Retroplayer here. Good gosh! Look at the time! Where does it ever go to, dear readers? It’s time for E3 again. My body is ready, more than ready.
Ah, E3 2011. It only seemed like yesterday when Mr.Caffeine rolled out his excellent arrangement of hilarious jokes such as, “Hey wanna hold my joy wand?” or, “Dodlooo-dodlooo-dodlooo”, which left the crowd in fucking stitches. It only seemed like a matter of hours ago when Star Wars: Kinect made us fall in love with the series all over again, and embrace Kinect as our Dark Lord of laggy body flapping. Of course, much like any other year at E3, E3 2011 had terrible its moments. It was also the year that changed what I look forward to E3 for. I used to look forward to all the new gaming announcements. That’s fun, sure, but watching it to witness failure in the making is much more worthwhile. At least you’re guaranteed it’ll happen. Anyway, here’s just a few thoughts about E3 that are spilling out of my head today.
My main hope was that we’d see Half Life 3 (or is that Episode 3?) at this years E3. I guess those hopes have been pretty much dashed at this point. I had a fantasy that at the Valve press conference the lights would go dark, a single spot light points up to the roof, revealing Gabe Newell attached to a harness. Over the course of 10 minutes he’d be lowered to the stage like some large, heavenly, sweaty Albatross. He slowly walk up to the microphone, one of those old 1950s ones. The crowd would be utterly silent. You’d hear a fucking pin drop, man. Gabe would lick his lips gently. Just enough to give proper lubrication to say the word, “….three”. The crowd would go wild, the sprinklers would rain down Champagne by the bucket load, while Gabe would turn into an eternal ball of light, and descend into the heavens, having finished his work on Earth. Everyone would salute. But that won’t happen. A shame.
And what about Rockstar not being at E3? It’s pretty much a sure thing at this point. I would have loved to see a new trailer for GTA V, my most anticipated title since Skyrim. It would have been nice to see Rockstar return to E3. But Rockstar have the luxury of not even needing to have a presence at E3. They’ve gotten to the point where they can whip up enough interest and excitement in a new project, without having to pay big bucks at E3. An example of this was when they finally teased GTA V. They literally replaced their entire website with the logo of the game. Balls. Balls of steel, I tell you. Disappointed to hear they won’t be at E3, but there are few companies that simply don’t need to, and Rockstar is one of them.
Tomorrow I’ll be sitting right here in the TGL dungeon, awaiting the first press conference. I wouldn’t say I want people to fail or slip up, no, but I will say that if that does happen, I’ll thoroughly enjoy it. Sometimes there’s nothing better than watching a multi-billion dollar company fall flat on its rich face, or a smarmy CEO of that same company try and make some “dick” jokes to a crowd of tired gaming journalists. But what’s worse is how almost every press conference puts up a front, a fake face of absolute wonder and enjoy. This tends to come across as cheesy and disingenuous in my opinion. I’m tired of seeing CEOs drag themselves away from their mini-bars and lines of blow to read out corny scripts. For a change, how about a real developer coming out and pretty much saying, “I don’t really do this sort of thing because I’m more of a behind-the-scenes type of guy, but here’s what our game is about”. Straight to the point and simple. You know, someone real!. Even if he messed up, tripped over his lines, or it didn’t seem perfect, I’d respect that a hell of a lot more than what usually happens. Hell, even the butchered English of Tak “one mirrrrrion trooooops” Fuji and Naoki “move yur fat baddy frerre” Maeda, were entertaining, if painfully so.
It’s just that none of the announcements- at least the ones that we know of or have been rumoured- interest me in the slightest. That said, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Skyrim: Dawnguard in action. I’ve seen the teaser trailer, but I’m hoping we get a good look at it at E3. I’m still playing Skyrim, you see. While it has taken a back-seat to Max Payne 3 as of late, it’s an incredibly atmospheric adventure that I still get utterly lost in. Light armoured, bow using, Imperial here. Glory to the Empire! Love it. Also, Dishonoured looks quite good too. I’m interesting in seeing in-game footage rather than pre-rendered sequences. Oh and The Last Guardian! If it’s not at E3, I’ll seriously consider the fact that it may not even be a real game. Sony would be mad to not show it off at E3. Plus, that whole situation with Fumito Ueda is a joke. They better pull up their socks soon.
I’m also hopeful about the Wii U. I felt that Nintendo really fucked up the reveal last year. It wasn’t clear to me what the Wii U exactly was. I kept thinking, is this a new console or a Wii add-on? Hell, even post-E3 interviews with Nintendo muddied the waters even further. I think they’ll come out swinging this year though. I’m never really let down by Nintendo E3 showings, and the prospect of a new console has my salivating. Lets hope it impresses.
Apart from that nothing has me excited, really. Despite adoring Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3 looks like it has taken more than a few pages from the good book of Modern Warfare. It looks like it has lost its magic, that tense excitement that Far Cry 2 had, especially between gunfights. You know what I’m talking about, right? That feeling of pure exploration in world that balances violence and beauty on a knifes edge. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (what a horrid name. Geez) has left me completely cold. It started off looking quite promising back in 2010, but has since turned into something that would go well with a J-Pop soundtrack. The same goes for Hitman: Absolution. Everything about it just annoys me. It looks like they’ve taken a stunning stealth franchise and completely fucked with it. Why? The gameplay videos put an emphasis on shoot-outs, while the most recent video showing off “the Saints” made me die inside a little. What a waste of potential. I gotta say, out of all the franchises I’ve seen contorted and artistically raped in my time, this is the worst offender. It looks like a mere shadow of its former self.
But alas, most of the content that will be showed off at E3 is, for the most part, already being leaked online. That in itself already takes away a bit of the excitement. Still, much like every year, I’ll be glued to my computer screen, soaking in the spectacle itself, for better or for worse. I’ll have my hot cup of tea at hand, with a sambo or two as fuel along the way. Whether it’s to see Skyrim: Dawnguard in action, Nintendo finally showing the Wii U off, or random PR dickwads make a fool of themselves on stage, I’m there. It often disappoints, but I never regret watching E3. Then again, it’s perhaps that shaky, uneven charm it has that what keeps bringing me back every year. Before the first press conference begins I’m always filled with a sudden sense of hope. Maybe this year will be a good year? Just maybe. My body is more than ready for tomorrow. Is yours?