E3 2008 Wrap-Up Feature - The Next Level

E3 2008 Wrap-Up

Our editors reflect on the new show.

Article by TNL Staff (Email)
July 28th 2008, 04:32AM

Valerie Hilgenfeldt

The whole front end of the Los Angeles Convention Center is practically a glass house, and you know, that's a commendable design. Because every day is a frigid winter day out here in California, you'd expect more architects to utilize the sun's natural heating properties. Oh, sure – on the rare occasion when it's actually sunny, dry, and hot in the desert, having all those untinted windows would render even the most powerful air conditioner impotent. But who worries about beating the heat in LA, right?

The guys running E3 were evidently concerned, since they turned down the temperature by thousands of bodies. With a significantly smaller amount of attendees, they held an efficient show where more titles could be covered with fewer bruises and body odors. Individual booths catered to the non-masses on a largely invitation-only basis, which either made a journalist feel real special or put out. It's a good thing the main exposition floor was open to all comers, because it gave you a second chance to test out titles whose demonstrations you were quickly shuffled through. Sometimes.

Ironically, this E3 was better for the media than it was for their reader base. Lazing around in their chilly homes on those soft computer chairs, outsiders thought the show was a snore, but the aforementioned efficiency meant a great deal to busy attendees. Appointments were short and usually to the point, and conferences were too long and awful, unless we're talking about EA's show. That one, that was pretty good.

Dead Space was one of the titles good ol' Electronic Arts displayed, and it awed. No real point in talking about that Spore thing since everyone else already did, but it's worth mentioning how incredible its slide show presentation was. If you're ever pitching a game and people expect some ordinarily snore-worthy PowerPoint, spicing it up with authentically funny humor is the way to go. Mirror's Edge was interesting, but had to be played to be believed. It and Dead Space were unquestionably two of the coolest games at the uncomfortably warm LACC, though Rock Band 2 was on hand to make things even sweatier.

It's too bad its competition, Rock Revolution, was "shown off" at Konami's infamous conference. Despite that embarrassing showing, Rock Revolution may be a sound entry in the music genre. The key word is "may," and I'll explore the possibility further in article form, featuring it, Guitar Hero: World Tour, and Rock Band 2. Until that time comes, I'll go back to anticipating Mirror's Edge, and enjoying my air conditioning.

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