It’s time for EA’s crack at making a splash at E3. What did they announce – new Mass Effect? Mirror’s Edge? Battlefront? Read on and find out.
The EA press conference began with a bang, launching immediately into a trailer for the new Mass Effect, Mass Effect Andromeda will take place in an entirely new galaxy, with new places to explore and new things to see. Not much else to know for now, but the game did look really cool.
This is apparently the year of Star Wars at EA, and they mention the theme of this conference: damage control. I’m sorry, I mean “putting players first.” They’ll announce three new IPs at this show, one that’s unlike anything you expect.
The new Need for speed is going full Fast and Furious, which is great. The trailer showed a lot of fast paced chases in photo-real cars, and it looks like the cutscenes will all be with real actors. It kind of gives the game a very old school FMV feel. The game will be twice the size of rivals, and will have five overlapping storylines to explode: Speed, Outlaw, Style, Build and Crew. Each will give you new characters and storylines, and you can focus on one or try them all.
Next up was Bioware’s Jeff Hickman, who showed off the new expansion to The Old Republic. Called Knights of the Fallen Empire, it’s a completely free story expansion that promises to bring more Bioware style storytelling to the game. Hickman promised that the expansion would allow player choices to affect the galaxy as a whole – something that’s very difficult to do in an MMO, so we’re interested to hear more. The story trailer followed two kids, one in white and one in black, as they grew older and slowly subjugated the galaxy together, eventually coming to blows over their domineering father.
Patrick Soderlund from EA Studios announced more playtests and betas, so they can get more gamer feedback.
Next up was a new IP, Unraveled. It’s a heartfelt and emotional 2D platformer from a new studio called Coldwood. Martin Sahlin, it’s creative director, was intensely excited to be at E3, and showed us how he’d designed this game with pictures of a small yarn creature he’d created on a camping trip. Yarnie, the main character, is made of yarn and must traverse the landscape finding unique ways to use his yarn to escape obstacles. The trailer made me really emotional for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, so it should be an interesting experience.
Then, as we were all recovering, we went straight into the Danger Zone. Jeremy Vanhoozer came out to announce more details on Garden Warfare 2. The original game had 6 million players, and they’re going to capitalize on that by allowed them to transfer all of their unlocked characters into the new game. (Even the cheetos tie-ins, I hope.) The game is a reverse of the rest of the series – the zombies have won, and must now defend Zomburbia from constant plant assaults. There’s a four player co-op tower defense mode called Garden Ops with four new Zombie classes. At one point in the battle, the plants manage to summon a giant fiery demon plant, and the Imp, a new class, summons a Zombie Mech, Titanfall style, to deal with him. It’s coming in Spring 2016.
And now for sports, sports, and more sports. NHL 16 is coming with more training and feedback. Rory Makeroy PGA Tour launches next year, with courses built in the Frostbite Engine, which means no loading screens between holes. NBA Live is now rooted in “self expression,” and they plugged the Game Face HD app that allows you to put your face in the game. I can’t wait for this to be added to a game like Dragon Age or the new Mass Effect.
FIFA is also getting some upgrades this year, and they brought out Pele to do a brief interview about his life. The game has more options on offense, defense, and the center now to allow you better control, and they’ve brought in Messi to motion capture touchless dribbling, making that available for all players. They also celebrated the addition of women’s teams to this year’s game. If you play FIFA Ultimate Team in Fifa 15, you get Messi and Pele for free, today.
Ok, with sports out of the way it’s time to talk mobile games. Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes will be a CCG mobile game that allows you to “collect, battle and cominate with your favorite characters and ships” from all of Star Wars history.
Mike Ramussen came out to announce Minions Paradise with a cute trailer. It’s a city builder game on a tropical island, with lots of wacky shenanigans and minion animations. Expect more of what you get from Simpsons: Tapped Out, but tropical and with minions. Also expect tons of mictrotransactions, although they didn’t come out and say it.
Sara Jannson came out to debut Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. This is more of a story based game than the previous entry, with full Deus Ex-looking cutscenes. There are no levels or loading screens in this Mirror’s Edge, and we’ll be exploring Faith’s origin story. Based on the trailer, I don’t think that means it’s a prequel, just that more of her backstory will be filled out over the course of the game. The City of Glass, where the game takes place, is beautiful and seems to have day and night cycles. The whole thing looked very Luc Besson.
Madden is adding new ways of passing and catching to make the game more realistic, and it adding a draft mode. You draft a team very quickly, picking from three players at a time, and then go play a mini season against other opponents. Once you’re done, back to the draft. It can apparently all be done in one night. The mode actually sounds really fun.
And finally, Star Wars Battlefront. The game was revealed with the first ever gameplay trailer, showing off a new mode called Walker Assault. The mode is a mixture of the classic Battlefield zone capture and something entirely new – the Imperials have a walker assaulting a rebel base, and the rebels must stop them. The game looked incredibly chaotic and fun, with footage popping in and out of both sides of the battle, showing players on the ground, in starships and airspeeders, and even piloting the AT-AT. The end was an epic battle between player controlled Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Battlefront arrives November 17th.
And that’s all for now! Keep your eyes here for more as E3 rolls on!