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EA press conference at E3 shows off prototypes, upcoming games

updated 04:53 pm EDT, Mon June 9, 2014

Company demos Battlefield: Hardline, Mirror's Edge 2, sports games and Dragon Age: Inquisition

Electronic Arts (EA) CEO Andrew Wilson came on stage during the company's press conference at E3 to show off some of the projects that EA is bringing to next generation consoles soon, as well as in the longer-term future. Games including Battlefield: Hardline and Dragon Age: Inquisition were displayed, that are due out within the year, but also future projects such as Mirror's Edge 2 and teaser information from Bioware and Criterion.

Wilson thanked fans of EA for giving feedback on their titles at the start. He said that the company looks to user feedback to help shape their games. "We embrace the open and honest dialogue," said Wilson.

The event kicked off with Dragon Age: Inquisition, showing off some of the detailed worlds rendered using the Frostbite 3 engine. Some information was given on the combat of the game, and the characters that players will be able to control. On top of being able to jump into each one to control their actions, the game will also make use of a tactical approach to cut time out as a factor.

The Sims 4 saw details released on the new ability to control a Sim's heart. Actions will now influences emotions and personalities, but will also aid in defining personality traits. Other user-created Sims will also be able to be pulled into another world. The game is expected to be released September 2.

A large chunk of the presentation was spent on the sports titles that EA is planning. The new UFC game, which is coming out this month, will feature Bruce Lee as a character. Footage of a bout between Lee and B.J. Penn was displayed, giving some instances were skills could be used to pull off cage maneuvers. The next NHL game is said to have everything change in it from previous games. From the physics of all 12 players on the ice and the puck, to the level of detail in the characters and venues, the team has taken on a new approach for next-generation systems.

Madden's newest version, which will release August 26, is looking to change how defense is approached to add more fun for players. From the camera position being changed to the ability to break out of holds, more options have been given to make that defensive side feel more important. A new tackle cone has been added as well, giving players more precision control, as well as the ability to pull off skilled moves.

FIFA has been refined to add more of a feel to the series from the way the crowds and stadium plays to the elements of gameplay itself. Players in the game will now have memories based on the events of the match. The ball will now have new physics and control methods. Aspects of the field have also been improved, with sounds of the ball hitting the frame, corner flags bending to contact, and turf retaining footprints and tears from slides.

Small peeks were given from studios such as Dice, Bioware, Criterion and Tiburon. Dice had a teaser for the new Star Wars Battlefront title. No real information was given other than the developers talking about how faithful they would try to be to the series. More information on the title would be available in the spring of 2015. Bioware teased that they are working on a new Mass Effect game, showing off some of the assets that were being created. The studio is also working on a new intellectual property (IP) title, but didn't give many details.

Criterion is taking the love of cars and crashes from the Burnout series to a new project. The game will draw influences from action sports and YouTube videos to create a first-person experience across a number of vehicles. Players will be able to drive cars, fly in helicopters, go off jumps in ATVs and even drop from the sky in wing suits. To keep the action going, vehicles can be jumped to on the fly.

Tiburon showed off some progress on the state of the new PGA Tour game, letting players see just the kind of development the studio is pushing for. As the game will make use of the Frostbite 3 engine, some other things have been brought to the title. Courses will be fully rendered, with animals on the grounds. However, a full war zone can break out in the middle of a green or a battleship can crash into the course. The "golf without limits" title is due out next spring.

A number items were brought up about Mirror's Edge 2, which was shown off in some very rough pre-production footage. Elements of the game are being redefined, but retaining a sense of elegance and attitude. Parkour specialists were brought in to help make the game feel right in its movements. Combat is being built with the move set in mind, allowing for tight, controlled hits and sounds to match them. Gameplay will allow for multiple routes based on the skill of the player, and the risks they choose to take.

The star of the presentation was Battlefield: Hardline. An example of the 32-player matches to come from the new cops-versus-criminals game was shown, in a heist scenario that played out in the streets of Los Angeles. Criminals will have to successfully rob an armored truck and survive the police long enough to get away. As it expected with Battlefield titles, there was destruction a-plenty in the brief demo. At one point, a helicopter was shot out of the sky -- only to crash into a crane that would tear into two skyscrapers as it collapsed.

Another announcement on the game, scheduled to release on October 21, was that it was going into beta today. Windows and Playstation 4 players could sign up for the beta on a first-come, first-served basis, as it was launched at the end of the press conference. Owners of Battlefield 4 for Playstation 4 can go to the game and download the Hardline beta under "additional content."

by MacNN Staff



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