E3: EA's Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, & Old Republic
EA Games didn’t go out of its way to wow E3 attendees with announcements of new titles during its media briefing today, but it showed off plenty of footage and demos that gamers have been salivating to get better glimpses of. Games like Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, FIFA 12, Star Wars: The Old Republic, SSX, Need for Speed: The Run, and more.
There can be no doubt that Battlefield 3 was EA’s marquee title, and everyone in the industry knows why: Electronic Arts finally has a wargame title that’s worthy of going head-to-head against Activision’s juggernaut, the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise. The developers of DICE set E3 abuzz with an 8-minute live demo of a single-player level featuring an ultra-realistic battle between tanks on an enormous battlefield. Instead of the game’s new trailer, I’ve chosen to embed this demo above. I daresay this one may have generated a bit more audience excitement than the Modern Warfare 3 demo this morning at the Xbox press conference (which was also very impressive).
Oh, and Battlefield 3‘s release date was announced: October 28th. That’s about 2 weeks before Modern Warfare 3.
BioWare showed off some new gameplay from Mass Effect 3 — an Earth-bound level featuring a battle between Shepherd’s allies and a massive Reaper. They also announced the game’s release date as March 9th, 2012. That’s a bit later than originally planned; we were first told it would hit this coming November. They showed off a new cinematic trailer as well.
BioWare also performed what’s become an annual E3 event for them: talking up Star Wars: The Old Republic and the unforeseen complexities involved in creating it, and showing off a new pre-rendered CGI trailer. The trailers are always awesome — usually far better than anything we saw in the prequel trilogy — but showing off some in-game footage would have been nice. You know, just so we know the game is still being worked on. Oh, and this year’s trailer actually featured quite a bit of recycled footage from previous years’ trailers. Bummer.
Need for Speed: The Run got an impressive trailer and demo, where we learned for the first time that this will be the first-ever Need for Speed title where the driver will occasionally exit the car to engage in foot chases. The Run is probably the most cinematic and dramatic entry in the series, since it includes an actual story about a once-in-a-lifetime, illegal cross-country race. I was impressed by the edge-of-your-seat thrills this one offered, and I’m not much of a racing fan.
A brand new IP was introduced called Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning, with some impressive names attached to it. This fantasy action/RPG boasts bestselling author R.A. Salvatore as the creator of its universe and lore, with artwork and designs by comic book icon Todd McFarlane. The game strikes me as more than a little similar to Fable in look and feel, but you should watch the trailer above and judge for yourself. It’s scheduled to arrive early next year.
Insomniac Games — the folks behind the Resistance franchise — formally announced Overstrike, an action title featuring a unique 4-member team. Each member of this misfit team has a distinct personality and a wildly different skill set. As you can see from the trailer, the game has a cheeky, heightened reality vibe to it, and a sense of humor about itself. Looks like fun.
One announcement that got an interesting reaction was — get this — for a Facebook game. It probably helped that the game in question is one of the most popular simulation franchises fo all time. The Sims is coming to Facebook in a game created specifically for the Facebook platform. It’s called The Sims Social.
There was also footage shown from the new SSX, FIFA 12, Madden 12, NCAA Football 12, NHL 12, and more. Check out the screenshots below.