Day 2 of E3 2018 began with some behind the scenes sessions with Xbox, primarily a short stream of Ori and the Will of the Wisps and a demonstration of Forza Horizon 4.
Streaming live from E3 was a huge deal especially because the session took place in a proper streaming room, fully equipped with a high quality stream setup. I was a little apprehensive at first as I had never played the first game and had heard that despite it’s cute main character, was an incredibly challenging game.
What should have been an interesting stream turned out to be half and hour of me struggling to progress. The game was tough! On the plus side though, Ori and the Will of the Wisps was incredibly beautiful, with an art style that was just so absolutely breathtaking that it was difficult to put the controller down and look away.
After that, I had a Forza Horizon 4 behind the scenes session at which I got to see just how realistic the game looked as well as learn about how the team at Playground Games managed to create such a lifelike Britain in the game. You can read more about the session and all that I learnt about the next Forza Horizon game here.
At last year’s E3, I was so fully booked up with back to back meetings and appointments that I had no time to even catch my breath so I made sure to have at least an hour break some time during each day to rest, hydrate, collate my notes for all the write-ups I needed to do and just chill for a short bit. However, a lot of the time these ‘rest’ sessions were cut short and I was back running around downtown L.A for the next meeting.
After the Xbox sessions and lunch, I made my way over to the PC Gaming Show, which I was excited for after last year’s impressive event sponsored by Intel. The first thing I noticed when I entered the building was how sparse it looked compared to last year. Last year’s PC Gaming show had desktops and laptops set up all over the entrance, with all kinds of different technologies showing off Intel’s latest processors and up and coming PC gaming equipment. This year, all I saw were a handful of Acer Predator gaming laptops, which were all booked up by others. I was disappointed that I couldn’t manage to get a closer look as Acer recently announced a whole new suite of their Predator Gaming range and I was extremely keen to test some out after my fantastic experience checking out the Triton 700 and using the Helios 300.
The show was hosted by YouTuber, Sean “Day9” Plott, who I only know as Tom, my partner is a huge fan. This was probably the most exciting part of the show as Day9 is quite a lovely personality. The show itself, however, was dull and I couldn’t help but stare at my watch, waiting for the show to end. Unlike the Xbox Briefing, which blew my mind with how fantastic it was, the PC Gaming Show was filled with simple game trailers that I could have just looked up online. Though some of the developers were brought out for interviews, these were extremely brief and it didn’t at all seem like the developers wanted to hype up their games in front of a crowd of avid PC gamers.
I felt bad for Day9, who’s co-host (I’ve forgotten her name now) was not exactly entertaining. Her jokes were extremely forced and cringe-worthy, and it really didn’t seem like she wanted to be there, which made for a rather stiff couple of hours.
The games being shown as well weren’t exactly the best, in my opinion, and there seemed to be a larger focus on indie titles than any AAA games, which as a non-indie game streamer and reviewer, just didn’t catch my eye.
If that wasn’t bad enough, as soon as the PC Gaming show was over and I was waiting around in a crowd for an Uber to pick me up to take me to the next briefing session, I was accosted by a strange man who tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I wanted to attend EA Play with him. When I looked at him with surprise at how bold he was, he eyed me up and down and proceeded to explain to me what EA Play, and EA was. I promptly gestured toward my E3 Industry Pass and informed him that I was well aware. He completely ignored me and continued his attempt by asking me to leave with him again, to which I vehemently denied and said ‘No’.
One would think that he’d take the hint and leave but he kept trying and when he finally realised I wasn’t interested, decided that at the very least he could ask me for my number, which he did and was promptly denied.
After that experience I was happy to be on my way to Sony’s PlayStation Briefing, which I was really hyped up for as I had a feeling that Sony had some good reveals up its sleeve. I was immediately put off when I entered a barn like structure that was fitted to look like a church. There were over 100 of us standing around waiting for some kind of epic reveal, though many of us were scratching our heads, confused as to why we were made to stand at a two-hour long briefing. After a long day, I was not thrilled to be standing on my feet.
However, it soon became apparent that we were in a reimagined set of The Last of Us II, as we witnessed the first bit of gameplay from the upcoming sequel. To say that the crowd lost their minds is an understatement as people cheered loudly at what they were witnessing.
The excitement was short-lived however when the gameplay ended and the doors opened. Once again, many of us were left incredibly confused and slowly realised that we were being ushered into another location. Again, I wasn’t too thrilled, until I walked into what looked like a giant tent with a huge screen. From the whispers I’d heard along the way, Sony had planned to have us moving around at each game reveal, which really put me off. Why couldn’t we just have an epic briefing like Xbox?
My lack of enthusiasm quickly changed once I sat down and when a variety of different games started to be revealed. Right away the gameplay for Ghost of Tsushima quickly caught my attention. Being based in Japan and with such an epic main character, I was certain that this was going to be my game of the year. I couldn’t wait for me after that reveal and thankfully the next few games were of equal calibre with Control by Remedy Games, a game that looked like a spiritual successor to Quantum Break, which I really loved, Resident Evil 2, the remake, Kingdom Hearts III, Death Stranding, the highly anticipated title from the legend Hideo Kojima, Nioh 2 and of course, my favourite, Spider-Man.
I was hyped for all the titles revealed except for the rather weird Rick and Morty like game, Trevor Saves The Universe, which was introduced by a weird Bathtub Guy, who tried to mimic Rick from the cartoon series.
Once the gameplay and trailers were done, we were told to exit once again, this time to a large open area filled with different areas that were made to represent the games that had been revealed. There was a New York section for Spider-Man, with a food stand with hot dogs, a Japanese themed area for Ghost of Tsushima with dumplings and other Japanese delicacies, a weird alien like area for Death Stranding. Once again, we were all a tad confused but enjoyed the hospitality and the ability to play some of the games.
This was a tad short-lived, however, as we were given mixed instructions about there being a continuation of the show, which prompted some of us to go back inside the tent area. There, after a good half and hour of sitting around waiting and wondering what on Earth was going on, suddenly a group of people dressed oddly arrived on stage, picked up the Dual Shock controllers that were laying around and began to demonstrate a game.
The game, titled Dreams, was unlike anything I’d ever seen before as it was just a musical showcase where people controlled instruments with the gaming controller! I was confused but the vibe was good and the crowd did enjoy the music being played.
After a while though, I did get incredibly tired and slightly bored so I decided to call it a night and made my way back to the hotel to catch up on some much needed sleep.