If E3 2014 had happened in 1994 instead

Welcome to E3 1994!

So join me as I hop into my Time Machine (Photoshop-branded, of course), as I screw up the space-time-continuum just to bring you some lols. This is E3 2014 as it would have appeared if it had happened in 1994. If you're still with me, you can close your shocked mouth and step out into the wonder that was 1994...

No Man's Sky renders an entire universe

A tiny development studio best known for its 8-bit motorbike stunt titles surprises everyone by showing off an entire universe of planets, populated with incredible 3D wildlife, running on the new consoles. The flat-shaded visuals have a distinct art style, and nobody can wait for the game to be released so they can explore its colourful universe. Someone mentions it's reminiscent of Spielberg's Jurassic Park. Everyone says Jurassic Park sucks and it's all about Forrest Gump now.

Uncharted 4 looks too good to be true

After what had sounded for all the world like a doomed, troubled development cycle, Uncharted 4 is finally shown off. It looks incredible. Of course, some sections of the gaming community complain that the images shown are from a cut-scene and could never look that good in the actual game itself, but others point out that it's still the game engine running them, just with extra details while the story plays out. Everyone agrees the jungle looks exceptionally lush. It does.

Nintendo shows off its Amiibo figurine range

One of the most predictable moments of the show is when Nintendo announces it has a new range of toy figurines coming out soon. These figurines can't be connected to your games at all, but they look pretty. Everyone points out that it's always the same old characters, except for that weird yellow thing, which nobody likes the look of.

Batman is sensational

Batman looks too good to be true, making full use of the CD-ROM storage media to deliver incredibly detailed Batmobile segments, which punctuate the gliding/combat/platforming on-foot sections. The transition between on-foot and driving is as seamless as a 30-second loading screen can be.

Ubisoft shows off Tetris

Everybody's taken aback a little as Ubisoft unveils its four-player version of the classic falling block puzzler Tetris. "We were playing this five years ago" complains one onlooker, to murmers of "I second that, dude" and "Booyakasha". Tetris is a great game, it can't be denied, but it is 1994 now and surely there are more forward-thinking games we could be playing.

Madden NFL '95 is a predictable update

After making an incredible 16-bit debut a few years earlier, Madden NFL is starting to fall into an annual update cycle, with noticeably fewer and fewer new features each year, and it shows in the EA Press Conference. At least everyone is in agreement that it was a good idea to employ the services of O.J. 'The Juice' Simpson for this mid-June 1994 event, reiterating what a nice man he is and how his rush average will likely never be bettered in the modern game. And how he definitely won't be on running from police all over national television next week, or on trial for murder after that. Because that would be a shame considering how nice he seemed in The Naked Gun.

Ori and the Blind Forest proves gaming has matured

An exceptionally pretty 2D platforming experience is exactly the sort of thing people expect to see from E3 '94, but nobody expected to see the apparent death of one of the lead characters. Voices start to suggest that dark, gritty undertones are what videogaming needs, are totally the future and it's a really good thing that we're moving away from bright, happy, kiddy games. The industry is totally maturing and it's great to be made to feel something other than pure joy.

Fable Legends looks almost real

Texture-mapped polygons are totally the future and nobody can believe how lifelike new RPGs like Fable Legends are. A sprawling, open world role-playing experience, the likes of which you've never seen before, awaits as early as next year! And see those trees? They totally grew from acorns that the player planted the last time they loaded the game up. And your progress is saved to a 1MB memory card (sold separately), so that you can continue your adventure later, or even share it with a friend. Wowsers.

Forza Horizon 2 breaks down the barriers

In a game you'll be able to play this very year on existing consoles, Forza Horizon 2 will redefine the open-world driving game. See those barriers on the left? You can now smash through them and continue onto the scenery beyond. One spokesman excitedly confirms: "If you can see some messy bars of dual-coloured lines, you can drive on them".

Got any '90s jokes?

On this evidence, it's a damn good job it isn't June 1994. The graphics were awful, the consoles couldn't run Battlefield if you gave them a year to draw the title screen... and if the above was the most advanced graphics you could get on a home console, you can understand why it's a good thing we don't have to wait another 20 years to get to where we are now. Fin.

And if you're looking for more, check out Missed E3? Here's what to say to your friends and E3 2013 if it had happened in 1983 instead.

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine, Traxion.gg, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.