DJ Arruda, ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Beginning with a behind-the-scenes look at the highly anticipated, long awaited Star Wars: Battlefront 3, EA’s press conference fired its cannons early. With John William’s iconic music playing in the background, the developers showed how they both explored the Star Wars archives to get all the designs right and also studied the various environments the planets had in order to better establish the setting.
Some brief glimpses of in-engine footage were stunning, and made the game look like it will be worth the wait. Next the CEO of EA, Andrew Wilson, came out and delivered a solid opening monologue detailing his thoughts on the industry and the games being showcased. Despite being one of gaming’s biggest publishers, EA has received much criticism as a company and a figure in the industry, and it seems like with this new CEO they are trying to make amends for the past.
BioWare came out strong, showcasing a gameplay demo for Dragon Age: Inquisition after a new trailer at Microsoft’s conference, complete with live musical accompaniment. Showing a fight with a dragon, it was the first real glimpse at sustained gameplay, and it was awesome. There was also another trailer showing some of the new companions that will be accompanying the Inquisitor on his/her quest. Coming right off that was a behind-the-scenes look at the next Mass Effect, showing some very cool conceptual footage. It captured the feel of the series, but also opens up the world to new stories, while keeping Shepard’s trilogy in our hearts. There was also a brief mention of a new IP to join the ranks of BioWare’s greats.
The Sims 4 was revealed for a September release, showing off more in depth emotional development of characters and a more creative story. A new UFC game highlighted by Bruce Lee showed the latest in fighting game tech, and NHL 15 looked to show off the individual physics of each and every player and in-game item.
Criterion showed off a behind the scenes look at its new game, going beyond cars and into helicopters and other vehicles. A new PGA Tour title offered the latest in bringing golf to life while also showing off more fantastical courses, such as one with a battleship. Madden 15 continues to improve the football formula with a more in-depth defensive system, and continues to bring that hard hitting sport to life. EA’s flagship MOBA Dawngate showed how it was different from its popular competitor’s like Dota 2 and League of Legends in its flexibility and versatility.
Andrew Wilson once again appeared, asking for feedback and promising to continue to improve the company’s presence in the industry, perhaps again to repair its less than glamorous reputation within the gaming world. Mirror’s Edge 2 looks to be what fans have long been awaiting, improving combat and parkour while continuing Faith’s story in the way gamers have been wanting. With the World Cup around the corner, FIFA 15 looks to continue the popular series with groundbreaking physics and visuals while also improving on gameplay and taking advantage of the new consoles.
Closing the presentation was a look Battlefield Hardline, the newest entry in the popular shooter series which look to freshen things up with a new setting and style. The gameplay demo shown played as the most exciting episode of COPS ever as one team was the robbers and the other team the police, the game becoming a crime based title instead of another war story. This unique and fresh take may be just what the series needs, and with the announcement that the beta was live for PC and PlayStation 4 at the conference’s end was a severe example of instant gratification. Though closed, it was first come first served to those who signed up.
Overall, the conference started strong with Battlefront and BioWare, then sort of fell off with many sports games and not a lot of shockers. It ended with a bang though, and provided an hour of gorgeous new games, while also showing how the company is trying to fix its past mistakes and bring great new titles to this new console generation.