Random scribblings by a prick. Enjoy.

E3 2011: EA Press Conference Live Blog

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And we are GO for the EA Presser.

We kick off with an intergalactic boom; Mass Effect 3 is up first.

A big focus is on choice and how all the choices that have been made up until now, play into the final game in the trilogy.

We get a live demo, with The Shep trying to destroy a Reaper base. First thing is first; the game is stunning to look at; just incredible. Shepard opens up the blast shield on the base to allow the Normandy to unleash an airstrike and then from here it’s all business, with third person shooting ahoy.

Sheperd now has control of a moveable turret platform in a fairly arcadey section involving him opening fire on a giant, moving Reaper. Again, it all looks fucking incredible and we build to a climax. Not a *whole* lot was shown from a gameplay POV, but enough was shown to get the crowd whooping. A big focus is given predominantly on the narrative and emotional involvement and a date is given; March 2012.

Gameplay trailer airs. ‘Shepard warned us, but we didn’t listen’ booms the English narrator. I’ll post the trailer up later, but needless to say, awesomeness is in abundance here. The actual shooting gameplay looks a LOT tighter than in ME2 and I have a strong feeling that this will be the best in the series. Oh and Shepard, Halo called, they want their energy sword back πŸ™‚

EA head honcho John Ritocello is on stage now and takes a none too subtle dig at random stages and random celebrities being used in a conference πŸ™‚

Nect up is FrostBite 2.0 powered Need for Speed: The Run. This should be interesting.

We’re told the Auotlog will be used in the game and this time it will be seamlessly integrated into the game’s story. Apparently, you can get out of the car now. (!)

Err, off an tangent much?

Gameplay demo now.

We’re shown a scene in Chicago in which the player is being chased by the ‘mob’. We get a car crashing into the side of the player’s car; ejecting the player and beginning an on-foot chase that appears to be heavily scripted and driven by QTE’s. Hmmm, dunno if I would want 20 or so minutes of perfect racing to be undermined by an incorrect button press in an on-foot QTE sequence.

Anyway, we’re back in the car; a cop car this time. The game appears to be very fast as you would expect from a NFS title, but there appears to be a distinct lack of traffic on the road. The driving sections themselves actually appear to be fairly set piece driven also. And we have yet more QTE events. This time to free your guy from the car. It looks good and all, but i’m not convinced by this QTE heavy, setpiece laden approach.

Now we have Bioware on stage talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Big speech about the huge investment of talent into the title.

He talks about showing off raids later. About time too!

Right into a CG video. We get montage shots of various planets and sects of people, then we get some coolness illustrating the return of the Sith Empire as they are attacking the Republic. Nothing gameplay wise being shown here as you might have guessed.

Nevertheless though, epic CG trailer is epic.

As is the usually dependable John Williams score.

And we’re over.

Next up is…


And it’s a CG video showing much destruction, surfing and helicopter hangtime. SHOW. US. THE. DAMN. GAMEPLAY. ALREADY.

With that out of the way, Peter Moore is on stage.

He talks about the reinvention of SSX. Apparently NASA(!) satellite scannings are being used to create mountain ranges for players to curve some powder on. He reaffirms the ‘Race it, Trick it, Survive it’ mantra that the game embodies. SSX is due out January 2012.

Next up is FIFA 12. He talks about 1.3 billion gameplay sessions being played on FIFA 2011 alone. Next up is a FIFA 12 video gameplay demonstration showing new tactical defending based on a timing system. There is also a precision dribbling system, allowing for more nuances on ball control and a Player Impact system which is essentially the application of impact physics to the game.

Cue a video montage of people spraying love onto the FIFA franchise.

Montage is over and now we’re talking about the EA Sports Football Club. A live, online service which aims to develop a social community allowing fans to connect and complete, as well as download real matches from the real headlines. The service will commence on FIFA 12 and is intended to work with all versions and iterations of FIFA.

Next up is what appears to be Madden 12.

Showing a mixture of in-game gameplay and pre-rendered garbage. Now presumably we’re gonna get an on stage demonstration. We have various football personalities coming on stage spouting various EA Madden 12 soundbites.

Peter Moore talks about the new collision system and the new AI system that the game has. He then goes on to talk about the idea of building a ‘dynasty’ with your chosen team within the game.

Madden 12 is due to be released on October 30th.

The big, nasty linebackers are gone and John R is back on stage.

He talks about seamless transition between various platforms. He announces The Sims Social for Facebook. He waxes lyrical about playing with your friends and playing with life within the game. We get a quick trailer for the game and it adopts an isometric view point like the earliest games in the series. Like anything worth its salt these days, it’s fully community based; allowing you to invite your friends and play with them , engage with their characters and so forth.

At any rate it’s gotta beat FarmVille right? πŸ™‚

Next we get two games from ‘EA Partners’.

We get Kurt Schilling coming out alongside John, the founder of 38 Studios.

He is here to talk about Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur. It’s an open-world game that prioritises choice and story. Major props given to the talent behind it: Ken Rolston of Oblivion fame among others.

Now we get an in-game (YES!) trailer. We get a montage of various locations (forest, town, temple) and then we get some good old fashioned violence with the tagline that we can change ‘the fate of Amalur’. If anything the game looks very simlar to Fable, alabeit more adult and not quite so daft. It’s due in 2012. Hmmm, after Skyrim and The Witcher 2 I wonder if it’ll make the impact that EA wants.

Next up, is Insomniac to talk about their first multi-plat game; Overstrike. It’s set in the near future, following four secret agents obliterating everything in their past.

Straight into a trailer it seems.

It’s CG and appears to highlight the personality quirks of each secret agent in turn.

Fairly entertaining and comical actually, but little or nothing gameplay wise is being shown.

Apparently the game intends to combine Insomniacs love for outlandish weapons, involving stories and quirky humour and on the evidence of the trailer, it appears to be doing just that.

Quite interested to see a little more of this.

Next up is Battlefield 3.

We get a new trailer. This just looks crazy, I can’t really write what I am seeing because it all happened to quickly, but download the trailer and see for yourself.

Regardless, the DICE General Manager is on stage to talk about BF3.

He shows us a little of the guts that make up the Frostbite 2.0 tech that powers Battlefield 3. Some of this stuff looks crazy detailed; I wonder how it will convert to console.

Hopefully we’ll get the on-screen demo using a console SKU.

Battlefield 3 Multiplayer! We get a Paris map. It looks like the PC version. Hmmm, not really a demonstration as more of a game video with some quick cuts (maybe too quick). Still looks superb though – he mentions battlelog, a free service that allows stat tracking, squad creation and heightened community features.

Best news – The open beta arrives September 2011.

Now we get an on-screen live demo of Battlefield 3 single player.

It starts of with the player looking at a child’s toy before looking down at his mounted gun and driving along in his tank. The level of detail afforded by FB 2.0 is fucking staggering; dust plumes wisp up from the churned sand, intricately detailed aircraft streak overhead, clouds and smoke look real and seem correctly formed.

It looks like one hell of a tank battle is about to unfold. And yep, the shit hits the fan. Missed tank shells cause nerdgasmic eruptions of sand plumes on the soil and the sound effects are simply sublime. Everything just looks so… real.

Now they switch to infra-red optics to smoke out the positions of a few more tanks. I am totally bowled over by how fucking good this looks.

We then get an artillery barrage across the horizon which again produces just the best graphical effects. You will need one motherfucker of a PC rig to get it running like this I bet.

Next up, we’re directing a carpet bombing on a nearby basis and again, everything just looks so fucking real..except for the animation on the guy inside the tank loading the shell – that shit looked HUGELY jerky. Hmmm.

Still though, we’re back in the tank now and the game continues to impress. More airstrikes, more artillery and just a lot more destruction. Best of all, all of the explosions and dust plumes are contributing to a huge cloud of smoke that has slowly been forming throughout the demo and is now moving to engulf the whole area.

This just looks damn cool. There is no other way to tell it.

This makes Bad Company 2 look like a last generation title. Well, from a visual perspective at least since the gameplay mechanics remain similar.

And the demo is over… Holy shit. October 25th is the date.

John R is back on stage.

And he gives us our goodbyes and we’re done!

Hmmmm, would have liked a few more surprises but a solid conference all the same.

Written by bitsnark

June 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm

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