E3 2018 Overkills the Walking Dead
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E3 2018 diary, day two: Zombies, zombies, and more bloody zombies

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Here’s our round-up of some of the things we saw and did on day 2 of E3 2018. Mostly we played zombie games, for some reason.

Evening, nerds. This E3 2018 diary is coming to you a little later in the day because we’ve been hanging out at The Mix, an indie event that featured indie games, snacks and drinks on the roof of a downtown LA hotel. The roof also has a swimming pool on it, so we’re counting that as a rooftop LA pool party. No we didn’t go in; we’re not really the skinny dipping types, and we’re pretty sure the security guards would’ve thrown us out. Anyway.

This morning was less eventful than yesterday. Nobody lost anything on the way to the convention centre (or indeed, before we left for the convention centre) so travel went off without a hitch. This was good, as our rescheduled appointment from yesterday – to see Dying Light 2, with Techland – was at 9am.

Zombie game count so far: 1.

Once we had changed our underwear, we head over to the Sony press area, in which we play Spider-Man, simultaneously. We are Spider-Men, if you like. As ever, we’ll have detailed thoughts on all the things we played over the next few days, but in short, Spider-Man is as impressive as it looks.

Next, we played Days Gone which, as hard as we try to take it seriously, always seems to descend into Benny Hill with zombies. We’re sure it’s a very serious horror game but the “Oh cock, my traps didn’t work and now a horde of fast zombies is chasing me round and round a parked truck” never ceases to be hilarious. We don’t know if “hilarious” is the tone they’re going for. It has a nice motorcycle, though.

Zombie game count for the day: 2.

Next up, we visited the Indiecade area, a collection of indie games on the E3 show floor. Which, incidentally, is pronounced in-dee-cay-de, not in-dee-cah-day – the person we know who pronounces it that way knows who they are. There were lots of interesting things on show there, with a surprisingly high number of VR games; indie devs seem to be embracing virtual reality for more experimental titles, even if mainstream publishers are struggling to tap that market effectively.

The giant chopstick food preparation game looked like fun, but we spent the most time with Desert Child, a hoverbike racing game combined with a management simulator. The aim of the game is to build your wealth and fame as a hoverbike racer so that you can resettle in a new life on Mars. We resist saying “Get your ass to Mars” to the booth demonstrator every time the objective comes up. We can’t say for sure if the presenter knows that we’re biting our tongue, but we think it’s probably appreciated. It’s also got a really nice custom arcade cabinet on the show floor, and a fun, competitive two-player mode.

We retire to the media room to write up some stories, like this one on the influences behind Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Once again, we eat lunch boxes because they are available, in spite of not actually being hungry. Not everyone in the media room is working as hard as us, however, and we struggle to concentrate over the buzzword bingo, humble bragging, and out-and-out bragging going on nearby. Another journo, with whom we’ve been stoic, quiet table buddies with for a little while, rolls his eyes at us and pops in his headphones. Headphones help a little, but it’s still hard to concentrate.

One of the team leaves the convention centre for an appointment off-site, which leads to a strange turn of events. First of all, there’s this:

And then there’s this.

All in all, it was a very odd walk, but the game was enjoyable. Upon returning to the media centre the not-so-humble bragging continues apace, but has moved to another table to try and impress others with higher status. It brought to mind some primate behaviour we’d seen in documentaries, like male bonobo monkeys. Mostly, we were thankful they weren’t waving their penises around. We charged our devices and readied ourselves for more demos, which included F1 2018 and Metro Exodus, among others.

Metro isn’t explicitly “zombies” but we’re still counting it: that puts the zombie game count at 3 so far. Don’t forget we’ve already seen Resident Evil 2 and The Last of Us Part 2 on previous days, as well. A quick stop off at Gearbox saw us playing an as-yet-unnamed competitive shooter, before we headed off for our final appointment of the day.

We ran into this poor soul en route:

And, of course, we were on our way to another zombie game: Overkill’s The Walking Dead. This is less like Benny Hill and more like The Walking Left 4 Dead, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we are quite tired of zombies by this point. And also, just quite tired. The zombie game count for the day stands at 4.

Thoroughly tired of zombies and guns, we strolled over to The Mix, to play something a little different. Also, to partake of the free drinks and snacks, but mostly to spend some time talking to a group of very enthusiastic and diverse indie developers. At the end of a very long day, towards the end of a very long week, a social mixer is both exhausting and – because of the company we’re in – energising.

As it stands, however, we’re quite tired now.

Goodnight, nerds. We’ll see you all again tomorrow, when this insanity comes to a blessed end at last.

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