An armchair view of E3 2010: Electronic Arts

EA Conference: June 14th 10:00pm GMT

Predictions going in: no real big surprises expected from EA. Mass Effect 3 is a given and perhaps something from Repsawn Entertainment.

  • While waiting for the official beginning we are subjected to music including Fallout Boy’s ‘Thanks For the Memories’ and songs about doing things in spite of others. Clever jabs at those who shall not be named, I wonder.
  • Start is delayed ten minutes, listeners get to hear an announcer explaining safety procedures to the audience should the building spontaneously catch fire for no reason.
  • It begins! A code 6. Whatever that is. Lots of fast cops, sorry, ‘Speed Enforcers’ chasing faster cars, it can only be…Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.
  • Guy on stage looks nervous, don’t think he even introduced himself hence no name. I’ll just go with Guy. Guy is talking about Hot Pursuit, zoning out again because it’s cars related. He’s going head-to-head with his pretend rival, with him playing as a cop and the rival as a racer.
  • They left in the loading screen, Guy mumbles about it being left in. It’s the Acorn Antiques of E3 press conferences. Gameplay seems fast and aggressive for what it’s worth. Guy gets busted. When he speaks is he reading from an auto-cue that’s several meters in the air? Either way he’s gone.
  • John Complicatedsurname (Riccitiello) steps on stage to formally introduce everyone to EA at E3. He introduces Dead Space 2 and Steve Papoutsis takes the stage.
  • Concept art shows that it is set on a world and Issac has a new range of cutting tools. A live gameplay demo follows. He’s attacked by a large Necromorph that has some kind of mutant babies as helpers. Numerous weapons are displayed, along with face slashing gore. Not sure if these things I’m assuming are ‘scares’ in this demo are meant as such as they are all predictable and not in the slightest bit scary. Overall not impressed.
  • Demo cuts off abruptly, the rest will be shown at the Sony conference. It isn’t out till next year either way.
  • And now we move onto the “FPS shooter genre” – does Steve not know what the ‘S’ stands for? In other words: it’s time to show off Call of Honor Medal of Duty. I mean Medal of Honor. And it’s leaving WWII! Finally! The Nazis will be so happy.
  • A multi-player demo on the stage with 24 people playing at once with all of them up there. Apparently it’s all about close combat, tight alleyways and so on to deter camping among other things. Because you can’t camp around a blind corner. Of course not.
  • Sadly with all 24 screens appearing at once and only occasionally focusing on one, it’s hard to tell what it’s really like other than to say that if you only caught a few seconds you’d need to do a double take to make sure it wasn’t Modern Warfare 2. For all the talk of being up close and personal, there were also quite a few big open areas…
  • The beta goes live on June 21st and this announcement was followed by a trailer that for some reason used music from Transformers 2.
  • A lady on stage now reveals Gun Club for EA. Members receive early access to news, events, blah-blah, U-Play clone. ‘I Like Guns’ by Steve Lee plays. Cringe worthy. When it ends no one claps. Not surprised.
  • This segment ends with a sneak peak at an expansion pack for Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam.
  • Peter Moore takes the stage to talk about EA Sports related things. Starting to zone out again. I’ve been listening for a few minutes and can’t really commentate on what was said since it was largely white noise to me. Something about Strikeforce and another similar title to blatantly compete with the UFC Undisputed games.
  • Live Broadcast shown by a terrible TV ad style trailer for…broadcasting live. So called live commentators as well…how would that work? Commentator #1: “And he’s landed a terrific punch and…oh, oh, his opponent is lagging. Wait! The connection was lost! What do you make of that, Bill?” Commentator #2: “We all know he rage quit, Tom. We all know it and we’re disgusted.”
  • The conversation moves on to interactive fitness. Specifically EA Sports Active 2. Winner of most innovative title ever. Yet another awful trailer, also showing an add-on heart rate tracker and website to enter and track data on for release in November. For some reason this game gets a (brief) applause.
  • If that isn’t enough there has to then be an on stage demo of the game in action. Interesting stuff. Where did I put my DS? Shows the Wii, PS3 and Kinect versions all at once. The reaction time for the Kinect version seems very off and he was diving about unnecessarily compared to on-screen prompts.
  • Peter is back and EA Sports’ big finish is the new Madden game. Back to the DS. Yet another terrible advert for a game. Then more bad on screen banter all of which is over my head since I know nothing about American Football.
  • With Moore gone, someone comes on to philosophise about free will…which is the incredibly pretentious way of introducing Sims 3 and the ambitions expansion. A lot of tedious talk about Sims living out their ‘lives’ and how unpredictable they are. Going on far too long but eventually gets to releasing the game onto consoles. If that isn’t enough there’s then a long and boring trailer.
  • Next is EA partners and their games. First up is Crysis 2 and the reason for the 3D glasses handed out to the crowd is probably about to be revealed.
  • Along with some concept art and a brief overview, it’s made note of that the enemy AI is ‘deadly’. Some live gameplay follows of fairly generic FPS action at first and the visuals aren’t amazing, but it does pick up once the various suit functions are put to good use and larger enemies appear.
  • After that gameplay, the audience is told to put on their glasses and a 3D trailer plays. This year Crysis 2 will be the only PC, PS3 and Xbox360 game that can be played in 3D.
  • Look out! Cliffy B is back and this time for Bulletstorm. It’ll be out in February next year. Crazy chat about ‘blood symphony’ (including the first bad language at E3, from a lady no less) being the perfect analogy for the game, preceding some gameplay.
  • The game has some nice visuals but otherwise seems like every other standard FPS. Oh, until the overused foot kicking started – now it just seems really, really tacky. Terrible writing and voice acting: “You scared the dick off me!” This is an 18+ game for a 14 year old. ‘Fire in the Hole’ quite literally. No one laughed.
  • At the big finish of the gameplay for Bulletstorm, EA’s official live stream died along with (it seems) everyone’s connection in the actual presentation room.
  • Got back to find The Old Republic being shown (however I did miss a bit). Each player gets their own ship which acts as their home. This news was followed by PVP details because they apparently matter most and then a trailer (cinematic only) which was good fun.
  • That is it, or so he says. Get the impression there’ll be something other than this lovefest for developers working with EA. Uh? …Nope, that really is it.

Just like that, it was over. Very surprising that EA were so open and had no real surprises. It’s a pity that Respawn couldn’t even put forward a hint at what they might be working on now, but with things happening so fast I guess that was inevitable. While by the numbers, that isn’t to say EA isn’t in a strong position moving forwards, but as far as E3 conferences go it will be pretty easy to beat.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Written by Ian D

Misanthropic git. Dislikes: Most things. Likes: Obscure references.

Leave a Reply