The EA press conference at E3 is always a fairly regular, by the numbers kind of thing. They announce their big hitters, they show them off in some rather expected fashions, they go home. They win points for content, and for the depth of their portfolio, but they never genuinely have very many surprises, nor are their presentations themselves anything outstanding. They’re basically the template for E3 presentations- show off some great games, intersperse it with some marketing talk, go home.
This year’s EA E3 presser was almost exactly along those lines, except for those two little surprises EA had in store for us, with them answering some fans’ long held pleas and finally announcing some games that people have literally been waiting for for years. Honestly, after all the bad press EA has been getting recently, their press conference this year might just win them enough brownie points to land them back in the good books of many an appreciative gamer the world over, at least provisionally.
Let’s start at the starting though, from the completely baffling twenty minutes they spent on the admittedly adorable Garden Warfare by Peggle. It was almost like Nintendo’s inane focus on Nintendo Land last year, with them spending a whole lot of time talking about a game that I am sure is great, but that no one watching the conference is really interested in. Honestly, if there is one portion of the conference that actively leads to docked points from this conference’s overall grade, it’s that one.
The rest of the conference was mostly by the books. EA showed off Need for Speed Rivals, which looked great, and like a standard, well done Need for Speed game (although the always online talk was suspicious; thankfully, they confirmed that it can in fact be played offline). They debuted Dragon Age: Inquisition via a teaser, which honestly looks great, but coming right after The Witcher 3’s stellar showing in Microsoft’s conference, felt just a little bit underwhelming.
They also spent a painfully long time discussing their EA Sports titles, from UFC to FIFA, and again, while I am sure these are all great games- I know these are all great games- but come on EA, I’m not watching your E3 for these games. I’m watching it for the cool stuff. Show me Battlefield or something, already.
And so they did. They went ahead and showed off multiplayer for Battlefield 4, and God damn that game looks gorgeous. This was the multiplayer debut of the game, and while there were some twists, by and large it was just more Battlefield. Which is a very good thing, indeed.
That wasn’t all, though. Near the beginning of the conference, DICE had obliged all of us with an announcement long awaited and anticipated, but one that most people had lost hope would ever happen- Battlefront 3. It was a wonderful moment, and though they barely lingered on it, it was just great to finally see that it existed, and that it would be coming.
Another great announcement they made was right at the end- Mirror’s Edge 2. This one probably got the loudest applause, and with good reason, as DICE’s original 2007 first person platforming masterpiece is widely regarded as one of the most unique games in recent years. The sequel looked excellent, and it was just great to see that unique artstyle brought back to life. Even though the date affixed to the game was a rather ominous ‘Coming when it’s ready,’ it was enough.
Ultimately, it was the showing off of some great games, coupled with some long asked for announcements that pushed this EA conference over the edge and truly made it one of their best in years. What with Microsoft’s great conference earlier, and now this, E3 this year is turning out to be great.
Great games shown off, especially Battlefield and Dragon Age; the dual surprise whammy of Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge was genuinely great
Spent too much time on EA Sports and Garden Warfare
Ultimately, it was the showing off of some great games, coupled with some long asked for announcements that pushed this EA conference over the edge and truly made it one of their best in years.
E3 Conference Score: 8/10