EA E3 2015 Press Conference Review: Star Wars Battlefront, NFS, Unravel and Mirror's Edge Catalyst Saved The Day
Electronic Arts has just delivered its E3 2015 press conference, probably not living up to the expectations fans had before it started. Looking at it, this could be the first disappointment of E3 2015, with just a couple of interesting things shown up and then just a series of information that failed to create hype in gamers.
For example, even Mass Effect 4's actual name announcement was not handled properly. Just an in-engine trailer right at the kick-off of the presentation and that was all: Mass Effect Andromeda is coming in 2016 and not a single gameplay sequence has been shown by Electronic Arts nor BioWare. Then it was time for something more concrete and good: Need for Speed will be out on November 3 and promises to introduce players to a new level of customization and illegal night/day racing venues. The new trailer featured Chemical Brothers' “Go”, so it is likely that we will hear this song in the official soundtrack of the game. Luckily enough, graphics takes advantage of the power of DICE's Frostbite, showing a visual fidelity unprecedented in the racing series now ran by Ghost Games.
Talking about DICE, the Swedish studio was at the EA's E3 2015 press conference with a couple of games. Star Wars Battlefront was shown as promised in a full gameplay reveal, and the game looked amazing at 1080p and 60fps: just as Battlefield, it has the ability to take you down in the most complicated ground battles or bring you up in the sky and above. Graphics is shiny and what we have seen so far on the snowy Hoth planet has much satisfied us. Same as Mirror's Edge Catalyst confirmed to be out February 23, which has been shown with an “in-engine” trailer. Catalyst makes Mirror's Edge become a full-length free-roaming game with the acclaimed Faith again as the protagonist. No more info have been shared at this point but looks like we will learn something more at Gamescom in August.
The only unexpected announcement of the entire event was Unravel, a new indie-ish side scroller platform with 3D graphics by Norwegian studio Coldwood. In this game, you will control a puppet which can interact with the surroundings thanks to a wire of wool coming out of him. The game looks pretty good and, among other things, it was pretty emotional to see how creator Martin Sahlin was scarred by talking in public: this created a sort of empathy with the crowd, that largely appreciated and supporting him during the speech.
And this was Electronic Arts E3 2015 best moment. So you can guess what's been the overall level of interest over in the conference. Even though, I must admit, as a football fan I loved the Pelè speech about how beautiful football/soccer is. The problem is that this has so little to do with video games, the crowd in the audience was not so enthusiast too (they're Americans, after all!), and definitely FIFA 16 failed to really show up a step forward in the series. Same as NBA Live and NHL, which in 2016 don't look like they have made progress since last year's iterations. We will have to wait and see if, in Europe, where football and sports are so more popular, EA will focus on some other surprising features or this is it.
Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 are something we had somehow already been used before the conference, so they lacked the wow effect any E3 announcement should have.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst looks a huge improvement upon the previous episode, both in terms of story and gameplay, and it's not that far away
Need for Speed is shaping up pretty good and seems to be the perfect fit for a proper reboot
DICE is doing a great job on Star Wars Battlefront and we look forward to playing the game this November.
Sports game lacked some serious improvement upon last year's iterations
Visceral Games' Star Wars game wasn't shown at the conference, not even a some sorts of small teaser was shared
Mass Effect will be out only in holiday 2016, so we will have to wait one year and a half to play it, and at least one year before seeing some actual gameplay sequence.