone Preludes

Release Date: TBD 2023
Platform: PC

2021’s Backbone was a captivating neo-noir detective game made in the mould of classic titles from the LucasArts library. In a surprising move, developer EggNut already has a follow-up in the wings, a prequel that focuses on the early years of Backbone’s cast. This isn’t just a standard prequel, though. Instead, Tails will focus more on the key choices that shape each of the four playable characters that feature in Backbone.

According to the developers, Tails is a shorter game than its predecessors but still includes more than double the amount of writing and storytelling. Backbone’s big strength was its storytelling, and Tails‘ open-ended approach is already a nice upgrade over the original.

Planet of Lana

planet of lana

Release Date: Spring 2023
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

The simplest way to describe Planet of Lana is that it’s a far more upbeat and family-friendly version of PlayDead’s adventure game Inside – but that would be a disservice to Planet of Lana’s unique style and approach to 2D adventure gameplay. Planet of Lana is all about the connection between a child lost in an alien world and a friendly critter who helps them find their way home. That bond between them is at the forefront of Planet of Lana’s storytelling and gameplay, which sees the pair travel across a gorgeously detailed alien terrain with puzzles and dangers to overcome.

In the extended demo I played, I felt so invested in seeing the pair make it through their journey, and it made for some satisfying and calming moments that showed off the splendour of the game’s world.

The next PAX event, PAX Aus 2022, takes place in Melbourne, Victoria from 7-9 October 2022 as part of Melbourne International Games Week 2022. Stay tuned to GamesHub for upcoming coverage of the show.

Alessandro Fillari is a writer/editor who has covered the games, tech, and entertainment industries for more than 11 years. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he previously worked at GameSpot and CNET as an editor specializing in games coverage. You can find him on Twitter at @afillari