If you haven’t heard yet, EA recently acquired a multi-year STAR WARS licensing agreement and will be responsible for putting out any STAR WARS related games in the near future. Just before and since this agreement, a lot of cool looking STAR WARS games have been canned including a Darth Maul adventure and the amazing looking STAR WARS 1313 that made my Top 5 games of E3 back in 2012. Basically, I needed some good news in the STAR WARS video game department and was eagerly anticipating this year’s E3 conference for some answers!
So without wasting any time, EA made sure to clarify that they are indeed working on a future STAR WARS title in the form of the eagerly anticipated next installment in the STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT series. We got a cute little “developer diary” showing some of the team working hard to bring this game to the masses, but we really didn’t get a good look at what we can expect. We got “some” video footage that was very rough but looked very promising. I mean come on, it’s next-gen Star Wars we’re talking about here! In the end the STAR WARS footage was pretty disappointing and ended with a “See more in Spring 2015” message assuring us that this game isn’t coming out anytime soon. My guess is that is will come out sometime around holiday 2015 to coincide with STAR WARS EPISODE VII.
Up next we got to see what developer BIOWARE was up to with its next two big projects in the form of DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION and the next MASS EFFECT game which has no official title just yet. While I have not played any DRAGON AGE game just yet (shame on me!), this new entry looks to be a refresh of sorts and a good point for newcomers to jump in. It does look cool, but just not cool enough for me to be distracted from SKYRIM just yet. INQUISITION has a release date of October 7th 2014 which is very soon for those interested. And while it’s good to know we are getting a new MASS EFFECT (duh!), there really wasn’t anything big to chew on here since all the “footage” we saw was labeled “conceptual prototype” likely indicating that it’s not that far in development yet. But again, cool to know it’s officially out there.
Once the BIOWARE presentation ended, we got a brief look at what to expect from THE SIMS 4 along with the release date of September 2nd 2014. The game looks cool, I know my girlfriend will buy it, and I may just try this franchise out finally. There was a big emphasis on “emotional connections” this time around, but even i know that THE SIMS games are so massive that a brief snippet during a conference is just the tip of the iceberg.
Now’s the point of the post where I tell you I don’t care for sports or sports video games unless they are unique enough (Dreamcast’s NFL2K series), creative (Mario Sports games!), and/or made up (DEATHROW anyone!?). Ok, I like tennis games, but that’s it! So yeah, EA does a lot of sports. And during this presentation we get a good look at a new UFC game, NHL 15, a vehicle sports title featuring ATV’s and helicopters among others, PGA TOUR, MADDEN NFL 15, and FIFA 15. Phew that’s a lot of sports. And I’ll tell you right now, if I gave a crap about professional sports, I’s be buying these games. They look stunning and the level of realism the next generation of consoles is going to give players is amazing. I especially liked seeing the dynamic crowds in FIFA 15, the extreme courses in PGA TOUR, and the photo-realistic athletes in NHL 15. And did I mention Bruce Lee in UFC? Pretty cool stuff all around for sports enthusiasts.
We also get a glimpse of a top-down multiplayer RPG called DAWNGATE. It’s really not my cup of tea, but one of the developers in the “developer diary” video for this game had a “Guts” from BERSERK action figure and it made me all giddy. Any fan of that manga/anime series is alright by me! At least their inspirations are good!
And the cherry on top of this conference was some “conceptual prototype” footage of the already announced MIRROR’S EDGE 2, and an in-depth look at BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE. MIRROR’S EDGE 2 still looks very early in development, but showcased some cool character designs. I loved the first installment and can’t wait for more. And BATTLEFIELD HARDLINES does look damn fun! It’s more of a modern good guys vs bad guys angle using the engine we all know and love from the BATTLEFIELD series. This conference really showed us what to expect from the multiplayer mode of this new game and it looks totally insane! We also got a release date of October 21st 2014 to look forward to.
All in all, I’d say the future of EA looks promising, but this conference was pretty bland in the actual “gameplay” department. I really have no idea how any of the games I’m most looking forward to will actually play. The next MASS EFFECT, STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT, and MIRROR’S EDGE 2 all seem like such a mystery to me still. I know they are out there, but have a feeling I won’t get my hands on them until at least holiday 2015. Until then, at least sports fans we be busy.
If you are curious enough to see the entire conference in action (it’s about an hour), take a look at the video below courtesy of the fine folks over at IGN.com
And if you missed it: