Gamescom: EA press conference brings C&C missions, NFS Rivals career details, Plants vs Zombies news, and Titanfall

Date Posted Author
21st August 2013 Matt Bailey

In addition to the reveal for The Sims 4, EA also had news for a bunch of their other upcoming games - although no new ones were revealed.

The upcoming free-to-play version of Command & Conquer was originally going to be multiplayer-only, and it was this component that EA chose to demo on stage at their media briefing. However, fan demand - and presumably, EA hopes, potential customers - has brought about a plan to introduce new missions in the Generals universe, essentially returning the game to its C&C: Generals 2 origins. While this had been hinted at before, on stage the release of story missions on an episodic basis was confirmed, as was support for co-op.

Sadly we didn't get to see gameplay footage of Dragon Age: Inquisition, although the company did show some new developer chat footage, which included a mention about sending people out on missions, and how your choices will matter in the big, open worlds that the new take on the RPG series will feature.

Since it launched last week, Popcap's Plants vs. Zombies 2 has been ridiculously popular on iOS, topping the App Store in many, many countries. It's free-to-play which certainly encourages uptake, though it looks like many people are putting money into the game as EA seemed very happy and announced an expansion, Far Future, to come at some point in the future. But not far. The real focus for PvZ at the briefing was Garden Warfare, the third-person take on the tower defence game. In the main mode you directly take control of the plants as you fend off zombie waves, but at Gamescom it has now been revealed there's another mode where you get to play as a zombie taking on the plants. Not just regular zombies, though, but one of a range of classes, each with their own abilities and weapons. These are very versatile zombies. Microsoft also revealed on Tuesday morning that PvZ: Garden Warfare launches first on the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, arriving next Spring, which is also true of Peggle 2, although that's only bound for the Xbox One (presumably followed by a PS4 and PC release later in the year). "Boss Mode" was also revealed, exclusive for the Xbox One version, which uses Smart Glass to allow you to use tablets to order about zombies and send in zombie strikes as you aim to take down the pesky plants.

Career options for Need for Speed: Rivals were revealed, at least if you play as the police. Three options are available to cops, including the ability to play undercover, so you can have all the nice looking vehicles too and still say on the good side of the law. There is a strong focus on the progression system in the game; all of your in-game actions will contribute this and allow you to use this progress to upgrade your abilities, enhance cars and buy new ones. Ghost Games may be the team behind this NFS iteration, but there does seem to be influence from Criterion on this one, which we hope can only be a good thing.

A quick bit of FIFA 14 news which will please fans looking to buy the game on both a current generation console and later on a next generation one; your progress in FIFA 14 will be transferred across generations - so PS3 to PS4 or Xbox 360 to Xbox One. Which is also another way for EA to tell you that you don't need to wait to buy FIFA 14.

Lastly, Titanfall. All I wrote in my notes at the time was "wow", because while I liked the concept of the game, the E3 footage only left me introduced, but the brand new Gamescom footage left me impressed. You got a feel for the dynamic flow of the action, with wall-to-wall jumping and climbing, giving a bit of a feel of EA's own Mirror's Edge or Splash Damage's ill-fated Brink. There's jetpacks too, which help keep you moving, but it's the titans which are, of course, the stars of the show. After some on-foot action, the player we are watching jumps into a titan and starts mowing down opponents, but the titans do seem vulnerable to someone who is good with a jetpack and can tackle from above. Titan versus titan combat was also interesting, especially when our player yanked a rival pilot out from their titan. However, our titan took too much damage, requiring an emergency evacuation, but thanks to a friendly titan nearby, we get a lift and rejoin the the action quickly. Despite all the focus around FIFA 14's bundling and exclusive features, it could be Titanfall which is the bigger coup for Microsoft in their EA dealings. While the game is also due on the PC (and at some point on the Xbox 36), it's only coming to the Xbox One on the next-gen consoles right now, with no official word on if/when a PS4 version will appear.

That's all from the EA press conference here at Gamescom, but we'll have more coverage of the publisher's games later this week.

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