The Electronic Arts press conference was one I was eagerly awaiting this year, with massive upcoming games such as Dead Space 3 and Crysis 3 on the horizon. Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed as both were not only shown, but were promoted through live on-stage demonstrations, with the only downfall being they weren’t both longer. Here is a full rundown of all that was contained within the show with a full recap of what I thought were the main points to cover.
The show kicked off with Dead Space 3, giving fans exactly what they wanted right out of the box. After a brief trailer, we were informed that there would be totally new ways to play the game like never before, building up to the announcement of drop-in and drop-out co-operative gameplay – a first for the series. Then came the on-stage demo that started off with a menacing looking drill that was taken down with teamwork, there was a short transition, and then the start of a battle with a pretty giant and pretty pissed off looking Necromorph.
The thing that gripped me the most were the graphical enhancements on display, and Dead Space 3 just looks stunning. While it’s hard to fully judge from these sorts of presentations, where the aim of the game is to get people wanting the product so badly it hurts, the transitions from cut-scene to action were seamless and really gave a great sense of immersion. It was very action-orientated though, and I just hope the guys over at Visceral Games don’t dismiss that great atmosphere from the previous two titles in favour of that shock and awe factor. The game was given a release date of February 2013.
Next up was Madden NFL 13 were we saw Hall of Famer Michael Irvin take to the stage to help promote what was boasted as “the most authentic gameplay ever created.” There were two main features mentioned, the first being a more refined impact engine dubbed Infinity Energy, although to be honest it doesn’t seem all that different from what they introduced last year, and certainly not a gigantic leap up from the Player Impact engine we saw in Fifa 12.
The other feature talked about was a more socially-integrated game that would include a live Twitter feed and more ways than ever to tweak your game when you didn’t have access to your console. Now players will be able to manage their team from their PC, tablet and smart phones, which I guess is pretty handy. They also mentioned a live Twitter feed as you navigate the menus, whereby you can keep up to date with friends or professional footballers as you play through the game.
Sim City Social was interesting, and is coming to Facebook soon, with a tagline ‘More City, Less Ville’ which I thought was rather amusing. A full PC version was also announced with multiplayer features included. The trailer showed some pretty cool new building designs and a lot more freedom it seems in creating that perfect cityscape.
Battlefield 3 developers DICE announced a new premium service for players that will cost $49.99 a year for $75.00 worth of content, if it were to be bought separate. Wait, doesn’t this sound familiar? Oh yeah, that’s right: Call of Duty: Elite. The guys over at EA have obviously been looking at the massive subscription figures that Infinity Ward have been drawing and thought they would get their own piece of the profit pie. Let’s just hope they learn from their rival’s mistakes in launching something that wasn’t quite ready to be launched.
The service will offer players extra dog tags, new weapons, modes, assignments and a slew of other incentives to make the purchase. Also included will be all five expansion packs, one already released and four planned for release later this year, they are: Back to Karkand, Close Quarters, Armored Kill, Aftermath and End Game – the latter including motorcycles for the first time.
Then, came Star Wars: The Old Republic, where some new content was announced and the promise of some game refinement to help make the online experience more enjoyable for fans. It was actually all a little underwhelming in my opinion and besides a few brags about themselves there wasn’t a whole lot to shout about. There was a new species announced, a new planet to explore and increased levels caps, which might please some people out there.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter was the next live demo, announced to be running on the Frostbite 2 engine and would include twelve different tier one units available across ten different nations. Some new gameplay footage was shown and judging by the content it’s definitely a graphical step up from their 2010 effort. The game was given a release date of October 23.
Personally, the game I was awaiting was FIFA 13 in the hopes of seeing some actual gameplay footage, but all we were treated to was the same ole trailer we are used to seeing year-in and year-out with some close-ups of the odd tackle, goal and other randomness that doesn’t really give any real representation of how the game plays or the final product.
We were given some news though on the ability to carry all of your levels and experience points over with you from your FIFA 12 save file, as well as receiving a special bonus from the ‘FIFA catalogue’ that includes special kits, celebrations and the like. It was also revealed that as with Madden there will be far more social integration via iPad, iPhone and Android devices later in the year. This will allow you to track progress in your game, make changes to certain aspects and help you stay in touch with your friends and more easily than ever before. Messi will star on the front cover of the game, which is a kick in the balls to Konami who lost their deal with the Barcelona front man this year. For them he perfectly represents their new Complete Dribbling and First Touch Control systems that gives you more options on the field of play than ever before. They also promised further updates to their self-acclaimed Player Impact engine.
Next up was Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship took to the stage to help announce their newly found partnership with EA. This tickled me as not so long ago Dana was quoted as basically saying “fuck EA” as they had no interest in mixed martial arts support whatsoever, and now he’s standing on stage with a massive grin on his face going out of his way to suck up to the video games giant with a host of over-complimentary superlatives.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted took the penultimate spot and Criterion went on to talk about an open world environment where no race path is predetermined. It was also noted that lap times, scores and such would be ‘auto-logged’, wow, really pushing the boundaries with that one. The gameplay shown was nothing we haven’t seen before and probably had the adverse effect on me of not ever wanting to buy this game. It was given a North American release date of October 30 of this year, with the European release following just two days later.
Finally, we got a good look at Crysis 3 with a live demonstration that only cemented what we already thought it would, the game looks incredible. We saw plenty of close range gunfire, some cool weapons, a battle with a chopper or two and plenty of falling. The only unusual thing is the announced release date of February 2013, the same month as Dead Space 3. It’s quite unusual for a publisher to release big games, especially two as big as this within the same month. So, time to get saving.
So there we have it, 10 games from 10 developers. Not quite a 10 spectacular games as was bandied about, but there are definitely some gems in there that are sure to whet your taste buds for months to come. Be sure to stay tuned to NoobFeed for all the latest news, EA or otherwise, from this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
Craig Bryan, NoobFeed.