Tag Archives: Mass Effect

Highlights of EA’s 2016 E3 Press Conference

E3 is here again ladies and gentlemen, and kicking it off this year was Electronic Arts.  Their (not) press conference this year was titled EA Play, and it had quite a few strong moments, and some not as strong.  For this post, I’m just going to focus on the highlights of their presser; what that amounts to is that I’ll be skipping over the sports, mobile, and DLC talk.

1. Titanfall 2 get’s amazing trailers for both it’s singleplayer and multiplayer modes

Titanfall was a big success when it launched in early 2014, and Respawn is looking to improve upon its strengths for the game’s sequel that is coming this fall.  Vince Zampella, one of the founder’s of Respawn and original creator of Call of Duty, took the stage to first give gamers a brief look at the game’s multiplayer.  Zampella announced that the sequel would feature six additional titan classes, and the trailer showcased many new additions to multiplayer including grappling hooks, magnet grenades, teleportation pads, and new titan abilities including a ground pound and a massive laser attack.

Next, Zampella spoke about the singleplayer that they have added for the sequel.  He said it will expand the narrative of Titanfall and explore the distinct link between Titan and it’s Pilot.  The campaign will follow Titan BT-7274 and rifleman Jack Cooper, who link together based on battlefield necessity rather than choice after BT’s original pilot dies.  Respawn announced their will be a multiplayer stress test later this summer, before the game launches on October 28th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

2. Mass Effect Andromeda looks great, but still seems far off

Bioware took the stage at the conference to talk about Mass Effect Andromeda, the long in development next entry into the Mass Effect franchise.  The team didn’t have much to share, but gave eager fans a two minute long trailer that was partially gameplay, partially cinematics, and partially behind the scenes work.  EA said they will reveal more about the game this Fall, but the lack of a gameplay demo or cinematics puts serious doubt into my mind that this game will launch in it’s current March 2017 launch window.  What we saw however was great.  The player will explore new worlds on their ship, The Tempest, that are filled with new races and seemingly some familiar ones as well, with an Asari and Krogan being visible in the trailer.

3. A lot of EA studios are working on Star Wars.

EA has the Star Wars license for the foreseeable future and are making the most out of it.  Next year, EA revealed we will see a sequel to Battlefront, and the following year we will see the release of Amy Hennig’s long in development title from Visceral Games (developers of Dead Space and Battlefield Hardlines).  Respawn is also working on their own third-person action adventure game of Star Wars that has God of War III director Sitg Asmussen in the lead.  It looks like, if the mo-cap footage was saw was any indication, that it will focus on Jedi.  Jade Raymond (former Assassin’s Creed lead developer) and her studio in Canada, Motive, are assiting in development of Visceral’s Star Wars title and next year’s Battlefront which is being developed by DICE.  On top of all of that, Criterion, best known for the Burnout franchise, are apparently working on Star Wars Battlefront VR missions for Playstation VR.  Below is EA’s video on their Star Wars games, including a brief glimpse at gameplay from Visceral’s game.

4. Battlefield 1 wows with massive battlegrounds and Zepplin crashes.

DICE closed the show by showing off their WWI shooter, Battlefield 1.  In the trailers and gameplay sessions that followed we were shown new footage of some incredible spectacle moments including dog fights in single engine “Red Baron”-esc planes, tank and artillery in action, and zepplins being flow and crashed.  The level-ution that was so highly touted in Battlefield 4 seems to be back to a certain degree, as the zepplin crashed in the sleepy French village around which the two teams were fighting.  My descriptions do not even do it justice, so watch both the trailer and gameplay footage I was able to find below.

And those are the best moments from EA’s E3 press conference.  What was your favorite moments?  Anything you wish we would have seen but didn’t?  Let me know in the comments below!

by, Bobby Marquardt

 

EA 2015 E3 press conference recap!

EA’s press conference is in the books, and they opened it with a bang.  First up was the teaser trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda.  You will travel to the Andromeda galaxy and explore it.  That’s about all we know about Bioware’s next now, but expect to learn more about in the next year, as Mass Effect: Andromeda launches in Holiday 2016

Next up, EA revealed the new Need for Speed reboot.  It will launch on November 3rd, and looks just plain gorgeous.  Your car will have a new dynamic camera that follows your car in a way we haven’t seen in any racing game before.  Their is also a really weird live-action footage for the game’s cinematics.  It’s launching on PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 3rd.

Star Wars: The Old Republic was featured next, with Bioware Austin revealing their new expansion Knights of the Fallen Empire.  Bioware promised a return to Bioware style storytelling.  It will launch this October, and come free to all subscribers of The Old Republic.  Note that it is a free to play game, so non-subscribers will have to pay for it.  EA also promised more betas and early access for their game than ever before.

EA revealed a small surprising game next with Unravel.  Honestly, this game stole the show.  You play as a yarn doll that uses itself to traverse his environment.  The trailer really brought a tear to my eye.  I don’t know when it comes out, but I will be buying it day one.

Next up we got a big blowout for Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.  GW2 will feature six new classes and EA revealed a new game mode called Graveyard Ops, that feature the Zombies on defense now.  They showcased the new classes including The Imp, Captain Dreadbeard, and Super Brainz.  Zombies will also have access to the Z-mech.  GW2 will have split screen co-op and A.I. battles.  Characters will be able to be transferred from GW1 to 2, and it will launch in Spring on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Next up was sports.  We got a look at Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour, NHL 16, NBA Live 16, FIFA 16, and Madden 16.  Each one is promising new features, but they felt like more of the same (not that that’s a bad thing.)

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst was shown next, and promised to tell the origin story for Faith, Mirror’s Edge’s protagonist.  Player will take on Gabriel Kreuger, the leader of a city without personal freedom or privacy.  It will seemingly be an open-world game and have no “levels” but rather missions.  It is playable at E3, and launching on February 23rd, 2016.

Naturally, it closed with the biggest gun of them all: Star Wars: Battlefront.  The footage below was all captured on a PS4, and honestly looks incredible.  We got to witness “Walker Assault” on Hoth, and the footage was from both the Empire and Rebellion perspective.  Honestly, the gameplay speaks for itself, and it’s awesome.  We got to see normal gunfights, AT-ST combat, AT-AT walker control, Snowspeeders using tow cables, and even playable Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.  Just watch it.  Battlefront launches November 17th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t bother to include EA’s talk of mobile, but that was there.  I didn’t care about any of it, and honestly you probably didn’t either.  What was your favorite part of the presser?  What are you looking forward to of all of EA’s offerings?  (It was Star Wars wasn’t it?)  Let me know in the comments!

by, Bobby Marquardt

Mass Effect director Casey Hudson leaves Bioware

casey_hudson (2)Mass Effect Creative Director Casey Hudson has announced he is leaving Bioware. In a joint statement with Bioware’s studio general manager Aaryn Flynn, Hudson revealed why he chose to leave the RPG giant.  “Though there’s never an easy time to make a change like this, I believe this is the best time for it. The foundation of our new IP in Edmonton is complete, and the team is ready to move forward into pre-production on a title that I think will redefine interactive entertainment. Development for the next Mass Effect game is well underway, with stunning assets and playable builds that prove the team is ready to deliver the best Mass Effect experience to date. And the Dragon Age: Inquisition team is putting the final touches on a truly ambitious title with some of the most beautiful visuals I’ve seen in a game.

“But while I feel that the time has come, this is without a doubt the most difficult decision of my career. BioWare is as magical a place today as it was when I started. The projects we are working on are some of the most exciting and prestigious in the world. The talent in our teams is second to none. And the people here are some of my closest friends. I’ve spent more time with many of you than my own family, and I have enjoyed every day of it.”  Hudson did not reveal where he would be heading next, but did reveal he will be taking “A much needed break.”

Hudson has worked at Bioware for over 16 years, where he worked on the incredibly well loved MD2K & NeverWinter Nights as Technical Director.  Hudson moved on to work on the classic RPG Star Wars: Knight’s of the Old Republic as project director, and served as Creative Director on the Mass Effect series.   “Casey’s focus on production quality, digital acting technology, and emotionally engaging narrative has made a substantial impact on BioWare and the video game industry as a whole.” Said Flynn. “We thank Casey for his hard work and dedication as we look back on his time with Bioware.”

By, Bobby Marquardt

Full recap of EA’s 2014 E3 press conference

EA came into E3 this year to show off games that are coming in the far future, and next week.  They chose to forgo the trailer route, and showed behind the scenes footage of many of their upcoming games, and had some cool new announcements as well.  EA opened the show with two massive words, Star Wars.  We got a behind the scenes journey into DICE’s development on the upcoming Battlefront title.  DICE has captured actual models and props used on the original trilogy, as well as traveled to the locations the movies were filmed to ensure the proper feel of the game.  Early concept footage was shown, but they promised more in Spring 2015.

Dragon Age Inquisition was shown off next, starting with another trailer featuring live cello music that was just plain breathtaking.  Bioware Studio manager Aaron Flynn took to the stage to introduce a massive battle against a High Dragon, the “Apex Predator” of the Dragon Age world.  You have to damage the dragon’s limbs first, and world your way inward.  Dragon Age: Inquisition arrives October 7th.

Bioware teased two more games coming in the future.  The first is the next installment in the Mass Effect franchise, which is being developed by Bioware Montreal.  Casey Hudson, director of the Mass Effect franchise, is working on a new IP with the Bioware Edmenton studio, which was the main studio behind the Mass Effect franchise.  No real footage was shown, but the confirmed that exploring the galaxy and it’s planets will return.

The Sims 4 was showcased next, promising smarter sims then ever before in a “deep simulation”.  For the first time in the franchise, you will be able to control your Sims heart, with highly detailed emotions.  What type of personality you chose for your Sim will effect their future, their loves and their interest.  Your Sim can also laugh to death, so there’s that.  It will arrive on PC December 2nd.

EA UFC was showcased next, with Bruce Lee fighting BJ Penn.  Bruce Lee has long been considered the godfather of MMA, and his inclusion in the game felt like a no brainer.  It showcased a large section of a fight, which ended in Bruce Lee winning via super kick to the jaw.  EA UFC launches next week, on June 17th.  This was followed by EA NHL being demonstrated for the first time.  Calling it the “Next generation of hockey”, all 12 players will have a physics system, as will the puck.  It will arrive on September 9th.

Criterion, developers of the Burnout and Need for Speed franchise, are working on a new IP, and show off some very, very very early footage after EA joked that they “can’t keep anything secret”.  It’s a game all about speed, with vehicles like atvs, boats, helicopters, planes and wingsuits all included.  It will be in first person, and was heavily influenced by athletes first person footage taken via first person cameras like Go-Pros.

EA will return to the golf world next Spring with EA Sports PGA Tour.  The new game is being developed exclusively for next-gen, and will run on the Frostbyte 3 engine.  It promises the world’s greatest courses, and the greatest extreme fantasy course.  The trailer below showcases golfing over a battleship crashing from Battlefield 4.  It’s insanity that I’m going to have to try.

Madden 15 was showcased next, with EA Sports promising improvements to the defensive side of the ball.  The first improvement will shift the camera to behind the defense, as opposed to the camera angle being constantly from the offensive’s perspective.  Tackle cones are coming to the game, which will improve open field tackling.  An Emmy award winning cinematographer from NFL films was brought in to film hundreds of new player emotions as well.

Waystone Games then spoke about their MOBA, Dawngate.  It launched in alpha last year, and has in players hands ever since.  Waystone spoke about the importance of the game’s dialoge with it’s players and why that will create a better MOBA then ever before.  The team also showed off how all of Dawngate’s proceedings are based around an over-arching story, a first a major MOBA.

Mirror’s Edge was on display next, with only early and conceptual footage shown.  DICE wanted to stress how they are working to utilize movement in combat, and present Faith’s attack moves better with the combat.  They also spoke about the movement, allowing more skilled players to move through the environment faster where less skilled players can take less complex routes.  No release date was given.

FIFA will continue it’s juggernaut run this Fall with FIFA 15.  EA is promising that “You will feel the game”.  Players will show emotion based on what happens in the match.  It will feature a new ball physics engine as well.

Battlefield Hardline closed the show with a six minute multiplayer demo.  Featuring insanity like a tanker truck being used as a car bomb, shooting out supports to bring down a bridge, ziplines, and bringing down a massive crane to traverse the environment.  Visceral also announced that the Battlefield Hardline closed beta will launch today on PS4 and PC.  You can sign up now at battlefield.com/hardline

What did you think of the presser?  Let me know in the comments below!

by, Bobby Marquadt

Xbox Live Ultimate Game Sale features steep discounts on Halo, Dishonored, Batman, and more!

Dishonored

Xbox’s Major Nelson announced the Ultimate Games Sale which begins today on Xbox Live.  Gamers will get massive discounts, up to 93% off, on both retail and arcade games.  Their will be new sales each day, as well as many games on discounted until the end of the sale on February 25th.   Today’s deals include Dishonored for $9.89, Halo Reach for $7.49, Armored Core: Verdict Day for $7.39, Dante’s Inferno for $3.74, Ruse for $6.59, Capcom Arcade Cabinet for $1.74, Runner2 for $1.94, and Bastion for $2.99.

For the remainder of the sale games like Portal 2, Batman: Arkham City, and Mass Effect are all on sale for massive discounts.  To learn more, head over to Major Nelson’s blog or look on the dashboard of your Xbox 360.  The deals will update each day, so check back for any games you’ve been waiting on.

by, Bobby Marquardt

Bioware employees tease “The next chapter of Mass Effect” with new images

Mass effect 4 teaseMass Effect producer Michael Gamble, Director Casey Hudson, and many others from Bioware Edmonton, have released a series of teaser images for the “The next chapter of Mass Effect”.  Gamble tweeted “The next chapter of Mass Effect is upon us!!” accompanied by the picture seen on your right.  Studio Director Yanick Roy followed up Gamble by tweeting “…with new characters to fall in love with…” accompanied by a piece of character concept art.

Level Designer Gary Stewart continued the trend, tweeting “…new enemies to encounter…” accompanied by more concept art.  Gameplay designer Manveer Heir finished the streak by tweeting “…and new worlds to explore!” with a picture of what appears to be an actual level being built.

Mass Effect’s director Casey Hudson closed the tweetings by saying “We continue working hard to create amazing new Mass Effect experiences for you. Happy N7 Day everyone!”  Obviously we can’t see anything substantive in these pictures, but it is enough to get gamers excited.  It seems like we may see a reveal in the near future, as Bioware is looking for a late 2014, Mid 2015 release.

This reporter’s opinion: I certainly am excited for a new Mass Effect game, but the taste still hasn’t left my mouth from the ending of Mass Effect 3.  I know, many of you are sick of hearing complaints about it, but it was just that awful.  I’m still willing to give Bioware another shot with Dragon Age: Inquisition, and then probably Mass Effect 4(?), but it still hurts to me.

by, Bobby Marquardt

Thanks to Neogaf for compiling all of these tweets and images.