To LA, once again, where the industry’s greatest marketing budgets come out to shine. This year’s trends: mindless cheering, pre-rendered trailers and people trapped in a looping reality in which the same mistakes are repeated indefinitely, which is frankly a bit too on-the-nose as E3 metaphor and which we request be addressed in the rewrite.
Things started with a sigh on Saturday, when EA Play kicked things off not with a press conference (booo) but a series of livestreams about games which had already been announced. This was better for the away team but worse for everybody at home, because there was a disappointing lack of Slack messages moaning about incompetent queuing and embargo breaks to enliven the experience of sitting in the office at midnight. Instead we had to make do with a competent selection of game updates and a disappointing lack of theatre.
The highlight was Star Wars: Fallen Order. It’s Uncharted with Force powers, a robot sidekick, Respawn-brand wall-running and carefully rationed cross-media references, which is pretty much what we were expecting. It also has some Dark Souls-ish elements, which we weren’t, and will hopefully make up for the weirdly punchable leading man. Emma saw an extended demo and has helpfully listed all the things you need to know about it.