EA's E3 Conference for Everyone.
Or maybe not…
But anyway, let’s get started, shall we?
EA’s conference kicked off with a live-action teaser of Mass Effect 3. In it we see the news stations of the world reporting on the Reaper invasion, as well as some bombed out cities and Reapers walking around “War of the Worlds” style. After the live action teaser, we move on to an actual gameplay demo. In it, Commander Shepard is at what he thinks is a Reaper base, and ends up waking up some sort of Reaper. After which he and his team(consisting of Garrus and Liara) try to escape from it with the help of Legion. It ends with a cliffhanger. Mass Effect 3 also got a release date: March 6th, 2012. Mass Effect 3 was also briefly featured at Microsoft’s E3 press conference, showing how the game would incorporate Kinect as an option. ME3 uses Kinect to allow you to give orders to your team and pick dialog choices.
Overall, the Mass Effect 3 showing looked solid; however, it mainly focused on combat and spectacle. Taking Bioware’s want to appeal to a wider audience with Mass Effect 3, I’m worried the RPG elements(or the very few that are left), will take a bigger hit as well, maybe even erased entirely. Then again, Bioware did state they’re bringing some elements back and are finding a balance. It seems we’ll have to wait for the final game to see for sure. They did promise lots of RPG elements for the second game, and it was pretty lacking in that department. Also, I’m really interested to see how Shepard will be able to stop the Reapers. Considering how Sovereign almost won by himself(with help from the Geth), and it took the Citadel and Human fleets to destroy him(even then they were only able to destroy him since you disabled Sovereign), there’s no way anyone’s going to be able to stand up to ALL the Reapers in head-on combat.
Either way, hopefully ME3 does more with your choices than affect what emails you get.
Need for Speed: The Run
Now, I’m not exactly a fan of Need for Speed(or a fan of racing games in general), but this seems to be quite a big change for the series. It started as more of a simulation-esque franchise, then moved on to more of a Fast and Furious vibe, then back to simulation, and now back to F&F. It’ll be interesting to see how they’re handling it. I wonder how proper Need For Speed fans feel about it. If you’re a Need for Speed fan, how do you feel about the changes?
The Old Republic
After NFS:TR, Bioware co-founder Greg Zeschuk then came onto stage to show The Old Republic. Or, at least a trailer of The Old Republic. The trailer itself was a mish-mash of the previous two CGI trailers, with some new clips thrown in(its actually a new CGI trailer, called The Return, and is just as badass as the previous two. No idea why they didn’t show it…). No actual gameplay, and once again TOR’s elusive release date was not revealed. Needless to say, it was pretty disappointing.
They said they’d be showing off raids, high-level bosses, and plenty of other things, but it seems they were referring to a show-floor demo or something similar. I find it kind of worrying that they aren’t showing any actual game-play footage for trailers. There are trailers showing game-play, but none are that big or that advertised.
Hopefully they aren’t making the game too serious. One of the best things about SSX is how lighthearted and fun it is. It’d be a shame if that was all lost for gritty realism. I love the series, and can’t wait for the new one.
I’m not much of a fan of FIFA(or sports games in general), but the Football Club thing sounds interesting. It could be Incorporated into other games, or perhaps even incorporated into EA’s new Digital Distribution service, Origin.
The trailer was nothing special really. Seems it was made to target the “teen girl” audience. An audience I’m not a part of(like, 99% sure I’m not part of).
If you have Facebook, prepare for craploads of status updates from friends who play this.
Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning
The trailer itself is your standard fair. Epic music, montage, nothing that special really.
And ending EA’s conference was Battlefield 3. It started with a trailer showing what Frostbite 2 is bringing to the series, and then we are treated to a live demo of Battlefield 3. The demo took place in a desert-setting, and showed off the game’s vehicle combat(well, tank combat at least). Needless to say, it looks absolutely stunning, and its serving as the best reason(outside of Skyrim) to upgrade your PC for this holiday season.
However, I’m a bit worried about the game. It seems EA is hyping it up to be a direct challenger to Call of Duty. EA has also done this with Medal of Honor, and with Bad Company 2. I don’t know why EA seems so keen on doing this, since it’ll more than likely end in failure. I’m sure Battlefield 3 will be great, and will sell well. But even if it’s better than Call of Duty in every way, there’s no way it’ll outsell CoD. It also seems to look an awful like Call of Duty. I hope DICE and EA focused more on making a great game, instead of making a game just to challenge Activision’s prime franchise. And I really hope they don’t make Battlefield too much like CoD in order to woo CoD’s player-base. So far, it looks really good. But I’m not that impressed. It just didn’t feel like… Battlefield.
It also seems like they went from a magazine-based reloading system that was in Battlefield 2 and 2142(shoot a bullet, reload, lose all bullets in the mag you dropped), to a bullet-system that’s seen in all shooters these days(shoot a bullet, reload, still have the same number of bullets as before). Just a personal nit-pick, but I’m sad to see the change. Could have helped differentiate the game-play from other shooters. Seems like a small change, but sometimes its the smallest things that have the biggest impact.
That wraps up EA’s press conference. Overall, it was pretty good. It had great games(ME3, Battlefield 3, SSX), a surprise reveal(Overstrike), obvious reveals(new FIFA, Madden), a returning franchise(SSX), and a Facebook reveal(The Sims). Oh, and there was a Need For Speed announcement.
Compared to the other press conferences, it sits right in the middle. Which is where everyone else sits, with Microsoft a bit below them.