OK, off to an early start right here. I’ve got 3 of these things to write.
No messing about, here’s the highlights of EA’s conference from last night.
Continuing my ‘coverage’, here’s the skinny, the 411 and the low-down on what EA had to offer.
Dead Space 3
A great way to start, you’d have to say. Well, I’m not going to! Why? Here’s why;
Dead Space has been reduced to nothing more than a co-op shooter. Gone are the tight claustrophobic corridoors, removed is the tension and feeling of isolation and au revoir to subtlety and silence. This now looks like ‘Army of Two – In Space’.
Maybe I’m being overly critical, but including bigger, badder weapons and throwing in a ‘drop-in drop-out’ online co-op assistant is not what I wanted. No one who likes Dead Space was calling for this, yet it’s here. How can the people that make these decisions be so un-aware of what it is that makes their games so appealing?
Game’s out February. I hope I’m proven wrong on all counts of my criticism. I hope.
Simy City (Both of them!)
OK, this is better. First off, we’ll get the Facebook game out of the way;
Sim City Social will be a Facebook game. I have nothing to really add to this except that fact you’ll most likely have plenty of opportunities to wait 24 hours for something to be built, or you can give them a £1 and have it appear instantly. Social games! Facebook! Money! Have a video.
As much as I couldn’t care less about the Facebook game, good news is that there’s a ‘proper’ Sim City coming out as well. Some odd talk of a multi-player mode was glossed over and details weren’t given as to how this would actually work, which is a shame because I’m really keen to see just how EA can shoe-horn multi-player into this thing. Multi-player that requires and online-pass, no doubt.
Madden, Fifa and Other EA Sports Titles
It’s easy to be cynical of these yearly updates, so I’ll just give you the facts as were presented in the conference.
Firstly, we’ve got the new Madden. Bizarrely, a large amount of talk was devoted to the ‘story’ mode of the single player game. There’s a new ‘story engine’ that creates not only drama on the field, but off it as well. A fake Twitter feed will show how dealings outside of the game are affecting your character, from fall-outs with team-mates to transfer rumours. To celebrate this ‘off the field drama’ angle, they had an ex-footballer called Michael Irving, who’s own off the field shenanigans would make quite the game. It looks like Madden will also use something called the ‘Infinity Engine’. I just hope, for the sake of all Madden players out there, that it’s a little more refined than the impact engine Fifa 12 used.
Speaking of Fifa 12, Fifa 13 made an appearance. Messi was spoken about at great length given the fact he’s the inspiration behind the overhaul of the dribbling engine and also because he’ll be on the front cover of the game all over the world. A trailer made up of actual gameplay was shown. How ‘actual’ and how ‘gameplay’ it really is, we’ll have to wait and see.
It also seems there’s a real push towards the social side of sport with this one. Linking up to Facebook and Twitter feeds seemed to be a theme of the day. So, look forward to plenty of EA Sports spam in all of your favourite social media outlets soon!
Medal of Honor
It looked pretty, but I’m very bored of shooting things. Video.
See previous comment. Have the video.
Battlefield 3 : Premium
This was rumoured a little while back, but Battlefield is getting its own version of ‘Elite’. This essentially is EA charging you an extra $50, on top of the $60 you’ve paid for the game in the first place, to receive all the DLC and a bunch of other extras. This went right through my brain and none of it interested me. Look at video if you care. As you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you don’t.
Star Wars : The Old Republic
If I’m bored of shooters, I’m in a coma when it comes to MMOs. I just don’t see the appeal. Anyway, The Old Republic was released just over 6 months ago and it’s going steady. This little bit of pre-recorded fluff reminded us that the game still exists and that there’s updates on the way. Next!
EA Buys UFC Rights
Wowza! OK, this is more interesting to me. As a big fan of the UFC and of THQ’s UFC games, this came out of nowhere. It would appear that given THQ’s financial troubles, the cost of the UFC license and the relative sales of their UFC games, THQ have decided to flog the rights to EA.
Dana White strolled, swaggered and rocked onto the stage with something of a smugness to him. Given that Mr White was “At war with EA” not so long ago, I bet it was pleasing to have EA begging him to join them, now they’ve realised what a money spinner the sport of MMA is, with the UFC being the pinnacle (arguably) of all MMA.
No game was shown or even really announced, though this has me excited and disappointed. Yuke’s made some quality UFC games, so to see them lose out on the license that they clearly cared about and clearly could do great things with, is a shame. On the other hand, EA’s last MMA game was pretty solid and suffered only because it lacked a decent roster (fixed thanks to this deal) and also suffered from ‘first go’ syndrome. Overall though, for fans of the UFC and UFC games, I think this is a piece of positive news.
Need For Speed : Most Wanted
I don’t like racing games. They bore me. It’s all too serious considering it’s just a bunch of cars. You know what I do like though? Criterion racing games. They’re fast, frentic, loud, pretty and most of all, they’re fun.
Which is why the new Need For Speed, being developed by Criterion, is looking so good to me right now. Carrying on from the ‘friend-centric’ approach of the last Need For Speed, leader boards will be made for near everything in the game. Most crashes, most races, most wins, etc, and all will be populated by people on your friends list.
It’s also promising to be ‘open-world’, whatever that means, given it’s a racing game.
That’s it! Phew. I’ll be back pretty soon to finish off last nights conferences. Only Ubisoft and Sony left. Wish me luck.