Shortly after Microsoft’s morning press event, Electronic Arts held its own presser on Monday afternoon, covering numerous upcoming titles. The presentation started with a look at a new one Star Wars Battlefront title, showing what the video said were “original filming locations,” such as Hoth and perhaps Endor. The game is still in early development, but we may hear more about it in Spring 2015.
EA’s presentation, unlike Microsoft’s, did not adhere to any particular structure regarding release schedules. Many of the titles shown had no release dates associated with them; EA CEO Andrew Wilson noted that the presentation would include information about games that won’t be ready in a few months to a few years.
Was the first Dragon Age: Inquisition. We saw some of it at the Microsoft event, but no more than a brief glimpse. Here, however, an electronic cellist (the instrument was electronic, not the player) slowly ascended from beneath the stage and serenaded the audience over several minutes of in-game footage. It resembled the look of the Microsoft event, but there was much more to it: dilapidated buildings, lush forests, misty rocks.
Bioware GM Aaryn Flynn took the stage and explained a bit about the company’s design goals dragon age. The player takes on the role of an “Inquisitor”, whose past and motivations are a mystery (the better the player can determine the main character’s nature and his or her choices). In typical Bioware fashion, the player must assemble a team of heroes and choices must be made about how the player progresses through the game.
The audience was shown video of a party attack on a high dragon, a creature Flynn described as “the apex predator” of the game world. The four-man player party switched positions a number of times, with different party members under the player’s control attacking with ranged abilities or spells. There’s also the “tactical camera” view, which is similar to the tactical option in Dragon Age: Origin on PC (although sadly that particular display option wasn’t available on the console versions of the game). Dragon Age: Inquisition, we were told will be available on October 7th.
Fans of Bioware Mass effect saga hoped for news of the new ME titles in development for many months; after nothing at all was publicly shown at this year’s PAX East conference, it was scuttlebutt that EA would announce details about the new game at E3. As a sequel to dragon agethe audience got a first look at the game.
The look, unfortunately, was just that: a light tease that showcased some art and some design philosophy statements by producer Casey Hudson and others on the Bioware Montreal team. They praised the story and characters of the other games in the series, noting that they wanted to give fans what they said they wanted: “Go somewhere and move forward.” The game features “new places, new characters and new people to fall in love with”.
“We’re taking you to a whole new area of space,” Hudson explained, noting that the chunk of universe the game takes place in is huge and will encourage deep exploration. There are plenty of character and background shots during the preview, including a large number of armored humans with “N7” badges.
“We think fans of the series will be surprised at how far we go,” the trailer concludes, retreating across a misty alien landscape.
Bioware also noted that while its Montreal studio is working on it Mass effect, the Edmonton team is developing an all-new IP something that the video describes as “a clean-sheet redesign.” The video doesn’t give much hints about what the game will contain, other than that it will be built around an evolving, changing game world.
In what can only be described as an utterly shocking change of pace, executive producer Rachel Franklin replaced Bioware onstage and introduced Sims 4which Franklin enthusiastically described as an all-new take on the well-researched franchise.
“In previous games you controlled the mind and body, but now you control their hearts,” she explained. Sims 4 offers ‘deep simulation’: every Sim in your town has its own story and they are all connected. In the demo, we saw a lengthy scenario play out where one Sim was depressed and another Sim didn’t like his poetry, so tried to work out at the gym to banish his depression. This scenario ended with the same Sim laughing himself to death at a house party.
The Sims has become a cornerstone of the EA franchise and so new titles are inevitable. Sims 4 is expected to be available on September 2.
A box full of sports
Then a strange thing happened: The front screen played a clip of Bruce Lee’s famous interview on the Pierre Burton show in 1971, in which he poetically speaks of being formless as water—feelings at the heart of the style-without-style or way-without- way from Jeet Kune Do. This gave way to CGI images of Lee wearing MMA gloves in a UFC octagon.
Yes, in the upcoming EA UFC title, you can… play as Bruce Lee. As the audience watched a CGI fight between Bruce Lee and BJ Penn, EA producer Brian Hayes came onstage, and we saw Penn take Lee to the mat, only to let go of Lee and kick Penn in the face. Since most UFC pay-per-view matches I’ve watched inevitably degenerate into a no small amount of “Man, I bet Bruce Lee could have won that match” bickering, I see this feature alone for huge sales cares.
EAs UFC title should be available next week.
We then saw a slew of EA Sports franchise titles, all of which had a number of improvements over last year’s version (and which we’ll no doubt hear about EA crap next year when the new new versions are introduced). Include incoming titles NHL 15, PGA tour, MaddenAnd FIFA15.