One of the world's biggest video game publishers, Electronic Arts (EA) is a regular feature at E3, the world's biggest gaming event. This year its press conference showed off a host of games, some closer to release than others. CEO Andrew Wilson stated that everything on display will be out either this year or the next, making it a rather immediate look of things to come. It's a far cry from most announcements that see games shipping long after. Here is what was important from EA's E3 2015 event.
1. A new Mass Effect game is in the works
This started off the show, a Johnny Cash tune playing while the series' signature futuristic 70s aesthetic was shown off in a cinematic trailer. Bioware, the developer of the series claims you will play a human, male or female, the character you saw in the trailer is not actually you. Along with this, you'll explore a new galaxy named Andromeda, pilot the series' hallmark Mako tank, meet and fight alongside a new team of adventurers too. The trailer looked stunning and the game is expect in holiday 2016.
2. Need for Speed is out November 3
EA showed off a generous amount of pre-alpha footage of the latest entry in its seminal racing franchise. Borrowing extensively from past hits like Need for Speed: Underground, and movies like Fast and the Furious, the next Need for Speed looks like the perfect fuel for street racing dreams. But in a world replete with racers such as Forza Horizon 2, Driveclub, and Project CARS to name a few, is NFS still relevant? Judging by the reaction to what EA showed off, we sure hope so.
3. Unravel is an indie game from EA
Presented by a rather nervous developer, this part of EA's event displayed the more vulnerable side of creators, what with him almost breaking down while explaining a game that is undoubtedly close to his heart. Unravel is a game where you don the role of a creature made of yarn that is unravelled as it brings people closer together. Stellar theme aside, the poignant trailer had fantastic art-direction and showed off a fair chunk of platforming gameplay that looked rather solid. Developed by a 14-person team in Norway, it's surprising that EA picked up the publishing duties for Unravel. Nonetheless, it was quite possibly the star of the show.
4. Star Wars Battlefront is very real and very near
At the end, EA presented PS4 footage of large scale battle from Star Wars Battlefront. Not only did it look suitably epic but it was backed up by some tremendous sound design and effects that rival what the films were capable of. Throw in a fantastic amount of detail in terms of visuals and you have one of the more technically proficient games on the show floor. Pity that it's got no single-player campaign though.
5. Mirror's Edge Catalyst gameplay
The latest in EA's first-person parkour series looked the part what with retaining the same stylised look that made the first game unique. It's an origin story of Faith, the protagonist from Mirror's Edge and how she shines light on a seemingly squeaky clean city's sinister secrets where your personal data is not your own. The fact that it is has no loading screens and a free roaming open world (perhaps inspired by Dying Light?) piqued our interest in Catalyst. Throw in a lack of gunplay, with a focus on melee and free-running, and we have a title we are looking forward to on February 23, 2016.
6. Never say "let's talk mobile" at a core gaming conference
The audience at EA's event were in for a shock as the company spent a fair bit of time discussing its mobile games. Mostly its tie up with Despicable Me creators Illumination Entertainment for a game entitled Minions Paradise, which seemed like The Sims skinned with minions from the Despicable Me movies. Odd choice of things to present given that E3 is known for its focus on PC and console games rather than mobile.
7. Let's talk about sports
While we yearn for the day EA decides to grace us with a cricket game based on the World Cup or IPL, we had to make do with the ramblings of football legend Pelé. Not only was what he said incomprehensible, it just served to take away time from FIFA 16 which has a host of new features such as no touch dribbling, on screen controls to help newcomers, and female players.