E3 2012: E3 Daily Journal Day 3
By: Jeff Rivera
The morning started off with a bit of a bummer tone. I hate when E3 comes to a close, despite my physical fatigue and mental exhaustion. Day 3 started off with an earlier than normal exit from bed. Each morning is harder to wake up than the previous, but on the third day you have to pack your bags unless you're staying an extra day. There are some awesome parties the night after the show, but it's tough for me to hang around, so I like to get out of LA and get back home.
So morning came around and I lumbered around the room, complaining about my old age, my sore feet, and my tired eyes as I packed up everything I had brought with me and all of the junk I had picked up since Sunday. Zach got ready alongside me as we tried to figure out where he'd crash for the night since the hotel we were in was booked up through the weekend.
After a crappy breakfast of an energy bar and a Diet Pepsi, we started the walk down to the subway station. I felt more weighed down than donkey with all of my junk, and I tried unsuccessfully to will myself not to sweat like crazy. Getting to the LA convention center was a relief, and we checked our bags into the luggage storage for the day. Since I only had two meetings, I traveled light with only some business cards and a notepad.
My first meeting of the day was with 2K Games. I was able to see SpecOps: The Line, Borderlands 2, and X-COM: Enemy Unknown as well as spend some time hanging out behind their booth with their PR and development teams. 2K is always one of the best hosts at E3. All three games looked nice, especially Borderlands 2 which can't release soon enough.
After 2K, I had a little bit of time before my appointment with Activision, so I began to hand out the Gamer Theory Best of E3 Awards. I'll detail the winners out later in a separate story, but of all the recipients, Telltale Games, Namco-Bandai, and Konami were the most enthusiastic about winning an award. I couldn't quite get them all passed out before I had to hurry back to Activision.
Activision, like 2K, are great hosts at E3. As I waited to be walked through their lineup of games, I got to hang out behind their booth where they were pushing food, drinks, and good conversation at me constantly. Timing was perfect, because I had to skip lunch and the food saved me from falling into a terrible mood. The best demo at Activision was easly Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Part of what I saw was the same as what they had at the Microsoft press conference, though it was a bit expanded. The second half of the demo showed off their Overwatch mode, which I'll explain better in my preview. Despite my Call of Duty fatigue, I think Treyarch is putting together a nice package.
Coming out of Activision, I started getting that "E3 is over" feeling. As I looked around, I saw a bunch of games that I had already spent time playing, so I started to wander a bit aimlessly. Usually this is the time when you stumble into that unexpected pleasure, and boy did I hit gold after I had crossed over from the South Hall back to the West Hall. In the Microsoft booth, I finally got some hands-on time with Dust: An Elysian Tale. The game has been shown before, but I hadn't ever seen any coverage or impressions regarding the game. Simply put, it was a gorgeous game and it was full of some great action. It's going to be a fantastic addition to the Xbox Live Arcade lineup.
Feeling a bit energized by the new find, I started playing demos a second time or hitting up the stations I had passed over for some reason or other earlier in the week. Sony offered up some nice surprises, including the new Sly Cooper coming to Vita. Suddenly I had lost that feeling that E3 was over, and it was replaced with anxiety that I hadn't played enough or seen all that I should. Every year this happens to me, and I'm still unprepared for it.
With only about two and a half hours left before I had to go, I bought my airport shuttle ticket and met back up with Zach. He was in a downer mood, which was more than understandable once he explained that someone had stolen his wallet while he was checking out the Microsoft booth. Wondering how he was going to check into a hotel or even fly home a couple of days later, Zach's attention was turned towards answering those questions. After doing what I could to help out (which wasn't much), I made one last visit to the show floor.
I headed back to Microsoft to get another crack at Far Cry 3's multiplayer demo. It seemed okay, but I'm not yet convinced that it's going to provide an experience that will hold up to what the competition has cooking. At the end of the demo I started looking around and found a familiar face over by the Dance Central 3 station. Jim Toepel, who works at Harmonix, was off to the side helping to coordinate things. I ran over and chatted him up for a bit, happy to have run into him before the show closed down.
As is tradition, I finished the show over at Nintendo's booth. I had to play Pikmin 3 once more, and I just like being at Nintendo's booth when they tell everybody to leave, because you always see that one crazed fan that is desperately trying to squeeze in a final demo or get to that last game he had on his list. This year, there was quite a few of them.
Once the floor was starting to shut down, I met back up with Zach and we headed to the media room so that I could re-pack my luggage and carry on. I saw a few more familiar faces and gave them a quick hello and goodbye before Zach and I parted ways at the shuttle stop. He headed for the subway station, hoping he could get into a hotel room up in Universal City while I climbed up onto a bus full of tired journalists, developers, PR employees, and excited and chatty gamers.
The ride back to the airport was spent trying to tune out the guy behind me spreading the most false information one could possibly have after attending E3. I'll spare the details, but at some point he was claiming that there was a strong possibility that Pikmin 3 would see an Xbox 360 port and that Halo 4 could end up on Wii U as part of a "franchise exchange program." Yeah, buddy. Chris Kohler, writer at Wired, and I texted back and forth about meeting up to say hi for a few minutes at the airport. Unseen forces tried to prevent it, but I was finally able to meet him and his fiancee Regina just before I jumped through security. Nice couple, they are.
After passing through security, I began to type out more previews for the site as I heard news of my flight being delayed once, twice, and finally a third time. Great. I had to move the next morning, and every time I got news of a delay all I could think about was how tired I would be for the move.
I eventually got home around 2:00am. I was excited to see my wife and to catch up with her, but we both knew that he had to be up early, so most of our chatter had to wait. My Internet had already been disconnected, so I couldn't post stories. E3 was over. It was a good show, but real life was back upon me.