Pete Davison: E3

Posted on June 6, 2011 by

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I’m in the middle of covering E3, with only Sony’s press conference left to go today. It’s in half an hour and is likely to be about a million hours long, so I’m hoping I’ll stay awake for it.

I’ve got to say, considering that E3 is the biggest event in the games industry’s calendar, I’m largely underwhelmed by what’s been on show so far. Battlefield 3 is impressive — even for a non-military shooter sort of man — and of course there’s a tent in my pants over TrackMania 2 Canyon, but when the most impressive thing you’ve seen so far is arguably a new 2D Rayman game, you have to wonder what’s going on.

Perhaps it’s cynicism. It’s easy to become jaded by endless news posts and press releases about how awesome this not-particularly awesome feature of some obscure game is. You get to a point where you just stop listening to the endless hyperbole and make your own mind up — but unfortunately by that point, all you can hear when you see something genuinely impressive is the PR person in your ear going “Revolutionary! Innovative! Game-changing! First time ever!” and you just want to punch yourself in the nose. Well, maybe not. That would hurt.

Cynicism aside, though, there’s a few disappointing no-shows so far. Ubisoft still won’t make Beyond Good and Evil 2, despite it being an obvious fan favourite. Microsoft’s press conference is depressingly predictable, being full of Kinect and other bollocks. And EA didn’t announce an Xbox Live Arcade version of M.U.L.E.

EA’s conference has, so far at least, been the strongest one, with some great-looking titles on offer. Need for Speed: The Run in particular looks fantastic, and the addition of QTE-driven “get out and run away frantically in a 24 stylee” sequences look set to give the whole thing a wonderful action movie vibe. QTEs aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but I like them when used effectively, and The Run looks like it will be using them well to create a dramatic, exciting road adventure. Plus it uses Autolog, so it’s time to get ridiculously addicted to challenging each other’s times again.

As for Sony’s conference, which is coming up in about 20 minutes at the time of writing, I’m not sure what to expect. Couldn’t give a damn about Resistance 3, though I’m sure someone out there is excited. Will be intrigued to see how uncomfortable it all is following the PSN woes of recent months.

One thing’s for sure, though: I will sleep well tonight. Or indeed this morning, whenever I am able to actually get to bed.

Head over to GamePro to check out my show coverage so far.

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Posted in: Pete Davison