Note: This is for the first day of E3's show floor being open! Sorry it took so long, as I had some unexpected technical issues preventing me from publishing it. Expect impressions of the second day of the show floor tonight!
Hey everyone, this is my impressions from E3 as the show floor opened up and swallowed thousands of smelly gamers on Tuesday, June 11. It's Wednesday now, so I'll preface this by saying I got home from E3 and promptly passed out. Didn't wake up until 3AM and my my mind was running like I had just beer-bonged 6 espresso shots. E3 man, it's worse than drugs... maybe.
Yesterday was a stark remind of how brutal the show floor can be at E3. With every appointment you make with publishers, developers, you never know what you're really scheduled for. Some games are appointment only, some games are only shown behind closed doors, sometimes you have a PR representative helping you try out hands-on demos and other times you're left to meander and wait in line like everyone else. There's a billion things that can go wrong, but you make do with what you've got.
Lydia and I started the morning off with Nintendo's pre-E3 hands-on opportunity. This was where things started off on the wrong foot. Unlike we were led to believe, this pre-E3 event was more of Nintendo's press conference (that they skipped) and less about hands-on. For over an hour developers from all of Nintendo's big first party titles came on stage and talked about their game. When they were done, we got to try and play some games at about a ratio of 5-10 press to each console. I pushed and prodded to try things out, but some folk probably didn't even get to try a single game. It came across as a disrespectful marketing move to me and I hope they don't do it again next year. Just let us book a booth tour so I can play all of the games and leave the developer time to Nintendo Direct.
Things at Ubisoft went a little smoother. PR rep Mary helped us around the company's show floor booth trying out everything we asked for. She fought for us, which is the most any writer can ask for. We tried The Crew, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag multiplayer, Splinter Cell: Blacklist co-op and Mary even got us "special passes" to watch a live demo of The Division being played. We wrapped up with some Rayman Legends (still outstanding) and I couldn't have been more pleased. Well, okay, Lydia ended up playing most of the games instead of me, but it could have been worse. I got my revenge by beating her in The Crew.
Next up was Activision, which is typically great. Now, the problem didn't end up being on Activision's end, I'll give them that. We ended up having our writing and camera crews crossing paths and Activision didn't expect so many people. I stepped in line and was told only two could see it. As I'd already watched Destiny at the Sony conference I stepped out, but I was a little heartbroken over it. I ended up standing around for about an hour and a half hoping Activision could fit me into something, which they did. I got to see Skylanders SWAP Force -- looks great -- and then we hit the road.
Next on our schedule was Saints Row IV, which Lydia had booked with her favorite PR rep Aubrey from Deep Silver. Again, scheduling miscommunication ruined another hour for me as they only had room for one of us to play the game. Lydia's a big fan of Saints Row, so she took to it, and I watched without sound as she froze and chopped aliens to bits. There was some black holes and dubstep in there too. It reminded me of a more ridiculous Crackdown, if Crackdown could have been more ridiculous.
After that, hmm, yeah it was after that we split ways. Lydia headed to an appointment with Riot Games, which I was absolutely dying to attend, but I was double booked for Nvidia's press conference. I'm a die-hard League of Legends fan and follow the LCS like a hawk. I even saw Team Dignitas on the show floor! Scarra and Imaqtiepie smiling like they always do on-stream. I also saw Justin Wong today; love to see the pro gamer crowd in attendance. Anyway, hopefully Lydia got to talk with Riot about some interesting things, as she's a big League of Legends fan too and I know she would represent us well.
Nvidia turned out to be just what I needed. I got to sit down and wait for a bit while they finished setup in a hotel ballroom. They had cheese and crackers, and I was able to get a drink in me. I hadn't had anything all day, by the way. If you're eating at E3, it's because one of the publishers recognized you wouldn't otherwise do so and took pity on you. Then the event itself was pretty outstanding. Nvidia had bunch to say about how their tech was currently being used in gaming now and going forward, and then we got eight presentations from eight different devs on their games and how Nvidia works for them. It was a really tech heavy, very personal presentation.
Then I got on the train, rode home, and passed out. Ah, yeah, that was good too.
With Ubisoft being the exception, today I didn't get to see the games I wanted to see, and the ones I did see I didn't get to spend the time I wanted with them. At the end of Tuesday riding the train home I began to wonder if E3 was the best way to do this sort of thing. Obviously if you're a big, popular site you get to see stuff behind closed doors in very comfortable environments, and if you're a fansite or developer you get to experience E3 for yourself and try out a lot of games you may have otherwise missed.
Me? I live this stuff day to day and I go in to E3 hoping for a better, hands-on experience with these games, but most of the time I come away feeling like I could provide better content watching videos online, writing stories and sharing thoughts through social media and videos. Still, at the end of the day, it's E3 and it's a worthwhile experience. You win some, you lose some. It's only day one, after all, let's not call the whole thing off.
Day 1: Longing for League of Legends
Follow Rory on Twitter @bluexy or read his news, reviews and features every day here on Neoseeker.