2:00pm Sitting down in the beautiful old-timey Orpheum Theater. Wi-fi problems notwithstanding (trying to cram 900 journalists onto to four wireless routers = fail), we're ready to rock and/or roll.
2:10 - So it begins. Need for Speed. Which side are you on? It looks like you can play as either a racer on a forested road or as a policeman in hot pursuit. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Yeah, that looks hot.
You can throw down spikes to pop tires and pilot helicopters to track racers from the air.
Autolog will allow you to connect and compete with friends. You can meet up online and play as cops and racers and try to takedown the racer, or elude your buddy.
2:16pm - In-game footage of a duel between cop and racer looks freaking great. You can gain power ups to establish roadblocks ahead of the racer. There's nothing better than bumping a racer into the rails until his car blows up. In big letters on the screen: BUSTED.
2:19 John Riccitello says he'll be showing off 10 games today. Next up: Dead Space 2.
2:20pm The playable footage for DS2 shows off some terrible Necromorphs attacking in what looks like a Gothic church. First Creepibad reveal? A huge spider looking monster that literally made me jump only 3 seconds into the demo.
2:23pm DS2 coming out on 1.21.2011. It looks like it takes place on a planet, as opposed to a ship. But when the widows are busted out, the protagonist needs to tap X repeatedly in order to avoid being sucked out into a futuristic city. The demo ended on a cliffhanger, but we'll see how it ends up during the Sony presser tomorrow.
Moans and chagrin from the crowd.
2:30pm Medal of Honor displayed with 24 simultaneous players all on stage. Seeing them all in a row, fragging each other in the same match was awesome.
Best moment? A player calling an aerial SCUD missile attack and seeing the missile drop from the first person perspective of the missile itself. Ka Boom!
2:33pm GunClub is introduced, a series of multiplayer rewards over all of EA's games. A multiplayer experience custom-made for Escapist EIC, Russ Pitts? I think so.
2:36pm Brief trailer for Battlefield: Vietnam with Creedence's Fortunate Son playing in the background. Great song choice, perfectly captures the late sixties mood.
2:37pm Peter Moore comes on stage and tells us about MMA. They are really pushing the license for this game and how it recreates the MMA experience.
But that's not all. EA Live Broadcast is how they're going to bring EA MMA into the onine realm. You can create your own fighter and upload videos of yourself smack-talking. Not canned smacktalk, but the real shit talking that can only come from an online video experience. :)
The coolest thing is that tournaments will be held online and thousands of people will be able to watch your match against GamX909. Pretty cool shiz.
EA MMA comes out on October 19th. Now it's a fight. Now it's a catchphrase!
2:44pm EA Sports Active 2. Now this looks like an exercise and workout game that might actually be fun.
EA brought out some attractive people to work out for us. Yay! But I was really excited for the mountain biking game. The model was jumping and performing squats but to her, she was just focused on hitting the next jump and pedaling over that hill. With the realtime heart monitor (now strapped to the wrist instead of the annoying chest strap), she was able to track her workout more than ever before.
Active 2 will be out for the Wii and the PS3, but it really shone with Kinect. Gearoid, the only male model, was showing off his boxing skills in real time due to the Kinect's camera fidelity.
Maybe now I'll lose that beer belly I've been developing over the last few years...
2:50pm Madden 2011. Snore. Hall of Famer Joe Montana? Yippe kay ya, mother f'er!
2:53pm I don't have any idea what Joe Montana is talking about (I don't think Peter Moore does either) but damnit if that's not a classy move bringing up a real football star to talk about making calls in the huddle.
2:56pm Rod Humble comes up to talk about the Sims 3 on consoles. He starts off with some philosophical mumbo-jumbo about whether we humans have free will, or if we were all predetermined to be here in the Orpheum theater and listening to a game designer try to put a smart face on choosing when your Sim pees.
At least the trailer looks badass, there is truly so many stories that can be told using the Sims engine. John Riccitello comes onstage to confirm that Sims 3 is more than a game, in his mind.
3:00pm Riccitello gives a shoutout to EA Partners, its developers which use EA as a publisher. The best part? Snubbing Activision by showing Vince Zampella and Jason West from the new Respawn Entertainment. Maybe they were talking to EA the whole time...
3:10pm Cevat Yerli takes the stage to show us Crysis 2. There are no new bullet points from the preview from a couple of months ago, you still get an open world style of shooter that let's you use the nanosuit however you want through the streets of New York.
But what was cool was the new footage: A vicious boss battle in the iconic Grand Central Terminal. All of the nanosuit powers were showcased, from cloaking into view to launch a nasty missile at the huge alien mecha to jumping over obstacles.
The topper? An attack blasting the MetLife building so that it topped onto Grand Central, destroying the monument that we were just battling in. Pretty sweet.
Strike that, the topper was a 3D Crysis 2 trailer. I put on my glasses and was pleasantly amazed at how good the Crytek engine looks in 3d. If this is the future of 3d gaming, then it might just be pretty cool.
4:18pm Best line of the Bulletstorm preview: You scared the dick off me!
4:24pm Cliffy B up on stage tells us that Bulletstorm is coming out on 2.22.2011. The gameplay footage blends some pretty choatic action with pulpy humor. Using the left hand tether to draw enemies into the air and shoot them in the sky looks like it super fun. The fact that each one of these combos awards the player with points. +50 for coolness.
Or as the chick on stage said, "It's a endless cycle of awesome."
4:28pm The EA presentation ends with a bang. The Old Republic. The new trailer was titled Hope.
A Republic Trooper gives a gritty voiceover about how the Sith have attacked Alderaan (does that planet ever get any love?) but the only thing that they can do is keep fighting. He leads a last-ditch retaliatory strike against a Sith troop with what looks like Inquisitors and war droids. Just as you think all is bleak, and the Trooper is about to be executed lightsaber-style, in comes the cavalry. A Jedi woman touches down sporting a fancy dual saber a la Darth Maul, but sexy and, you know, good. A badass duel ensues, with the Trooper turning the tide with a well placed suicide grenade.
The trailer was long, maybe 3 to 5 minutes, but it totally reminded me what makes this franchise resonate with so many gamers.
4:39pm Oh yeah, and the big gameplay reveal: Every player will get their own ship, which will be fully-customizable. Take that Galaxies, TOR will give us ships right out of the gate! I do kind of wish that they detailed PvP other than just saying, "There will be PvP."
4:40pm That's it, folks. Ten games in 1.5 hours. I'm spent. I don't know about you, but I'm incredibly excited for about 90% of the games here. It's going to be a good year for EA.