Jun 15, 2015

E3: Electronic Arts Conference Overview

EA went straight into their conference this year with a trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda, confirming its existence. Players will once again be playing as a human man or woman, this time looking for habitable planets in the Andromeda galaxy.

After Mass Effect, EA showed off a trailer and gameplay footage for a new Need For Speed. The new addition to the franchise features a bigger world than Need For Speed: Rivals and has hundreds of customization options for multiple cars. Cars can be fine tuned to handle differently for each player, and naturally there will be police cars chasing you.

A new expansion for Knights of the Old Repubic was announced, focusing on a seemingly new faction. The expansion is Knights of the Fallen Empire. It releases on October 27th and has new storylines, companions, and worlds to explore. It will also be free for subscribers to the MMO.

The next game revealed was by a newly acquired studio. The game is called Unravel, and is a puzzle platformer following a small figure made of red yarn. The physics-based exploration game is a new IP and is meant to be a metaphor for the journey we take in life.

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 was revealed. A new mode, Graveyard Operations, has been added to the game. Players can now take on hordes as Zombies instead of Plants. Three new characters have been added to each faction, and there is now a singleplayer option to play with bots. Garden Warfare 2 comes out in the spring of 2016 and will have free content updates. Players who own the original Garden Warfare will be able to transfer over their character progress.

EA followed up with news on its various sports games franchises. The games are going to be linked by the EA Sports Games Hub, allowing players to connect their progress across different sports.

EA NHL 2016 was revealed, although no detail was gone into.

NBA Live 2016 was shown, including a companion app that allows players to bring themselves into the game. New emphasis has been put on player customization, character movement, and ball handling.

The third EA Sports title shown, FIFA 2016, was also shown. It has new dribbles, a training system for newer players to the franchise, and for the first time features all women's teams as well as men's teams.

Finally, Madden NFL 2016 was showcased. Developers have improved the passing mechanics in the game for the quarterback and receivers, and have given defensive backs the opportunity to now play the receiver as well as the ball. It releases August 25th.

Two mobile games were announced by EA. One is Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, although no trailer or gameplay was revealed. The other, Minions Paradise, utilizes the minions from Despicable Me in a Farmville-esque resort simulator.

A trailer for Mirror's Edge Catalyst was revealed. The free-running game  will not have levels like the previous game in the series. Instead it will be open world and claims to have no loading screens.

To wrap up their conference, EA showed gameplay footage for Star Wars: Battlefront. A new game mode where the Empire must escort AT-AT Walkers was played. Developers mentioned different player sized battles, singleplayer and splitscreen coop, and stressed the detail put into the battlegrounds. Players will also be able again to assume the heroes of their faction and fight across the battlefield.

Conference Ranking: B
EA's conference was saturated with sports games and they seemed to be looking for things to fill the time. A few games were talked about that weren't even shown or played. However, the excitement for Star Wars Battlefront alone excited the crowd, and the trailer for Mirror's Edge Catalyst as well as a visit by soccer player Pele managed to leave the fans pleased with EA's catalog.

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