/ Alice Taylor and John Park / 7 pm Sat, Jun 18 2016
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  • Speed-running E3

    Speed-running E3

    It’s just gone E3 time, the industry-only videogame showcase...of the year? Argue that one out with PAX fans. Tuesday was opening day, and rather than go to cover the games per se - because all those announcements and videos were already out and all over, you can’t have missed ‘em- we decided to speed run it.

    1. We had the following general intentions:

    2. Follow shiny things that catch our eye

    3. as fast as we can, no queueing allowed

    4. try not to miss the edges

    Total time: 2.1 hours. Ish. Here’s what we saw, compressed into a titch under 2:32 minutes:

    E3 is split into two halls: one has the Big Three in it: Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. And the other has the Big Devs in it: Bethesda, Capcom, Take 2. Smattered about are the usual suspects showing peripherals and hardware, indie games, and this and that. But it’s not massive, despite seeming so at first glance; the time consumption is inevitably the queueing to see a particular (usually behind a curtain) game. But see rule #2 above.

    First stop was Razer. They’re showing new hardware pitched at the pro-gamer wanting to broadcast her play; it’s no coincidence that Twitch was a huge stand this year, and eSports is a massively growing trend, with TV channels arriving and big sponsors jumping in. Goes without saying that eSports needs more women and POC though, maybe the sponsors will make an effort to surface talent?

    We went to check out Nintendo, but couldn’t get in because the line was silly (see rule #2). We knew what was in there though: Amiibos were under a spotlight, with a ton coming out for the new Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, the single most-talked about thing at this year’s E3, we’d say. Nintendo still has the love.

    VR was a big show -- it’s launch year. No one looks good using VR - oh well - but when things look good inside VR, who cares? 100ft Robot Golf! Resident Evil 7 - big fans - looks amazing, but makes even hardened gamers vom: the game is apparently too graphically demanding for the Playstation VR hardware, and runs at 60fps instead of the Oculus/Vive 90fps. Expect some swift ports, and these - er - bugs to be worked out over the next few years as hardware improves.

    Microsoft had more traditional AAA-fare; Cuphead caught John’s eye with its vintage, Max Fleischer-esque animation styling, and Recore caught Alice’s eye because ladies and robot dogs. Bethesda was showing Dishonored 2 (big line), and we got very excited about the prospect of Quake Champions, but there was only a videoon show, plus a Quake quiz and a Which Quake Character Are You? personality test.

    We finished up with Indiecade, which was its usual joyful, oddball self, and was showing all sorts of experiences: an escape-room installation called Beautiful Corner by Martzi Campos, a meditative experience tent (complete with hippie scarves), something that was showing off clay sculptures. And with that, we speed-ran E3 in just over 2 hours, including snacktime and two bathroom stops. Beat that!

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