Electronic Arts E3 Press Conference Wrap-Up
June 7, 2011
This year at the E3, Electronic Arts has brought forth a myriad of new games to us. Some of which showcase the Frostbite 2 Engine as well as bringing back others games that we haven’t seen in quite awhile. Games such as FIFA ’12 and Madden ’12 are being taken to new levels, while a few of the other games like Need for Speed are being taken into new directions entirely.
Wasting no time in jumping headfirst into a game we immediately are taken into the world of Mass Effect. Sheppard has warned the planet of the impending invasion but its all been swept aside. In a scene taken straight out of Battle: LA, you see a coastal city with alien crafts flying about and creatures in a city tearing it apart. Rescue craft are attempting to rescue people only to be destroyed moments later. In comes Sheppard battling aliens, large alien machines, getting close and dispensing death and destruction from close range.
What was told during the demo was that the game was going to be an all out war against these machines and you would be using aerial support often to help take out your enemies, and would be an extremely “intense, action oriented” game. From the trailer we saw and live action part of the game; the scales of these battles you’ll be in will be enormous! Expect Mass Effect 3 to drop on March 6th, 2012.
After seeing the game play demo we’re ushered right into Need for Speed: The Run. We’re immediately shown a map of the United States and then taken on a car chase through the streets of Chicago in a sweet Mustang (I’m partial to Mustangs) and as he cruises he gets into a collision with another vehicle. Now this is where we see the game go where it never has before, in that the protagonist gets out the vehicle and starts running with people on his tail.
You see him run from a helicopter as he traverses the rooftops to escape. This all happening very fast mind you, and as the chopper is shooting at him and he makes his way to ground level, a short altercation with the cops ensues and he steals a cop car to outrun the helicopter. This all takes place with the Frostbite 2 engine and shows some very nice rendering and graphics that make me want to get back into console gaming, as I am more of a PC gamer.
One of the big games coming out soon that I have been hearing lots about is Star Wars: The Old Republic. One of the largest story lines for any game will have some of the best Star Wars game play to date. In the trailer we were shown we see beautiful lands and are told a story of peace until the Sith get their part. All out war between bounty hunters, droids, Sith and Jedi. Not just one Sith mind you, but many Sith. Not a few Jedi, but many Jedi, as this all takes place roughly 300 years after the events of the KOTOR. The graphics we see are amazing, and its nice to see more of a story line that we rarely get to see. There is no official release date set for this MMO yet.
It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen a snowboarding game come out, but EA unveiled a trailer for the newest SSX. The trailer featured snowboarding that takes place across the entire planet, and using satellites from NASA have taken images from some of the largest mountains in the world to bring you one of the most intense snowboarding experiences in a video game you’ll ever have. Peter Moore, president of EA said the game will have three modes to it which are: Race It, Trick It, and Survive It modes. During the trailer we saw snow boarders cutting through downed planes, and dodges massive avalanches all while pulling some insane moves! SSX will be dropping in January of 2012.
Now I’ve never really been a big sports fan but I’ve seen some friends at college play FIFA and played a small bit myself; after watching this presentation on it I’m simply amazed. This franchise had numbers of players at or around 42 million worldwide and runs across all systems and ports. The new FIFA for 2012 will have all updated features form the older games including, new tactical defending, a precision dribble system, a new player impact engine that is two years in the making and a new system called the Football Club which will track your games, stats, achievements and current games of the season for you, all for free. Testimonials for this game show it as being one of the largest games in the world, and came with a video called “Love your passion through FIFA” with notable soccer stars from around the world.
Shortly after the FIFA presentation ended we saw several football players make their way on stage to bring emotion into the new Madden 2012. Ray Louis of the Ravens, Peyton Hillis of the Browns, and Clay Matthews of the Packers made their way on stage along with a trailer for the new Madden 2012 and stated that they wanted to bring power and emotion to the game to give players a more pleasurable game experience. A system was also being put into place for Madden 2012 that would allow players to have their scores be available anywhere they decided to play the game.
Shortly after that we’re shown a logo for the Sims. Now there are a lot of games that are geared towards use through Facebook, the iPad, iPhone, Android, and other tablets. However ,what we haven’t really seen is a Sims game that is devoted to all that. The video we saw for the Sims Social was basically a day in the life of a flirty girl who sees that a guy she likes broke up with his girlfriend. This would normally be a tragic thing, but not if you’re in the Sims world! For every update and message you send, the Sims were shown to act out in the trailer.
Now after the sports games and Sims we’re brought into the Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning. This games boasts huge names like R.A Silvatore, Todd McFarlane, and Ken Rolston , creators of such tales as Drizzt Do’Urden, designer behind Spawn, and designer behind Oblivion and Morrowind who have joined forces to create a world where the hero is reborn to find his own killer. This single player role playing game has amazing game graphics and with a large scale to the game thrown in for good measure. The trailer didn’t show much beyond spells and fight scenes but still looks promising.
Insomniac Games is making a comeback with their new title Overstrike. The games characters are collectively the black sheep of each respective organization they’re from whether its Interpol’s most wanted thief, a mercenary, a detective and a brilliant scientist. Together they merge to make one group that constantly breaks protocol and causes massive amounts of damage, but does it all with tons of humor. I found it incredibly funny to watch the trailer for it this four player co-op game. Expect high tech four player action combined with good graphics and four player mayhem with Overstrike.
Now, after Overstrike ended the screens immediately went dark and smoke started billowing through the room. Right there is when you start seeing the screen go fuzzy and the logo for DICE came in. Immediately you could hear the crowd shouting and then the logo for one of the most anticipated games of the year hit the screen, Battlefield 3. First thing we see is Karl Magnus of DICE leads us through a video that shows us the awesome power of the Frostbite 2 engine. Soldier runs, crouches and goes prone while firing, vehicles demolish cover and buildings easily.
Then you’re taken on a ride to see the large expansive maps which are beautifully rendered, lighting makes them look incredibly realistic. After this we get a quick video on one of the new multiplayer maps called Op Metro which takes place in Paris. Words simply can’t describe how amazing it is, so I would suggest watching the videos posted on their website. Dice is also bringing out a new system for the game called Battlelog which will help you manage friends, create squads and platoons. Best of all, this is free and we should see an open beta for the game some time in September!
Now even after all that delicious eye candy we get to see roughly ten minutes of actual game play from a map called Thunder Run. You play a tank operator named John Miller and spend your time driving through the desert of Tehran to launch an attack on a PLR encampment. The graphics for this on are simply top notch, the explosions are incredible to watch and the game play along with the radio chatter just get you into the game. I was on the other side of the country and I could still feel the anticipation in the crowd, not to mention the way Karl Magnus spoke about the game. Best of all, we have a release date finally set for October 25th of 2011. If you’re like me and waiting for this game, I’m definitely clearing my schedule!!
As with the Microsoft presentation, the EA presentation was no different in that there was hardly any downtime between any of the showcases. Another new feature that EA is pushing was their new, but not so new system called Origin. Origin basically replaces the EA downloader and is now being pushed along to be a sort of alternative to Steam. The system will be used to make friends, manage games, and join friends on current games as well. I’m mostly a PC gamer, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t excited by some of these games. Need for Speed: The Run, SSX, and Star Wars were really getting me into the mood to dust off that Xbox 360 and add those games to my wishlist!
The biggest game to see here was definitely Battlefield 3. The crowds reaction even before it was officially announced as the next part of the presentation was enough to show you how truly pumped they are for the game. Everything about the game just made me say wow. This game along with the rest of EA’s line up will easily get a lot of people excited for the months and year to come. I never even knew that FIFA was that big in the gaming community, but my impression it has definitely changed. A couple of the games here were incredibly notable and after seeing a few of the other presentations; I’d definitely say this one ranked at least a A-. The speakers were definitely excited to be up there and show their games and the games themselves were all amazing to watch. I personally am pumped for several of these games myself!!