Impressions from The E3 2014 Press Conferences: EA
E3 2014 continues this week, as the DualShockers Staff attending the conference break down the big announcements, the surprise reveals, and everything in between in Los Angeles.
After first looking at the Microsoft conference on Monday morning, it’s now time to break down the first of the big publisher conferences, as EA rolled into E3 with Battlefield, Mirror’s Edge, EA Sports franchises, Star Wars: Battlefront, and a few other surprises thrown into the mix.
Tony Polanco – Staff Writer
After watching the presentation for the fifth game, I noticed a trend with EA’s press conference. There were next to no proper game demos shown on screen. Instead, most of the games at the show were presented in a documentary style fashion. Some that I spoke with after the show were kind of angry about this but I thought it was cool and different.
The show kicked off with Star Wars: Battlefront. At first they didn’t say it was Battlefront however. The trailer began with the team talking about what Star Wars means to them and how they wanted to properly portray it in the game. We saw some concept art, test animations and best of all, little bits of concept footage. The scenes with the speeder bikes blew me away and instantly reminded of Return of the Jedi. If this game turns out to be half as good as the developers claim, then this could be THE Star Wars game we’ve all been waiting for.
Mirror’s Edge 2 got some screen time but a lot of it was test footage. The team seems to want to re-invent the franchise without actually restarting it. The world could always use more games with powerful female characters so I hope this game takes off and becomes popular.
The Criterion game shown had the spirit of their Burnout series. The difference here is that it involves every sort of vehicle imaginable. We see characters going from planes to cars to bikes; usually while leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. This is the type of game I want these guys to do so I’m looking forward to it.
The big highlights for me were the Bioware games: Dragon Age: Inquisition and the next Mass Effect. The Dragon Age: Inquisition’s presentation was so epic that it bordered on ridiculous. The trailer showed off many of the game’s new locales with appropriately epic music playing. What was cool with the music was that there was a bassist on stage playing along.
The Mass Effect presentation basically just had Bioware saying “this game is being worked on.” The next game will take place in a new part of the galaxy and we got to see some of these new worlds via short videos snippets and concept art. Like Inquisition, and nearly every game at this presser, the next Mass Effect game uses the Frostbite 3 engine and looks gorgeous.
The Frostbite engine really shone for the various EA Sports games that were on display. Madden, PGA, NHL, FIFA and UFC have never looked as real as they do now. For me, the big highlight was the UFC portion which showcased Bruce Lee fighting against BJ Penn. Bruce Lee is a personal hero of mine so it was cool to see a digital version of him in this game. I’m not the only person who feels this way about Lee so it’s no surprise that EA is pushing this DLC as hard as they are.
The show ended with a very impressive demo for Battlefield: Hardline. What was fun about this demo was that it took place in downtown L.A which is where we all were. The demo showed a multiplayer match which switched back and forth between both teams as they tried to complete their objective. There was a ridiculous amount of environmental damage happening with the facades of buildings being torn off by cranes or helicopters. There is no way this could be done on current-gen consoles so this has to be a current-gen title.
EA always has entertaining presentations and this was no exception. A good chunk of these titles won’t see the light of day for some time which is disappointing but that doesn’t take away from what we saw today.
Ryan Meitzler (Staff Writer)
Coming into the new generation of consoles with PS4 and Xbox One, EA’s focus during their presentation at E3 was very much on the future of their games, with a big focus on the “behind-the-scenes” development of their biggest titles, both those coming soon and in the near (and not so near) future.
EA came into 2014 with the majority of its big guns, and a few smaller surprises thrown in that showed just as much promise. Notable titles coming in the next year (and beyond) that were shown included Star Wars: Battlefront, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Sims 4, and the detailed reveals of Battlefield: Hardline, the next Mass Effect title from Bioware, and a new project coming from Burnout’s Criterion Games. Also in attendance was the full fleet of EA’s sports franchises, with FIFA, PGA Tour, Madden, UFC, and more shown with notable upgrades and additions across the board.
EA’s press conference was certainly more of a forward-thinking event, as many of the titles shown are still at least a year (or more) away: with many of the trailers and videos shown using the “Conceptual Prototype” tag, we were getting an EARLY look at most of the titles shown, with very little titles shown that we can safely assume will be out either this year or next. What was there though at EA’s event was definitely worth getting excited about: Star Wars: Battlefront was shown in its early stages with jaw-dropping-ly gorgeous environments, as well as the initial promise of a new Mass Effect and mysterious new IP from Bioware. Mirror’s Edge 2 also made a much-awaited appearance, and although it’s still (presumably) quite a way from release any time soon, it shows care and craftsmanship toward a franchise that may not have debuted to stellar sales, but has plenty of fans, as noticed by the cheers in the audience when it was presented.
With many of its trailers and videos focusing on the behind-the-scenes nature of the development of its upcoming games, EA’s presentation was certainly centering on technology and the future, with its Frostbite 3 technology taking the stage behind the majority of its upcoming titles. Battlefield: Hardline notably set the stage on fire with big explosive action and gunplay, and even provided a live beta demo on site (and crashed PSN in the process with the reveal of its PS4-exclusive limited beta released today). Likewise, each of EA’s sports franchises showcased their own unique spins thanks to the power of the next-gen consoles, from PGA Tour’s new “fantasy courses” (complete with exploding battleships), to UFC 2015’s beautiful recreation of Bruce Lee as a playable character.
While we most likely won’t get to play Star Wars: Battlefront, Mirror’s Edge 2, and the next Mass Effect until next year’s E3, this year EA took a few steps forward while also looking ahead even further. Thanks to the promise of Frostbite 3 taking things truly into next-gen territory and a host of games that will (hopefully) deliver on the promise of what’s to come, EA’s E3 presentation delivered a variety on what to expect in the coming year, from Battlefield to FIFA, and even further beyond with Bioware’s new projects and Mirror’s Edge 2.
Though it promised much to come a year or two from now rather than much to offer for the time being, what was there from the likes of games like Battlefield: Hardline and Dragon Age: Inquisition, and this year’s refreshes of all of its sports titles, it seems like EA will have plenty to tide us over during the wait this year for what’s to come in the following years.