E3 has properly arrived. Mark kicked things off earlier with Microsoft, and I'm here to continue the party with the PC Gaming Show. Get your coffee or early morning rocket fuel and let's party.
06:23: And that's a wrap! Now it's time to go over to the Ubi conference.
06:19: Every inch of my being is now willing for Spector's speech to end. This is literally preaching to the crowd, and the opportunity to do that should have been taken before the Ubisoft conference started. (Keep track of that here.)
Now we're talking VR.
06:18: "There are four categories of games that play better on PC than anywhere else," Spector continues.
Strategy, MOBAs, MMOs, esports. Not in that order, just the order I could get it out.
Not sure what the value of this speech is.
06:15: Spector is not good at amping up a crowd. The balloon is deflating fast here.
He's advertising the PC's strengths as a platform: it's openness, the power of engines, versatility, the lot.
This is now just venturing into a lecture. I thought this was a tightly packed 100 minute show.
06:14: Spector is literally talking history. And how publishers wanted console games and how developers had to do it because they needed to work.
What on earth. This sounds like gaming evangelism.
06:12: Nope, looks like Warren Spector is closing the PC Gaming Show.
But he doesn't have anything to announce. What.
06:09: The UI looks really, really funky. I'm into this.
06:08: New Deus Ex starts in Dubai, people.
06:06: Eidos Montreal finishing the show with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
06:05: New mode for Warframe: looks like a sports based thing.
New content, skins and weapons for the game as well.
06:02: Mages of Mystralia shown off. Crafting spells. Looks a bit like Torchlight.
06:01: PC Gaming Show running overtime. Lot of people won't be happy with that. Remember, Mark's liveblog for the Ubi conference. They're just dancing right now though.
Beta at the end of the winter for Arcane Warfare: Mirage.
05:59: Called Arcane Warfare: Mirage, largely focused on watching the animations of your opponent, swinging back and then blasting them with magic afterwards.
And the Twitch feed literally just cut out. Good God.
05:58: Bit more colour now. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare devs have a new game too.
05:56: Day of Infamy, launching in Early Access next month. Looks like World War 2 action.
That's really from the trailer.
05:55: New World Interactive — that's the Insurgency makers — have got something new. Colour me intrigued.
05:54: Halo Wars 2 going to have a lot of fast-paced modes, but they're not announcing those yet.
05:53: It's an "action-RTS" basically. Dawn of War 3 style, then.
05:52: Halo Wars 2 simultaneously launching February 21 (no surprise there) on Windows 10 and PC. Looks smooth, some nice effects on the explosion. Good sheen on the water too, actually.
05:50: "If I had to pick one word to describe mouse and keyboard, it would be: total control."
NOT. ONE. WORD. MATE. 343's turn next with Halo Wars 2.
05:49: It's a video about "celebrating the mouse and keyboard".
As in, an advertisement for Razer.
05:47: This sounds really good so far.
Also, the developers seem a lot more comfortable answering canned questions than just delivering a standard E3 presentation. I think they appreciate the ability to pause, maybe even have a joke.
Dare I say it: the format, weirdly, seems to work.
Dual Universe is going to launch a website in a couple of weeks. Not sure when it'll be playable.
05:45: It's 15 minutes to the hour, which means the Ubisoft conference is also just about to kick off. If you want to keep track of that as well, Mark's liveblogging that here.
Back to Dual Universe: everyone plays in the same world. No instancing. No queuing, no zones. "Seamless fully editable single shard universe," the trailer says.
05:43: Another exclusive: Dual Universe.
Something about rebuilding civilization. Seamless transition from taking off a planet to breaking into space and landing on another planet.
05:42: Finji artist Heather Penn announces Overland. It's a survival strategy game about a cross-country roadtrip.
This immediately looks rad.
It's also an Itch.io exclusive, which is hugely intriguing (and a massive gamble, you'd think).
05:41: This trailer is literally first-person pointing at terminals and unlocking them.
05:40: Looks like an environmental puzzler. There's talk about elements changing the meaning of the story for the player as well, but it's pretty vague so far.
05:39: Bulkhead and Square Enix. No idea what the name of the game is (it's called The Turing Test) because the audio was a bit janky for a second.
05:37: The Apex update is coming out July 11, for those interested. A sneak preview build has just gone live for those with access to the ArmA 3 developer branch too — which isn't fun if you're trying to livestream the show on Australian internet.
05:36: ArmA 3 Apex video plays. This is stuff that's already been announced so far.
05:33: Bohemia Interactive's Jay Crowe hops on board to talk about ArmA 3's latest update, Apex.
Crowe's also wearing a ribbon to mark recent events; nice touch.
About to tease four player co-op and something at the end, as well as the Apex stuff.
05:31: SparkyPants Studios announces DropZone — and it's a traditional E3 style intro. No awkward interview.
It's a 15-minute based RTS that has a blend of some MOBA elements.
The interface looks like Heroes of the Storm with tanks.
05:30: And it's a gameplay trailer for Observer. It's bloody hard to see anything. This looks creepy enough though.
As an aside, this show has really motored along.
05:26: The Layers of Fear developers have a new game as well: Observer.
Rafal Basaj from Bloober Team joins the stage. Day nails the pronunciation.
The game is about a member of a police unit that hacks people's memories and explores a ton of twisted visions. There's a lot of playing on people's fears. It's a cyberpunk thing. And also a "full fledged horror" experience too.
05:24: Paradox and Obsidian's turn in the spotlight. New Tyranny trailer. Mostly cinematic, has a little bit of in-engine footage though.
05:21: Nope. That's definitely too scary for me. Might be right up Hayley's alley though.
Day then ventures into what seems like an actual interview, asking Tripwire's John Gibson about the challenges of Killing Floor's gunplay into virtual reality. That's a conversation that probably deserves a much longer window than you get on an E3 conference stage.
Anna Sweet announces another title: SUPERHOT coming for Oculus touch.
05:18: The Killing Floor 2 dev just pulled out his phone to play a sound to symbolically indicate that all the trailer content is live now.
And now Anna Sweet from Oculus is joining the party too. It's called Killing Floor: Incursion.
Also, she seems really nervous. Incursion is a whole new thing in VR from Tripwire, apparently.
05:15: Killing Floor 2 on the stage now.
05:13: Back to games. VAMPYR, from the Life is Strange developers.
Looks a bit like the Bloodborne interface.
05:12: And here's a video for AMD's Summit Ridge line of CPUs.
It's showing DOOM playing on reasonably smooth frame rates but with no performance metrics. What are we supposed to get excited about? Smooth gameplay for a game that's already released?
05:11: Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope coming to early access this winter.
05:09: Now they're moving onto AMD's work with Croteam and LiquidVR. It's Serious Sam VR, I believe.
05:09: AMD also has a reference backpack PC design with a RX 480. "Full HD VR experiences with this reference design."
05:08: RX 460 is focused on esports, less than 75W power Lisa Su says.
05:07: The whole Polaris line is here. RX 490 first. RX 460 and the RX 470.
05:06: "You're not going to need a $USD700 video card to enjoy DOOM at fantastic frame rates." That's from id's Marty Stratton.
That's a thumb in the nose to NVIDIA.
05:05: Lisa Su is talking about Polaris and what AMD's done with DOOM. Presumably it's about their Vulkan support.
Yup, it's DOOM on Vulkan.
05:03: This is a bunch of esports writers/journalists talking about their favourite esports moment, which feels incredibly wedged and out of place in something that's supposed to be about new games and new hardware.
But let's get done with that. AMD's Ceo Lisa Su has arrived. She killed it last year.
05:01: I do love that they have Day for this. And now it's time for an advertisement for esports.
05:00 Cliffy B then says "if Overwatch is Street Fighter, then we're going to be Mortal Kombat".
Lawbreakers is on the screen right now. But sure, Blizzard probably doesn't mind the free press. Lawbreakers is getting a public alpha on June 18, while the game is aiming to launch on Early Access in August. Good time for it.
04:59: "What's it like to balance all of the different routes players can go through?"
"It's completely unbalanced right now."
Never change, PC.
04:58: Cliffy B mentions a bit of a strafejumping/Tribes-like skiing mechanic in Lawbreakers, which is always good to hear. We're getting more arena shooters these days, but very few ones focused on old-school movement.
04:56: And Lawbreakers has a new trailer too. Cliffy B hops on the stage for a interview, which immediately begins with a chat about his "fresh kicks".
04:55: Sorry, it's called The Surge. It looks like a lot of people in exo-powered suits. The gameplay actually continued briefly after the trailer and showcased third person action.
04:54: Game looks good. But it's now a premiere for The Search from Deck13.
04:53: His speech is getting faster and faster as this demo goes on.
Bit of a breakdown: this is largely being done as a series of brief interviews, rather than the devs coming out and doing rehearsed pitches. It results in a lot of awkwardness.
Like, a hell of a lot.
04:51: The Taleworlds community manager just gave the fastest word salad pitch for Mount & Blade 2 ever. Impressive.
Showing some siege gameplay off now.
04:50: Something a few friends of mine will really be into: the sequel to Mount and Blade, Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord.
04:47: Sean "Day" Plott is hosting things again. ARK: Survival Evolved devs Studio Wildcard just showed off what looked like the ability to run around the world as an animal, which is crazy.
Now we're seeing a trailer for a game caalled Giant Cop.
04:42: Aaaaaand we've begun already. Jesus. That was fast.
Quick recap: Dawn of War 3 kicked off proceedings, while a new game called Oxygen Not Included was shown from Klei Entertainment (Don't Starve, Invisible, Inc.)
04:30: E3 has certainly begun. It's been a pretty leaky second day of proceedings — just about everything from Microsoft's conference seemingly broke loose before the conference landed. Buzz around the PC-specific slot of the day, however, has been much more restrained.
There's good reason for that. The PC Gaming Show is still new to E3 — its only in its second year — and its still very much to find its feet. The fact that it's pretty much a joint venture between AMD and PC Gamer meant its also getting skipped entirely in a lot of quarters, although that's also partly because last year's show was a painful, cringeworthy trainwreck.
But there should be some good stuff to show this year. I'm expecting to hear a lot about VR, especially with the post-Computex buzz about AMD's Radeon R9 490 being available for $USD200. AMD showed off the Fury X this time last year, but this time around they might give a bit of love to their Zen architecture for CPUs — which might also be powering the new Xbox One and PS4.5. Maybe.
Star Citizen just pushed out update 2.4 recently, and I'd be surprised if Chris Roberts didn't make an appearance. I'd also expect other British developers to come out in support of the show, and given that Frontier Developments debuted their Planet Coaster trailer here last year there might be some extra news on that too. We'll see soon enough.