E3 2012: EA Press Conference Summary

E3 2012: News from EA

At 1 pm PST, EA is holding their E3 2012 Press Conference.  Live blogging of the press conference can be found on our sister site, All That Gaming Stuff, here.  Check back later today for a summary of the conference and the latest news from EA!

[UPDATE: June 5th]

Thanks to those of you that followed along with our live blog at All That Gaming Stuff yesterday.  For those of you that didn’t get a chance to follow along, and don’t have an hour to watch a press conference which may or may not freeze, given the number of page views, we’ve created a handy summary for you here.  Read below the jump for the games and news announced, links to trailers and game play footage, and more!

The conference opened with footage from Dead Space 3. There are new locations, characters, and a deep space mode.  We were impressed with the ability to drop-in and drop-out of co-op (multi-player) mode. For those of you with friends who always seem to show up late, leave early, or have other things going on while you’re gaming, this seems like a perfect option.

Madden NFL 13  is now powered by infinity engine physics for better run-time play. Every hit will affect game play, making the whole game more lifelike. There have been upgrades to the game to take into better account the size of players and interactions.  There is a new “connected careers” mode, basically adding social integration to the game (color me surprised.) Leagues will be formed of up to thirty of your friends.  You can play as a player, coach, etc. and basically create one online career.  Each career has different goals. It appears that the only way to start a new career is to “retire” your current character, which is kind of a bummer.  Each league will have its own twitter feed. The career mode won’t just be in game, but will be a separate app on a computer, tablet, or smart phone.

SimCity Social on facebook plus an all new SimCity for PC was announced. Your Sim City…city…will be dynamically connected to other players’ Sim Cities online, and each city’s management choices will have an impact on other nearby cities.  It will be interesting to see how that plays out, and if you really want your friend’s virtual city near your own.

Battlefield 3 – A new membership for Battlefield 3  was announced.  There is now Premium access, which will cost $99 and was available as soon as the press conference began on PS3.  It will be available for xBox next week.  It includes all five expansion packs for free, including twenty more weapons and ten new vehicles (the tank on the trailer was awesome!)  Premium membership includes access  two weeks early to four new expansion packs: Close Quarters, Armored Kill, Aftermath (Dec 2012) and End Game ( March 2013).  There are also new dog tags (yay?), new assignments, and new game modes.

Star Wars: Old Republic – According to the representatives, they’ll be adding new content and refining content rapidly, including pvp warzones, companion characters, new species, increased level caps, and Makeb, a whole new planet.  Players will be able to play up to Level 15 for free in July.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter– game is going to tie into real places, real events, and real-life hotspots.  When it is released on October 23rd of this year, you will be able to choose between twelve different factions from around the world.  We’re very interested to see if the game can stay current, or keep to “tried and true” hot spots in our world. It also seems like a great candidate for staged events.  The graphics seem very crisp and clear, with weapon, opponents, and amount of available ammo being easy to see.

EA announced a new partnership between EA Sports and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship.)

Need for Speed Most Wanted – Looks like your typical movie chase scene/auto racing. The premise is to become the “most wanted.” As expected, it’s another way to add social media into a game.  Some of the ways to become most wanted include top speeds, biggest jumps, best score of the day, etc.  You earn “speed points” to move up the list and become “most wanted” among your friends.  The portion of the demo where the racer passed “Starcups Coffee” was a nice touch, given how common product placement is become in games.  We weren’t so impressed with the background sounds, especially the constant sirens following the driver, which were annoying in a short demo, let alone while playing.  The “cost to state” at the bottom of the screen tracks your property damage.  We’re not sure if that gains you points towards your most wanted status, though.  The game is launching October 30th of this year.

Crysis 3 – The conference included a video of concept art and a demo of the game.  There will be seven regions of gameplay. The background music, to be honest, seemed very stereotypical and got in the way of paying attention to the game. The graphics are decent, though. We enjoyed the character dialogue and interaction with your surroundings, and the statistics screen of your character on the right-hand side is useful without being intrusive.  There was a LOT of footage of things being blown up.  As realists, we had a bit of issues with the game’s plot. Why was an entire dam blown up, releasing water everywhere?  The game is launching in February of 2013.


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