Because of our interest in what EA had to say about Mass Effect 3, we were eagerly anticipating this year’s EA press conference. Unfortunately, we were left disappointed. There were previews of Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, Sim City and the usual EA Sports properties. Over on the Ubisoft side of things, we saw more of Assassin’s Creed 3 and the debut of a new game which looks so good that it could be a next gen game.
The big news for Dead Space 3 was the inclusion of co-op gameplay which includes a seemless drop-in/drop-out feature. The game also appeared to feature fewer dark, claustrophobic locations. The whole fun of Dead Space was the perpetual feeling of fear because something was about break the silence with a loud noise and try to kill you. Adding the co-op and opening up the world will ruin that fun. The other problem I have is that I assumed that Dead Space would be a trilogy. Logically, the series will conclude on Earth. Since I don’t believe we’re on Earth in this game, we have at least one more game to go before the series is over. The scheduled release date is February 2013 which gives EA an anchor for the first quarter of calendar 2013.
The other big EA game reveal was Crysis 3. We knew heading in to E3 that there would be a post-apocalyptic New York and a bow and arrow. An early gameplay demo was shown that was a bit on the buggy side involving you taking down enemies, including a helicopter, with a bow and arrow.
While voice commands for Madden were unveiled at the XBox presser, the actual new features were unveiled at the EA conference. From an animation side of things, the Infinity Engine will be included this year. It was introduced in FIFA 12 which allows for dynamic player animation rather than locking players into animations which play until completed. The big new gameplay feature is Career Mode where you can create or assume control of a player and try to get him to the Hall of Fame. It’s part sports game and part RPG (you gain experience points to level up). EA has made game modes like this before but they’re trying to immerse you into your own little world inside your Career Mode with news tickers and pseudo-Twitter.
Other games shown at the press conference includes Sim City (coming in 2013), Battlefield 3 (or at least some upcoming DLC content for Battlefield 3) and Star Wars: The Old Republic (again, a preview of upcoming content). There was a lengthy preview of Medal of Honor: Warfighter. I don’t really much care for shooters but if you like shooters with massive explosions, this would be the MoH game for you. It was also announced that Criterion would be developing the reboot of Need For Speed: Most Wanted and some gameplay footage from that was shown. The press on hand likened this iteration of NFS to the earlier Criterion game Burnout: Paradise.
EA Sports also showed off bits of FIFA 13 and NCAA Football 13. They also made sure to point out that the NBA is back in the EA Sports lineup after a two-year absence with NBA Live 13. They neglected to mention that the return was due to the impossible-to-fix buggy release version of NBA Elite 11 which was cancelled after some units were shipped. Their biggest announcement was probably the new UFC game. UFC boss Dana White even appeared on stage for the announcement. We’ll have to see if the WWE license is enough to keep THQ operational.
On the next page, we have a breakdown of Ubisoft’s press conference.
On page three, we have some of the bigger videos from both EA and Ubisoft.