Wednesday, 17 June 2015

EA @ E3 2015

After Microsoft's turn, EA took to the stage to show off what they have planned for both 2015 and 2016. There weren't any massive reveals or surprises, but the first game shown did take some of us by surprise. Lets get to it.


Mass Effect: Andromeda


Since the release of Mass Effect 3 in 2012, fans of the franchise have been eagerly awaiting where Bioware's flagship series will go next. One thing we knew leaving Mass Effect 3 behind was that Commander Shepards story is over. However, in the wake of the popular trilogy and its already established and much loved universe and cast of characters, a new Mass Effect game will need to pull out all of the stops in order to contend with what came before it. So instead of Mass Effect 4 we got something different, but something that is clearly very much set in the same world we all know and love.

The CGI trailer opened up with a scene very much reminiscent of some kind of Western film. Then Johnny Cash's Riders in the Sky kicks in, and the last thing I was thinking was that it was a Mass Effect game. But the camera pulls out to reveal an N7 armour clad character cycling through images of nearby worlds. He hovers over the Western looking world and zooms in. Down on the surface of the planet it's anything but a Western, as alien tech, futuristic buggies, intense blaster shoot-outs and the series familiar Omni-Tool is the order of the day. The title is revealed to be Mass Effect: Andromeda. As of now, nothing else is known about this elusive continuation of the Mass Effect saga.

Need for Speed


Ah man I remember the original Need for Speed back in the day. Originally released on the 3DO in 1994, I got to play it two years later when it was ported to the Playstation, It was pretty fun, and despite it looking pretty crude even back in 1996, alongside Ridge Racer it was a game that I got a lot of mileage out of. Since its release there have been over 20 direct sequels to the game, and in turn it has spawned a massive franchise enjoyed worldwide. So it's no surprise that EA would be working on a new game in the series. However, with this latest upcoming title it looks as if EA is trying to use the past 20 years worth of Need for Speed knowledge and turn it into the most definitive entry in the franchise.

Simply titled Need for Speed, the newest game in the franchise brings the action to the open-world. From building your reputation on the streets, climbing the racing food chain, customizing your ride in various ways to, of course, hitting the streets in various types of weather, this looks to be the Need for Speed game fans have been waiting for. A chunk of the presentation focused on the car customization angle of the game, and though it didn't go in-depth into what exactly you can do to your own personal car, each car has a whole slew of areas that can be altered, changed and customized.

EA Sports


Since EA Sports was founded in 1991, EA have catered to pretty much every sport you can think of. In doing so they've made a name for themselves as the leading developer of sports titles out there. Though EA's credibility and public image has faltered in the past few years, in the last two years or so the company is really starting to turn itself around. This isn't the EA that was voted the worst company in America of the year in in 2011, 2013 and 2013. This is now a company that has learned from their mistakes and is moving forward. With football legend Pelé in tow at the press conference, EA dug into their upcoming sports titles.

Everything your expecting was shown, and depending on how you view EA's yearly releases, it was either a huge success or an utter bore. From Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, Madden NFL 16,  NHL 16, FIFA 16 to NBA Live 16, EA are boasting that this years releases of all of these titles are the best they've ever been. From cutting to footage of real-life players in motion capture outfits jumping around like prats, to inspirational speeches about how each of these sports are literal art, EA did the usual “sports are life” thing.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst


The original Mirror's Edge didn't sell well, and that's why another Mirror's Edge game has taken so long to come out. I mean, I didn't play Mirror's Edge back in the day on release, but after playing through it last year I was annoyed at myself for letting it pass by. Though I may have dropped the ball on that one, there have been many dedicated, loyal and all round lovely Mirror's Edge fans out there clamouring for a sequel. Though it's technically a prequel, their patience has paid off because EA just showed off their latest Mirror's Edge title.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst goes back to the origins of the series protagonist, Faith. Set in a truly stunning open-world, Mirror's Edge Catalyst looks like it's not dicking around with the formula that made the first game so unique. From not being able to use guns, great hand-to-hand combat to truly jaw-dropping fluid free running, all the ingredients are present for an incredible follow-up to a classic title. Assuming it all looks and feels the same leading up to release, Mirror's Edge Catalyst looks like it's going to kick off 2016 with a bang.

Star Wars: Battlefront


Here's another game fans of the series have been waiting forever for. Since the release of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 a decade ago, the promise of a third game came crashing down upon its cancellation in 2008. However alongside the buzz that came about when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was announced, EA, with DICE at the helm, teamed up with LucasArts to reboot the much loved franchise. It's here, and we finally have our first look at gameplay.

The gameplay to Star Wars: Battlefront looks exactly like I wanted it to. It looks like how a  Battlefront game should look, and though it does dial back a good few features that were present in Battlefront 2, it still has a large number of classes to play as, iconic vehicles to take control of and large squad-based battles to take part in. Visually it looks incredible and very authentic too, and with all of the care and attention EA and DICE are putting into it, I can't see it turning out as anything but superb

Overall EA had a pretty decent E3 presentation. Dishing out a number of big titles coming out in the next two years and making good on the promise of continuing both the Mirror's Edge and Battlefront series', it really could have gone much worse.

Denis Murphy


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