take two
8:02AM PDT - Arrived! Doors closed (for an 8am conference). A small crowd is gathering. Stacks of names tags are still piled on the registration table.

8:18AM PDT - More late arrivals. "Haven't they heard of LA traffic?" a disgruntled media attendee wonders.

take two
8:19AM PDT - What's a press conference without press? That's what we're wondering. A late-arriving and confused PR woman has tried to let people enter, but is stopped by co-workers. "We can't let any media in?" (She and a few other PR personnel eventually creep in -- but no media.)

8:25AM PDT - "Sorry everyone, the press conference is full." So what did we RSVP for? Apparently not a seat ...

8:29AM PDT - Thanks to the valiant and courageous efforts of 2K's Director of Public Relations, Marcelyn Ditter, we managed to quietly slide in (but we felt guilty for abandoning our patiently waiting colleagues). Sure enough, there aren't any seats, so we've grabbed some floor ... and we're off: All-Pro Football was developed to satisfy the demand of fans who thought 2K's football video games were the best games out there.


8:34AM PDT - (All-Pro lets you build the team you want. Good thing, since you can't use the ones the NFL uses! You can design your own uniforms and logos to customize it just like you want, allowing thousands of combinations. We're wondering how close we could get to a New York Giants jersey ... something tells us the answer is really close.

8:35AM PDT - They're really playing up the independence angle. "This isn't watered down, league-approved football."[Before] we were never allowed to show what these guys really do." "The league never allowed us to have players talk." We're free! They've created the 2K sports ticker -- accurate up to date scores live while you're playing the game. All-Pro Football 2K comes out next week so if you don't want to support the Madden hegemony, try that out.

8:38AM PDT: We're off to the world of Rapture. A look at the trailer and a developer tells us Bioshock is "the shooter with lots of cool shit." We have to agree with you there. We've got another look at the game, beginning with our protagonist sinking in the water. There's pieces of luggage and airplane debris all around him. He comes up for air, surrounding flames. There's a lighthouse nearby (thank the gods!). Inside there's a pod that you climb in which takes you on your way to Rapture.

8:42AM PDT: We've got a training video from Andrew Ryan, preaching his vision of Rapture. Rapture was originally constructed as an idealistic city, but just built underwater. Geez, that sounded like such a a good idea ... They're walking through many of the game's genetic powers. Our imagination is really running wild thinking about the Incinerate power. Electro-bolt ain't so bad itself. And that's it, they're showing the game all over the place here and, of course, it's out in just a couple weeks.

8:50AM PDT: "The most anticipated title of the year." To be honest, this is a tough call to make. Master Chief would obviously argue otherwise. They're going to show us the first public live demo of the title ever. They're crunching some GTA numbers, which are understandably impressive. We're watching the two trailers. Trailer one we're all familiar with. The familiar sights and sounds of Koyaniquatsi meets GTA fill the auditorium. "Perhaps here, things will be different." Something tells us that ain't gonna happen, friend.

8:53AM PDT: Now, "we're all looking for that special someone." We forgot how great looking that second trailer was. Now, they're going to show us a "morsel" of the game. Two Rockstar devs take the stage. The music is a placeholder, so they ask that we not mention it. They've never shown a game to an audience this large before it's release. They remind us that it's a work in progress, so we'll be nice. Something tells us it will impress regardless.

The titles shares all key players from earlier GTA games. This consistency should ensure that the title meets expectations. With GTAIV, they're looking to "create the defining next generation action adventure." They show Niko starting in Star Juntion (Times Square). This is not a rags to riches story, "it's a rags to slightly better rags story."

The game looks like a work in progress. There's some strange clipping with NPCs, and a notable lack of pedestrians. Niko jumps into a car and we're off! There are some definite framerate issues and fill-in, but it's early! The previous GTA games (remember, consistency!) were always smooth. The lighting is incredible! As the sun rises, there's a very distinct atmosphere. It feels like a cold New York City morning. We need a bagel and some coffee.

8:59AM PDT: Niko breaks out his cell phone and calls a buddy for some firepower. (Voiceovers aren't in yet). And that's all they're showing, no shots of the promised firepower. We need to find a buddy we can call for firepower but we'll settle for bagels and coffee right now.

9:00AM PDT: Take Two is back on stage thanking the various folks in the corporate family who made this all popular: Rockstar, 2K, etc. And we're out!


[Update: Added some info where our guardian angel, 2K's Marcelyn Ditter, swooped in and spirited us away to safety (read: the press conference). Thanks again, Marcelyn!]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Seen@E3: all in the (animated) family