Electronic Arts (EA) is a company known for their stunning and action filled video games. As the presenters stated, EA is all about play and innovation from the community.
“The world is a better place when we make time to play” “Our shared passion we have for play drives creativity in all our games.”
The company truly emphasized on their devotion to listening to fan requests and developed their new games with them in mind. Below is summary of all their announcements during their presentation at E3 2015, as well as my personal reaction.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
EA rushed out of the gate, opening their presentation with an odd contrast of Western music and Space Age cinematic. Better described as a teaser than a trailer, EA announced the development of Mass Effect: Andromeda. There are few better ways to reel in the crowd and set the level of hype for the rest of the presentation than to open with a familiar game in the way EA did. Though this is a vague time frame, you can expect it out during the holiday season of 2016.
Need For Speed
Opening with a theatrical trailer, the graphics showcased in the Need For Speed presentation made me question when it was live action and when it was actual gameplay. The emphasis on graphic power is prevalent throughout EA’s presentation, making their dramatic movie-like trailers much more impressive. The beaming lights, speeding cars and glowing rain all make for a stunning trailer. However, the game is not just all looks, but a combination of all Need for Speeds before it. From the customizations, to the racing, storyline and open world, this game is a culmination of everything that made the franchise what it is today.
"The customization fans have been asking for." "Speed, style, build, crew, outlaw."
EA also gave a short showcase of the gameplay, starting with the multitude of customization options that make the players’ car as unique as can be and following up with an old-fashion car chase. EA caters to the loyal fans with familiar options as well as welcomes new fans to start at this point, where it all came together. Release date: November 3d, 2015.
Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire
EA rode the Star Wars hype train for the entire presentation, beginning with the new expansion pack for Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire. Fans requested a story, and EA delivered. The company promises news worlds to venture, new characters to encounter and a story arch that is reminiscent of old BioWare tale telling.
The trailer offered large cinematic shots coupled with unbelievable graphics. Not only is it a new game with more to explore, but as a thank you for all the fans whose feedback contributed to the upgrades behind this game, EA also announced that it will be free to all subscribers. The game will be released sometime in October 2015.
Unravel is a charming puzzle platformer centered around “a tiny character with a huge heart.” It is a physics based game dealing with yarn.
"The yarn represents love and the bonds that we make, and it unravels because that's what happens when we're separated from what we love." - Martin Sahlin, Creative Director
The trailer is nothing short of dazzling. Who would have thought the combination of yarn, light, water, and grass would make for a wonderful sight. The trailer felt like a Pixar movie with its lovable character and subtle-but-memorable music – and that is all it takes for something so small to capture your heart. The speaker even brought up a doll of the actual character he made himself to make us all connect even more with the game. I am personally excited to see where this game goes.
"When you look back at all that tangled and winding weave of yarn left behind, you have to stop and wonder how it ever got there. It's kind of like life."
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
After that pleasant original game, EA brought the presentation back to the sequels and announced, using an awkward dancing zombie mascot, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. My favorite part is not only the pun based on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but also EA’s transparency in talking about the silliness of the game.
"A shooter that doesn't take itself too seriously."
EA took a nice break from all the drama and offered us to take a look their more light-hearted side with Garden Warfare. And honestly, even without all the bells and whistles or realistic explosions and car crashes, I was the most hype for this particular game and I haven’t even played the first one yet.
EA also gave the viewers a live demo shown during show giving a first hand look at the new classes, modes and maps. They also reveal the fan driven changes that they made, starting with Graveyard ops, a 4 zombie co-op mode as well as a solo/splitscreen mode that fans have been asking for. The game also caters to the old fans by allowing them to transfer all their unlockables from their original Garden Warfare 1 accounts. Not only this, but they also promise to keep the game fresh by releasing regular content updates for free. If this isn’t hype, I do not know what is. PVZ: Garden Warfare will be released in the spring of 2016.
As a sports fan, I could not be more excited to see what EA had to offer. Though there were no “Street” announcements, the advancements they are making with sports games is still something to be hyped about.
EA gave us the spiel in rapid fire. They again emphasized the realistic features of each sports game and how they can make the experience as close to the real thing as possible, both as a spectator and player. They also recommended using the “Ultimate Team” feature that releases content across all the EA sports games and gives players a new way to connect.
NHL 16 kicked off the sports announcements, showcasing slick movement and what seems like free flowing teamwork across the rink in its trailer. They also announced the Hockey League, which was created through the feedback from fans.
The new PGA announcement was short but sweet, and we got a tiny look at the new, breathtaking courses.
Though it was announced again later in the presentation, I’ll keep the whole Madden summary in one place. With the rise of fantasy football this year, it is no surprise that EA announced “Draft Champions.” This allows players to create their own fantasy leagues online and not only count stats, but also play with their fantasy drafted team.
Other aspects of the game also changed. EA overhauled the passing system on both offense and defense giving a more realistic and strategic feel. Another mode that EA is embedding in many of their games is a training mode in which new players can practice or compete with higher skilled players. This allows a whole new community of players to join the gaming league and possibly help put EA deeper into the ESports realm.
Basketball is definitely my favorite sport and seeing NBA Live was all too hype. The graphics and movement is gorgeous and the emphasis on actually using your team to play on both sides is what I have been waiting for.
The speakers brought the personality “Hoopgawd” to test out their new NBA Live: Face Recognition phone app. It allows players to scan their own face into the game, with the hope that they’ll feel more connected when playing.
They also announced some new innovations in their animations, like passing and shooting, using physics based motion and free-flowing movement as well as more reliable online play. Their emphasis on popular teams and players along side the new upgrades in gameplay and experience make this worth being hype for. The release date for this one is September 29th, 2015.
EA made two short announcements concerning their mobile games.
The first was Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, a game that allows the player to experience the Star Wars world anywhere they are.
The second was Minions Paradise Builder. It uses Minions to create unexpected gameplay moments.
You all are probably thinking that I forgot one of the biggest EA sports games out there. Don’t worry, I decided to give FIFA 16 its own section as it was one of the most hype parts of the presentation.
EA brought up Pelé, the greatest soccer (excuse my American) player of all time. The interview with Pelé was sweet, fun and most importantly, it was real. Pelé focused on two words the whole interview, “beautiful moments” and that is what EA promises with this new installment.
They also announced a better defensive system as well as more skills and more creative offensive options that will help create these moments.
Finally, they also announced new ways to play, giving the players options for female teams in the game.
"Make FIFA 16 a beautiful experience." "Play beautiful."
Owners of FIFA 15 also received a gift ready for download. This game’s release date is September 22nd.
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
EA brought the presentation back to the hard hitting action with Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, a game set in a utopian city, centered around the concept of free running, and featuring a strong female lead.
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst opens with a story told by a frighteningly robotic-sounding female narrator. As she spoke, the screen flashed with stunning stills and beautiful gameplay. DICE also announced a feature familiar to many games now: the removal of levels and loading screens to help push the idea of free roaming in a massive city. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst will be released February 23rd, 2016.
Star Wars Battlefront
EA ended their hype train with their most anticipated title, Star Wars Battlefront. They start by giving the fans a bone to chew on by announcing the authenticity of each recreated prop, weapon and vehicle from the movies.
I will let the trailer speak for itself. The game allows players to experience the world in a flurry of different ways. Whether it is wielding Lightsabers, flying X-Wings, shooting on the battleground, controlling an AT-AT, or using the force, Battlefront offers a wide variety in their gameplay and casts a net big enough to reel in any player of any playing style. Spoiler alert: it also ends on a shot with Dark Vader and Luke Skywalker crossing lightsabers. Star Wars Battlefront will be released November 17th, 2015.
In the end, EA brought the hype. If you’re looking for some good entertainment as well as some mindless (and mindful) action and explosions, I recommend looking more into these newly announced games!