E3 2012 diary: Day Minus One
This is a painfully myopic diary of E3 2012 as written by me while attending some conferences and appointments and ignoring others as dictated by my actual job of producing PlayStation Access TV.
This might sound rubbish but it’s also the reason the diary exists, as part of producing PlayStation Access TV is sitting outside a motel in Korea Town stealing the only wi-fi within a 5-mile radius capable of uploading the size of video files needed to make a show more than 12 seconds long.
So the scene is me, so tired that I have fallen asleep in every chair in which I’ve been stationary for the last 3 days, perched on a patio next to the ugliest fountain in the western hemisphere (it’s a sort of crystal shape in clay grey, without the gumption to launch its water into the air more than a centimetre or so, so that it looks like it’s dribbling on itself) and watching progress bars at nearly one in the morning.
This morning started with the Microsoft conference which my Sony affiliation dictated I did not attend. I like Halo a great deal and also enjoyed Bulletstorm, the developer of which is now making Gears Of War: Another One. I understand from reading twitter while hotel decorators exercised the biggest drill created by humanity in the room next to mine that these games made an appearance alongside Usher, Nike, and music.
My first real bit of work for E3 aside from googling the phrase “internet cafe Los Angeles” for over six hours was attending the EA press conference. I sat in front of Danny Bilson who no longer works for THQ and didn’t flinch even when the UFC’s Dana White came on stage to say how happy he was to be working with EA while everyone tried to forget how forgettable OK EA’s MMA game had been.
While walking back past the old United Artists theatre after the conference Rob Pearson told me how he’d once been sent to the headmaster’s office in school for frustratedly slapping a classmate in the head when he was very small for not being able to add five and five together (“TEN!”). This was very much how I felt while watching a group of Spanish journalists sat in the row in front giggling about the fact that Lucy Bradshaw is a woman and not a man and yet still works successfully in games.
This was almost as depressing as what EA seem to have done to Dead Space, which is turn it from a beautifully designed hard sci-fi horror into the noisiest action shooter in the world – like a drill, made by Michael Bay. Better news was that Criterion’s Most Wanted looked excellent and every inch an open-world follow-up to Burnout Paradise. Importantly, Craig Sullivan demoing the game drove through a billboard.
And then it was onto Crysis 3 which looks impressive but also simultaneously devoid of any inspiration whatsoever. Plus the music scrapes across my being every time I hear it, and sounds like the noise a sentient battery would make as it died. True, it’s written by Hans Zimmer, but so was the Going For Gold theme tune and if that fronted a blockbuster shooter it would sell six copies, all to retired schoolteachers from Norwich.