Surviving E3 2017

Explosions. Flashing lights. Terry Crews. 

Walking through the South Hall doors was a mixture of surreal and pure adrenaline. Activision on my left and Microsoft on my right. 

And of course, Terry Crews on the big screen shouting BOOM in his Crackdown 3 spot. 

Loud, overwhelming and incredible

Aside from the masses of industry members and fans, the entire spectacle of E3 is stupidly incredible. 

I expected to be blinded and deafened by loudspeakers blaring trailers and projected logos and lasers darting around the show floor. I expected the lines and the waiting and the buffet of games to choose from. 

But I underestimated the scope. The sheer magnitude of scale these booths take up. Microsoft had rows and rows of 4K tvs showcasing dozens of titles that were showcased in the lead up. Activision had a giant theater surrounded by pods featuring their tentpoles Destiny and Call of Duty. 

Bethesda built a diner for Wolfenstein. Sega created a small alley based on Yakuza 6’s Kamurocho. Warner Bros. brought a dragon for Shadow of War. Capcom not only brought a dragon (a Rathlos) for Mondter Hunter they brought Ultron for Marvel vs Capcom. 

And then there was Nintendo. Nintendo had a reputation for having some of the most involved booths at the show. But they went out and created Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City. If the rest of E3 is super-sized, Nintendo brought along a few Mega Mushrooms. 

Blink and you’ll miss it

Take notes. Written, recorded, mental. There is a ton of stuff to note about a demo’s experience from technical execution to whether or not a game brings something new to the table.

It’s important to temper expectations when going through a demo. These are, after all, vertical slices for products that are months away from final build. 

Keep your head on a swivel

There are a ton of demos out there, most of them for the biggest of games. But there are also a lot of smaller demos to be had peppered across the floor in both their own and the mega booths. 

Companies are also peppering crowds with promotional gifts. This practice seems to be staggered to allow for product to last throughout the show rather than give it all away during the first rush. The most common question between attendees has been, “Hey, where’d you get that?”

Have fun

They are video games, after all. 

It all starts here

E3.

This is, effectively, the Mecca of gaming events. 

And I’m here. 

Through a little bit of stubbornness and a whole lot of coercing my partner in crime, I have found my way to what might be the piece de resistance of my gaming coverage career. 

Except it won’t be. 

Microsoft’s teraflop pushing powerhouse the Xbox One X is here. As will Sony touting their 60 million PS4s sold to date. Nintendo won’t quit with their surprisingly robust Switch. And that’s just the major players. 

As always we will heed the Call of Duty, experience all the Final of Fantasies, let our lightsabers do the talking on the Battlefront and witness the Gran Forza of racing. 

E3 might be shifting with the times, especially selling public badges. But this is certainly not the prophetic doom that some may feel is coming. 

It all starts here. In more ways than one. 

Bethesda Rumored to Reveal Fallout 4 at E3 Conference

FalloutThe Bethesda announcement the world saw coming finally appears to be materializing as Fallout 4 is rumored to be the closing act of Bethesda’s E3 press conference. According to German site PC Games, an anonymous but trusted source confirmed that Fallout 4 would be debuting at E3 2015, including closed door demonstrations. This is the first year that Bethesda has chosen to take part in a press conference joining the likes of UbiSoft and Electronic Arts as major publishers who put on a show prior to the opening of the expo.

Fallout 4 has long been wondered about and Bethesda has remained tight lipped over the years despite faux teaser sites launching, cryptic audio messages appearing online and even the unsubstantiated rumor that Boston would be the setting for the next post apocalyptic RPG. The last Fallout game, Fallout: New Vegas launched all the way back in 2010. Even the core Fallout 3 seems way in the past having launched back in 2008.

To put the time in perspective, the gap between Fallout 2 and Fallout 3 was 10 years, although much changed after Bethesda took over the franchise from Interplay. If Fallout 4 is indeed the finale of Bethesda’s presser, I don’t see that game being launched until 2016 at the earliest, possibly in late spring but more than likely in the fall.

It has been fun guessing what Bethesda would bring to this press event as their bread and butter, The Elder Scrolls, seems a bit away. Skyrim was a phenomenal game that deserves a proper follow-up, but with their jumbled mess of The Elder Scrolls Online, I see them staying away from this for now. Bethesda still has other franchises to trot out, including iD Software’s new Doom, which has only been shown behind closed doors, and the sequel to Arkane Studios’ highly regarded Dishonored. I also expect them to talk about their free-to-play Battlecry and possibly their plans for The Elder Scrolls Online. Five games is a pretty solid one hour show.

It will be interesting to see what direction Bethesda takes Fallout 4 as Fallout 3 was such a stellar modernization of a very antiquated grid based, turn based RPG. The VATS system has to carry forward but maybe a larger emphasis on the active sections of the game, making it more action oriented than the grindy, methodical game that Fallout 3 was. Bethesda has to be working on something with a new engine as well because that Gamebryo engine, while versatile, was clunky even 7 years ago.

With E3 about a month away, I am actually pretty excited for it this year. Not just for major announcements like Fallout 4, but for there to finally be some software available for these new systems. Two years is a long time to have limited releases on these consoles, the developers need to step it up.

IGN – Fallout 3 Rumor Puts Reveal At Bethesda’s E3 Conference

Top Ten Tuesday E3 2013 Wrap-up – Ten Games to Look Forward to

Tom Clancy's The Division

Believe it or not, this year’s E3 was more than Microsoft and Sony exchanging blows (or depending on how you saw it, Microsoft rocking in the fetal position). With new consoles means new gorgeous games to salivate over and Nintendo is always a safe bet to surprise, especially in a period where the Wii U needs to gain a firm hold before the new systems launch. But as much hype as pipeline titles like Star Wars Battlefront, Mirror’s Edge 2, Kingdom Hearts III and Halo have gotten, this list is reserved for titles that have shown off at least a little bit of gameplay.

10. Destiny – Bungie – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3, X360

Sci-Fi action studios need to take notice whenever Bungie tries something new, Destiny looks stunning. Set on Earth in the distant future, it looks like scavenging is a way of life for a planet taken over by aliens. But as much as Bungie is fantastic creators of worlds, Destiny looks incredibly similar to Halo from the weaponry to the 343 Guilty Spark knock-off.

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E3 2013 Wrapup – The Dawn of a New Console War

PlayStation & Xbox

Forget the undercard. 2013’s E3 was clearly about two heavyweights, going toe to toe. In what the netizens of the internet have clamored that Sony played Frazier to Microsoft’s Ali, the new generation of console wars is at fever pitch, and it has only just begun.

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Top Ten Tuesday E3 2013 Edition – Biggest News to Come Out of the Pre-Show Presentations

E3 officially begins today, as the show will open to denizens of reporters (not named Theory Flaw) ready for terrible food, hourly deadlines and product demos galore. But while many games will get their moment of glory in the coming days, the major players have already opened their hands for heads-up poker. Franchise reboots, new exclusives, new consoles and product strategy highlight this list of the biggest news to come out of the pre-show presentations.

10. Crimson Dragon

I had to try my hardest not to write Dragoon because this is clearly designed in the vein of the stellar dragon riding series Panzer Dragoon. Even bringing back Panzer Dragoon series director Yukio Futatsugi this Kinect based Xbox One game features massive bosses and gorgeous dragon-borne aerial combat. While I fear it may play a little too closely to Child of Eden, this is clearly a bold move by Microsoft.

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E3 2013 Primer

E3 2013

With E3 2013 less than a week away, the media storm of pre-show hype is getting thick. From game announcements to rumors of resurrected IPs, this year’s E3 just might be the most unique show in recent memory. The show is guaranteed to have both the new Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 to show off for their respective fall launches, Nintendo will be present as well to drum up interest in their Wii U and 3DS platforms, PC gaming will show its rejuvenated mojo and the Ouya will be shown in a parking lot.

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