Once again, the Christmas of gaming has fallen upon us in early June. I’m talking about E3 of course. It’s practically a holiday of information for gamers everywhere. Video game developers of all shapes in sizes from locales all over the world gather in Los Angeles to show gamers their goods. One of the enormous sized companies, Electronic Arts (EA), was one of the five big gaming corporations to hold their own press conference. Because EA had a wide range of announcements, we needed two Analog Addiction editors to cover the topics. Today, I, Robbie Key, and Hugh Simmonds are here to discuss everything the ginormous publishing company covered.
Robbie Key: Hugh, EA had a surprising good number of announcements and features for a conference lasting less than an hour and a half. Out of all the reveals and gameplay footage shown, what was your favorite part and why?
Hugh Simmonds: I have to say compared to the Call of Duty: Ghosts footage shown, Battlefield 4 graphically looked brilliant and a vastly prettier game than CoD. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare also looked intriguing. That being said, a lot of what they showed, we already knew or had heard rumblings about which was a bit underwhelming. None of what they showed really got me excited for EA games. What did you make of the reveals within the conference?
Robbie Key: I fully agree there. I don’t usually like to point fingers at other games, but after seeing the Battlefield 4 multiplayer demo during their conference, I couldn’t help but look at Call of Duty and think, “Okay, you guys have no excuses now.” Battlefield 4 visually looked stunning on next-gen consoles, the gameplay seemed as smooth and tight as ever, and even more buttery was its frame rate despite the presence of many players in one session. To see this on a console is mind-blowing. I personally think Battlefield has never held the same fun factor on consoles as it does on its PC counterpart, but this time around, it seems to have a fighting chance, at least for me it does.
If it wasn’t for the leaked images advertising Garden Warfare, it would’ve been a huge surprise, especially with the way they presented the trailer in a Battlefield fashion, which was hilarious I might add. As a “gargantuar” fan of the series and someone who plays shooters the most, I am highly looking forward to this game. It combines third-person cooperative shooting with tower defense elements akin to Orcs Must Die!
I would agree with you on them showing us games we already know about because if you think about it, the only game you couldn’t have legitimately predicted making an appearance was Mirror’s Edge 2. With Garden Warfare, like I said, images were shown from the show floor a day or two before E3 kicked off. We were previously told EA was handling Star Wars games, Titanfall was shown during Microsoft’s conference, the annual athletic titles were expected as well as Need for Speed, Battlfield is primarily a multiplayer game and Dragon Age 3 was revealed a while ago.
However, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Why? Mainly because we got a look at many next-gen titles for the first time. Even though I never play sports video games – which are a contradiction if you ask me – it was nice to see what they look like with boosted visuals. Titanfall is also looking better and better the more times I see it as well.
As far as what they showed, do you think they should have approached the conference differently?
Hugh Simmonds: I totally agree. It is a good thing that what we saw looked fantastic and it’s hugely exciting to see the prospects for next-generation titles. All of the games looked great with as previously stated Battlefield 4 looking the prettiest of them all. Although the sports games verged on cartoony in my opinion. Need For Speed looked good, but honestly, I’d rather just let Criterion do a new Burnout, or announce one for Vita. A new Burnout is what I need! Titanfall looked cool, but I’ve got shooter fatigue so it doesn’t really interest me but I like the concept.
I liked the overall idea of how they approached the conference with it purely being about the games. That they got right. However, they let themselves down by some of the videos they showed. We had already seen those videos from before. Show us something new. Give us more details on these games. I don’t mind that they didn’t surprise us with the titles, but new content from some of those games would be good. Also, I don’t care about Drake “being a massive soccer fan” unless he’s rapping or announcing something major for the game or in general. He should not be on the stage!
What about you? How did it stand up to the other third party conferences?
Robbie Key: If what I read about Battlefield 4 is true, that the multiplayer in the demo conference was in its pre-alpha stage, then us gamers have a visual treat on their hands. When they skyscraper collapsed, I literally said wow out loud in my room. I actually might be interested in Need for Speed. I haven’t bought one since the Xbox 360 version of Need for Speed Most Wanted, so I’m considering picking it up around launch time. Titanfall looks great. Shooters (third or first-person) is my favorite genre next to platformers, so I will definitely be looking forward to it when I eventually get an Xbox One, or if it comes to the PS4 before then.
Yeah, like I said, the only game we knew nothing about going into the conference was Mirror’s Edge 2. With that said, they were a bit similar to Ubisoft’s conference. We knew about a lot of the games, but I just wasn’t as interested in the games shown at Ubisoft. We got really lengthy demos of much of Ubi’s games, especially The Crew despite it being a new IP and much of what they showed didn’t keep me engaged enough. With EA, I was more interested in what they were showing because their presentations were more exciting overall – minus Drake and the awkwardness of UFC’s Dana White of course.
To close this conversation, between the usual five big conferences – Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA and Ubisoft – how would you rank EA from one to five?
Hugh Simmonds: For me personally I’d rank it in the bottom two, third place at best if I was being generous. It was by no means a bad conference. It just wasn’t solid, but let’s be honest. This year was never going to be a winner with Sony and Microsoft showing off their new hardware, which was naturally the talk of the show. I’m not overly excited for anything they showed, maybe until they unveil more information and screens on Battlefront.
Robbie Key: I’m actually having a tough choice ranking between Nintendo, EA, and Ubisoft. Looking back at it, Ubisoft actually had some pretty good reveals. EA showcased their games pretty well despite us knowing about most of them. Nintendo piqued my personal interests showing Wind Waker HD, Super Mario 3D World (I’m a huge fan of 3D Land), and of course, Super Smash Bros. I would probably rank EA in the lower two as well. Yeah, there’s no way to overcome Sony and Microsoft this year, but on another subject, I was surprised at how engaged I was with Microsoft’s conference.
There you have it. What was your favorite conference? Did you fancy EA? Did you like the games they showed? Let us know in the comments below.
Robbie Key is a “Reviews and News Editor” for Analog Addiction, Entertainment Editor for the Pine Log newspaper at Stephen F. Austin State University, and blogger for IGN. Follow his completely relevant Twitter updates, watch his awesomtacular YouTube videos, and view his LinkedIn profile.