E3 2015: EA Press Event Livestream, Highlights, and Announcements
- The show opens on someone scrolling through screens of alien landscapes, then travelling through space. It's a new Mass Effect. Mass Effect Andromeda. Holiday 2016 release.
- EA takes to the stage, to discuss the nature of play. There will be a dozen new experiences to share. We'll see three brand new IPs, a sporting legend, Mirror's Edge and of course Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Straight into a Need For Speed trailer. All rain slicked streets, breakneck speeds, police chases and car-totalling crashes. "How will they remember you?"
- Marcus Nilsson is on-stage now, to give us a rundown of this New Need For Speed experience. Customisation and tuning Speed, Style, Build, Crew and Outlaw. Coming November 3rd 2015.
- Live action footage, labelled as pre-alpha, goes seamlessly into car customisation. It looks' incredible. Minute detailing on the car's bodywork. And then you're on the road.
- The gameplay also looks incredible. Racing over nighttime highways and backstreets, avoiding the police, whilst attempting to impress your fellow racers. If they can maintain this level of polish on the finished console builds then I'll be impressed.
- Bioware have come along to talk about the next expansion to their Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic - Knights of the Fallen Empire. A story centered on two brothers. They show off a very cool CG trailer.
- Patrick Soderlund, EVP at EA Studios, enters to talk about the importance of betas and playtests. The involvement of the gaming community to help make their games better.
- New IP introduced called Unravel. The game's creative director Martin Sahlin talks about how he came up with idea on a family holiday. Players will control a little red chap made of wool called Yarnie, as he moves around, he unravels. Along the way players will be hounded by wildlife, weather and even traffic. It's a cute little side-scrolling platformer. No word on a release date though.
- That Top Gun music kicks in again and we're looking at a guy in a zombie super-hero costume parading around on stage. He certainly is on a highway to a danger zone. Thankfully he's ushered off by someone from the Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 development team.
- There's a lengthy gameplay demo of Graveyard Ops from the development team, showing off six new classes (from past, present and future). Once that's done they talk about features asked for by the game's community, and that they've added solo and split-screen play, against AI opponents.
- Out in Spring 2016, players of the previous game will be able to carry over their unlocks to this sequel and the team is promising a stream of free, additional content after launch. The presentation ends with a montage of environments and characters. It looks like chaotic, family-friendly fun. When did zombies become family-friendly?
- EA have to talk about sports, of course. So we get videos and information about NHL 2016 and Rory McIlroy PGA Tour from Matt Bilby, Group GM from EA Sports. They was an emphasis on innovation. Basically new sports games are better than they were last year. That's the takeaway.
- Then there's a segment with Sean O'Brien, Executive Producer on NBA Live 2016, and a guy calling himself TheHoopGawd. I think he's a community lynchpin. It either wasn't made clear, or I missed something. They demonstrated a phone app (GameFaceHD) that can be used to put your face in the game - it seemed to work pretty well, but who knpws what it'll be like in real life. NBA Live 2016 will be released on September 29th, with the app made available beforehand. New trailer was shown, it looked like basketball. Clearly a lot of work is being done on naturalistic animation.
- Finally the sports stuff is over, and we're on to... mobile. Good times. Big numbers are shown on screen, which essentially translated to money for EA. They announce Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, but don't really explain what it entails. It's a massive game, spanning the entire Star Wars universe, but that's all that was really revealed. You'll see it on an app store near you.
- Mike Rasmussen comes out to talk about a new mobile game featuring Dispicable Me's minions, called Minion's Paradise. It looks like a fairly standard mobile game, with a decent amount of humour injected. The Minions are funny, you can't get away from that. But mobile games don't really pump me up.
- You build up a little holiday resort for your minions, and they get up to high-jinx. That's about it. Could be entertaining in small doses. Probably more one for the kids. Let's be honest.
- And we're back to sport again. That sporting legend they mentioned earlier? It's Pele. He has come on stage to talk to FIFA 2016's David Rutter. They're sitting on stools, and Pele is recounting the time he coined the phrase "the beautiful game". Legend or not, I'm not here for soccer talk. Show me some games.
- There's some talk about the next FIFA game, for 2016. Again, it's better than last year. More control in all three areas of the pitch, defense, midfield and up-front. And they've finally put some females in the game. About time. The trailer plays, "Play Beautiful". Like Pele said.
- Finally back to something interesting, Sara Jansson is here to talk about Mirror's Edge Catalyst. The way it's described it sounds like a Mirror's Edge reboot, something of an origin story for Faith. She is the catalyst for change in a city with no freedom or privacy, ruled by corporations. It was also revealed that it will take place in an open-world. There will be no levels or loading. A completely free-roaming parkour experience. It looks impressive.
- The in-engine (Frostbite) trailer looks good, but doesn't really show any straight gamplay, it jumped all over the place and showed a bunch of what looked like cut-scenes (if they were in-engine). It would have been nice to see a gameplay demo, but it is playable on the show floor. Definitely worth checking out, if you have the chance. Peter.
- And now we're back to the sport again! I'm not sure why EA couldn't have just lumped all the sports talk into one single segment. At the beginning. Instead of breaking up the pace of their show. Seann Grady takes to the stage to talk about Madden NFL 2016. He seems keen to emphasise the fantasy football aspect. Multi-part drafts and you can play with your drafted team solo or online. Of course, things are better than last year. More ways to throw and catch the ball. More control, as has been the theme in all the sports games shown so far.
- It appears that the stream cut out at this point. It wasn't just me. Mine came back in just in time to hear Peter Moore introducing Star Wars: Battlefront. Great timing EA. When the gameplay demonstration begins, you can see why they left this until the end. It's not been the best show in my opinion.
- The 'Walker Assault' takes place on Hoth, starting in the icy tunnels of the Rebel base. We get to see the battle from both Rebel and Empire perspectives. It looks and sounds just like Star Wars. All the expected Star Wars on Hoth trappings are there. X-Wings; TIE fighters; Snowspeeders; AT-ATs; AT-STs. There's a portion of the video showing off the dogfighting in snowy canyons, and a Snowspeeder taking down one of the hulking four-legged walkers with the traditional cable-wrapped-around-the-legs.
- The trailer wraps up with a be-jetpacked Rodian getting spooked by Darth Vader, introduces Luke Skywalker to the fray who works his way to met his father (spoiler) lightsaber to lightsaber. As they clash, the video ends and that classic theme tune kicks in. Anyone who was concerned about the gameplay can rest easy, but it's not exactly a wealth of new information. Luke Skywalker was a given surely.
- With that the EA press conference is over. Easily dominated by Star Wars: Battlefront. Other highlights included the new Mass Effect teaser, as well as the pre-alpha gameplay of Need For Speed and Mirror's Edge Catalyst's premiere trailer. I can do without sports and mobile games. Maybe you're different. Disagree with me in the comments. I dare you.
EA’s E3 2015 Press Briefing will be taking place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on June 15 at 1:00 PM Pacific Time.
Look to Twitch at that time on that date for new announcements concerning Star Wars: Battlefront, Need for Speed, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, EA’s annual sports franchises and more. You’ll also be able to tune in right here and catch a recap of the Briefing’s highlights once it’s over.
Eoin has been gaming for twenty-five years, worries he might be getting a little too old for it all, but hopes that he isn't. In the midst of an effort to find a future doing something he loves, he has taken to writing about his one enduring passion - video games.
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