Thoughts On E3 So Far

Thoughts On E3 So Far

Ben has been happy as larry doing a great job with his liveblogs on the conferences, watch out for the Nintendo one later today. I just want to share some brief thoughts so far on the event.

First up, well first up I have to say that I think E3 is a bit tired as a concept now. Yes it is a nice centralized event for all the big companies in the industry to show off their latest tech and games, but it feels a bit out of place in a world where events like GDC, Eurogamer Expo and PAX provide more depth, and generally more interesting presentations and discussions.

It has also come to a stage where there is such an information overload that people can’t easily absorb and take in what is happening.

I do feel that the games industry is turning into Twenty20 Cricket with E3 being the World Cup. You can’t seem to get away from BIG, BRIGHT, NEW things these days, it seems every other a week a AAA release sees a new trailer come out, or a promise that if one million people like the Facebook page you might get an announcement about when you will get to Tweet about the game to get a new trailer release quicker.

Sometimes I think more companies need to take the Valve approach, a 5-day Test Match approach to things. Take your time, only reveal things it is truly special and only release a game when it is finally finished.

If you haven’t guessed already, I am writing this piece while watching the England vs. Sri Lanka cricket match. Expect cycling related cynicism when the Tour de France starts in July.

I was meant to be talking about E3 wasn’t I? Soon enough (in just a couple of hours from now) Nintendo are going to be revealing their new console. The latest rumours have it that it will be called ‘Nintendo’ which is just a wee bit stupid. Words about that will come in time though.

I’ll be clear, I have only watched the Microsoft and EA events live, due to an evil early start at work I haven’t watched the Ubisoft or Sony events, but I have read Ben’s liveblogs!

I think the general consensus is that Microsoft gave us all a bit of a stinker. It started off okay-ish, but there was way too much Kinect emphasis and too often it came over as a desperate attempt to show off the tech that they are so proud of.

They need to start to realise that they can’t shoehorn Kinect into every game due to come out on the platform without turning people away from the device. In addition, where was the talk of the PC? Windows 8 has slowly started to be unveiled, why didn’t they devote at least five minutes to talking about the gaming potential of it? They missed a trick there, especially when there is a growing feeling amongst many nay-sayers that the PC is coming good once again.

EA did a stand-up job with their event, they got a few little digs in at their competition but showed some interesting stuff. Mass Effect 3 is what it is; a poor choice of trailer with the turret sequence, but fans will still love it. FIFA 12 was a bit overdone. I do wonder how many of the American attendees knew anything about what they were talking about. They made up for that with the Madden sequence.

There were some other so-so bits and a lot of hints, winks and nudges about Origin. It may be starting out on PC and mobile, but it is only a matter of time really until Origin appears on the 360 and PS3. Between this and Call of Duty Elite, Steam needs to step up its act.

Overstrike started off sounding very average, but as soon as the trailer started I was gobsmacked by the size of that guys jaw! All in all it came across very well with a lot of humour being thrown in and a nice visual style.

Battlefield 3 was my pick of the conference, and will probably be my game of E3. The brief multiplayer trailer looked very Battlefield 2 in a good way, I was afraid it would have more of a Bad Company or Call of Duty vibe. Some people have said that the tank sequence was slow, but I thought it was a brilliant change of pace from the usual all-action trailers we get at E3. If it wasn’t quite a Test Match affair, it was certainly a standard One Day match rather than Microsoft’s Twenty20 approach.

The best bit though about Battlefield? The live tank demo was played on a PC. I think that just shows what a great platform it is and EA’s slow re-awakening to the potential there is on the PC.

Ubisoft showed off Far Cry 3, a new Brothers in Arms game and some other dance and fitness things. Assassin’s Creed Revelations was also shown off as everyone expected. I still fear it is going to fail to impress in the way that Brotherhood did, but I will say I am pleased that there is more Far Cry coming.

Sony was bookended by Uncharted 3 and Vita, not to be confused with Vista. I’m non-plussed on both, haven’t played any Uncharted yet and handhelds don’t really do anything for me. At least they offered an apology for the PSN mess.

Nintendo is coming up very soon so expect lots of hubbub about their new toy to dominate the web soon…and drown out anything else that will happen at E3 today.

Now, where has the cricket gone?

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