The final day of E3 is when game journalists use their last reserves of energy to mop up the slops. And by that I mean they spend the dazed and confused comedown hours of E3 making sure they've sucked up with their eyes and ears every last bit of game stimulus that the showfloor has to offer.
So what have all the hardworking journos observed on the final day of E3 2010? Which games or incredible examples of mind-bending technology has given their fatigued spirits a much-needed boost up the kazoo? Let's find out, in their own tired - yet still incomparable - words...
Ben Wilson - Editor, Official PlayStation Magazine UK
"Highlight of the day – and perhaps least credible moment of my career – was playing new PS Move title SingStar Dance at 10 in the morning in front of about 20 people at the Sony booth. FirstPlay's David Boddington and I performed (read: humiliated ourselves) to I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Hey Ya and Achy Breaky Heart while the small crowd looked on laughing (at us, not with us) and loved every minute. It's camp, it's funny, and it absolutely fits with SingStar's whole 'fun for all the family and/or your drunken house party' manifesto. Great (completely humiliating) stuff."
Neil Long - Editor in Chief, Official Nintendo Magazine UK
"Weirdly, the most impressive thing I saw today wasn't a game at all - it was a 3DS tech demo. This is a little tricky to describe, but here goes: I was handed a sheet of paper with a wood effect style print on it, alongside a playing card with a Question Block printed on it.
"The 3DS was in camera mode, and I was asked to point it at the Question Block. First, it measured the distance between the outer camera on the 3DS and the Question Block, changing the distance as I moved it around. Pretty cool.
"Then, when I moved the 3DS a specific distance away from the playing card, it happened - this was an augmented reality demo. On the 3D top screen, the wood surface flipped around to display three targets on the table in front of me. A target appeared in the middle of the screen, and by pressing A and moving the 3DS around, I took out the targets.
"The background warped and bulged and flipped around again and a gargoyle-style beast came out at me. Again, by moving the 3DS unit around I could line up the targeting reticule with the monster's weak spots and take him down. You can even literally dodge his attacks when he lunges toward you by moving the 3DS out of the way.
"We've all seen this sort of technology before, of course, but never through a 3D screen and never on a games console. The potential uses for this sort of technology are as astounding as they are mind-boggling."
Gary Steinman - Editor in Chief, PlayStation: The Official Magazine US
"Today is easy. I spent most of my day with first-party games, including some more hands on time with Move, which continues to impress me.
"But the game that moved me the most? inFamous 2. This is Cole Unleashed - the epic superhero we wanted him to be in the first game, and that we only got to enjoy much later in that open world adventure. Cole starts off this time fully powered up, and his sense of strength and the satisfying feeling of full contact action really bring the game to life. I’m looking forward to this game as one of my top picks for 2011."
Robin Always - Editor in Chief, GamesMaster Magazine
"For reasons known only to marketing, some of the best things you see at E3 are only shown in closed off, dark boxes stuffed full of fetid men and a huge TV. It was in one of these boxes where today I saw Rage, a game so technically beautiful that anyone who says graphics aren't as important as gameplay didn't get an invite to the demo.
"Never has a post-apocalypse looked so fine. Forget Fallout's brown sludge, everything here is so sharp, so well lit and so solidly realistic that it's scarcely believable it was running on an Xbox 360. id have always prided themselves on their technology and their one word monolithic game names, but the demo also revealed how much attention they're paying to narrative and crafting a world as rich as the visuals rather than just going all out on the guns.
"The best bit of the best thing I saw was, predictably, the ending and the appearance of a huge mutant boss in a destroyed city that, once dispatched with a rocket launcher, made way for his even bigger Dad. He would have been 20 storeys high if there had been any buildings left standing to measure him against. If games could look much better than this, my mind isn't High Definition enough to actually imagine them."
Jon Hicks - Editor, Official Xbox 360 Magazine UK
"Bulletstorm and Deus Ex impressed, but today's highlight was a backstage glimpse at new Kinect title Child of Eden, the Rez follow-up from Tetsuya Mizuguchi. It's every bit as beautiful as it looked at the Ubisoft conference, and has probably displaced Dance Central as my most-anticipated Kinect game. Although that could be because soaring music and trippy visuals are all I can really process after a week in LA."
David Boddington - Producer of FirstPlay on PS3
"For me, this year's E3 has been dominated not by the much hyped motion-tech rivalry, but by the emergence of 3D gaming that actually works. I've spent all week seeing and playing a huge number of games, some derivative and dull, some breathing new life into old favourites, some that break entirely new ground, and some that are lucky enough to live on the bleeding edge of console tech.
"Killzone 3 and Gran Turismo 5 are using the raw power of PS3 to great effect, and both versions of the game in 3D are stunning. Killzone is the first 3D FPS I've played, and it added an incredible new level of depth and immersion to the game world.
"Likewise for GT5. When combined with the PlayStation Eye head-tracking, you are able to enjoy the closest thing to a track day in the comfort of your own home (albeit a grand or so lighter for the new telly and the specs).
"If you aren't so keen to shell out for this, then Nintendo offer a fantastic portable alternative. The 3DS will probably cost about £200 when it comes out, and the unfathomable 3D effect is sensational - be warned though, it's a bit like Fight Club - you can't be told about it, you have to experience it for yourself.
"The first time you get your peepers on it, sans-spectacles of course, you can't help but grin like an idiot trying to work out a Derren Brown trick. For me, it's the most exciting technological development to be unveiled this year, and judging by the queues at the Nintendo booth, I'm not alone."
Francesca Reyes - Editor in Chief, Official Xbox Magazine US
Another E3 down and what a fine return to form it was! Crowded show floors dimmed today only by everyone wanting to get the hell out before any impending Lakers NBA finals riots. But today's personal winners?
#1: Homefront with it's close-to-home political futurism, crazy dramatic explosive moments woven into actual gameplay, and massive potential for narrative. But does it need multiplayer? I'm interested to see where Kaos takes it for sure.
#2: Portal 2. Wasn't sure co-op would work when I first heard about it, but damn if it didn't kick all sorts of brain-bending ass. Welcome back, GLaDOS.
Weirdest bit of the day? Rock of the Dead -- the undead baby of Typing of the Dead and Rock Band with the ability to use drums and/or guitar to blast zombies in an arcadey, on-rails shooter style. Odd, but could be ridiculous, campy fun. Let's hope.
June 18, 2010