EA’s 2012 E3 press conference was–in my opinion–the weakest of the four from Monday. That doesn’t mean it was bad–it was actually decent–but it didn’t have anything that amazed me like the other conferences.
EA started their press briefing off right with a live demo and trailer for Dead Space 3. The trailer didn’t impress me–it didn’t look very scary and the new ice planet setting didn’t look too appealing–but the co-op demo of the game did quite a bit to put my mind at ease. Yes, the biggest new feature that Dead Space 3 has is co-op for two players through the story mode. The demo was action-packed and featured plenty of huge aliens, but also featured some human enemies that didn’t impress me and a focus on action/horror like the second game. The focus on co-op has me worried, but the demo still looked better than Resident Evil 6.
Maxis showed two new SimCity games–SimCity Social for Facebook and a proper SimCity sequel for PC. SimCity Social looked decent for a casual Facebook game, if that’s your thing, but the retail SimCity game is more interesting to me. A focus on multiplayer has some people scared, but I think Maxis is headed in a good direction with SimCity. Plus, you can still burn buildings and destroy cities with a giant T-rex, so I’m sold.
Then came more sports. FIFA 13 and Madden NFL 13 were talked about. They’re both football games. Yup. The big surprise of the night was that EA is now partnering with the UFC for a game–I guess THQ’s UFC Undisputed series is done. No details were given about the EA-UFC game, but UFC president Dana White came onstage to talk about professional fighting.
The rumored Battlefield 3 Premium service was officially revealed. The service will give Battlefield 3 fans–of which there are a lot–early access to four new multiplayer packs (including Close Quarters, which is available now for PS3 and next week for PC and Xbox 360), new dog tags, over 10 new vehicles, and 20 new weapons. It will also cost $50, which is pretty expensive. Remember when DICE and EA were making fun of Call of Duty Elite for charging customers money? I bet Activision is laughing now.
Next up Was Medal of Honor: Warfighter, the sequel to the “meh” FPS from Danger Close that was supposed to supplant Call of Duty. Spoilers: it didn’t. Medal of Honor: Warfighter runs on the Frostbite 2 engine that powers Battlefield 3, so it looks great (though, not as amazing as Battlefield since it is being developed primarily for consoles). The live demo continued to focus on realism–a cornerstone of the prior game’s campaign that made it stand out–and looked decent, but didn’t blow me away. Also, no details were shared about the multiplayer; considering how bad the last Medal of Honor‘s multiplayer was and how big a part of any modern FPS it is, this was a bit disappointing. I honestly don’t know if Medal of Honor: Warfighter can compete in the market against Call of Duty, Halo, and EA’s own Battlefield 3.
Burnout developer Criterion is developing another Need for Speed game called Need for Speed: Most Wanted. It looks a lot like the great Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit revival that Criterion developed a couple years ago, so Most Wanted should be a good game. Lastly, EA demonstrated Crysis 3. Crysis 3 features fantastic graphics and looks to be a bit more open-ended than Crysis 2, but it still didn’t impress me much. Crysis 2 was not the sequel to the fantastic first game I was hoping for, and Crysis‘ graphics have already been exceeded by Battlefield 3‘s.
EA’s conference was full of decent looking games and one standout (Dead Space 3). In a day full of press conferences with great games, however, EA’s felt a bit bland and unremarkable.