There’s nothing quite like attending E3 in Los Angeles. While we feel extremely fortunate to be part of the crazy circus, there are some things about the show that drive us up the wall.
We saw them at the press conference, and have probably already uploaded them to our relevant websites and shared them across our social media channels. There’s also every chance we’ve seen them on Facebook as a sponsored ad. So why on earth would we want to waste precious time – time we can ill afford to lose at E3 – sitting in a darkened theatre watching the same trailer with a little bit of commentary. If we wanted that, we would’ve stayed at home and caught it on the Net.
Every appointment at E3 is organised with military precision, right down to the minute. We allow a little bit of travel time but aim to meet every appointment on time. So, to be kept waiting for a playthrough session to begin while other journos mosey on in, stopping en route to chat/flirt with the new European PR rep for said publisher, is infuriating. It even annoys the devs.
It’s a given that you’ll find queues at any games show, and, as press, we probably queue less than most. But E3 does feel like an interminably slow shuffling conga line, where tempers flare like a cobra’s hood if anyone even remotely looks like they’re trying to push in front.
Whenever you’re up against the clock – which is always – you’re guaranteed to come up against a group moving at a funeral pace, heading in exactly the same direction that you wish to go. It’s like negotiating the dumb village NPCs in Assassin’s Creed while you’re being pursued by Templars. This is possibly the only time we swear at the show. And it’s usually quite loud.
We’ve said it before and yes, we’ll say it again – how on Earth is it possible to fall asleep during a cacophonous 15-minute gun fight during a demo, when the sound of a single bird tweet at 5am in Australia will rouse us from the deepest slumber? Give us light and airy, and we’re fine; dim the lights in a theatre, and it’s Rip Van Winkle time.
The Los Angeles Convention Center, where E3 is held, is located in the heart of downtown LA. We don’t stay downtown. It smells of urine, the heat generated by the buildings can be insufferable, crossing the road is fraught with danger, and if you jump in a cab, you’ll burn ten bucks without moving 50 metres.
We’re not going to centre the blame on any one part of the world here *cough, Europe, cough* but time is generally short at the conclusion of a demo, so understandably we all have pressing questions to ask the devs. A couple of examples witnessed this year included, “It looks a little cold in the game. Why is the main character just wearing a T-shirt?” and, “I saw a dog run past the door in the demo. Can it bark and will this have any effect on the gameplay?”