EA Press Conference Games Impressions: : Mediocrity Served

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EA’s conference was one of the most blandest conferences I have seen in recent years. I know that they are not console manufacturers, but people keep digging at Microsoft for producing the same- Halo, Gears, Forza every year, and forget when was the last time we had a huge new IP from EA? They have been continuing the same trend for almost the past decade. The same NFSs, Battlefields, FIFAs, NBAs etc with 10% increments for the full price of 60$ or more considering that people don’t spend on the season passes. And whatever innovation does happen is in their indie department which is  hit & miss case with EA. Now let’s take a look at whatever they announced:

A Way Out

Starting with the newest part of EA’s growing club of developers, Hazelight, a new studio led by the creator of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, is making a co-op only third person shooter. It’s a bit weird that the developer of Brothers has gone in a completely new direction with a shooter. And to think that the developer said- “EA gave us full creative control” is rather absurd. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when developers step out of their comfort zones, but I have never seen a new developer making two very different games when starting out (Don’t mention the exceptions please).To me it basically looked like Prison Break meets Uncharted in co-op. I am cautiously optimistic about this game, because it’s EA after all.

NFS Payback

“COCK CHASES”

The above was a phrase used by one of the developers to describe the game. Aside from that, I wasn’t aware that the developers were making a Burnout game, because this certainly felt like one. In a game that seems like it’s trying to be Fast & Furious as well Burnout, it sure did a lot of things wrong in the short amount of time it was shown. First of the cut scenes, they were all over the place and the game felt more like- drive 10-15 seconds, get a cool looking out of control, contextual cut scenes. Also why does it have those ‘try to be in this area to trigger a set piece/cut scene’ segments. In racing games, the last thing any player wants is for the game flow to break which is what they serve as. NFS was all about racing, customization and making ridonculous looking cars out of Polos or Puntos. Sure Most Wanted (2005) had a decent story to go along, but it was still pure racing, not some wannabe Fast & Furious with contextual segments that broke the flow of the game. Also why did they customize a plain Beetle instead of customizing the Nissan GTR, that too at E3. *sigh* Oh and the story is about revenge. Now how many times have we heard that or rather played that type of game.

Anthem

This is the new IP by Bioware and I am going assume it is an RPG for obvious reasons. Now I emphasize on that fact because the game will be running on Frostbite Engine and as many gamers already know, one of the developers of Mass Effect Andromeda said that Frostbite wasn’t really suited for RPG games, but then again Mass Effect supposedly had troubled development and Anthem still has quite some time for it’s release, so I am giving Anthem the benefit of doubt and am cautiously anticipating it.

Star Wars: Battlefront II

The conference for Star Wars was probably the most disappointing of them all. Battlefront II feels and looks exactly like Battlefront I, just with different maps. Not only that, but the conference was all over the place. They mentioned that they had a single player campaign this time, but all we got to see was a haphazard multiplayer game between some people known as The Game Changers. Also Battlefront seems to be trying to be Overwatch, with relatively rigid classes. The only redeeming point of this part of the conference was the fact that there is going to be no Season Pass for the game which had been confirmed a few months ago. Along with this a mobile game for Star Wars was announced which just felt an obligatory cash grab. Oh and how could I forget that they used a lady to talk about Star Wars: Battlefront II, trying to be an advocate for the fans and oh boy did she sound cringy. Funniest of all, they pulled out all the ‘modest’ tweets from people who had complained about Battlefront not having a single player campaign. The reception to Battlefront 2 having a single player campaign was also barely lukewarm at best.

On top of all this, the game is being co-developed by Criterion Games, the guys behind NFS Most Wanted 2012. Shouldn’t they be making NFS Payback or something?

I purposely left out FIFA and the likes because they are annual franchises and talking about ‘innovation’ in them is almost pointless.

Overall I felt that even the executives at EA were tired and bored about the games they were announcing. I lost count of how many times they said “cinematic” and “storytelling” referring to games like FIFA/NBA/HFL or NFS. It mainly boils down to the same games being done over and over again with different gimmicks.

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