EA’s E3 2014 Press Conference – Overview

EA have a lot of games that I care about and frankly, a lot of games that I don’t care about. Unfortunately they never really separate the games running on the Ignite engine from those running from the Frostbite engine meaning I have to force myself through the entire show.

Bitter sarcasm aside, the E3 conference started on a pretty high note. With some iconic music known to everyone who ever dreamed of growing up to be a Jedi.

Star Wars Battlefront

Unfortunately there was no grand gameplay reveal or release date, but rather a look into the development process and research going into this game. DICE have visited the Star Wars museum and several of the original movie locations in order to bring the game to life on a grand scale.

We also got a look at some engine footage, but it’s hard to tell whether or not at this stage we’ll be looking at a reskinned Battlefield rather than a Battlefront game.

CEO Andrew Wilson is now on stage, talking about how this year’s conference will be a little different. Showing off games that will be ready in a couple of months, alongside concept art from games still in the early stages of development.

Dragon Age Inquisition

Not many better places to start than with this one, they’ve even gone all out and got a violinist on stage – how classy. The footage is a mixture of what we’d already seem at Microsoft’s conference, alongside some new shots.

It’s an array of stunning vistas across varying locales, there’s also bunny-pigs (or what looks to be bunny-pigs). This time the dragon was reserved for the end of the trailer, before Aaryn Flynn takes to the stage and starts talking about ‘all the feels’.

Inquisition is part of the next generation of Bioware games, powerful narrative mixed with open world exploration. You’ll assemble a team of unique and powerful heroes (circa Mass Effect 2) and forge your own legend in the world of Inquisition.

There are two ways to approach combat, one puts you in the heart of the action, switching between characters on the fly and wielding various abilities in combat. The latter is by using a tactical camera – pausing the battle – and presenting an overview of the field of combat.

Another short trailer that showcases the party gathered around a table (also circa Mass Effect).

‘Whatever we were before, we are now the inquisition’.

Mass Effect

Bioware still have the stage, to show a little insight into the development process. Asking fans what they want and the answer is to go somewhere new, to an entirely new region of space.

We got a look at some pretty cool looking concept art, some prototype environments (one featuring an amazingly detailed Korgan).

So Montreal are working on the next Mass Effect, but what about Edmonton?

New IP

Not a huge amount to say on this one, but Edmonton are working on a new IP. They’re asking themselves what will the environments, cities and characters be like.

Sims 4

Rachel Franklin takes the stage to talk Sims, she mentions that the biggest difference in the fourth iteration of the franchise will be the ability to control the characters hearts – no, not falling in love!

This time round, you’ll be able to craft the personality of your Sims, creating a set of emotions that influence how they behave. They showcase this with ‘hot-head’ Chuck, who’s reeling after his faltering attempts to recite poetry to a grandma.

In his anguish, he works out his frustrations at the Gym, before throwing a party, but when the party pooper herself arrives to cast arthritis on this parade, the player retaliates by injecting a little life into the party, accessing the gallery and downloading a character named Princess.

With the party pumping, Princess takes to the piano and for some rather obscure reason Chuck starts laughing some much that he dies…

‘Where else can you find something like this’ Rachel asks, something that stupid, hopefully nowhere!

UFC

We’ve got Bruce Lee, proudly proclaims UFC, with the testimonies of various professionals being used to big the man up.

We also got a look at gameplay, putting the man himself against BJ Penn showcasing their unique fighting styles.

The game launches on June 27th.

NHL

Dean Richards is on stage, noting that UFC looks amazing and that he can’t wait to play it (though the apathy in his voice implies otherwise).

Anyway it’s his turn to nab a spot in the limelight and he’s quick to claim that everything will change on next-gen (odds are that he’s lying).

We also get some gameplay to possibly back it up.

New IP

Patrick Soderlund is on stage, talking about Criterion’s new game. It’s still pretty early on in development and we get a little bit of insight from the developers regarding the process.

‘Occasionally we work from the pub’

This new IP is inspired by the things they’ve seen people do in the real world, that’s why it’s presented in a first person perspective and players are able to pilot ATV’s, helicopters, boats, quads etc.

PGA Tour

Cam Weber is on stage, ready to talk golf. Not my forte, but whatever. PGA Tour’s tag line is ‘golf without limits’ allowing players to pitch on famous courses and extreme fantasy courses.

It’s set for a spring 2015 release date, but expect to hear more in the coming months.

Madden

Gamers want defence to be more fun, there’s a ton of new cameras to give players a better look at the action.

When defending you have much more control, able to shove players in particular directions. Open field tackles provide more consistent results, where aggressive tackles take more skill.

Hundreds of new player emotions and reactions play out on the field, with tons of cinematography to showcase it. Madden 15 is playable for the lucky folks at E3, set for release on August 26th.

DawnGate

Little bit of promo for EA’s MOBA, shaped and defined by the players. They’ve built a game that builds on the classic MOBA, with a meta based upon team composition.

Characters are fighting for a purpose – in a massive story arc (not that anyone elaborated from there).

Mirror’s Edge 2

They teased it ahead of E3 and didn’t disappoint. They’re building upon the skillset Faith had in the first game. They’re also opening up paths through the environment, allowing players to experiment as they move from objective to objective.

Combat has been built with this skillset in mind, it’s very fluid, made up of tight controlled hits. Faith herself is a projectable.

Mirrors Edge 2 will give more background to Faith, created for a new generation – which seems silly since players of the original are hardly that old (yes I know we’re talking Xbox One and PS4).

FIFA 15

Lots of references to emotion, how players will have memories and display emotion in the match.

Player control will have a new layer of personality (doubt it, but whatever). Check out those authentic visuals, displayed by an audience jumping up and down.

Battlefield Hardline

Visceral are working on a new Battlefield title, putting players in the middle of a war between cops and criminals. They’re taking a fresh look at the campaign, aiming to craft a thrilling crime-drama, however today we get a look at a 32 player match in a new game mode, heist.

Interesting introduction, before getting into the game. Gameplay looks pretty similar, though throughout the video you see numerous people being hand cuffed by the police, in one section the player actually beats down an officer with baseball bat.

Naturally since it’s a trailer for a Battlefield game, we see a building crumble into rubble, expected but still pretty. Towards the end of the trailer, our protagonist pulls the parachute far too late to survive, not the first time he’d cheated death.

The beta for Hardline launches today, head over to Battlefield.com to sign up (PC) or PlayStation 4 users with Battlefield 4 can get into the beta today. The game itself will launch October 24th.

Written by: Cryss

Avid video gamer, freelance journalist, community manager and aspiring editor.