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The second press conference of E3 2013 fell to EA to try and impress gamers with their next gen titles. The company have had a rough time recently with being voted “The worst company in America,” SimCity’s botched release, and losing important members of the company. So did they wow us and win back its fans?
The conference opened with a brand new game announcement in the form Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. The trailer was a parody of Battlefield and contained all the humor you would expect from the series. It is a third person shooter and will be coming to Xbox One first and then Xbox 360 release at a later date. No other platforms were mentioned. It actually looked pretty cool and could be a kid’s first foray into the genre.
Before PopCap left, they announced Peggle 2 and then jumped into the air and ran away, which was equal parts hilarious and awkward at the same time. Then next up was Respawn's new game TitanFall. We got to see gameplay whilst developers explained to us what to expect in the final game. It looked impressive and seems like we are split for choice with shooters these days.
Next was a short talk about next gen engines. Frostbite 3 and EA Sports Ignite will be powering their upcoming titles. We hear the usual dev talk that no one really cares about but I’m sure it's all very impressive. Then came a tease for a new Star Wars Battlefront! Developed by DICE, we didn't see much but a confirmation nonetheless is great news. Interestingly this was the only Star Wars project talked about after the recent deal with Disney.
The racing genre was next in the spotlight in the form of Need for Speed: Rivals. We got a trailer and then a live demo and all the cars looked pretty as usual which is a great way to show off a new engine. Then Jesse Pinkman aka Aaron Paul came on stage to talk about the new Need for Speed film which he is starring in. We got a trailer/behind the scenes video that looks to try and get in on the recent success of the Fast and Furious franchise.
A trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition (renamed from Dragon Age 3) was up next as the release date for the highly anticipated sequel is now Fall 2014 and then it was EA Sports' time to shine. After going over more boring engine talk they went straight into the new reboot of NBA Live '14, complete with live poetry. NBA star Kyrie Irving talked about the game awkwardly (more of that later) and more developer talk and ball physics and other things irrelevant until we actually still the gameplay.
Madden NFL 25 was next up and we got the cover star revealed (Adrian Peterson) as well as even MORE physics talk and general backpatting of their new engine. We did get what seems to be a gameplay trailer, so it is more than we got of NBA Live '14 which seems to be doomed after being cancelled three times already.
FIFA '14 was next in line and after the same video we saw at the Xbox One Reveal last month of Barcelona Players talking about the game and then rapper Drake walks out. He’s here because apparently he likes FIFA and is excited for this new game. The most pointless appearance ever. More engine talk over what they said was “in game footage” but clearly wasn't and we didn't hear anything we didn't already know. There was no mention on what the Xbox One exclusive Ultimate Team features are yet.
Finally for EA Sports was their first foray into MMA after acquiring the UFC License. Bruce Buffer, official voice of the octagon introduced Dana White, UFC President and UFC fighters Jon Jones and Benson Henderson. This was probably the most awkward moment of the conference as the audience wasn't impressed with what was said and Dana’s abrasive personality and opinions on fighting will surely annoy many. The game should be great but let’s just say this was the wrong audience for this game.
The last two games shown were arguably the highlights of the whole thing. We got to see Battlefield 4 and after the disappointing single player demo at Microsoft's conference everyone was asking “Why not show multiplayer?” And that’s exactly what we got. A live 64 player demo was up next and it was rather incredible. I've personally never been into the series before, but seeing that building collapse at the end, I want to play this game.
Closing the show was the worst kept secret of E3, but still awesome news to hear. Mirror’s Edge 2 is official and looks great. It seems to be an origin story and looks to nail the style and tone of the first game. Best new game announcement of the show so far?
And so that was EA’s offering. I thought it was actually a very good show. They included a wide variety of genres with kids games such as Plants vs Zombies, new IPs like Titanfall, and bringing back old favorites in Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge. Overall, I was very impressed. You can’t please everyone but EA look to be as dominant as ever with their list of huge next gen titles on display. Now I’m going to watch that Battlefield 4 demo again.