By Jeff Bond on June 15, 2015 at 4:25pm
EA's press conference definitely wasn't as impressive as Microsoft's, but we still got plenty of good information about what they've got in store for us.
"Mass Effect: Andromeda"
We got a lovely cinematic trailer, and no other information at all. Nothing. Not a word.
"Need for Speed"
We start things off with a pre-rendered trailer showing lots of cars flying by recklessly fast and running from the police, you know, the standard "Need for Speed" stuff. This is being called the definitive "Need for Speed" experience and takes place in Ventura Bay. Your goal: to earn reputation and respect to become the ultimate icon. The world is twice the size of "Need for Speed: Rivals" and is using the Frostbite engine under the hood. This game features the richest customization ever seen in a Need for Speed game. We then switch over to a alpha gameplay video showing the level of detail in customization and the absurd number of options. We also get a glimpse of racing on surface streets where the Frostbite engine is really showing it's power.
"Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire"
The team is taking the game back to it's roots with a Bioware-style storytelling expansion, "Knights of the Fallen Empire" featuring new worlds, new companions to recruit, and a dynamic story based on decisions the player makes. This expansion will be free to all subscribers to "Star Wars: The Old Republic."
A brand new IP feauring a tiny little red yarn man named Yarney. This is a puzzle platformer where your character, Yarney, unravels as you move through the world made of gardens, sheds, and the outdoors. Gameplay is physics-based so you can use your yarn like a rope to swing across gaps and much more.
"Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2"
After an embarrassing intro where a man in a mascot suit comes out on stage dressed up as Super Brainz, we get into the details of this game.
The original "Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare" had over six million players. "Garden Warfare 2" is in an all new world where the plants are on the attack for a change. We then jump into live gameplay where the development team introduces four new zombie classes.
- Imp: A small, crazy, fast little zombie that duel wields pistols
- Super Brainz: Melee fighter.
- Captain Deadbeard: Sniper class.
- Zoologist: Not mentioned at all, but seen in the party on-screen.
All players of the first game can transfer unlocked characters to the new game at launch. EA is also promising free content updates "long after launch" to ensure Zomburbia stays action packed.
A trailer plays to show off some in-game footage, and that's literally it. Not the most impressive graphics of the day, but then again, when are sports games the most beautiful games?
Some Sort of Golf Game
I honestly wish I had a title for you all, but this man was speaking a mile a minute, and they never showed the title up on screen. This one actually uses the Frostbite engine, though, and features no load time between levels which should shave almost 15 minutes off of the time it would take to complete a normal game. The brief trailer with in-game footage looked pretty decent.
"NBA Live '16"
Another title from EA Sports with no mention of a release date! Go team.
The quick footage shown, once again, is not the most amazing that you've ever seen, but is pretty on-par with sports titles. "NBA Live '16" features an exclusive "Game Face HD Scanning Tech" on smartphones where you can scan your face into the game with your phone. They do a live demo, and it seems pretty painless. You center your face in a circle on your device, and it instructs you to turn your head to one side, back to center, and then to the other side. From there, it does some number crunching, and about five seconds later, you have your face, and the results actually looked pretty decent. Not fantastic, but the best I've seen so far. Featuring "best in class animation fidelity", "thousands of new animations", and "contextual free flowing movement."
"Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes"
All we know is that is a mobile game, and a collectible card game, like "Hearthstone." That's it. There was no trailer, no screenshot, hardly any information at all.
Here's one we know a little more about. This is a builder game where the main character, Phil, has to build entertainment on an island after their cruise ship crashed during the Minion's vacation. A Tiki Lounge acts as your quest hub and leads you on missions to build various buildings and attractions. It appears to feature two currencies, gold coins and sand dollars, and I've got good money on that second currency being the one tied to in-app purchases.
This was the most boring part of the whole presentation, I'm not going to lie. It starts off with a 10 minute video with futbol star Pele as he rambles on about, well, anything he can think of. This goes on for far too long, and he is difficult to understand. Finally, after what seems like an eternity in the land of press conferences, we start getting some information, except a release date, keeping up with their trend so far.
This is "the most balanced FIFA yet" wit better conrol and defenses across the entire pitch. More "moments of magic" and other buzzwords that don't really mean much of anything. There is also a new way to play, and this one is big, women's teams are finally in the game for the first time ever. It's about damn time! At the end of all this, we are treated to a trailer, which once again, features too much of Pele rambling and talking.
"Mirror's Edge: Catalyst"
Feb. 23, 2016
The streams cut out here, so I'm filling in some blanks with information I sourced elsewhere.
This game has no levels, no loading screens, and is truly free roaming. This is an origin story. The trailer that plays is all footage captured in-game and looks beautiful. This is the Frostbite graphics horsepower I've been wanting to see through out this entire press conference.
"Madden NFL '16"
Thought we were done with sports? Nope! One more seemingly randomly thrown in at the end please!
New mode, "Draft Champions" which is a multi-round draft mode where you get to pick between one of three players each round for a total of 15 rounds. Once you have drafted your team, you can take them and play solo or online. Once again, standard sports gameplay footage where it's pretty much maintaining the status quo with tiny little improvements, but is not using the Frostbite engine. I really wish they would convert these games to Frostbite.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Finally, after they had teased us this entire time, it's onto the main event, the best for last.
Includes both eight-player matches as well as giant 40 player battles. Missions can be completed alone with AI, or with a friend, and includes split screen co-op. I love me some local co-op.
The gameplay they are showing today is from a pre-alpha PS4 build, but it honestly looks like final assets. The Frostbite engine is really shining here and this game looks beautiful. All of the ships and vehicles you want to pilot are all here, and the action seems to move at a pretty good pace without being completely frantic and haphazard. This looks great, as far as I can tell, they didn't mess it up!
In true press conference fashion, we are now wrapping up with a big wig talking about a whole lot of nothing. Honestly, the sports games all seemed to be minor improvements, but the tease of "Mass Effect: Andromeda," "Mirror's Edge: Catalyst," and "Star Wars: Battlefront" completely stole the show. I just wish we got more actual information and some release dates to go along with most of these titles.