Hands-down the best booth on the Penny Arcade Expo show floor is Bethesda’s Fallout 3 homage.
The central booth features kiosks of playable Fallout 3, singed mannequins, and an honest to god Airstream motor home on a patch of faux grass surrounded by white picket fences.
The Bethesda folks tell me that the Airstream is an authentic, not a replica, that the company purchased and then paid someone to clean-up and retro fit. Inside the refrigerated air of the mobile home is a wealth of retro goodies touched-up with a Fallout ambiance.
There are, for instance, old Life magazines, a refrigerator packed with ice cold Nuka Colas, a wood panel framed flat screen television and a waffle iron of the future. You can tell it’s from the future by the mini radar dish protruding from the top griddle.
But there were a few problems too:
The Fallout demo was schedule to run in the Main Theater at 2:30 –the exact same time as the Harmonix: The Rockening panel ended. The demo would also run over the Warhammer Online demo by a good half hour, ending at 3:30.
I ducked out of Hamronix 45 minutes early mostly due to technical issues, but also because I wanted to head off a huge line for Fallout. My plan failed as I encountered well over 200 hundred people ahead of me. Dutifully, I waited in line, suffering through all the misery of yesterday all over again.
But 2:30 came and went and still the line didn’t move. It was nearly 2:50 by the time the big partition blocking off the Main Theater from the line-waiting room was parted, admitting the first of well over 1000 people that wanted to see this game. I was fairly hopeful because I was in the first third of the line – but when I was within 10 people of the opening, the line stopped.
After some muddled arguments and confused muttering, a meek marketing chick was sent out with little cardboard consolation prize. We were subsequently turned away. Or not even turned away since no one said “go away.” They just stood there, staring at us as we stared at them, not letting us into the demo. The passive-aggressive shun, if you will.
That’s the trouble with mega-huge game expos – there just isn’t enough room for everybody. Looks like PAX has succumbed to E3 syndrome.
You can see a small gallery of the retro and falloutish stuff in there here.