EA wasted no time with their press conference, dropping the first trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda; the new title in BioWare’s massive Mass Effect franchise. Set in the Andromeda galaxy, Andromeda puts you back in the role of a human space explorer, the trailer gives you a brief look at some of the environments you can explore, shows off the Mako which seems to be blissfully faster this time around and brings back the Omni-tool. Also seen in the trailer is a rapidly transforming structure on the horizon, which seems connected to the games enemies as the trailer ends with a confrontation with these entities.
Mass Effect Andromeda is coming Holiday 2016!
The return of Need For Speed comes in the form of a story trailer based around choosing the way you drive. We’re back on city streets racing and fleeing the cops simultaneously in a very pretty world. Energy has obviously been put into an upgraded Frostbite engine, specifically the rain and water effects.
The game world will be roughly twice the size of Rivals. There is a massive emphasis on customization as has been a staple of the Need for Speed series.The game is based around 5 characters and the gameplay is based around five ideas – Speed, Style, Build, Crew, Outlaw. We get a short live-action cutscene which transitions to the new customization interface, which looks fast and responsive with a very clean aesthetic.
We then move into gameplay as the player drifts through the city evading cops, there is a live scoring and experience system keeping track of player actions. As the player levels up a tweet about their progress pops up letting the player know he’s been noticed by the street racing elite
The new Need for Speed is coming November 3rd of this year.
The Old Republic announces an expansion: Knights of the Fallen Empire, with a professed focus on “BioWare style storytelling”. It will include new worlds to explore, new companions to recruit and a dynamic story to shape.
Knights of the Fallen Empire is announced to be free for all Old Republic subscribers.
We then get a story trailer for the expansion, centred around two Jedi brothers, one who seems to be trending towards the Dark Side and one Light. The one in white seems to be the Dark Sider, thats what we call subversion in the biz.
Unravel is announced as a new IP for EA with a small character named Yarny pulling down the game’s title which ismade of yarn, natch. The presenter for the game is adorably, adorably nervous and excited.
We get a trailer which is quite beautiful, looking like a still life painting played along a 2D plane. Its set on a small scale with Yarny attacked by hamsters, birds and fish as he hops across sunflowers. The trailer ends with Yarny finding a flower and everyone in the audience vomits from how adorably sweet it it all is.
Next a mascot dressed a Zombie in a superhero outfit comes out to Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins. It is not nearly as funny as EA hoped it would be. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is next and it has the Plants on the attack in an area controlled by the Zombies.
The demonstration is set in a factory run by Dr. Zomboss who is trying to build the technology necessary to take over suburbia. The gameplay demonstrates the new 4 player co-op mode with 4 character classes featured.
First we see the Imp, a baby sized zombie who is very quick and uses two handguns. Next we have SuperBrains, the mascot we just saw and also the melee class, he looks like a zombie found an Elvis wig and an off brand superhero halloween costume. Then we get Deathbeard the zombie’s first sniper class; he’s a zombie pirate. We then return to the imp who summons a mech he can pilot to fight a Plant faction boss, once he defeats it the zombies enter an evacuation phase.
In Garden Warfare 2 you can now play solo, which was apparently a large demand from players. As a reward for their support players of the original Garden Warfare can carry over almost all their unlocked characters to Garden Warfare 2. Finally, free content updates are announced for players throughout the life cycle of Garden Warfare 2.
Garden Warfare 2 is coming Spring 2016
A trailer is shown for NHL 16, using all engine footage with a voiceover inspirational speech overtop of it, think Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday but not as good. The crowd and player movements seem to be improved for this next entry, but it still cannot escape the presence of some canned animation.
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour will be the first EA sports game made with the Frostbite engine, with the ability to play the ball from anywhere and no load times between holes.
Updates are announced for EA Ultimate Team, with assurances that the game will be fun and fair for all players.
Contextual tips and in-game training will be present in the next NHL, FIFA and Madden titles.
NBA Live 16 will heavily feature self expression. First highlighted is the GameFace create a player system, an app will scan your face to recreate each player in-game. The last entry’s facial scan had some comical results so hopefully this edition will be more reliable. Next the game features the off-the-court clothes you can wear in game, which seems superfluous, but EA wants to provide the experience of wearing ridiculous clothes at post-game press conferences.
Next a complete revamp of the games systems for passing, shooting and player control purports to make the next entry a far more realistic simulation. We close with an in-engine trailer for NBA Live.
The next presenter highlights the stats for mobile gaming worldwide and highlights some popular EA titles; Need for Speed No Limits, FIFA Ultimate Team & Simpsons Tapped Out.
Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes is announced, it is a mobile CCG.
Minion;s Paradise is announced as well, featuring around the minions from Despicable Me, Minions Paradise centres around Phil: a screwup minion who seems to have ruined the Minions’ vacation. It seems to be a typical mobile game based around resource gathering/purchasing and building a vacation environment buoyed by the Minions license.
Next we have a featurette on Pele, who is introduced as the next presenter for EA. Pele gives us some background on how the phrase “the beautiful game” came to be and shares some stories about his career. Obviously Pele is here to talk about FIFA, which is getting its own segment due to the sheer volume of the audience for soccer/football games. While it is cool that Pele was there, this segment really killed any the momentum the show had.
FIFA 16 is based around “Competing at a higher level” and giving players “New ways to play”.
FIFA 16 revamps the systems based around defending, giving gamers more control over how they defend skill players, in the midfield new systems are based around control and in the attacking zone new mo-cap allows for no-touch dribbling, more precise crosses and other offensive weapons.
Women’s teams are featured under “New ways to play”. EA has put a lot of energy into accurate image capture for the women’s teams to make the experience authentic.
The segment ends with a trailer, a special item for Ultimate Team players and a half hearted attempt to hype up Pele’s presence again, it is not very effective.
Sara Jansson comes out next to show off Mirrors Edge Catalyst. The Mirrors Edge Catalyst name was officially announced last week so we knew we’d be getting more details soon with E3 on the horizon. Mirrors Edge Catalyst is a prequel, showing the origin story of Faith and how she became the character we saw in the original Mirror’s Edge.
Catalyst will be a fully open world game, which is an awesome move and a no-brainer for a free-running title. Next we get a trailer, captured in-engine, which this time around is EA’s Frostbite Engine.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is coming February 23rd 2016
Next we get a feature on the new Madden fantasy draft system: Draft Champions and like the Pele segment earlier in the show it kills the show’s momentum dead.
The next Madden has revamped the passing system to best reflect the modern NFL and the importance of the passing game. Quarterbacks can now throw with more precision, receivers can catch for possession, run-after-catch or stretch an acrobatic catch. The presentation also highlights new options for pass defence
As is now tradition, we end with an in-engine trailer for Madden 16.
Next up we have Peter Moore talking Star Wars, he starts out by hyping DICE and the Frostbite engine. Moore hands it over to the Battlefront project lead, who breaks down her history with Star Wars and leads into the demonstration of Battlefront.
We get some glamour shots of game models; the AT-ST, X-Wing, a lightsaber and the Stormtrooper armor. Next we’re shown some still images of the game title, including a game rendering of Luke Skywalker. The game will feature games from 40 players down to 8 and has online and and offline modes and who cares what I just said, they’re showing us gameplay!
The mode shown is based around the Hoth battle, with the Empire escorting AT-ATs to destroy the base and the Rebels desperately defending it. We’re in first person on the rebel side running through the base as the battle begins. The game shifts to empire perspective and we’re playing a stormtrooper as part of the shock force.
Next the game pulls back to show the third-person view that will be familiar to fans of the series. The visuals are striking and the asymmetry of the gameplay is shown well with walkers roaming the battlefield and TIE-Fighters and snowspeeders flying above. At the end of the gameplay demo, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker appear, cross lightsabers and we’re out!
Star Wars Battlefront is coming November 17th.
Thanks for joining us for our coverage of EA’s press conference, we’ll be back for Ubisoft shortly and again for Playstation later tonight. In the meantime, stay with TechRaptor for updates on all the E3 news.