Electronic Arts usually get straight down to business when it comes to their pressers, and we expect the same, swift roadmap from them this year too. They're going to have an enormous amount to talk about at this year's E3, but will there be any surprises in store?
I’m going to come out and say it – if EA turn up with something Mass Effect related, they win E3 in my eyes.
Seeing a bit more of Dragon Age: Inquisition would be cool, and seeing the progress on their UFC title will no doubt be impressive, but taking us back to the galaxy of biotics and stupid jellyfish is absolutely what I want. Hell, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with that desire. Otherwise, learning more about Battlefield: Hardline is certainly going to be high on my wishlist, as the Payday / Bad Boys combo is something I’m actually quite interested in seeing in action beyond a leaked promo reel.
Of course, there will be sports, and we’ll all be very impressed by the new advancements they’ve made in elbowing mechanics or something, but other than that, what do I really want to see? The Star Wars games that are in development – Battlefront 3 and Visceral’s effort. There’s a low probability of us seeing anything from the latter, but the former has been mentioned numerous times in recent months, and with the build-up of the new film it seems the perfect time to piggy-back on the hype.
Anticipated Highlight – Learning that in the next Mass Effect game, we still partner up with Garrus Vakarian who has calibrated a gun so much he turned it into a time machine, allowing him to appear anywhere / any time BioWare decide to go with. It‘s the perfect plot device – Garrus: Calibrated Time Cop.
Where's Battlefront? Seriously, EA, I'm looking to you for some Star Wars-related awesomeness at this year's E3. I'm expecting Andrew Wilson and Peter Moore to come galloping onto the stage and have a lightsaber duel before dishing out the roadmap for Star Wars' future in this industry. Wilson has already confirmed Battlefront will be there, fingers crossed it releases this year.
Elsewhere, EA will be touting Dragon Age: Inquisition heavily, especially now it's basically running without competition this winter since CDPR delayed The Witcher III. I'd love to hear some Mass Effect news emerge from EA's vaults, but if there is something shown, it'll won't be for a game releasing in 2014. I reckon we'll get a tease, and then something a little more meaty at Gamescom or *cringe* the VGAs.
There'll be Battlefield and Madden and FIFA and UFC, though I'm not sure NBA Live will be back. After dragging Kyrie Irving onstage last year, EA's allegedly resurgent basketball line flopped and faltered.
Mirror's Edge 2 would be a nice surprise, but I don't think it'll get much of a look-in, I'm more of the opinion that EA are going to spring a surprise or two with a couple of new IPs. We had Dead Space and Dragon Age and Mirror's Edge and Rock Band and Army of Two and plenty more last generation. It's time for some new faces.
Anticipated Highlight – The stage bursts into flames and Peter Molyneux emerges wearing devil horns to announce a proper reboot of Dungeon Keeper.
With new boy Andrew Wilson now sitting pretty in the big corner office, we could well be in for a very different EA media briefing this year. Smug old Johnny Riccitiello used to preside over a cavalcade of bored celebrities making embarrassing scripted jokes and chatting about tedious incremental updates to the same sports games we've been playing since time immemorial, accompanied by dubstep and brainless hooting from a crowd who'll literally applaud anything.
We loved every minute. It was the perfect time to catch up on correspondence and take a power nap, nodding off to sleep with "dynamic sidelines" and "lofted through-balls" as our lullaby.
Hopefully Wilson will do his best to prioritise developers and gameplay over quarterbacks and execs, but we can still expect sports to be a key focus. Zzzzzz...
...I'll wake up for Battlefield: Hardline, though. As a huge fan of Payday 2 and Bad Boys 2, EA's Big Christmas Shooter™ is pushing all my buttons. Dragon Age: Inquisition will naturally get centre stage too, followed by The Sims 4 and hopefully the mysterious Star Wars project overseen by Uncharted writer Amy Hennig. Fingers crossed.
This leaves Star Wars: Battlefront in an interesting position. Launching against both Call Of Duty and Battlefield might be a bridge too far despite the license, so we may well see some shiny gameplay followed by a Spring 2015 release date. Don't get me wrong, mind: I'd play it this Christmas.
Mass Effect 4, anyone? I wonder whether EA will want to focus on Dragon Age for the time being, but a teaser would whip the crowd into a frenzy at the very least. And not forgetting Mirror's Edge 2, which was cheekily teased last year yet immediately followed a total media blackout. Let's have it, EA. And give it Oculus Rift support just for the sheer nauseating hell of it.
Anticipated Highlight – Taking a power nap to prepare for the late-night Sony conference.