Top 5 Surprise Announcements We Want From EA At E3 2015: Mass Effect 4, Visceral Games' Star Wars & More
Pre-E3 press conferences are a tradition in gaming. In the last few years, Los Angeles event has been changing more than one time, but those keynotes have always been there and have even increased in number. At the beginning, we only had Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo conferences, that we could define a true show for players, where upcoming games were unveiled for the months and years to come.
Now, while Nintendo stepped back to create the satisfying formula of Nintendo Direct, lots of publishers have joined this tradition and among those, this year and for the first time, there will be Bethesda to unveil what's next in Fallout series and maybe even The Elder Scrolls. Electronic Arts and Ubisoft have presented their games at E3 almost every year, with shows created for both games and broader audiences, and for E3 2015 we expect them will do the same.
Electronic Arts, in particular, is expected to show what it has in store for both 2015, as the holiday season doesn't seem at this point so rich as the last couple of years, and 2016. We don't foresee big surprises but there's still lot to be shown and unveiled in-game, as for example Mass Effect 4, Mirror's Edge and Star Wars Battlefront.
MASS EFFECT 4
We don't know if the game will actually be called Mass Effect 4 or will have some sort of subtitle to differentiate it from the main Shepard's trilogy. Anyway, the next episode in Mass Effect series is going to be huge, is going to bring the franchise back to its roots after Mass Effect 2 and definitely Mass Effect 3 made a big and unexpected jump towards the action genre. Exploration and Mako have already been announced to be back from Mass Effect 1, so in terms of dimensions and scope this achievement seems to be unlocked yet. We will see if story, lore and characters will live up gamers' expectations. We expect the game to release in the first half of 2016, so it's probable a more precise date will be shown at the end of E3 2015 trailer.
MIRROR'S EDGE Catalyst
At E3 2014, Electronic Arts and DICE released a teaser for something just called as "Mirror's Edge". Earlier this week, EA clarified that the new Mirror's Edge game will be called Mirror's Edge Catalyst and it's not a sequel nor a reboot. It's been a long time since we see Faith in action, when the first "in-engine" trailer was shown to the public. From that moment, DICE has been working silently to bring the game back where it deserved, after the first episode didn't sell as expected, and shared just a few details about it. The new Mirror's Edge will have an open world structure, probably will have some more action in terms of shooting, and a deeper gameplay that will make it become a full-length title instead of something more than a tech demo. The release date should be fixed at a generic 2016.
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT
Once again, Electronic Arts has put its most important shooter project in the hands of DICE. The Swedish studio is hard at work on the first game that will arise from the Star Wars license agreement with Disney, and will show some in-game footage on April 17, at the Star Wars Celebration event. We expect to see something more at E3 2015, perhaps a live multiplayer demonstration, and even a release date, as the game should be slated for Holiday 2015. It is pretty obvious there will be sports games, in particular those Americans love (NBA Live 16, despite bad sales, Madden NFL 16 and NHL 16), with new trailers and live demonstrations of the new features guided by famous athletes. FIFA 16, which is the game I have more hype for, will be there in trailer form and some anticipations about the gameplay that EA Sports will treat more deeply at Gamescom 2015. UFC will be part of the presentation, too.
At this point, we have some more game we somehow knew to talk about and one big surprise we expect to show up. Here you have those games we “met” in the last couple of years via rumors and speculations.
STAR WARS BY VISCERAL GAMES
Once it has done with Battlefield Hardline, Visceral Games will be able to work with its full strength on its first Star Wars game. We already know it will be a third person action adventure game, that will probably include some of the elements Visceral Games has become famous for, like horror and original gunplay. Regarding the story, we expect to see some of the darkest areas from the Star Wars legacy to be treated, for a game that won't be ordinary at all. Since we already have Star Wars Battlefront about to ship in 2015, it is more probable we will gain only a teaser at E3 2015, with a full reveal to come next year, a few months from the release date.
THE NEW NEED FOR SPEED
Maybe you missed it: not a single Need for Speed was released in 2014. Need for Speed Rivals had a good impact on both public and gamers, so Electronic Arts didn't want to waste this momentum and give one more year of time to Ghost Games. But now the wait is over: we will see the new Need for Speed, the second by the Swedish development team, at E3 2015, surely with a release date fixed between October and November of this year. We don't have any detail about the game and for what we know it could even be Rivals 2, even though many are still waiting for a new Underground to be inspired by the acclaimed movie series Fast & Furious.
At this point we think there will be space for one last surprise: the first trailer for BioWare new IP. Some employees of the Canadian studio recently shared tweets about this intellectual property that got green-lit by Electronic Arts and the head of the software house, so it is probable, but not sure, that some kind of short teaser will be prepared in the few coming months and presented in time for E3 2015. What will it be? We still can't say that, even though it looks clear the game won't be based on any existing property (i.e. Star Wars) or a sequel. It would be interesting to see BioWare working on a modern times setting, even though it is more probable it will explore another huge fantasy environment to host its next AAA adventure.