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Summer Game Fest Live impressions from the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles

After watching the live show in Los Angeles at the YouTube Theater, Ben and David share their thoughts about what was unveiled and presented, how this show compares to previous events, and also the experience of attending in-person.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone and welcome back to Gamereactor.
As you can see, well maybe you can just see behind us, we're at the YouTube Theatre.
And Summer Game Fest, I guess it's just called Summer Game Fest these days, they used to be called an opening show, whatever."

"This show is now over, put it that way. We've just come out of YouTube Theatre, we've just seen it.
Geoff Keighley's just done all the announcements. Two hours, maybe two hours is too long.
But no, we had to recap it a little bit. So Dav, just kick us off.
What was the one announcement that really stood out to you?
What was the thing that caught your eye when you sat there for two hours in that freezing theatre?
What was the thing that caught your eye?
Tricky question because I think it wasn't that exciting at all."

"I think it was very similar to last year in terms of...
It was colourful, different sizes of projects, some new opportunities, some nice messages about how the industry is going right now, about the crisis that we are seeing with layoffs, some nice initiatives such as the one by Outer Sloth, which is not Inner Sloth, it's Outer for inclusion."

"But other than that, we didn't get... Last year we got Mortal Kombat, and we got Prince of Persia, as you were saying, we got New Sonic.
Similar situation to last year. Lots of really big announcements at the start, and then it kind of felt like it fizzled out as it went through."

"A few things in between, but it kind of went downhill, I would say.
Yeah, and it feels weird that my... I have three highlights, okay?
Which are Neva, it sounds like never, but actually it's the...
N-E-V-A or something, right? N-E-V-A?
It's the word in Catalan to say it's snowing."

"Conrad Roset is the painter, the guys who did Gris, which is beautiful, and this one is beautiful, and it was the gameplay reveal, and now they're doing Kombat, which they didn't do before, and now they're doing... It's going to be a more dynamic game."

"But we already knew about that game, and it's going to be present at the Devolver Direct, so yeah, nothing new.
Alan Wake 2 DLC, Night Springs, to me was a highlight because of Sam Lake, of his personality, of the way he showed up on stage."

"It doesn't have anything to do with him being sitting next to me for the whole conference, but I really mean it.
He put that developer personality on stage, and he was the only one.
And the third thing that was surprising to me, and I'm looking forward to playing, is a retro game, which is called Power Rangers, Rita's Rewind."

"It looked to me like the latest Ninja Turtles game.
But again, three things I'm excited about, but I won't say for the wrong reasons, but I wouldn't expect me to be excited about those coming off this show.
What about you?
Well, it's interesting to me because there's certain things, when I watch a show like that, when I'm there in person at shows like that, it always kind of almost surprises me a little bit, by the way that people react to things."

"Like the Alan Wake announcement was really cool, right?
The thingy, the show was really exciting, the reveal of the new expansion was cool.
But he started the reveal by talking about the physical copies of a game that's been out since October, and everyone went mad for it! I'm thinking like, maybe it's just me being sort of old and a bit conservative."

"I don't know, it doesn't, a deluxe physical edition of a game that's been out for eight months, or ten months or whatever we're at this point, it doesn't drive excitement in me.
But it's just weird seeing how people react to certain things like that."

"But no, I agree, I think that the show itself kind of lacks a little bit of a punch to sort of send it home.
There are a few things that look cool to me, like I really enjoyed playing Mario Strikers, right?
And when I saw the Quidditch game, in my mind I was thinking, if they can capture a similar sort of experience as what Mario Strikers does for football, and they can convert that into sort of like an arcadey Quidditch game, then maybe they've got something there."

"But we'll have to see whether that will actually shape up, because the trailer didn't really show off anything.
Same as many other trailers.
Yeah, exactly."

"A lot of the trailers there, they didn't really do a lot for the games they were showing, I would say.
Yeah, I don't know.
Obviously everyone's going to say LEGO Horizon Adventures is one of their highlights, because it was the big announcement, really."

"And it being on the Switch, and possibly not being on the Xbox, is one of the highlights.
There were other games that were going to be released on the Switch, slightly shockingly, such as Civilization, which, of course, the trailer was just as you said, CGI, I love Sid Meier, I'm looking forward to that."

"But that was leaked.
Not their fault, but not as much of a surprise.
And the thing about Civilization as well, is that I think it kind of hurt 2K a little bit by saying, going into the show, that they're going to reveal a game in one of their major franchises."

"Because I don't think people really treat Civilization as a major...
When you say that, people think Mafia, they think Bioshock, they think Borderlands.
Are they?
Security has been horrible."

"They've been so rude.
Go on, what were you saying?
I can't remember. Oh, like a Horizon or something, probably?
Yeah, exactly. The size of the announcements, and how you feel about them."

"Because it's like, you can have your highlights, but you don't have a big takeaway.
You don't have these that you'd be dreaming about tonight.
I think that, I don't know you guys from home, here, it's all the more spectacular, I mean, the bass and the sound is a little bit too much in my opinion, same as the air conditioner."

"But again, you're sharing it with people, you're sharing it with creators, and you feel excited, but it lacks the punch of the proper thing.
Yeah, for sure."

"I would also say as well, this year's show, two things I took away from it is, A, it was very Japanese-focused, so very Eastern developer-focused, which I think is maybe a sign of what we're trying to do."

"Maybe a sign of what is to come for the future of Summer Game Fest this year.
We've got an Xbox show that is probably not going to have many Asian and Japanese games featured whatsoever, especially with the shutdown of Tango in mind."

"And then we have Ubisoft, which is a French or Western company, so I don't think we're going to see too much of that representation, despite the fact that Assassin's Creed Shadows is here."

"So I think you've seen a lot of those Asian and Japanese games featured here, a lot of them which to me seem very similar as well.
A lot of action RPGs, and I know people are really excited for Phantom Blade, but to me it looks like pretty much three other action RPGs that were shown at the show today."

"Yeah, I just wanted to add that Ubisoft was present very briefly with Star Wars, but that was a teaser for something that's coming the day after tomorrow.
Same with PlayStation, but LEGO Horizon showed up, wasn't at their showcase."

"Literally barely any of Xbox! I saw maybe two Xbox logos, for multi-platform things.
And speaking about multi-platform, and we mentioned the Switch being there, Switch 2 will be next year, I guess."

"It's more open now, and it's also fewer and fewer AAA.
I think this is something that we have to get accustomed to.
Other than, you know, Monster Hunter Wilds, which was, of course, ambitious, and is coming out next year in Star Wars, you know, the Zero Blade thing that you mentioned."

"Other than that, there are smaller games, AA, perhaps open world, but not...
We should get used to this, I think.
I don't know if you agree."

"I absolutely agree, and...
Well, I don't know, have we got anything else to say, or is that a good place to sign up, I guess?
So yeah, this has been Summer Game Fest Live, this has been at the YouTube Theater, another great venue."

"We'll be here probably again next year, assuming that...
Well, they actually didn't say anything about Summer Game Fest next year.
I think last year they did, I think they said they'd be back, but...
Either way, we'll probably know more about it soon, either at Gamescom or at Game Awards or something, yeah."

"Something like that.
So yeah, anyway, this has been our Summer Game Fest sort of recap, I guess sort of in review almost video.
We'll be picking up again probably on..."

"Well, Sunday for us, I don't know when you'll see the video, but when the Xbox Showcase takes place in a few days, so stay tuned for that.
Let's head to the mix."

"And get great food, so yeah, looking forward to that.
All right, take care, everyone."

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