Peter Moore opened EA’s 2013 EA press conference by saying that Electronic Arts was going to show off 11 new titles for next-gen consoles during the event. What he neglected to mention is that EA was showing off 10 games that were shooters or sports games and Mirror’s Edge 2. Did you know that you can’t spell “Electronic Arts” without “shooter” or “sports?”
EA’s presser started off with the latest from PopCap which included Xbox exclusive third-person shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. That really set the tone for what was to come from EA. At least PvZ:GW looked cute, even if it’s a horde-mode third-person shooter. I assume that’s EA’s Mass Effect and Dead Space PvZ cross-overs were about.
Respawn’s Titanfall was back again with a developer video talking about the game as opposed to the gameplay demo for the Xbox One show. Also annoyingly short on gameplay was Dragon Age III which got a trailer which noted that the release was in Fall 2014 which confirmed recent rumours about the game getting pushed back from next-gen launch this year to next year.
Sports games were well represented at this press briefing. Need For Speed Rivals and Need for Speed: The Movie were shown off, including gameplay of the new NFS which showed what Criterion called seamless integration of single-player, co-op and multiplayer. We also saw the revolutionized dribbling engine of NBA Live 14. Personally, I’d settle for an NBA Live game that wasn’t broken. The new physics engine was the emphasis of the Madden 25 presentation. FIFA 14 focused on the new AI. And EA Sports’ UFC was one massive love-in with Bruce Buffer, Dana White, Benson Henderson and Jon Jones all in attendance.
The star of the show was DICE. The Swedish developer showed off the first multiplayer footage of Battlefield 4 for the crowd at the EA crowd having earlier showed off single-player for Microsoft. The game still had fantastic environments as shown in the single-player demo but we got to see the massive environments, various vehicles available and the destructible environment. There was also some tablet integration that allowed you to call in the heavy artillery while not necessarily actively playing in a multiplayer game.
DICE also had a couple of pretty cool teaser trailers. The first was a short 30-second teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront. They also had a trailer for the much-anticipated reboot of Mirror’s Edge. It wasn’t a sequel to Mirror’s Edge as we believed going into E3 but what EA calls a reboot of Mirror’s Edge. I’m not a fan of first-person platforming but a lot of people like the cult hit so I won’t begrudge EA bringing back this IP.
Overall, I wasn’t particularly impressed by EA. For touting the next-generation of games, EA didn’t really show off anything new in terms of gameplay. Sure, everything looked very nice and EA Sports says they have all of these new technologies but we didn’t see EA Sports put anything into action. It was all pre-rendered. At least the shooters showed up with gameplay. When you’re two months from Madden 25 and haven’t seen actual gameplay, you should be concerned.