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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Gamescom 2015: EA’s press conference


With Gamescom being dubbed the second biggest video games conference after E3 (although we’d argue the Tokyo Game Show should at least have that second-place spot), several industry bigwigs are having briefings at this year’s event. Read on to learn about EA’s press conference, featuring eight upcoming games.

Need For Speed
Need for Speed Trying is to “celebrate” customization. They are doing a “community led car build,” building a car for real to be shown at CES. That’s great, but how about some video games? Here was go - some in-engine videos featuring drivers such as Ken Block and Nakai San. Five ways to play, inspired by the five contemporary drivers: style, speed, build, crew, and outlaw. The game promises to blend live-action seamlessly with the game (I’m sensing a trend beginning to pick up steam). Choices determine your path, and the five drivers help determine your story: the goal is to impress them. The NFS presentation ends with a brand new trailer. The need Need For Speed will be released this November.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
They start off with a description of Faith, promising you will grow along with her in the game. They are showing a new video from early in the game, where everything changes for Faith, the other runners, and the city. The footage being shown is pre-alpha; Faith has to avoid guards to reach her the Elysium building. Noah is guiding her through an earpiece as she goes. The interior of the building is gorgeous, lots of glass. While Faith is in there, an important person arrives with their motorcade and she has even more obstacles to avoid. But someone else is in there, and it’s not a runner… while following them, she finds a lab that contains what is clearly not the research Elysium claims to be conducting. Faith gets caught, and needs to run and fight her way out of the building. It’s too early in the morning to properly express how cool it looks. February 25, 2016 is when we can experience the world through Faith’s eyes once more.

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Fallen Empire
In this expansion, your character becomes an outlander and you choose whether to be good or evil. It includes the first nine chapters of an evolving story that continues past launch in an episodic format. If you’ve played before, continue as your character. If not, start anew. When it launches, it will be free for all subscribers. If you subscribe now, you’ll get a special character. The presenter claims the game will return to Bioware's story-telling roots. They show the first in-game look at The Outlander.

The Sims 4
This is interesting - people are messing with perspective to interact with others in an almost. You create. You control. You rule. THE SIMS 4. Oh, that makes sense: it’s about playing with life, and they are promising more life to play with. They’re promising something big. The Sims 4 Get Together Expansion Pack. Life is better with friends, and there’s a new world blending modernity and historic architecture where your Sim can spend time with their favourite people. The press conference becomes a party with people dancing everywhere and selfies being taken (does EA know they’re wasting my time?).

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2
The zombies have taken over, and the plants are on the attack. Both sides have new heroes (including the zombies announced at E3 earlier this year). Announcing three new plant classes: Rose (a sorceress), Colonel Corn, Citrog (a bounty-hunting orange). Garden Warfare 2 features a backyard battleground, a living playground where you start every game. GW2 is patterning with BioWare to bring Mass Effect technology into the Plants vs Zombies world (Z7 Mech); anyone who preorders the game will get the Z7 Mech at launch. The presentation ends with a new trailer. The game is set to launch next spring (or autumn, for those in Australia).

Creativity, innovation, and passion. There is a slideshow of concept images and videos. And now:

Unravel
The creator of Unravel is on stage, feeling (rightfully) emotional about the initial reception to his game. They are show pre-alpha gameplay live in the level “The Sea,” inspired by happy memories of going to the Swedish coast as a child. Yarny must make it to the end of the level without running out of yarn. Spare bits of yarn can be found in the level. Waves keep coming, floating Yarny up. He can use the rope to access items (in this case, a buoy) to help overcome obstacles. The game promises moments of wonder and discovery in addition to the puzzle-heavy gameplay.

Star Wars Battlefront
This is what everyone’s been waiting for, right? Live your Star Wars fantasy in a fun game that also had depth. Today, they are unveiling Fighter Squadron, a new 20-player multiplayer mode (this makes sense based on the graphic circulating this week featuring an X-Wing fighter) inspired by arial combat scenes from the films. This mode puts you in the cockpit of the great arial vehicles Star Wars is known for. There are up to 20 AI characters playing in the mode. Fighter Squadron is available for play at Gamescom (lucky ducks!). Working with LucasFilm, they have created the visual identity for a previously unseen planet. Star Wars Battlefront launches this November.

FIFA 16
This presentation seems to be focusing on a new mode, FUT Draft. It’s exactly what it sounds like: you draft the team that you want. In this spot, two famous football players (sorry, I am totally unfamiliar) are bickering like an old married couple over creating their ideal team before they actually play using their lineup. Select one of five formations, a team captain, then one of five suggested players for each position. Use your team to compete online and earn rewards. There are two new features to career mode: preseason tournaments and player training. As previously announced, there are twelve women’s national teams available for the first time. There are new animations for keepers. They’ve balanced passing for more precision. With no-touch dribbling, there are new opportunities to fake out your opponents.

- Lindsay M.
News Editor
Gamescom 2015: EA’s press conference
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