Today was the last day at E3 and I think I finally saw almost everything that they had to offer. I bring home with me fond memories of frantically trying to collect the pins and stickers that Nintendo was handing out (the Star Fox pin is going for over a hundred dollars on eBay!), getting hammered on beer with the good folks at Gamechurch, getting treated to a great lunch in the press room, watching live feeds of IGN and Attack Of The Show, and, of course, getting to play all the new video games before you! Speaking of games…

Mad Max

From Avalanche Studios, the creators of the Just Cause trilogy, comes one of my personal most anticipated games. Set in an open world post-apocalyptic Australia, Max must survive the desert wasteland with the help of a friend and, of course, his V8 Interceptor. The game does not tie in with the newest film, Fury Road, but instead takes place in the Mad Max universe with its own storyline.  The graphics are top notch with excellent character models and highly detailed desert scenery. Controls are easy and smooth while driving, but get a little tricky while trying to aim and shoot at the same time. Once I mastered it, however, I had a blast shooting a harpoon from the back of my car right into the chest of an enemy and dragging him for miles. In the end, I was very pleased with this title, as most movies turned into video games suck. (ET anyone?) Mad Max is available on PC, Xbox One and PS4, September 1, 2015.

Guitar Hero Live

I got to live out my dreams of being a rock star with this booth from Activision. Set up to resemble a rock concert, I was ushered back stage with five other people and given a guitar. I noticed that the controls on the guitar had changed this time around. They are no longer color-coded, which is music to my ears for my colorblind ass. The top 3 buttons are black and the bottom three are white. None of this helped me, though, as we were brought on stage and then put in front of an actual crowd who watched and judged our Guitar Hero skills. I failed. I’m terrible at this game, but had a fun time on stage trying out the new Guitar and tunes. There were 5 songs to choose from on this demo but I only remember the one I picked: The Black Keys’ “Gold On The Ceiling.” This has always been a fun game at a party to play with friends; I just need to practice more, and what better way then with this new version? Guitar Hero Live comes out October 20, 2015.

Kratos Cosplay
No E3 would be complete without epic-tier cosplay. Photo: Alex Springer

Sniper 3: Ghost Warrior

The people at CI Games sure know how to treat a guy and give an excellent presentation. With free swag, drinks and an air-conditioned room, we were treated to this hands on demo. They were showing off the first fully produced title with Sniper 3. You play as a sniper in the middle of a new Cold War with Russia and must navigate the open sandbox world of harsh terrain. What I liked most about this game was its realism and attention to detail. Working with a real marine sniper, they were able to produce one of the most realistic sniper games to date.  This is no run-and-gun game. Your objective is to be as sneaky as possible and to not get caught. Going in guns blazing will get you killed in a matter of moments, one well place shot from the enemy can kill you. Some other nice touches are the upgrade system. There are no skill points to accumulate. If you do something enough times, you simply get better at it, plain and simple.  There is no help in the game as you are trapped behind enemy lines, so all you have to go off of is your wits and your skills. The graphics were top notch as well as the voice acting turning this game into a pleasant surprise that I eagerly look forward to. Sniper 3: Ghost Warrior is due out sometime in December 2016 on PC Xbox One and PS4.

Video Game History Museum

To coincide with Adam Sandler’s new movie Pixels, a movie about classic Atari games coming to life and attacking Earth, Atari set up an awesome and free-to-play display of old school games. Frogger, Centipede, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong were just some of the many classics in attendance, along with all the older gaming consoles as well. NES, SNES, Sega, Sega Saturn, and the Atari were left out to the public with a slew of games to play on old television sets.  People also had the chance to win merchandise from the film while classic music from the 80’s played in the background.  On display was a treasure trove of 80s gaming from the Atari systems to the video games that defined a generation. I had a fun time over at this booth, mostly because I got to feel nostalgic and play free games without waiting in line.

The End

This was my first time at E3, and I really hope I get a chance to attend next year.  Many friends told me before my trip that getting to go to E3 was like winning the golden ticket at Willy Wonka’s candy factory. They weren’t lying.  The main problem I have now is that I have to wait to actually buy these games after playing them—I want them even more now!  Take my word for it: If you ever get a chance to go to E3, GO! Even if it’s just once, there really isn’t anything out there like it.