Electronic Arts started off their time during the E3 press conference by reintroducing their four main sports titles that will be available on the new consoles. Those four titles are NBA Live 14, Madden 25, FIFA 14, and UFC.
These two showcase videos were shown during Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal show. In the first video we see small clips of each of the games and how the new Ignite Engine brings realism to the games with real player motion that we see in the second video. We get to see a football player juke out defenders and change direction with quick cuts, a soccer player stop on a dime and change direction while handling the ball perfectly, a fighter that uses the cage to his advantage to gain more power to deliver a more lethal and quicker strike to his opponent, and a basketball player cut in between three defenders for position under the rim for a difficult contested layup. These are examples of how we can imagine handling these very same athletes in their respective games and how it is similar to their real movements.
This is one of the other trailers that EA had for their Ignite Engine that had a focus on the human intelligence aspect of real games and fights. EA was trying to make a point that their sports titles were going to be innovative and better than ever by being more realistic to what we see on television. We see players deciding exactly how to get past the defenders in split seconds in by squaring up and staying low in basketball and changing direction with quick feet in soccer, we see how a quarterback reads the defense and determines the coverage and blitz to deliver the best decision for his team, and we see that a fighter might have to drop all game plans for a fight to go with what the other fighter is giving them. All of these examples show how real athletes handle these situations and others to do their best to achieve success using their intelligence, and how we can expect the same while playing as them.
During the E3 press conference, EA took those Ignite Engine ideas even another step forward by individually going through each of those games and situations to show just how they have improved their sports titles for the future.
First up on EA’s list was NBA Live 14 with Kyrie Irving. EA put a lot of focus on the realism of the player movement and decisions by focusing on fundamentals. One of the first fundamentals learned in the game of basketball is dribbling. By using their new BounceTek, EA focuses on that fundamental by changing the way the basketball was handled in the past and making it a bigger more dynamic part of the game. The basketball is in your control and your decisions with the basketball can help you get that open shot or lane you need to get to the rim. The other big focus was on quick updates, where you get updates as they happen to make it “a different experience every time you pick up the controller”.
EA follows the theme of player movement and intelligence with Madden 25. This installment of the Madden Franchise is looking to be the most authentic gameplay to date. We see players effectively using foot plants to cut and change direction in seconds to illustrate the complete control the user has while playing the game. We see the intelligence aspect of the game as players scan the environment in front of them as Adrian Peterson jumps over a pile of players without hesitation to keep on moving or as Marshawn Lynch slide past a couple players to continue moving forward. Both of these examples are improvements from past installments where the player trips over the pile or just falls down when running into a standup pile of players. The other main focus was on better line play from both sides of the ball. Offensive lineman are just as important as other players and it was time for EA to make the play of those players realistic with shifting and sliding to make a pocket and give the quarterback time to make a play.
FIFA 14 continues that same trend as the two mentioned before but enhances the in game experience. Every year EA continues to improve its top sports game by finding ways to make the FIFA Franchise even better. There is a focus on innovation and realism by having the user feel like they are at each stadium with player and crowd reactions and emotions. The environments are unbelievable and look very impressive. On the field there is more information being processed by the players to challenge and improve the game with better movement between the ball and the players. The players themselves look like the pros and have the moves of the pros which will continue to make this game a top seller.
“It’s time” the final sports installment of EA is UFC. Dana White, Jon Jones, and Benson Henderson took the stage to continue the hype of the fighting game. The user gets to take on the environment of an actual UFC fight where you walk through the curtain and through the crowd, and feel what it is like to have the cage doors close behind you. There was a focus on the new MMAi system where fighters change their style and improv. a bit while in a fight. An example of that improv. style and doing what you can to win the fight is the jumping off the cage with a kick to the opponents face. It is supposed to be lethal and look brutal and both those descriptions should describe the in cage fighting of a UFC game.
EA finally showed us some games that weren’t shown to us before that extended past their sports titles.
The first was Battlefield 4. The game continued the amazing graphics and gameplay that was seen in Battlefield 3 and made them even better. We get the power to “dominate air, land, and sea” with team work. We saw even more of EA’s innovation by using social media and the tablet to improve the gamer experience with something that is new to this generation of gaming. More impressive than the tablet and social media interaction with the Commander mode was the 64 person live battle.
We see one epic battle that involves quite possibly the most lucky or invincible player ever seen in Battlefield. The team works together to capture and dominate the flags and even before that we see and epic entrance by helicopter to get this demo going. Environments are more interactive where roads are blowing up along with the sides of buildings. We see how multiple vehicles are handled and used from a tank attacking the main player to a Jet Ski escape from a boat being shot at. After interacting with an elevator to get to the top of a building we get to see a parachute execution as the main player jumps off the building to survive. The 64 players are then shown to show them all playing the game using the new controllers to make the demo even better. However, most importantly we get to see a building blow up and collapse onto the battlefield.
The big finish of the EA’s press conference was a trailer for Mirror’s Edge 2. The teaser trailer looks great as the sequel to the 2009 action packed game was announced. This came as a bit of a surprise to some that didn’t see it coming, and was a great move by EA. They announced the four sports titles that were shown previously at the Microsoft Xbox One reveal show, and they announced Battlefield 4 which was an expected release by many gamers and fans. The Mirror’s Edge 2 trailer showed the same lightning fast motions as the first with improved graphics to make the game stand out for now and look forward to future news on the title.
Overall Electronic Arts had a very good press conference at E3. EA needed this good showing to show gamers and fans that they are doing what they can to improve games and gameplay. Along with this they also gave us a teaser to Battlefront and that news alone will keep many fans happy with EA. Look for even more news in the future on these titles and others, and hope that EA will continue to improve its image with gamers.
By, Adam Chudy