Matt: Brendy never made it home last night, after jeering his way through Bethesda’s conference in person. The hotel room is lonely and I miss him very much, but the PC Gaming Show must go on. Welcome to the “I’m the only one that’s here-ah”, where I cheer and jeer at the cheery RPS fanzine’s show by myself.
Brendan Wraithwell: Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.
Wraithwell It’s ok, you’ve still got twenty minutes to get over my spectral presence before the show starts. I’m fine. The afterlife has built in air-conditioning and wi-fi.
Matt: Better than the wi-fi at PC Gamer’s dinky ‘lil show, I’ll bet. I’ll take on the jeer – this time the snark is personal. Or as personal as a rivalry between two publications can be, when one of those publications has a writer sat in the audience saying negative things about the perfectly innocent developers on the other publication’s stage.
Wraithwell It turns out ghosts are physically incapable of jeer, so that’s convenient. We’ve been much maligned.
Matt: The presence of this ‘cast’ button on my laptop really makes it seem like I could hijack one of the fanzine’s big TVs, but that might be unprofessional.
Wraithwell The gruff announco-man just told us we’re going to get a look at Bloodlines 2 footage for the first time, along with some more details about Borderlands 3, Baldur’s Gate 3, and 27 other games. That’s twice as manageable as Microsoft’s conference. Take heart, living one.
Matt: We’ve kicked off with the reveal of Evil Genius 2: World Domination. That’s a sequel to a game many people liked but I never played. The fanzine is excluding me already.
Wraithwell No matter, we’re already being shown the first Bloodlines 2 gameplay footage. Now ex-RPSer Cara Ellison is telling us about how good it feels to drink human blood.
Matt: That’s more your area now, I guess. But look, we’re being shown a Starmancer trailer with familiar tinkly space music. It’s a Dwarf Fortress-ey manage ’em up where you roam about planting nice trees for your crew and protecting them from space pirates.
Wraithwell Hold your space horses, because normal horses are riding around in Chivalry 2! That announcement came out of nowhere, like a man on horseback with a big axe. I know you’re big into swords, Jeerer. Surely this has your attention?
Matt: I am grudgingly attentive. I adored Chivalry back in the day, but now it’s hard to see it being a Mordhau topper. Also, one of the devs just said he knows that half their audience plays their game while drunk, which seems unlikely and hard to ascertain. But I did nevertheless lol.
Wraithwell No more time for wistful sword thoughts, my brethren are on screen. Midnight Ghost Hunt is a 4v4 prop hunt game where ghost hunters romp through a house trying to bust poltergeists before the ghosts can whack them on the head while possessing furniture. Each match starts off spooky, as the hunters track down the ghosts using footprint trackers and radars. If at least one ghost survives till midnight, then all the ghosts come back and torment their would-be-busters. It sounds fantastic.
Matt: Ghosts murdered my family. This is grossly insensitive. Let’s watch this Unexplored 2 trailer.
Wraithwell A good trailer! I want to make it de-unexplored.
Matt: The first game always ramped up too slowly for me, but I will briefly penetrate the jeer veil to say a punchier version of Unexplored could be a jolly time. But the show’s already rolled on. We just got told at length about a monitor we’ll never be able to afford.
Wraithwell They’re showing Last Oasis now, the game with the funky desert skitter vehicles. They’re like spiders, but twelve times worse and mostly made of wood and cannons. I’m don’t know any more about the game beneath them, though, because Planetfall Age of Wonders is being blasted at us.
Matt: A futuristic turn-based strategy game with Amazonian engineers that ride dinosaurs that ride into battle. The dinosaurs have lasers. I think they’re leaning a little hard on the dinosaurs.
Wraithwell One of the victory conditions is splitting space and time! Or hacking everyone’s brains, I think. The devs on stage are emphasising how different each faction is, from undergound-dwelling dwarves to alien bug monsters. Asymmetry! Lovey, nutritious asymmetry.
Matt: Asymmetry murdered my family. This is grossly insensitive. As is this Zombie Army Dead War 4 trailer about mowing down hordes of zombies with chainguns and electro-traps. These snipeman spinoffs bore me. Gimme proper thinky humans to carefully shoot and evade, not mindless hordes.
Wraithwell Speaking of mindless hordes, here’s Remnant: From The Ashes – though actually I’m probably painting the undead with too broad a brush. Are these even undead? Or ancient aliens? Whatever they are, they look funky and I’m looking forward to frantically rolling away from them.
Matt: Whatever they are, they’ve already gone. We just got a peek at Griftlands, a card-based roguelike apparently about making friends in a bar so you can beat up the other people in the bar. Hopefully they do go outside at some point.
Wraithwell I’ll tell you what’s definitely outside: the many majestic and adorable animals in Planet Zoo.
Matt: They’re really pushing the conservation angle, keen to stress that this isn’t a careless cage ’em up about pleasing gurning toddler visitors. That’s noble and all, but they’re still endorsing monkey incarceration for human pleasure. What would ALice L say.
Wraithwell She’d stay stop adopting ethical positions you don’t necessarily hold for a flippant liveblog. You missed all the fun kung fu!
Matt: You can’t remember what game the kung fu was from, can you?
Wraithwell I cannot. But shush, listen to these songs of conquest from Song Of Conquest, a strategy game about adventuring and building up towns. More importantly, the trailer had a song that sounded a bit like the dwarves from the Hobbit film singing a conquest-focused version of “My Favourite Things”.
Wraithwell Even more importantly, Vermintide 2: Versus just got announced. The base game was crying out for a Left 4 Dead style multiplayer mode. This is great news.
Matt: Yeah, but all my friends got put off Vermintide 2 by all the incremental weapon and shoulder-pad upgrades. I do hope those don’t carry over to a competitive setting. That would be sad news.
Is this… is this just an advert for videogames in general?
Wraithwell Not anymore. They’re talking about Dota Auto Chess, the commercial version of a Dota 2 custom game that a ridiculous number of people are playing.
Matt: I didn’t like it.
Wraithwell This man just announced that Auto Chess was coming to the Epic Games Store with such enthusiasm that he extracted a startled clap from the audience. This is far and away the most impressive thing I’ve seen at E3, and yesterday Keanu Reeves appeared out of nowhere and told us we were breathtaking.
Matt: I didn’t catch the name of that side-scrolling shooter, but it sure did look like another side-scrolling shooter.
Wraithwell One of the enemies was called a “Jelly Skelly”. Surely it gets some points for Jelly Skelly.
Matt: Nill poit. A Borderlands man is now talking about Borderlands 3. There is a character with big bear armour. Class mods now give you skills rather than just enhancing existing ones. There’ll be a late game ‘guardian ring’ system that lets you keep earning new skins, if you find yourself incapable of ever escaping borderhell.
Wraithwell Shush shush, they’re showing off the shark game. It’s called Maneater and you are a shark that wants to eat everything and everyone.
Matt: This dev says he thinks of it as a “Sharktastic fun action game”. It’s “like GTA if you’re a Shark”. They’re also calling it a Shark-PG. Who let them do that. Who let them do any of these things.
Someone just whooped an advert for a chair.
My laptop just died, so I couldn’t report on the Terraria expansion trailer doing the same. Poor Terrarira. Poor me, now frantically trying to keep up on an IPad . The presenters have skipped ahead to Her Story’s spiritual successor, which is an open world game somehow. It’s called Telling Lies.
Wraithwell I have mysteriously suffered the same hindrance. It’s almost like I’m a hollow shell being puppeted by Matt. We’ve missed Warframe expansion details neither of us understood, a neat Genesis Noir trailer, and one or possibly two games we didn’t clock because the Ipad lost internet connection and we had to start fiddling with a phone. As cheerer I can only say: hurraaaay.
Matt As jeerer I can (more genuinely) say: booo, now we’ve also missed loads of Baldur’s Gate info. And now it’s over. Wooo?
At least now I get to stop sitting on these uncomfortable fanzine-endorsed plastic chairs.
Wraithwell This was a shambles. I’m going to resurrect myself just so I can tell you off properly at the Ubisoft conference in a few hours.
Note: This is over now. Brendy hath returned, and will be joining me for the Square Enix conference later tonight.
See our E3 2019 for the rest of our coverage from the show, including all the news of the conference collected by Alice O.