E3 2014: EA Press Conference

Date Posted Author
9th June 2014 Richard Pilot

Whilst not the first conference that occurred at E3 today, the EA press conference will be the first one we talk about having just finished a couple of hours ago. Whilst mostly consisting of games we have heard about in the past, there were a few surprises thrown into the mix.

The conference started with a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront which was announced at last year's E3. The game is still in its early days, however, and we were only shown test footage (although it's all in-engine). This was a running theme throughout the evening, with other studios showing their in-progress wares and sadly many of their games won't be able until next year at the earliest. This is all part of EA's strategy to show their titles at "earlier stages of development". This included the reveal that Bioware were working on a new Mass Effect, whilst another Bioware team have started work on a new IP. There was the tiniest of teasers, as we didn't see a single shot of whatever this new title will be. Criterion Games were also there, revealing that they've moved beyond cars and are working on an outdoor action sports games featuring helicopters, wingsuits and ATVs. Finally, Mirror's Edge made an appearance; like the other titles, the team at DICE were still prototyping, but they still demonstrated some of the combat and parkour systems they were working on. This was all early stuff but it's nice to see what these studios are up to and we're looking forward to finding out more about them at a future E3.

Moving onto games that are a little closer to release, one of the first games we got to see was the upcoming Dragon's Age: Inquisition. We were treated to a trailer slowly moving through the various locations of the game set to the series' beautiful soundtrack. There was gameplay footage too where we saw a party take on a huge dragon, the player quickly jumping between the various characters ingame to target specific parts of the enormous creature. The developers emphasized the tactical elements of Dragon Age are still present with an overview camera, pausing the action so you can make the important decisions. Sims 4, which is due out in less than three months, made an appearance and like last year, Rachel Frankin, Executive Producer was on stage demonstrating another amusing (and weird) scenario. Of course, EA Sports got its share of time too, although it's harder to get excited about another iteration of FIFA or NFL. That said, we were amused by the PGA Tour demonstration, which is not only moving to Frostbite 3, but also includes extreme courses; we were treated to a round of golf set on the Battlefield 4 map Paracel Storm!

Wrapping the show up was the recently leaked Battlefield: Hardline, a new entry in the multiplayer-centric franchise. The game will feature a campaign that's going for a more TV show than movie vibe. It features large scale battles that fans of the series are familiar with but set on the streets of LA. Personally it looks a lot like PayDay 2 mixed with Battlefield 4, with some well executed set pieces like a crane crashing down in the middle of the city. It looked great, but it seems the Battlefield roots are overpowering the crime elements and so we'll have to actually play it to see whether they've come up with an exciting combination. Luckily, EA finished the show by launching the closed beta of the game for PC and PS4 so we rushed to the site and secured our place. Battlefield: Hardline itself will launch Oct 21st this year.

It has the look of a table-top game

These guys aren't happy the game leaked!

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