EA’s press conference at this year’s E3 was one of the smaller of the five press conferences going on all day June 6th and the morning of June 7th. While it may have been small compared to Microsoft or Sony, it certainly wasn’t a disappointment. With an hour packed full of official trailers and live demos spanning the majority of gaming genres, EA’s E3 2011 press conference for the most part excited EA fans and left them wanting more. Here are just some of the highlights of the event.
Mass Effect 3
EA wasted no time warming the crowd up and started the conference immediately with Mass Effect 3. While this game was also featured in the Microsoft media briefing earlier today where it was announced that Mass Effect could be played on the Kinect for Xbox 360 and will feature dialogue options using a new voice command option, EA offered viewers a chance to see both a trailer as well as a live demo of actual gaming footage. The game is unmistakably darker than the previous two titles, which is understandable seeing as the plot of Mass Effect 3 features a full scale intergalactic war. The graphics were on par with its predecessors and the footage we were shown was equally exciting, if not more so. Based on what we at Skatter Tech saw as well as how it was received by the audience at the Orpheum Theater, Mass Effect fans will not be disappointed by the third chapter of this trilogy.
Mass Effect 3 is set to launch on March 6, 2012.
EA has built a reputation for being one of the best (if not the best) sports game authorities in the gaming industries, and it certainly lived up to this reputation at this E3. EA previewed three new additions to established sports gaming giants: SSX, FIFA 12, and Madden 12. It was announced that SSX will have three new modes, Race It, Trick It, and Survive It, and that the courses were all developed based on satellite imagery taken of different famous slopes around the world. EA also said that the character Kaori will be back along with another soon to be revealed character. This character will be announced before the end of E3, so be sure to stay tuned for future updates.
EA ended their sports group with Madden 12, which looks similar to the recent Madden titles released in the past few years and was promoted by pro-football players Ray Lewis, Peyton Hillis, and Clay Matthews. The biggest debut for EA Sports, however, was undoubtedly FIFA 12. The newest soccer game has several new features to make game play more true to life, including tactical defending, precision dribbling, and player impact engine. Coupled with this was the announcement of the new EA Sports Football Club, a live service that allows users to connect and compete with one another, choose their favorite clubs, find out which of their friends is playing and how well. Additionally the service will link across all FIFA games, effectively fueling FIFA users’ identities as virtual soccer/football players. Most importantly, though, is that there will be no additional charge for EA Sports Football Club.
Other Featured Games
There were several other games featured in the conference today. These include Need for Speed: The Run, which will feature out of car play (e.g. foot chases) for the first time ever, Star Wars: Old Republic, whose teaser trailer seemed to be a re-worked version of the debut trailer at last year’s E3 showing the same forest battle footage, and Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning, an MPMORPG. Other headliners were Overstrike by Insomniac, an action adventure game that had a lot of hype around it and featured interesting characters but gave the impression at a glance of being slightly lackluster in terms of plot, and The Sims Social, which will officially bring The Sims to Facebook for the first time ever.
While there were many notable moments in the EA press conference, the highlight was undoubtedly the grand finale when EA previewed Battlefield 3. The eleventh title in the Battlefield series with maps in Sarajevo, New York, Oman, Wake Island, Paris, Tehran, and Sulaymaniyah, this new FPS uses the new Frostbite 2 engine, allowing it to provide more advanced visuals and audio than ever before. This was obvious as soon as the trailer and later the multiplayer campaign demo began playing.
The footage was visually stunning, and it was obvious that the designers had paid careful attention to even minute details. For instance, during a tank fire fight there is a brief shot of a white plastic garden chair sitting alone in the middle of the debris and as a shell is fired from the tank the chair wobbles then tips backwards, creating an eerie representation of the destruction and mayhem going on in that moment of the game. This is something that many other games in my personal experience neglect to do and as I watched it I couldn’t help but being impressed. The audio was stellar as well, and there were definitely times where you couldn’t keep from feeling like you really were in an active war zone.
Battlefield 3 will hit stories on October 25, 2011.
Stay tuned to Skatter Tech all this week for continued E3 2011 coverage.