If we could sum up this year's EA presser in just one word it would probably be zzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZ.
We're not saying that it was boring, it's just...no...wait...that's exactly what we're saying. We know EA is usually businesslike and swiftly corporate and charges through a hefty roster, but where was the gameplay footage this time? And why was fresh CEO Andrew Wilson styled like a slightly futuristic, possibly vampiric, super villain?
What a waste of time.
Star Wars: Battlefront is still in alpha. The next Mass Effect title is... happening, slowly. Need For Speed isn't turning up this year. Hennig's Star Wars Project didn't make an appearance. And Mirror's Edge barely had the decency to show us any gameplay, instead cutting to a tedious jargon-fuelled nonsensical presentation about how FIFA plans to bring "emotional intelligence" to the same game we've been playing for years.
Hardline looks mint, though. Sure, it's heavily reminiscent of previous series games and PayDay, but it looks like a ton of fun. The beta was a masterstroke, as was the community announcement.
And that's it.
See you next year.
Wow, there were some painful moments during this one. Right from the off Andrew Wilson made me uncomfortable with his greasy lapels and literally applauding himself. I was seriously drifting off through the early stages of the presser.
The Mass Effect piece didn't go into any details other than they've listened to fan feedback about asking for something new, indicating that maybe we won't be getting a prequel after all, instead something set many years after ME3.
Criterion's unnamed reveal, showed only ambitions and the most basic of game images. But we know they're planning (presumably a racer?) involving ATVs, jet skis, planes and more. There seemed to be little more than concept footage, so we'll get excited when we hear more. A word of warning though, Criterion have downsized to a very small dev team, so this may not be a big budget title.
Madden NFL 15 looks set to give the series a next-gen shakeup with new camera angles and extensive options for offense and defence. Blocking now lets you choose which way to drag your opposite number which could open up new paths for teammates. There are new tackle choices too including all-or-nothing aggressive smashes or low dives to take a runner at the legs. My Madden history usually involves playing one of them every few years. But it looks like this year might be worth a look if these changes turn out for the best.
Mirror's Edge is one of my most eagerly awaited EA games, but Dice showed us very little today. Hopefully the combat will have more depth than the original as it looked a little familiar. I love the new corner-swing we saw with the pipe though.
Battlefield: Hardline absolutely rocked it for me. I must have been mad to think that the cops vs. robbers makeover would result in smaller scale matches. The action over just one match began sub-street level before tearing through buildings, a street chase on a motorcycle, smashing cranes down skyscrapers before climbing another and attempting to escape via choppers.
It was packed with neat effects too, everything from classic cop car tire squeals under the overpass, to money appearing from a robbers bag when he was shot in the back. I've no idea what the single-player is going to be like, but Dice look like they're onto another multiplayer winner. Naturally, we'll be judging them harshly after the rather rushed launch of the last game though.
Not the best presser EA have ever had, but Madden has certainly caught my interest and I'm desperately trying to get signed into PSN right now so I can get on the Battlefield: Hardline beta.
EA did something really sneaky this year...instead of doing all of their sporty bits in one big clump, they split them up and spread them out so we couldn't get a decent nap going.
After a positive start with Star Wars: Battlefront, it quickly became apparent that dev demos were the order of the day and that gameplay would be scarcer than wampa sightings. Big announcements such as the Mass Effect reveal, the first sighting of Mirror's Edge 2 since this time last year, and Criterion's crazily ambitious pile for vehicular ridiculousness were all rushed through to make time for speeches on the emotions of different types of football. Now, I love sports games, I really do, but those sections were utter bollocks (crap if you're an American reader) and were far too long.
Hardline looked really entertaining, like the Heat game we've always wanted. Payday 2 deserves credit for really highlighting how much fun you can have playing virtual cops and robbers, ut this was something else. Battlefield's sound design always impresses me, and this was no different, adding to maelstrom of exploding concrete and shattering glass. It looks like a lot of fun and the beta announcement was the biggest mic-drop moment of the day...without a mic-drop.
The most interesting thing about the whole show, though, was probably the appearance of Sony's Adam Boyes, which speaks to how interminably boring that presser was, but points towards an interesting battle between the platform holders. MS have their deals with Call of Duty and Activision, Sony and the PS4 are quickly becoming regular bedfellows with EA and Battlefield. And we do so love a bit of competition.
But yeah, after the stacks of gameplay in Microsoft's presser, I want the last hour back please EA.
Oh, EA. For every moment that had my eyes light up with interest, you had to harp on about emotions. And sports. Then emotions IN sports. Or do a god awful presentation for The Sims 4. Sure, it wasn't Aimed at someone like myself, but when the audience watch is primarily made up of people like myself then YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. Then there was the UFC presentation, and I must admit - I really didn't see what was such an improvement over Undisputed 3. He'll, even the submission mini-game as near enough the same thing THQ and Yukes did previously. At least Bruce Lee kicked a guy. Right in the kisser.
Thankfully, there were some moments of note that did catch my attention. Seeing Dragon Age: Inquisition. And specifically the tactical view, raised my expectations, and despite the fact we only saw a few prototype environments the Mass Effect teaser got me utterly pumped for what was said to be a "new" experience in a new part of the galaxy. That news was music to my ears, as it means we'll be getting a new story with new discoveries to be made.
Elsewhere, Criterion's new project has the potential to be amazing, so long as the transitions from one mode of crashable transport to the other is as seamless as possible, but it was the inclusion of Mirror's Edge that was the true highlight of the pressed for me. Yes, it's a work in progress that we won't see for some time, but it's looking good even at this stage, and I'm not even worried about the combat. The. Again, I liked the close-quarters stuff in the first game. Not the gunplay though. Never the gunplay.
The finish with Hardline had me worried though, as it all appeared a little too scripted instead being a more open affair to plan getaways and chokepoints. Thankfully, the beta (genius move launching it today, EA) will hopefully resolve any lingering issues I have, but I do hope the multiplayer is more than a path for players to follow.
Also, never bring those Woo-girls back again, EA. Ever.
@dealspwn Can't figure if the EA presentation was poor or the MS one set the bar too high.
— JD64 (@_JD64) June 9, 2014
— Aaron Seddon (@aseddon130) June 9, 2014
@Dealspwn Poor. Hardline looks like DLC for Bf4, Not enough Bfront. Bring on Ubisoft, i want me some Fc4.
— Ben Kerry (@iShotgunBlues) June 9, 2014
@Dealspwn That was it? Only thing I enjoyed was Battlefield. I hope they don't fail us.
— Fancy Poodle (@WordsFromPrism) June 9, 2014
Remember to join us for Ubisoft's presser, up next!