Continuing our coverage of E3 2014, here’s everything that EA announced at its annual press conference on Monday.
Star Wars: Battlefront
EA gave attendees a look at “early in-game footage” for Star Wars: Battlefront, before promising more details in “spring 2015”
A short mini-documentary showed how developer DICE has been examining the original Lucasfilm assets and locations from the Star Wars movies to maintain authenticity in its next video game.
It’s too soon to make any real comment on the game, but it shows EA is at least interested in preserving the heart of the Star Wars franchise.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition is the latest in Bioware’s high-fantasy epic franchise. All-new gameplay footage showed the player taking on – yes, you guessed it – a huge mythical dragon with other party members. Combat was all in real-time, with some impressive lighting effects for both magic and fire.
Four warriors were fighting in the battle simultaneously and the voice-acting layered on top was performed well. EA then showed a CG trailer introducing the main heroes – each of them was clearly geared towards a different playstyle, creating a balanced group of characters.
Two new BioWare titles: Mass Effect (4?) and a new IP
BioWare teased an upcoming game in the Mass Effect franchise that will take players “somewhere new.”
“We think fans of the series are going tone surprised at just how far we’re going,” the developers said in a video.
Meanwhile, BioWare’s team in Edmonton is working on a brand new IP with a physical world that’s meant to feel “real and alive.”
The Sims 4
You’ll control your Sims’ hearts for the first time in The Sims 4. You’ll be able to build personality profiles for your characters. A new Gallery feature will let you import other players’ Sims, complete with their personalities.
Look for the game to arrive on September 2.
Although FIFA and Madden claim most of the spotlight, EA is known for a number of sports-focused franchises. The NHL is certainly a popular one, with a dedicated fan base across the US and Canada.
NHL 15 promises to be a major reworking of the sports title, with more realistic physics for both the players and puck. It’s due out in September, and will of course be scrutinized by fans of the sport. Will it deliver? Based on the CG trailer EA showed, maybe – although it’s difficult to put much faith in a game without seeing some substantial gameplay footage first.
The new PGA Tour will offer both fantasy courses and more realistic courses.
A new IP from Criterion
EA showed off an early prototype of a new IP from Criterion that will put you in control of ATVs, helicopters, boats, wing-suits. Criterion is known for its Burnout action racing series – so while this is certainly in the same wheelhouse, it’s clear the developer is looking to branch out with a broader franchise.
Madden NFL 15
New defensive cameras make it easier to attack the offense. Defenders will also have control over which direction to push their opponents. The game is coming out for all major platforms on August 26.
Unlike most MOBAs, Dawngate is designed to have a “massive story arc” behind the arena gameplay. Here, EA is hoping to muscle in on the huge success garnered by League of Legends and DOTA 2. The publisher will need to fend off newcomer Heroes of the Storm too though – this is a genre that already feels a little overcrowded at the moment.
Mirror’s Edge 2
Mirror’s Edge is back. We got a fresh glimpse at the parkour-inspired title during EA’s press conference, with a few clips of early conceptual footage splintered in a mini-documentary.
Developer DICE said it’s worked on the number of moves available to Faith and wants to offer new, technically tougher routes for expert players. The combat has been retained – possibly the weakest part of the original game – with new punches, trips and takedowns. There wasn’t much in the way of in-game footage though. EA also refrained from giving a release date – it seems Mirror’s Edge 2 is still a way off being ready for store shelves.
FIFA 15 is designed to help you “feel the game” with improved visuals and player memories throughout the match. Players have access to new stutters and strides, as well as new ball-handling controls. Improvements to the stadium environments should also make the experience more realistic. Look for the game when it hits store shelves this Fall.
EA showed off Battlefield Hardline, which plays on a cops vs. robbers mode. The demo featured a 32-player heist matchup as cops fight off criminals. One team is tasked with grabbing the loot while the other works to prevent them, while enjoying the usual vehicles, mayhem and destruction that you’ve come to expect from Battlefield. Many things blew up.
The beta for Battlefield Hardline launches today. It’s a closed beta for PS4 and PC, so you’d better act fast if you want to sign up online. Battlefield 4 owners on PS4 can download the game directly from within the console interface.
(Additional reporting by Nick Summers)