Electronic Arts held its E3 2012 press conference this afternoon. The publisher outlined the future of some of its biggest franchises, including Dead Space, Madden, and Need for Speed. The event featured big explosions, some big EA Sports changes, and a brand-new Battlefield 3 subscription service to compete with Call of Duty Elite.
Dead Space 3
Issac is back and is heading to a planet where the inhabitants have found the source of the necromorphs. His companion from Dead Space 2, Ellie, is seemingly lost in crashdown on the snowy planet.
Dead Space executive producer Steve Papoutsis stressed that the game has drop-in/drop-out co-op play, with one player taking control of series hero Issac Clarke, and the second using new character John Carver. The co-op play demo featured constant dialogue between Clarke and Carver.
One scene in the demo involved fighting necromoprhs as a giant drill spun around the room. The classic Stasis power returned for this scene, with the duo using it to slow down the drill to damage it. With the drill taken out, Clarke and Carver take an elevator to the surface, where they’re attacked by human rebel forces.
Then a giant Lost Planet-style necromorph breaks up the fight. Both Issac and Walker fight the creature only to get sucked inside. We’re treated to a scene inside the creature’s intestinal tract before the demo ends. Dead Space 3 is coming to PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation on February 2013.
Ray Lewis gets a wonderful monologue about sweat and hard work, interspersed with shots of Madden 13. “Leave your mark to endure forever” he urges.
EA Sports general manager of American football Cam Weber comes on to detail Madden 13’s new Infinity physics engine. No two plays will look the same. Players’ physical attributes, like size, matter more now. There are no more pre-determined outcomes in tackles, meaning you can regain balance after contact.
Weber then introduced NFL legend Michael Irvin on stage to talk about the new Connected Careers mode with social integration. You can create or join a league with up to 32 players. You can be a legend, player, or coach. Players will gain XP that they can use to upgrade youself. Madden 13’s new Story engine reports on everything that happens in your league, complete with a virtual Twitter feed. You can manage your team on PC, tablet, or smartphone as well
Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw appeared to announce Sim City Social for Facebook. Play with friends, complete with a new good and evil system. Bradshaw said the game would be available in a few weeks.
Bradshaw then showed more of the new SimCity for PC. Full crowds of Sims walking to and from work. City specialization towards industry, sports, or science. A series-first multiplayer mode with connected cities, meaning your choices will affect other cities in your multiplayer game. SimCity is coming February 2013
EA chief operating officer Peter Moore and Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach revealed Battlefield Premium. The digital membership costs $49.99 and will offer players new dog tags, 20 new maps, 20 new weapons, 10 new vehicles, and new games modes. The Battlefield 3 expansion packs were all named, with the first one Back to Karkand having already been released. The following packs are called Close Quarters, Armored Kill, Aftermath and End Game. Buying a Premium subscription gives players 2 weeks early access to all expansion packs.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muyzka spoke about The Old Republic’s ongoing content patches, including Rise of the Rakghouls (1.1) and Legacy (1.2). The next content patch will include the new nightmare difficulty mode, a new space mission, a new operation, new companion characters like HK-51, an increased level cap, and new planet called Makeb. The cathar will also be added as a playable species in the game. Finally, Muyzka announced that The Old Republic will be free-to-play up to level 15.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
The new Medal of Honor was demoed by executive producer Greg Goodrich. Every mission in the game relates to an actual event or hotspot around the world. The demo took place in Somalia, with your team landing on a beach, only to have you get sniped. The demo showed off a slow-motion feature upon tactical entry, allowing you to take down an entire room’s enemies. The latter half of the demo featured the player controlling a motorized attack drone.
Medal of Honor’s multiplayer is called Global Warfighters. It features special ops teams from different nations, including Navy SEALS, Russia’s Spetnaz, and Poland’s GROM. Medal of Honor: Warfighter hits on October 23, 2012.
EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson quickly mentioned the free-to-play Madden 13 Social. The game will have Facebook and mobile versions, and players can start on one platform and end on the other. Planned for a Fall release.
There’s a new skating engine in NHL 13. NBA Live 13 will actually be coming out after last year’s miss with NBA Elite. NCAA Football 13 will add actual Heisman Trophy winners.
FIFA 13 & FIFA Football Club
FIFA Football Club now has 11 million registered users. For FIFA 13, FIFA 12 levels and XP will carry into the new game. FIFA 13 will also have iPad, iPhone, and Android (later on) versions, all connected to Football Club. There will be an all-new FIFA iPhone app as well.
Lionel Messi was announced as the cover athlete for FIFA 13. The game will feature a second generation Player Impact engine, a new arsenal of dribble moves, and the new first touch control.
EA Sports UFC
UFC president Dana White jumped onstage to reveal that EA has acquired the rights to make UFC games. New multi-year, multi-product partnership between EA and UFC. White proclaimed it a “huge day for the UFC” was happy to be “finally at EA Sports”.
Need for Speed Most Wanted
Executive producer Matt Webster came on to reveal that Need for Speed: Most Wanted will be an open world driving game, like Criterion’s Burnout Paradise. Players compete to become most wanted among friends, with everything tracked by Criterion’s second-gen Autolog. The demo race begins with the camera falling off a tall building into the race. Real cars, Burnout-style crashes, cops chasing all the racers. When the race is over, the demo keeps going, showing off racing across parks, overpasses, through pipes, with the cops one step behind. Need for Speed Most Wanted is coming October 30, 2012.
Crytek founder Cevat Yerli said the new game takes place in an “urban rainforest” environment. The demo featured the player destroying a hydro-electric generator and dam. The game’s new Compound Bow saw most use than the generic machine gun, even bringing down a helicopter. Crysis 3 is scheduled to be released on February 2013.
It was a strong showing for Electronic Arts, with a number of the company’s sports titles making changes to prepare for the next generation of consoles. Everything looked amazing, and the jaw-dropping announcement of UFC moving to EA was unexpected. We’ll have hands-on of any available EA titles as we head to the showfloor tomorrow!