It ended with a bang. At the first Capcom Gamers' Day to be held in Europe - our own fair capital of London, to be precise - it looked for ten excruciating seconds like the big reveal of an extremely lengthy press conference really was going to be the announcement of a PS3 version of Lost Planet. But we should have known better.
Oh, dear. This isn't right, this isn't right at all. With Vista leaving gamers at best perplexed and at worst furious, getting out a game that actually used its trumpeted but unproven new DirectX 10 graphics, and that looked jawdroppingly, heartbreakingly, console-shamingly blinkin' gorgeous with it, was incredibly important. As DX10's leading lights, Crysis and Alan Wake, are still trying to work out what weekends they've got free to finally come visit, it's fallen to a port of Xbox 360 shooter Lost Planet to trailblaze the future of gaming graphics on PC.
Once upon a time, Earth was a bit rubbish. So we left. We got on spaceships, and flew off to a place called E.D.N. III. I don't know why it is called that - perhaps they had a competition, and that was a little girl's entry, and the little girl had some sort of horrible brain cancer and they couldn't say no despite the fact nobody was really keen on it.
"We've probably only hit about 60 per cent of the Xbox 360's potential," says Keiji Inafune, reclining in a Bruce Campbell shirt up in Capcom's lofty meeting area, overlooking the throng of the E3 showfloor. Speaking to us through a translator, Inafune talks of his admiration for Microsoft's next-generation format and brushes off the suggestion, put forward by one of the handful of press joining us for a chat, that early titles haven't lived up to the pre-launch bluster. "It's very cyclical," he says of game development. "The more years you study a platform, the better you get. Some of the games you'll see in three of four years will be truly amazing."
The atmosphere is thick with sweat and probably tears. Improbably dressed men and women lunge menacingly at you from every direction, ducking into freshly wrought trenches as you prowl amongst them, a giant pack strapped to your back and bloodlust in your eyes - all the while you're conscious that if you don't hurry, you'll run out of energy and it'll all be over. Time's against you, and you're just ONE MAN against an ARMY OF SIN.