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Live E3 2010 Coverage – Electronic Arts Press Conference

In Videogames on June 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

EA is about to take the stage for their E3 2010 press conference.  Live coverage is about to begin right here, right now.  Remember to refresh for updating posts.2:09 PM – The lights are dimming, the show’s about to begin.  Everyone in the audience gets 3D glasses.  Fad ahoy!

2:10 PM – The show starts with a video for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, made by the fellows at Criterion who do the better racing series, Burnout.  If this is in 3D, its not broadcasting on the live feed.  They announce Need for Speed: Autolog, which is essentially an online gaming hub that connects friends and logs stats.  To show the gameplay, two players play the demo as a cop and a racer respectively.  There’s a long video before the race begins.  The gameplay certainly looks a little odd with the chase dynamics, but certainly something that could have a lot of potential.  The game looks very similar to previous Criterion Burnout titles, which is nothing but a good thing.  The game is slated for a November 16 release and features a playable demo on the floor.

2:17 PM – Here comes EA CEO John Riccitiello, welcoming the crowd to the show.  He cuts right to business, claiming that EA is going to be like “Sundance to the Academy Awards.”  Then we go straight to Dead Space 2.

2:18 PM – Dead Space 2 gets an E3 treatment starting with a recap of the series so far and some concept art.  Then we bust straight into a demo where the player begins fighting some crazy monster scorpion type thing.  After it runs away, a bunch of angry albino pygmies attack and it’s action city.  The gameplay looks much more frenetic than Dead Space.  The environments give a nice vacation from the cold steel settings of the first game, but the lack of light fails to really differentiate the two visually.  The demo ends with a cliffhanger that promises to carry over tomorrow at Sony’s press conferences.

2:25 PM – Here comes game number three, the return of Medal of Honor.  Medal of Honor basically does exactly what Battlefield did and jump onboard the Modern Warfare bandwagon.  They even went so far as to use Dice for the multiplayer.  With the oversaturation of the genre and Medal of Honor’s lack of relevance for the last 6 years, it’s hard to get excited about this, especially with EA Partners picking up the ashes of Infinity Ward with Respawn Entertainment.  The fact that this game has the same name as the original Medal of Honor, one of the best FPS games of all time, is an insult not just to fans of the series, but to the series’ creators and the FPS genre in general.  After the demo they announce the multiplayer beta release date of June 21.

2:33 PM – EA now announces Gun Club, an online community specific to EA that gives members a slew of features similar to XBL gold.  Gun Club seems exclusive to the FPS genre such as Medal of Honor and Battlefield.

2:35 PM – Now we get the brief teaser of Bad Company 2’s new DLC pack for Vietnam.  I thought Battlefield already did this 7 years ago.

2:36 PM – Next up is Peter Moore to present EA Sports MMA.  He announces that Fedor and Couture will be jointly featured on the cover of the title.  Moore then discuses the diversity of the MMA sport, differentiating the title from UFC Undisputed’s narrowly focused gameplay.

2:38 PM – Now Moore announces EA Sports Live Broadcast, another online gaming community designed for EA Sports games.  The service seems interesting but the description of the features only goes so far.  Understanding Live Broadcast will have to be a more hands on experience.  Moore explains that when you create your fighter in MMA and a hype video for your handle, you can get promoted through EA Sports’ servers and compete in live fights and tournaments broadcasted online.  EA Sports MMA has a slated release for October 19.

2:42 PM – Next up is EA Sports Active.  Active debuted at last year’s E3, and this year they announce Active 2, which will now be featured on all three consoles rather than just the Wii.  After a trailer we get demos on all three consoles.  The demo doesn’t show anything that hasn’t already been seen on the countless other fitness titles.  The 360 version of the game will use the new Kinect add-on for controller free gaming. The game is scheduld for a November 16 release.

2:47 PM – Moore comes back out to finish with Madden NFL 11.  Moore hypes 11 as the biggest evolution in Madden history.  Considering the drop in sales over the last four years with the franchise, Madden definitely needs to evolve.  The teaser promises changes in broadcast, play calling, gameplanning and presentation, promising to be quicker, faster and simpler.  Joe Montana comes out to showcase the new play calling system.  The new game flow feature alters gameplanning by grouping plays for situations to streamline efficiency.

2:55 PM – Peter Moore wraps up the EA Sports segment and now comes a presentation on Sims 3.  The segment begins by hyping the Sims 3 Ambitions.  The segment goes on really long beating the concept of free will into the ground over and over.  After four minutes, the speech finally goes somewhere by restating the already well known fact of Sims 3 shipping on home and handheld consoles this October.  After the speech, a trailer plays spanning the various possibilities of the Sims 3.

3:02 PM – Next up is the EA Partners part of the show.  Insomniac and Respawn Entertainment get name dropped.  Then its onto Crysis 2.  The presentation begins with concept art of the user character, the enemies, and the level design of New York City.  The demo showcased a lot of action.  Graphically Crysis 2 looks great, but nowhere near as good as Crysis did for its time.  FPS fans have a lot to look forward to with Crysis 2, but the demo didn’t showcase a lot to stand the game out from the slew of other FPS options available, especially with Halo: Reach around the corner and Respawn Entertainment on EA Partners.  After the demo, he announces that Crysis 2 will be the only game this fall that you can play in 3D and 2D on “all three platforms,” the 360, PS3 and PC.

3:13 PM – People Can Fly comes out next to showcase Bulletstorm.  The official release date is February 22, 2011.  They refer to the game as a “blood symphony” and discuss the skill shot and combo system briefly.  Then they showcase the demo.  The game looks gorgeous, better than Crysis 2, but action looks a little too rigid and fine. Environmental kills seem a little too obvious.  The voice acting during the demo is just downright bad, further accentuated by the awful dialogue.  At times Bulletstorm looks exciting, but this demo didn’t do a great job of showcasing the skill shots and unique elements of the game, instead making it look like Gears of War in first person without cover.

3:21 PM – Here comes The Old Republic.  They cut right to the chase and start announcements, stating that every player will get their unique starship to cruise the galaxy.  Then they showcase a demo that guests will be able to play on the show floor tomorrow.  Before the demo, a trailer called hope showcases a big battle and paints the setting for The Old Republic.  The new trailer features an epic looking Sith warrior who demolishes republic troops.  Then the trailer shows another Sith wearing Darth Revan’s mask.  The trailer really emphasizes the use of force powers and the struggle between the Jedi and Sith, which the game supposedly will be based around.  Unfortunately they don’t show the game demo they claimed they would, but do reaffirm its presence on the floor tomorrow.  I guess we have to wait until tomorrow.

That wraps up EA’s press conference.  That’s two straight underwhelming conferences in a row.  EA could’ve pulled out some big guns with a potential Mass Effect 3 announcement, Dragon Age 2 trailer, or even a namedrop for Valve in their EA Partners schpeel.  Instead it’s just the same old same old.  Ubisoft is up next.

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