You’ll have to imagine a catchy award logo, since I’m writing this in the closing minutes before my journey home begins. Here are the totally official RPS E3 Awards, unquestionably the most prestigious prize any developer or publisher can hope to receive at the conference.
Best Free Coffee: Without doubt, this award goes to Eidos. Not only did their booth have any at all, but they had decaf – something I couldn’t find anywhere else. Congratulations, Eidos.
Smelliest T-Shirt: This goes to LucasArts, for their Star Wars: The Old Republic t-shirt. I really cannot stress enough how disgustingly it smells. It’s scampi. The t-shirt reeks of scampi. I’ve had to wrap it in a plastic bag to bring it home, lest it touch anything else. I will wash it forty or fifty times, and then it will be a compo prize.
Loudest Bass: This is slightly ambiguous, but it goes to whoever had their bass speakers pointing at the Homefront chamber. It was a wonder people’s bowels weren’t emptying everywhere, so deep and rumbling was the all-destroying booming sound in there. Quite astonishing.
Best Private Booth Design: Has to be LucasArts again, for their Jedi temple in which SW:TOR was shown. It seems a bit sad that it was only seen by tired journalists, and not throngs of Star Wars enthusiasts. Runners up include 2K for their Mafia II room, with half a classic car sticking out the wall, but they lose out for giving us park benches to sit on. Park benches aren’t comfy. And Bethesda for their Brink room, which was undecorated in every way, but had the most comfortable chairs ever.
Most Wearable T-Shirt: EA and APB take this honour, for a t-shirt that somehow boasts the name of the game twice, but remains pretty decent-looking, and doesn’t have an URL on it anywhere. Again, in the compo prize bag. And it doesn’t stink of fish!
Coldest Room: One of the most important awards goes to Valve, for providing a refuge from the sweltering heat in a room that was close to refrigerated. Worth retreating to, just to dry off for a few minutes.
Most Ludicrous Game: There was tough competition, but it goes to Just Cause 2. And it’s no insult at all. It looks like it’s going to be one of the most idiotically fun toys to play with, even before you start following the story.
Best Game That Wasn’t On PC: Obviously I was focusing on PC games, and even then didn’t manage to see everything. But a few quick trips around the show floor revealed some fun stuff. By far the best, and I really mean the BEST, was Warner Bros’ Scribblenauts. I’d heard much about it, but never seen it running. It’s a DS game in which you’re tasked with reaching each level’s star by typing in the nouns and seeing them appear in the game. It sounds like a nice idea that will never work. Bloody hell, it works. I never saw it beaten. And these created objects don’t just appear, uniquely drawn, but also animated to match their real-world behaviour. A panda I asked for could be ridden around on. The rocket blew up the tree containing the star, letting me get it out the remaining ditch. I saw someone type in “LONGCAT”, and see a cat with a stretchy neck appear on screen. His next go: “ROFLCOPTER”. One appeared. It’s going to be incredible, and I heard at least three people call it their “game of the show”. Seriously incredible, and out this Autumn.
Worst Game That Wasn’t On PC: This also goes to Warner Bros. Immediately opposite Scribblenauts was another DS pod for a game called “How To Get A Hideous Teenage Complex” or something. A game in which you played a teenage girl who had to learn to fit in at a new school, the game immediately informing you that your choice of clothes was crucial if you wanted to be popular. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
And finally, the most important award of all:
Best Sandwich: This most prestigious of all the awards goes to The Pantry – a diner/restaurant on Figueroa and 8th that serves the strongest-flavoured pulled pork sandwich you’ve ever eaten, along with a vat of coleslaw, french fries and for some reason, a loaf of bread. So good it was all I ate for two days.
Oh, okay, here’s a more sensible award:
Favourite Game: It’s all potential at this point, because of course these are games a way from completion. But of all I saw, the game I most desperately want to play is Star Wars: The Old Republic. The potential for that enormous creation is incredible – it’s the MMO as I’ve always wanted the MMO to be. Also there’s APB, which I’ll write more about soon – truly incredible stuff. And as mentioned above, I’m dying to get my hands on Just Cause 2. Oh, and Borderlands! First time I’ve ever thought co-op would be more fun than soloing. Mass Effect 2! Homefront! Global Agenda!… It’s a good year for games, people.
And that’s me done. Bye bye E3.
(Oh, and as promised, here’s a picture of some Ghostbusters having trouble with their car:)