I’ve been playing that new Deus Ex lately, which reminded me to immediately shoehorn in a hoary old story from the good old bad old days. So, there we were, in Dallas to see the ill-fated Daikatana. Made by a studio called Ion Storm…
It was the brainchild of Jon Romero, who depending whom you asked was the inventor/level designer/glorified tester of Doom, the game that changed everything. A longhaired earring-wearing motherfucker in a leather jacket, it’s fair to say he fancied himself. I didn’t really get to know him: on the one occasion he joined us at a strip club, he slugged down a can of Dr Pepper, buried his face in the nearest pair of tits for the requisite three minutes, and fucked off home in his yellow sports car.
Unfortunately, Daikatana was a mess, and we arrived in Dallas on the back of about ten key members of staff leaving the project. As a barometer of the confusion, nobody appeared to be expecting us, much to the dismay of a stressed PR man on his first trip, precipitating a full Alan Partridge meltdown in which he pointed out to a bewildered receptionist that Tannoy is actually a trade name and that she should instead refer to it as a public address system. Having finally talked our way into the office, perched atop an enormous skyscraper with a hole in the middle, we were dispatched to the recreation room to play hours of table tennis and retro arcade cabinets. I think the bloke from Edge actually finished Scramble – he didn’t give a fuck, and was mainly using the trip as a cheap way to emigrate to the States.
Finally, we were apologetically informed that Daikatana wasn’t quite ready and could we please come back tomorrow? By the way, while you’re here would anybody like to have a quick look at an unannounced game called Deus Ex? This is Warren Spector, he’ll be taking you through the demonstration and answering your questions. And so that’s how I had the honour of being the (equal) first journalist ever to set eyes on Deus Ex, the game that changed everything. It’s a shame I’ve never managed to get past the first level…
One game I have actually finished is Gears Of War 3, which was recently unveiled in London in more professional circumstances: row after row of consoles manned by sweaty journalists in headphones. Playable from 9am until midnight, some poor saps with short deadlines seemed intent on completing the game there and then. Gaming, like masturbation, should mainly be carried out at home alone. That said, I put in a token half hour, followed by a lamb curry and a few cold drinks. By no means the worst offender, that honour goes to a tabloid hack who reaped the benefits of free beer, food and wi-fi for an afternoon without even going near the game, and then promptly slung his goodie bag in the first bin outside. Scum. Subhuman scum.
Steve Hill: Having accidentally landed a job on a PC games magazine in the mid-90’s, Hill has since written for such outlets as PC Zone, CVG, Eurogamer, IGN, Gamespot, Official PlayStation Magazine, Official Xbox Magazine, Official Dreamcast Magazine, PlayNation, PC Gear, PSW, FourFourTwo, Sky Sports Magazine, Hotdog, The Independent, The Mail On Sunday, Loaded, Maxim, Front, Nuts, Jack, Goal!, The Onion Bag, The Red Card and PokerPlayer. And some others. He can occasionally be seen on www.gameshocktv.com, and tweets infrequently as @HillyTheFish.
Disclaimer: Opinion above is the columnist’s own and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Gameleon or The Games Tribe.