The second press conference on the E3 schedule was EA, which had an interesting layout this year. Instead of setting up a standard auditorium, we all got tables and donuts. But sweets can’t buy me off…. Ok they can in most circumstances but not today! Let’s see what EA had to offer at this year’s press briefing.
• Star Wars: Battlefront
I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of Star Wars stuff at the EA booth this year. The first game they showed off was Star Wars: Battlefront. Mostly it was just a behind the scenes look, showing how the developers researched Lucas’s original drawings and vehicle designs while making their game. They showcased an awesome speeder scene, and it was enough to get our mouths wet.
• Dragon Age: Inquisition
A lot of what was shown here was retreaded from the Xbox Conference, same trailer and everything. Doesn’t make it any less awesome though. They did showcase gameplay this time around though. The game is very largely party based, and your style of combat will factor into how you lead your party. You can switch between party members at all times and directly control each one. Big enemies will have multiple body parts and making your team focus their efforts on each one will make them easier to take down. When controlling in this fashion, the gameplay takes place in an action style. However, you can also control the game from above in a tactical style. Doing so will let you pause time as you give party members orders.
• Mass Effect and New IP
The next Mass Effect was shown, but it was really just a behind the scenes look. We saw a brief overview of an absolutely humongous universe. They are trying to bring the Mass Effect universe into places it has never gone to before. They also said that they would be working on a new IP, also apparently sci-fi in nature. They want to use it to explore the idea that they couldn’t explore in the Mass Effect universe.
• The Sims 4
Oh hey look! It’s more Sims! The big draw here is the ability to “control your sim’s hearts.” Instead of just controlling a sim’s appearance and behavior, you also get to piece together a sim’s personality. You can choose what they like, how they act, and what they react to. So you can make an angry, knitting, superstitious, wrestler… if that’s the sort of thing you are into. Another big plus is that you can have same sex relationships in The Sims 4, which is very progressive. There is also a brand new gallery mode that lets you pick and choose which other sims and game elements you want to import into your game. The Sims 4 launches on September 2nd.
• EA UFC
The big theme around EA UFC this year is Bruce Lee. They posit that he was the true founder of mixed martial arts. They show how they recreated Bruce Lee in the game, which launches next week. He has all of his fighting style intact. He also is able to use the environment to his aid. For example, he can vault off the sides of the ring to do a flying kick. It’s not the most realistic gameplay, but it’s still awesome.
• New Criterion Racing Game
Criterion is apparently trying to create a new game that focuses on… well all vehicles. There will be cars, boats, ATVs, motorcycles, helicopters, planes, jet skis, wingsuits, surfing, snowboarding, and more. We don’t really know what the game is about, but we do know that it will give you a lot of freedom. You will be able to vault over other racers in different vehicles, tow your racer behind a huge vehicle, and more.
Hey look it’s a new MOBA. That’s pretty cool. Apparently the big focus here is the metagame. The idea is that different characters support each other in different ways, so that each particular character can play any role on the team that you like. It’s being developed by a team of hardcore MOBA players. Also it has a story! That’s new for the MOBA genre.
• Mirror’s Edge
The big presentation for Mirror’s Edge was mostly about the visual design of the game. They talk about how the entire game needs to be minimalist, made of only whites, reds and blacks. They showed off a little bit of gameplay. Faith has some new parkour based combat, allowing her to dispatch enemies without stopping her run. In addition, her movement is redesigned around actual skilled parkour practitioners. The game will be built around speed-running. Difficulty will be controlled by how you play the game. Take a long slow route, and you’ll have an easy time. Take the quickest route, and you’ll have to perfect your route like a good speed-runner.
• Battlefield: Hardline
A lot of the Battlefield: Hardline presentation was about the ideas behind the design of the game. They call the game something like a TV crime drama. The multiplayer will include an incredible amount of destructible terrain and new weapons. They showcased a 32 player match, which means that the game will be able to hold the normal obscenely huge Battlefield player counts. The gameplay also used Downtown LA as a setting. I’m sensing a theme this year. It looks a lot like a standard Battlefield game, but with asymmetrical gameplay… and that’s awesome. The “Heist” gameplay that they showed had one side attempting to break into a building, steal a package, and then bring it to the drop-off while another team simply tried to stop them at every turn. The robbers had access to getaway vehicles, explosives, and the element of surprise, while the cops had access to choppers, tasers, and heavy artillery. Overall, pretty cool, also the Beta is launching today. So go over to Battlefield.com to sign up for the beta today.
Senior Contributing Writer