EA Press Briefing Impressions
EA had the privilege of presenting their conference to thousands of viewers all over the world this afternoon, and while the majority of the conference felt like they were playing it safe, they did close it out with a bang. Several games were covered, and I’m here to give you a rundown of what was shown. So without further ado, let’s begin!
Star Wars Battlefront
EA kicked off the show with one of the most anticipated games coming soon: Star Wars Battlefront. There were several quick shots of prototype footage, and some cool shots of the DICE team researching some iconic pieces of Star Wars history that included the Death Star, a Storm Trooper, and several locales. Unfortunately, not much was shown in the form of actual gameplay. Only some brief shots of prototype footage was shown. Here is what we do know: The game will run on the Frotsbite 3 engine, multiplayer will be a focus, and everybody will have to wait until spring 2015 for more information.
Dragon Age Inquisition
Bioware had a significant showing during the conference and their main focus pertained to Dragon Age Inquisition. Bioware is looking to regain ground that was lost with Dragon Age 2, and from the footage shown, Inquisition will do just that. The visuals shown looked amazing, and the combat looked fluid and responsive. Bioware wants to captivate gamers with an interesting story driven experience like they once did with the Mass Effect series. The game comes dangerously close to repeating the story of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but Dragon Age Inquisition will be able to set itself apart when gamers get their hands on it October 7th.
Bioware: Mass Effect/New IP
While the majority of their stage time was spent on Dragon Age, Bioware also showed some brief concept footage of a new Mass Effect title. Not much was shown, but Bioware promises to take the franchise to new places. A new space region will be explored, and a new cast of characters will be introduced. It’s clear that the next entry in the Mass Effect series is a way off, but a new direction for the franchise could be just what Mass Effect needs to continue to grow.
Additionally, Bioware revealed they are working on a new IP. Almost nothing was shown, but they want to create a world that is living and will live up to the standard of their previous franchises. For now, gamers will have to take Bioware at their word: “Wait and See.”
The Sims 4
The Sims 4 made an appearance on stage and looks to be just as fun as previous installments. In this new edition, though, you can control your Sim’s heart! You can change how they act and react to other Sims. Your custom sim will have more of a personality than it ever has before. Additionally, you can drag other created sims into your world, and throw extravagant house parties. The Sims 4 looks like an improvement over previous iterations in the franchise, and players will be able to find sick and sadistic ways to kill their sim on September 2nd.
For the testosterone fueled crowd, EA showed off their latest MMA fighting in the form of UFC. The quick gameplay footage showed off a match between the legendary Bruce Lee and, current butt kicker, BJ Penn. While the demo shown looked impressive visually, it came off a little sloppy. Bruce Lee connected with air several times, and their was a confusing segment involving grappling moves. The highlight? Bruce Lee knocks out BJ Penn and we move on to the next game.
Criterion Games came on stage to show off what they have been working on: a game about jumping from helicopters, riding ATV’s, and doing a lot of other stuff. Not much is really known about the game, and the footage shown was in the very early stages of development, but Criterion claims this is the biggest game they have ever made. Hopefully, we will learn more about this title soon, like what it actually is.
PGA/Madden 15/FIFA 15/NHL 15
To spare our readers the burden of having to skip several paragraphs, I’ve decided to combine all of the sports games into one! So allow me to give you the quick recap:
- EA’s new golf game will allow you to play golf without loading times between holes. They will also borrow resources from Battlefield 4 and create a golf course. Players can get hit the links in 2015.
- Madden 15 will attempt to do what no previous installment ever has: make defense fun. You will have more control over the defensive line. A new view will also be included: right behind your defensive players behind! Experience it all this August.
- FIFA 15 wants you to feel the game. You will feel the physicality. You will feel the moving jersey. You will feel the flopping. You will feel the controller in your hands. EA wants you to feel your wallet empty September 24th.
- NHL 15 will include all new physics for players and the puck. The game will be as close to real gets, until next years installment.
The fan favorite franchise will be making a comeback. No real footage was shown from the game, save for some early prototype gameplay. The game is being built on the Frostbite 3 engine, and the movement looks to be as sharp as ever. Taking out you enemies quickly and efficiently looks fun, and does the previous installment justice. Unfortunately, no release date was revealed, but hopefully we will see some more soon.
EA definitely saved the best for last in Battlefield Hardline. Visceral Games has been working on the installment for 2 years, and the demo shown is enough to get any fan of the franchise excited. Instead of the military shooter we have all come to expect from the franchise, Visceral has flipped the script a bit and went with a Cops’n’Robbers theme. The multiplayer demo shown on stage was from a new game mode where players will have to either complete a heist or stop it. The game switched from several different perspectives, and showed off some new weaponry that included: a taser, a baseball bat, and a sawed off shotgun. The gameplay looked very similar to that of Battlefield 4, and that is not a bad thing. The chaos of the Battlefield franchise is very much alive in Hardline. After such a great demo, EA made an even bigger splash and announced that a Battlefield Hardline beta was being launched today, and players could sign up immediately.
I’ll be honest: the conference was a disapointment. Too much time was spent revealing sports games we already knew were coming, and the rest was mostly filled with missed opportunities. Save for Dragon Age Inquisition and Battlefield Hardline, almost every other game was shown with prototype footage. Mirrors Edge still looks a long ways off from release, and with so much work going into Dragon Age, Bioware wont be releasing anything else for a long while. As a gamer, I wanted more titles I hadn’t heard of yet. It doesn’t matter how far off they are, we just want to be blown away by something new and innovative. Telling the audience “We are making a cool game” does not translate to innovation unless we see it. To EA’s credit, when the biggest surprise of your conference was leaked over a week prior, it can be difficult to rebound. Overall, EA kept the kid gloves on, and if you want to gain the respect of gamers everywhere, you have to take risks. Unfortunately, EA decided to play it safe.