By Anni Simpson on June 9, 2014 at 2:00pm
"Everything we've got here today is tied together by a common thread ... a commitment to create amazing games ... a commitment to lead with creativity and innovation." Andrew Wilson, EA Games CEO
EA begins strong with "Dragon Age: Inquisition," led in by a sorrowful, fantastical introduction and the backdrop of a lone hero walking towards a new adventure. Moments later, the despair becomes epic and heroic while EA teases us with the scenery we'll experience in the next iteration of "Dragon Age." In the next "Dragon Age," you will take on the role as the Inquisitor. As far as combat is concerned, you can either jump right "into the heat of the action" and "take control of other party members" (which EA highlighted by having the character control several members of a party against an angry, fire-breathing dragon) or through a "tactical camera which removes time from the equation." BioWare makes the next "Dragon Age" sound a little like a combination of an RPS and an RTS.
Great stories are timeless and last forever ... At BioWare, we're building journeys for the next generation. BioWare
EA follows its "Dragon Age" teaser with a teaser for "The Sims 4." Rachel Franklin, executive producer of "The Sims 4," promises "you define your Sims' personality" including their behavior and responsiveness to other Sims, a "deep simulation where every Sim has their own story." To highlight the changes being made to the "Sims," Franklin tells the story of Chuck, a terrible poet-in-progress Sim, whose behavior today is influenced by his neighbor upsetting him the previous day. "The Sims 4" introduces the ability to share fully-developed Sims and their homes in a gallery setting.
However, the promise of updated Sims seems flat and uninteresting. If nothing else, smarter Sims look and feel no different than previous iterations of IP.
Follow the "Sims," we're treated to a fight between Bruce Lee to display a teaser of the next iteration "UFC" from EA Sports, which is slated to release next week. Not a fan of fighting games or the UFC, the updated game admittedly is beautiful, realistic, and engaging. The graphics actually look like a "real" fight over Twitch.tv's stream of the E3 conference. "NHL 2015" is similar. High quality graphics bring "the games to life," even if you're not super excited for the release cycle of games we've all seen so many times. I'm not sure these teasers have convinced me to buy anything from EA Sports, but if they want realistic and fun looking games that show off sports in the current season, they appear to have succeeded. Only the release on both PS4 and Xbox one will say for sure.
Of course, that also mean we have to watch EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson brag about the high-adrenaline, blood-pumping action of "PGA Tour 2015," where players can interact with real courses in - again - super realistic detail, which also promises to give the player more agency on the course. As well as the more interesting "Madden 2015," where player emotions have been updated to be more versatile and adaptive based on real-time action. "Madden" launches Aug. 26.
"Players have been telling us for years they want defense to be more fun ... defense is half the game." Andrew Wilson, EA Games CEO
After "Madden," non-sports fans start waking back up for some MOBA action. A video preview promises to do more than just copy the current games dominating the genre, but have players "genuinely try new strategies" and "characters fighting for a purpose." The game profiled, "Dawngate," works hand-in-hand with a story arc meant to support the game play and strategy. However, this is just a teaser, and EA didn't expand on "Dawngate." After all, we have more SPORTS to go and only 20 minutes left of their exposition.
Wilson now promises that EA"s changing, intending to bring in gamers to engage in "open dialogue" and put their players first in game development. That's a hard pill to swallow after years of doing the opposite: game-breaking security measures, banning players in Origin and from their games based off things they said on the forums, and rehashing the same titles year after year, and closing server access to over 55 titles. But we can't judge just yet. 2015 is another year, and so far, the games on board have a lot of promise.
Now we're seeing game play in the next "Mirror's Edge," which hopes to build on the first "Mirror's Edge" and promote experimentation on the part of the player ... both in the environment and with Faith.
Steve Papoutsis is now on stage to introduce "Battlefield: Hardline" to show us the "new weapons, new ways to play" in the next "Battlefield." The multiplpayer offers different perspectives in the same situation, a danger zone that is a crumbling downtown L.A. where cops and criminals fight it out in the most violent ways. As expected, we get to see badass guns (that I don't recognize), intense explosions, sirens and screaming, and an all-out bloodbath. In "Battlefield's" defense, this is exactly what gamers have come to expect from the IP, and EA manages to offer a different bloodbath than the ones before it. Criminals on the streets of L.A. are very different from enemies in an overseas combat zone, but it's not so much of a deviation that it looks like the transition will be uncomfortable, either. For those two reasons, the shootouts we're promised actually do look different and in line with Wilson's earlier promise to engage with customer desires. In this case, that's to be given the option to purchase a different game than the one sold two years ago.
Good guys vs. bad guys. This is the foundation of "Hardline." Steve Papoutsis
But if you're not sure, an official trailer has been released on YouTube.
You can also participate in a closed beta for "Battlefield: Hardline," so "the feedback at this early stage is huge" prior to the Oct. release. You can sign up for the first-come, first-serve beta access at Battlefield.com on either PC or PS4. The beta is now live as of the end of the EA press release.