On the Floor of E3
E3 is loud. Everyone at every booth wants your attention, and the best way to do that is, apparently, to crank the amp to ’11’ and shatter my eardrums. And honestly, I love it. Everywhere you turn, something exciting is happening, or about to happen. It’s like a rock festival for nerds. Here are some of the highlights from day one.
Right when you walk onto the show floor, the first thing that catches your attention is the huge, loud, and exciting Ubisoft screen. It advertises both casual and hardcore games, and with the correct application of vivid color and booming sound, manages to make yoga look exciting. It also displays the incredibly high production value live-action trailer for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (catch our hilarious commentary of it here). This trailer is beautifully absurd and makes me want to play the game all the more. To the left and right of the screen are booths demoing Your Shape, a workout game cashing in on the fitness trend, and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the next iteration of the franchise. Announcers give live commentary on pre-recorded multiplayer gameplay from Brotherhood, which appears, at a glance (a glance is all we are given here), a tad mind-blowing.
The Ubisoft area is just one small portion of the enormous Los Angeles Convention Center. Microsoft, Square Enix, and EA are just a few other big names with huge presentation stations. At 5:00, I was lucky enough to see the performance artist David Garibaldi doing a live and energetic painting of Epic Mickey, cleverly transforming it to portray Oswald the Lucky Rabbit at the last moment (the antagonist of the game who purportedly steals Mickey’s place as the Disney icon).
Surrounding the big stages are smaller booths featuring everything from Tekken 6 to Enslaved, accompanied by live demos, pre-recorded gameplay, and costumed actors portraying game characters. The whole thing feels a bit like a trip to an amusement park, with all the extravagant sets and goofy costumes. The upcoming Warhammer 40k MMO had a particularly impressive set, featuring a dry-ice spraying, full-sized mech, which opens up and allows people to walk into it for a photo-op.
As I left for the day, I was taunted by one final presentation, and it just happened to be one of my most highly-anticipated titles: Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’m not MMO player, but like many I’ve spoken to, SWtOR just rubs me the right way, and I’m jonesing for some Star Wars goodness. The newest trailer was revealed on a screen so big it made my eyes bleed - in the best way possible that is. Running over five minutes long, it was a brilliant concerto of gorgeous CG, intense action, and loving fan-service. In short, it is just what EA needs to keep their hype-train rolling.
And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I caught a SWtOR shirt thrown at the crowd! Yeah, I had to jump vertically 5 feet into the air, and I’m pretty sure I made the girl behind me cry, but it was worth it. That’s my story at least.