Electronic Arts' press conference at E3 2011 was long on sports, but short on substance.
For E3 2011, EA packed us into Los Angeles' Orpheum Theatre to make its big announcements for the latter half of the year and beyond. Predicted before the event were looks at the future of Mass Effect, EA Sports, Sims, a multi-platform Insomniac Games franchise, and more.
EA started the conference off right with a teaser for Mass Effect 3. Hectic news reports from all over the world detailed the invasion of Earth by the Reapers, as Reaper ships are shown encircling the globe. As we already knew, Shepard is the only one with the power to save the planet, and a new gameplay trailer showed us a little of what players will be in for. One of the big focuses of the trailer was Shepard's handy new energy blade, which will stab many a merc in the face and may make melee easier than in the past. It's very Halo. Shepard is shown taking down forces in a similar way to Mass Effect 2, and at one point paints an area for a bombing by the Normandy. Later, he hops on a ship with a turret and tries to take a Reaper down all on his own while flying through the environment. Mass Effect 3 looks more much more cinematic and physical than the previous titles in the series. BioWare's Casey Hudson announced that it'll be released on March 6, 2012 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
EA then moved on to talk about Need for Speed: The Run. The latest game will incorporate on-foot segments, with the player being chased across rooftops while engaging in QTEs to safely land jumps and get out of police sleeper holds. Then it's right back into the car on a race from San Francisco to New York with the mob on your tail. Somebody basically got some Grand Theft Auto and Heavy Rain into your Need for Speed. It'll also feature a new social environment that keeps track of every single thing you do and displays it in your profile.
Next, Greg Zeschuk appeared from the darkness to talk about Star Wars: The Old Republic. He emphasizes that an army of developers is working on it and the only way to learn about the game is to play for yourself. A trailer emphasized cinematics of Jedi and Sith battling to be number one in the universe. They looked beautiful and varied, so expect a lot of these during play.
Alarmingly, smoke began to fill up the room. An arctic mountain range appeared on the screen, and then, a snowboarder! It's SSX! Peter Moore emerged to reveal that the latest game in the series will focus on every major mountain range on the planet with realistic GPS-mapped levels and dangerous situations. Racing, tricking, and surviving will all be necessary in the game's three primary modes. Do a 1080 over the Great Wall of China! It'll be out in January 2012.
The smoke dissipates. Now it's time for FIFA 12. EA is adding realistic physics and collisions between players this year. It's also improving ball control and making tactics necessary to win. The presentation announced the EA Sports Football Club, an online social environment where players can connect with each other and gain XP to level up their personas. It'll connect every online FIFA product, cross-platform and cross-game. This type of service is a big initiative for EA Sports, and will be integrated with social media.
It wouldn't be an EA press conference without Madden would it? Coach Lombardi narrated a trailer filled with big hits and close plays. A trio of football players came out to talk about how much they like football. Not too much news here, other than potential online integration as seen with FIFA 12.