E3 Day 0: EA Press Conference Highlights

Its Day 0 of E3 and as it normally goes, that means plenty of press conferences. Unlike PAX, Gamescom, and the like,  E3 is the kind of trade show when many the big boys come packing: Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Sony – they all come prepared to fight a war for your attention. As many of you have probably already read, we had just seen the impressively game-centric presentation by Microsoft and the Xbox team. Next up, is EA! DSC02511 EA’s Press Conference began with something every gamer wants – soda and some donuts. With the great blue stage in front of us and the ever present EA logo, it was hard to tell what was in store. It was a great time to give great news – an opportunity that was unfortunately missed. It was much of the same stuff as last year – more news on Star Wars Battlefront, hints at what Bioware is working on, some early footage of Mirror’s Edge, and the announcement of the playable demo for Battlefield Hardlines made up the best parts of the presentation. With no new hardware to speak of this year it was hard to please the crowd but here is what we ended up with.

Star Wars Battlefront

We’ve known about Battlefront for a while, and as the iconic Star Wars music started playing you could feel the excitement in the room. However, you’ll probably find that there wasn’t really much to go on – the trailer really was just hinting at all the work they’ve been doing on the game but they didn’t show any meaningful footage of much else. A few in-engine renders was about it. Is the game something to be excited about? Certainly – but EA didn’t take the excellent opportunity at E3 to hype us all up for it.

Mass Effect 4 and an Unannounced New Game DSC02558-2 Probably among the most exciting thing to come up during the whole conference was the announcements – if you can call them that – by Bioware on what they’ve been working on. While Mass Effect 4 was no surprise they did show some interesting screens. Whether those screenshots really mean anything or not is to be determined. They also announced that they were working on another Bioware-esque game but they really gave no indication of what it was or might be. Seems to me that they announced the announcement of a new franchise or something. They did show us a cool screen capture though. DSC02563-2

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Another game we’ve known about for a while – but unlike the previous two it was a trailer that was truly worthwhile. It showed some impressive gameplay and introduced some of the story characters. While mostly dealing with the Action RPG style of gameplay with fiery bolts and lots of blood – they were also able to give a glimpse of the upgraded tactical RPG combat system that gave the Dragon Age series the flavor we all know so well.

Mirror’s Edge 2 DSC02583-2 Faith is back – but it’s unfortunately more of the same. What was shown at E3 was touted as an “exclusive early look” but if we’re honest it was a lot of talking about the game and less showing the game itself. We do get some slick snippets of the jump happy, face-smashing Parkour that made the original Mirror’s Edge so well loved but it was a bit too hard to walk away with any substantial information about what is to come. Still, Faith looks gorgeous on PS4 tech. You can also check out the E3 trailer below.

Battlefield Hardline

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Easily the most interesting thing to come out of EA’s E3 Press Conference – but not for the reasons you’d think. The trailer and gameplay had all been seen before but what made it really exciting was the fact that they announced a playable Beta available today. They even provided 64 PS4s running the multiplayer mode for those who were willing to wait to try – I decided to forgo the opportunity but it was certainly a nice touch.

Closing Thoughts

E3 happens only once a year and for many of the big gaming entities out there, it is really the best place to flaunt your muscle. Ea, unfortunately, seems to have missed that opportunity. They didn’t really have anything new to show and the whole presentation – while well put together – was really just a repeat of information from last year. Sure they showed LOTS of footage but most of it was for the regurgitated sports titles such as FIFA, UFC and NHL games with a touch of other EA staples like the Sims 4 – however, outside of the playable demo of Battlefield Hardline and some hints at some new IP, it was hard to grasp what EA was doing at E3. Maybe they should have gone the Nintendo route this year – forgo the press conference in favor of something else.