E3 2013 is here and the press conferences are in full swing. Here is a round up of the Electronic Arts show, from the Shrine Auditorium, Downtown LA, as it happened.
After a loud and flashy intro, Peter Moore, EA CEO, takes to the stage to get things rolling. He introduces 2 new game engines, Frostbite 2 and EA Sports Ignite. He also announces that the 11 new games on show are for both Xbox One and PS4 consoles.
The first video begins and it is pretty obvious that this is the new Battlefield game. There is the Frostbite 2 logo and the familiar sounds of war. It soon becomes clear that this is no BF4, but a new Plants vs Zombies game. The demo shows an action, 3rd person setup with the same hoard battling tactical gameplay from the original. Playable plants on show were the Pea Shooter, a healing sunflower, a range skilled cactus, and a chomper. As well controlling these plants to fight, it would seem that they can place other plants on the ground as turrets, traps, and even flying garlic drones. I really like the look of this title, it has multiplayer co-op and first impressions are that it will be full of character and pure fun.
Next we get a quick reveal that Peggle 2 is in the works.
Titanfall, from Respawn Entertainment, is the next big game to be shown. This is a multiplayer shooter that involves super-agile foot soldiers called pilots, who can utilize massive armored exoskeleton suits called Titans. The developers talk about creating a multiplayer experience that feels as tight as a singleplayer game. The gameplay demo looks awesome, as a battle takes place in a destructible urban map with players switching between gunplay, free running, and mech fighting with ease while epic set pieces from a future war play out in the background. This game looks very promising.
Next, Star Wars Battlefront is revealed, with little fanfare, followed by Need for Speed: Rivals by Ghost Games. Need for Speed: Rivals will have a single player component, but will be geared towards online play with a new system called All Drive, which aims to bring both on and offline play together into a seamless experience. The game demo shows 2 racers chased by police, while a third guy calls in a helicopter from his tablet. It all looks pretty nice and very typical of a Need for Speed game, but racing games live or die by the controls and how much fun the cars are to drive.
A Need for Speed movie is announced. It does not look like Vin Deisel will be in it. Kudos for that.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is next. The game will be open world this time around, and choices made will apparently affect the story and the game world. We didn’t get a demo of this game, but a pre-rendered video called “The Fires Above”. The video showed some orcs, dragons, dead folk, and a world that is so screwed that it needs a, “hero, only you can save us now”, type of thing. Hopefully this will be a return to form for the series. It releases in Fall 2014.
Now we get into the sports titles. All of these games run on the new “Ignite” engine. Kyrie Irving introduces NBA Live 2014. The big updates here are that the player stats update in almost real time and the ball does not stick to the player any more whilst dribbling. It is an entity all of its own. They call this “Bounce Tek”. They just had to call it something!
Next is Madden NFL 25. This apparently has AI that thinks like real NFL players and they say it looks more realistic. Pretty standard stuff I hear you say, well wait for it. There are now more precise footwork controls. This is called “True Step”. You cant get a better simulation of shuffling feet than TrueStep I tells ya! The animations looked great to be honest, but some very low res crowds were lurking in the background of the demo.
Fifa next. Some Barcelona players go on for a bit about how they pass the ball. Riveting stuff I’m sure. The next game will feature stadiums that make you feel like you are really there, more fluid controls, and players that can make “4 times more calculations a second”, whatever that means. It is called “Pro Instincts” though, so it must rock. Surely.
An UFC announcer takes to the stage next, to introduce the new erm..what was it?… Oh yes, UFC game. We are told that the first sport ever undertaken by man was fighting. I am not sure how they know that. Anyway, the game features the typical cage fighting exploits and realistic injuries called “Full Body Deformation” . In my head, such a phrase can only be realized by turning your opponent inside out and upside down. Maybe I misjudged this game.
The big one now. Battlefield 4. We are treated to a live 64 player battle that is played on a map called “Siege of Shanghai” . At first glance it looks very familiar, with a squad taking checkpoints on a wonderful looking city map. Upon taking the first checkpoint however, the leader spots a tank. Instead of trying to take it head on, he orders a teammate to get into the underground room and place C4 on a supporting structure. This takes out the roof and the tanks falls through and into the fresh rubble to be easy prey. The demo features the new commander mode, which seems to allow a player to command troops and call in strikes from a tactical map. The amount of environmental destruction that can take place was really shown off as the opposing team targeted fire on an almighty skyscraper that had been captured by the squad. It fell, in epic and spectacular fashion. This was the highlight of the whole EA show, awesome stuff. They called this feature “Levelution”, because they could not help themselves. Someone is probably getting paid a sack load of money to think of these silly names for simple features. I wish they would just stop!
Mirror’s Edge 2 is the final game on show. A demo shows a woman beating a few guys up and jumping over some stuff.
I have EA fatigue now, you may have noticed. I think it was brought about by all the gimmicks and marketing phrases that I have endured over the course of this evening. Some great looking games have been shown tonight. They really tried to get people excited about the next annual sports games too, but I think they tried too hard here. All in all, it was a pretty good show. Here is a run down of the games shown and announced at today’s event. I am writing the names in an easy to read, vertical fashion. My team of marketing and gimmick writers call it “Listification”. Revolutionary! Enjoy.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
Star Wars Battlefront
Need for Speed Rivals
Dragon Age Inquisition
NBA Live 14
NFL Madden 25
Mirror’s Edge 2.
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