E3 2013: highlights from EA’s press conference

EA header

EA header

Electronic Arts showed off 11 games at today’s press conference. A few of them were already known, such as FIFA 14 and Battlefield 4, while others like a new Mirror’s Edge or Star Wars Battlefront were wishful rumors. EA COO Peter Moore confirmed that these titles would be available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, although some would also be available for the current generation of systems. To help show off the power of the new systems, many of these games will use new graphic engines such as Frostbite 3 and Ignite (the latter being mainly for EA Sports games). The development of these engines took the company nearly two years.

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warefare

The announcements began with Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, a third person action game where teams for players take control of their favorite plants. The game will first be available on Xbox One, but will arrive on Xbox 360 later.

plants vs zombies gameplay

Among new plants included Bonk Choy, a melee fighting bok choy. Sunflower was also shown to be the healing plant that can keep the rest of the team alive. Besides Plants vs Zombies, another big PopCap game was mentioned -Peggle 2- but no information or gameplay was shown or teased.

Titanfall

Titan Fall 1

Titanfall was previously shown at Microsoft’s press conference earlier in the day. The footage shown at EA’s conference spliced together developer interviews with gameplay footage. The main goal was create balanced environments and gameplay between massive Titans and pilots fighting on foot.

Star Wars: Battlefront

A short teaser for a new Star Wars: Battlefront briefly showed a snowspeeder whizzing by an AT-AT. The snowy terrain was very reminiscent of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back ,though it could be some other location. With the closure of LucasArts, EA DICE will be developing the game on their own.

Need for Speed Rivals

Need for speed

The new Need for Speed showed a seamless transition from single player into multiplayer. One player started a street race within their own game, but as the match became more intense an enemy cop player entered the game in hot pursuit. The police officer was further aided by a third player who used a tablet to deploy support helicopters into the game.

Dragon Age Inquisition

dragon act inquisition

The third game in the Dragon Age series had its debut trailer at the EA press conference and is expected to be out Spring 2014. Unlike the other titles that used towns and dungeons as hubs, Inquisition will be open world. The trailer was narrated by Witch of the Wilds Morrigan, who reveals herself at the end of the trailer. Other characters that make cameos include Varric Tethras and Cassandra Pentaghast from Dragon Age 2.

EA Sports games

fifa 14

A number of sports games were shown, all of them utilizing the new Ignite Engine. The sports engine has features to show true player motion, mimic human intelligence, and sustain living worlds that change depending on how users play.

NBA Live

The first on these games is NBA Live. The game uses a system called “bounceTEK” to improve the dribbling system. The ball itself uses more physics for enhanced realism. Finally, the game is constantly updated, receiving new data within hours of an NBA match being completed.

FIFA 14

drake 1

Already a favorite around the world, FIFA 14 was presented by rapper Drake who noted his deep respect for the developers. FIFA 14 includes new features such as “Precision Movement”, “Pro Instincts”, and “Elite Technique”. The game is planned for a Fall release on Xbox One and PS4.

Madden 25

Aside from the Ignite features found within all of the sports games, Madden 25 also includes “True Step” which is a new locomotion system.

UFC

EA UFC

EA Sport’s UFC makes use of the “MMAi” fighting system and more realistic full body deformation. UFC will have a worldwide release in Spring 2014 on the Xbox One and PS4.

Battlefield 4

battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 showcased the most gameplay and info of everything shown at EA’s press conference. The main highlight was 64 player supported multiplayer.  Commander mode returns from Battlefield 2, allowing a single player to issue commands from a top-down view. Players will even be able to use Commander mode from their tablets by logging on to Battlelog from their devices.

The demo itself showed a “Siege of Shanghai” level, where five person squads formed among 64 live players. The level included destructible environments, such as a tank that was disabled by destroying the support posts underneath the street.

Mirror’s Edge

mirrors edge 2

The conference ended with a teaser for Mirror’s Edge. Players return to the role of Faith, but the trailer showed her receiving her unique arm and eye tattoos. Mirror’s Edge isn’t simply a prequel, EA’s press site notes that the new game “Reboots the franchise for the next generation”; a curious choice for a five year old franchise that only has one previous game.

More to come

We’ve seen 11 (12 if you want to include the short mention of Peggle 2) great games from EA. So far these are only brief announcements, but we suspect many of these titles will be available for hands on at the E3 showroom floor and behind closed doors. We’ll share with you all the latest gaming news from E3 2013 as it develops.

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