Amidst the array of awkward banter “Drake, what a great FIFA fan” and overenthusiastic fight talk (what was with that UFC guy?), EA actually delivered a pretty impressive press conference. Yes, most of (read: all of) the best announcements were from DICE, but regardless, while the usual sports titles failed to excite, the likes of Battlefield 4, Need for Speed: Rivals and a few very pleasant, if arguably expected announcements really rounded off a surprisingly robust line-up.
The single player segments shown of Battlefield 4, despite looking technically impressive, are still a little too close to Call of Duty to be genuinely exciting, but my word, that 64 player multiplayer demonstration was something else. Busting around Shanghai looked genuinely next-gen, but my word, the moment they dropped a tank by blowing the floor beneath! What could top that? Oh, how about blowing up a Skyscraper? Yep, that was pretty special, and arguably (at the point of writing at least), the moment of the show.
Need for Speed: Rivals too, while arguably similar to what we have seen before, was another technically impressive display from EA with its unique online capabilities proving the real trump card. Ubisoft’s, The Crew may be more ambitious and certainly home to superior scale, but in terms of visual polish and core gameplay, Need for Speed: Rivals looks like it will be another solid title in the series.
What will most likely leave the most lasting impression though are the games we saw the least of. It may have been something of a given, but the basic, but nonetheless effective, Star Wars: Battlefront reveal probably got the biggest cheer of the day. We don’t know anything about it (other than that it will have a Hoth level), but c’mon, it’s Star Wars: Battlefront – just knowing it exists is enough.
The big one though – for those who care anyway – had to be the confirmation of Mirrors Edge 2. Yes, we kind of knew it was coming, but to see it up on the big screen in motion was a joy, serving to remind us why we fell in love with the series in the first place. With what looks like an emphasis on fast paced melee rather than clumsy gunplay, here’s to hoping that the emphasis remains on fluidity of movement and that unmatched sense of connection.
It wasn’t perfect, but like so much of E3 thus far, the good outweighed the bad…….long may it last.