Cullen Plays LIVE stream:
- Michael Williams (Writer for Nerfed and video dude for 7BitArcade)
The goal for Andrew Wilson in his first E3 as CEO of EA was to show that he was leading the charge to show a different EA than at previous E3s. One such measure was to show early stuff from games in development that will still be ways out as yet. Star Wars: Battlefront was one such example, introduced at the start of the press conference. The concept footage shown looked great, but we were told to wait until next spring – that’s another nine to eleven months from now – for more information.
The same also happened for BioWare Montreal’s Mass Effect game, which was surprisingly spared a full reveal and official name (for what it’s worth, it’s Mass Effect: Contact), plus a very early look at BioWare Edmonton’s new IP headed up by Casey Hudson and Mac Walters’ Mass Effect 1-3 team. That was a big surprise considering how far out it was anyways.
Mirror’s Edge got the same treatment, though seemed more fleshed out in its showing than Star Wars and BioWare’s stuff, and for fans of the original Mirror’s Edge – me included – this was ticking every box: no guns, a much improved free-running mechanic and much more detailed hand-to-hand combat.
Even Criterion’s next big thing got a very early showing (“We don’t typically show things this early,” said EA VP Patrick Soderlund, “and lets be clear here, this is early. But it’s also very cool. And lets be honest, we all know there’s no way we can keep this a secret anyways). Its first game since massively downsizing as well as the leaving of co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sparry, its left behind car games like Burnout and Need for Speed, but the game shown looks set to maintain that feeling of adrenaline that their previous games had, teasing helicopters; motocross bikes; buggies, parachutes; boats, etc.
If there was a point to prove from this new EA, it was an open-door EA that seemed to give off vibes of the EA from 2008, the EA that was willing to try new stuff which seemed really cool (before reverting back to old habits): Wilson even encouraged open discourse and dialogue to those watching.
Actual games that are due out soon were shown too, of course: its sports lineup was its sports lineup (though one does have to question why PGA Tour is using the Frostbite 3 engine instead of the already sports-dedicated engine Ignite), Dragon Age Inquisition looked terrific, The Sims 4 is The Sims 4 so what else needs to be said and Battlefield: Hardline got a proper reveal with an amazing gameplay reveal and the surprise announcement of a multiplayer beta beginning immediately after the press conference (which I’ve still yet to play as of writing this – a Cullen Plays LIVE is in order for this).
EA had a good show and yet it was still the weakest show of the lot, which is a kind of testament to just how strong the other shows were. But Andrew Wilson’s open-door policy and most of the content on display looked very strong.
Who knows, we may go back to the old EA of 2008. And that potential, for me, is sounding very good.
Game of the conference: Battlefield: Hardline (Special mentions: Mirror’s Edge, Criterion, Star Wars: Battlefront)