E3 2014: EA Press Conference
EA always promise big and, for the most part, deliver. The yearly iterations of their most well-known IP’s have started to wear thin, so could this E3 conference, alongside the relatively new console generation, kick-start them back into pole position? Well… Yes and No.
Kicking off the show was Star Wars: Battlefront, having a behind the scenes look at early gameplay footage, as well as the talented bunch at Dice discussing how they went to visit the original locations to portray the correct atmosphere within the environments. Whilst nothing terribly revealing was shown, it’s at least confirmation that it’s definitely real, it’s definitely moving along, and we definitely have a reason to be excited.
As quickly as Battlefront disappeared, however, the stunning Dragon Age: Inquisition was shown, accompanied by a solo musician, giving us an eerily beautiful accompaniment to the trailer being shown behind her. Featuring the standards of next-gen (improved AI, better lighting and textures, etc), the new-and-improved tactical camera had a significant mention during the presentation. Dragon Age: Inquisition releases 7th October 2014.
Carrying on with Bioware, a new Mass Effect was shown to much applause. While details are incredibly thin on the ground, the team behind the game talked about how they are aiming to amaze fans with the sheer scope of the game, showing off beautiful vistas that I’m sure we’re all itching to delve in to. The last of the Bioware titles to be shown was a brand new nameless IP, and details regarding this are practically non-existent. Knowing Bioware, however, it will be a smash hit for sure.
Sims 4 featured an incredibly cringeworthy presentation, showing off the new character personalities and how other characters can influence them to change/better themselves, as well as the obvious improvements made to character customisation. The presentation did manage to bring out a slight grin though, knowing I can now kill off my Sims by making them laugh to death. I’ll have to try that out someday, putting them in a pool and removing the stairs can only be entertaining for a few hours or so at best. Sims 4 releases on 2nd September 2014.
Whilst all these titles didn’t feature in this order chronologically, I’ll put them all in a couple of paragraph so that you can glaze over the inevitable yearly iteration of the sports titles. Err, I mean, hold on to your hats folks, I bet you never saw these coming! EA Sports UFC was first up on the list, showing a fight between Bruce Lee and some guy you’ve never heard of before. Releases on 17th June 2014. EA Sports NHL 15 was next up, touting improved player physics and, utilising 110% of the power of the sun, Puck physics! EA Sports PGA Tour was the next sporting game up, and this time round it makes use of EA’s beloved Frostbite 3 engine. Having no load times between holes, as well as featuring fictitious courses (Battlefield 4 maps, anyone?), this is truly “Golf Without Limits” (their words, not mine).
EA Sports Madden NFL 15 launches on 26th August 2014, and has significantly improved defence play, as well as cinematic camera angles during presentations. Woop. Last but not least, Fifa 15 was shown off to everyones surprise, featuring shinier balls, Wayne Rooney’s receding hairline (but now in more detail), and Idris Elba doing a voiceover for a trailer. Lovely stuff.
We got our very first glimpse at a very early build of Criterion’s untitled IP. Whilst gameplay specifics are largely unknown, we do know that it will feature a vast array of transportation types, such as cars, bikes, boats, helicopters and wing suits, as well as being from a first person perspective.
A new MOBA, named Dawngate, was shown off during the presentation, most likely leaving everyone with the thought “I’ll still play DOTA/LoL”, but they are trying to improve the story telling elements found in each environment, as well as specific story lines between characters. Whether the MOBA community is looking for a story driven experience, only time and sales figures will show, but it certainly does look impressive.
Mirrors Edge (2?) was shown off to great applause and delight and, whilst it was only a very rough and basic build of the game, it did show the new and improved combat, as well as a more varied way of traversing your environment. This will certainly be on everyone’s must-have list of games coming out over the next year and beyond. Music by Lisa Miskovsky is as of yet unannounced.
Finishing off the show was a lovely look at Battlefield Hardline, the new title from Dead Spacer creators Visceral Games and Dice. Due to the recent leaks, no real introduction was needed, so instead we got to witness a beautifully scripted 32 multiplayer game, Cops vs Robbers, no holds barred. Explosions, teamwork and gorgeous graphics ensued, resulting in the main thief having to dive out of a helicopter, only to land and get captured by an opposing enemy. Ouch. A surprise launch of the Hardline beta was also well received, being available to both PC and PS4 users. As proof of Battlefield’s popularity, 4 minutes after this announcement, 26% of PS4 beta codes had already been redeemed, as well as most of Origin not working correctly due to the demand.