There are some fantastic old theatres in Los Angeles, and the Orpheum is arguably one of the nicest. It's probably lost on the horde of gamers that have just descended on it, but it's quite a place.
With a rather lacklustre Microsoft conference out of the way, it's now up to EA to bring some hype to the show. Assuming my laptop battery holds out, I'll talk you through the event. If I go dark... you know why.
That, or it's just me snoozing through EA's sports line up and whatever sporting celebrities they drag onto the stage.
The light's drop - what are EA lading with? A whole montage of games, which is interesting.
John Riccitello's own stage, looking pleased and claiming today's event to be "a little different - less like the Oscars, more like Sundance." Really?
First up, Dead Space 3, which takes the action out of confined corridors and into the open. It's also going to have a dedicated co-op mode, with drop-in-drop-out capability. The demo shows off some co-op puzzle solving, and is much more action oriented than previous titles. In fact, it looks more like a traditional shooter than a horror game. Stll, the exterior locations look great,
The demo ends with Isaac getting sucked into the maw of giant beast... suddenly, it's a horror game again, as he's pulled through the thing's intestines. Yick.
Ooh, Mogwai over the top of the Madden 13 trailer - way to use an awesome track to make me care about the game!
But man, the Infinity physics and animation system looks amazing, with real-time collisions and player motion. There are no canned animations. I'd love to see that in some of EA's shooters. Here's the first sports celeb - Michael Irvine. I think. The crowd sounds happy to hear him talking about about biting off career steps.
I'll say one thing - he wears the fuck out of a suit.
Actually the game's looking much deeper than ever before, with an RPG-like career progression for an individual player. Huh.
Lucy Bradshaw, from Maxis comes out to present Sim City. "We're regaining the crown as King of the city builders. There's a brief look at Sim City Social, and then the real deal. Yeah, it's looking pretty sweet, with amazing animated detail of pedestrians and vehicles. Taking a leaf out of Cities XL with multiplayer, letting different cities link together into a wider world.
It's looking great.
Huh - Jason West and Vince Zampella are in the audience. They just got some applause too.
And now DICE is on the stage, for more Battlefield 3. So what's the next step, guys?
Battlefield 3 Premium - this is going to be interesting. So it gets you all teh expansion packs, premium skins and content. The Premium service starts now, and costs $49.95, which isn't that bad.
Also neat, in Endgame, the last of the scheduled content packs, DICE is introducing motorcycles - they'll be fun to blow up.
Now Ray Muzyka's on stage, form BioWare, talking up The Old Republic. "Our goal is to provide a living service, that is always on."
This July, the game goes free to play, but only up to level 15. Interesting move. Plus there's going to be a new race, a level cap increase, new companions, and a mess more new content.
Now it's Greg Goodrich's turn on the stage, so he can gush about Tier 1 operators again, and Warfighter. Thankfully, we head almost straight into a live demo. And it's looking good on Frostbite 2 - thankfully!
It's looking really smooth, with fluid animation, some destructive terrain, and very satisfying ballistics. Dare I let myself start to get excited that this one will actually be better? The multiplayer's goin to be around global teams, including the SASR from Australia and the Polish GROM. This might be something to get excited about.
Now some sports stuff - basically, it's all about getting more connected and more social. In fact, as the FIFA dude says, FIFA is social football.
The President of the UFC is a really large, scary man. And yes, EA Sports' UFC: Ultimate Fighting Championship. And did I mention the scary? Wow.
The new Need for Speed accelerates onto the stage, with some Prodigy - man, EA has some killer music choices. Need for Speed: Most Wanted - an open world racing game, with even deeper social interactions with Autolog. It's looking pretty good, and will be out on October 30.
Awesome - Cevat Yerli for Crytek and Crysis 3. "Levels designed for you, so you can play the way you want to."
Holy crap, this is one amazing looking game. The world design is much less linear than Crysis 2, and much more in line with the more open gameplay of the original.
Well, John's back, and that's the show. Hmm.