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E3 Day One - EA

Slotted in between the big hardware manufactures – Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – are the third party publishers. They don't have any earth shattering hardware announcements to make, just lots of games to demonstrate and announce. To that end EA and Ubisoft had their press conferences on the first day.

Date: 16-6-2010
Subject: Games
Article By: Bradley Beeck

EA's fortunes have declined in recent years, with the rise of Activision. Hoping to regain their former dominance they're investing heavily in a handful of Triple AAA (high budget) titles, in additional to their usual truck load of sports title. Star Wars: The Old Republic, a Massive Multiplayer Online RPG developed by Bioware, is said to be their most costly title of all time. First Person Shooters/Action games feature a lot in EA's line up of games this year.

Dead Space 2
This sequel sees Isaac Clarke return in a struggle for survival against the necromorphs. It was announced a few months ago but now has an official release date: January 25 in North America and January 28 in Europe. Platforms: PC, PS3, X360.

“The story of Isaac, the necromorphs and the whole Dead Space fiction has much more to reveal. Dead Space 2 adds another dimension to the complex world and characters that inhabit this universe,” said Executive Producer, Steve Papoutsis. “We were honored and humbled by the response to Dead Space and Dead Space Extraction, and we could not be more excited to add another chapter to the annals of the horror genre.” (Press Release)

Crysis 2
Known in PC circles for it's ultra demanding and impressive graphics, this sequel is going multiplatform - Xbox 360, PS3, PC . It's also going to be one of the first games to be stereoscopic 3D on all platforms, and was demonstrated in 3D at the conference with the aid of glasses. I doubt many people will play it this way.

“At Crytek, we always strive to raise the technology bar. As the 3D revolution sweeps movies and television, we are excited to bring Crysis 2 to 3D, making it the first big action game to be available in true stereoscopic 3D,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. “The 3D experience represents a quantum leap in interactive entertainment. With all of the same story and action seen in the 2D version of the game, the 3D version adds another dimension of intensity and immersion to the action.” (Press Release)

Medal of Honor
Stepping out of WWII for the first time, this long running franchise takes place in Afghanistan and features a Tier 1 special operative. Nothing new was announced at the conference aside from a multiplayer beta, which begins on June 21. VIPs of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 who have preordered Medal of Honor will be able to access the two map beta on June 17. It's looking impressive.
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC.

“In selecting a studio to create our multiplayer, there was no clearer choice than DICE. When it comes to online gameplay, they are world class,” said Greg Goodrich, Executive Producer on Medal of Honor. “We’re excited to be partnering with DICE to deliver a single-player/multiplayer experience that perfectly complement one another. Though the modes and maps are different, both sides of the game carry through the same authentic sentiment of today’s soldiers who are fighting today’s war.” (Press Release)

Another game that was announced before E3, this is Epic's next title. Although it's actually being developed by a studio they own in Europe – People Can Fly. It also another game that got a release date – February 22, 2011. The presentation went on for some time, before a live gameplay demonstration. The game's selling point seems to be 'kill with skill', but haven't we been doing that since the invention of the FPS?
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC.

Taking on the role of Gray, players perform over-the-top combat moves with some of the most uniquely innovative weapons ever seen in a first-person shooter. Every enemy presents a new opportunity for stylish and ever increasingly bloody ways to take them down. The game’s signature ‘skillshot’ system guarantees unprecedented levels of frenetic gameplay rewarding players for inciting mayhem in the most creative way possible. The more insane the skillshot, the more points players collect to upgrade and unlock weapons, which in turn allows them to execute even more inventive moves and exaggerated skillshots. (Press Release)

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
Another title in the Need for Speed franchise, this time developed by Criterion studios. It's set for release in Novemeber 16 in North America and November 18/19 in Europe.
Platform: PC, PS3, Wii, X360

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit brings the franchise back to its roots with intense cops vs. racer chases. Criterion also ups the ante with the introduction of an all-new online network called Need for Speed Autolog where players compare racing stats and automatically get personalized gameplay recommendations from their friends– a feature that is poised to transform online racing for the connected generation. (Press Release)

Star Wars: The Old Republic
It's like shooting fish in a barrel when it comes to making awesome looking Star Wars trailers.

Sims 3
Scheduled for release in 2011, the casual friendly franchise is coming to consoles. And that includes Nintendo's new 3DS, making it a stereoscopic game.

We’re bringing players the first true 3D life simulation game on a handheld utilizing the ground breaking technology of the Nintendo 3DS,” explained Sam Player, Executive Producer at EA. “With new features like face mapping, a living open neighborhood, connectivity like never before and an all-new feature called “Karma Powers,” we’re making it easier than ever for gamers to play with life from the gaming platform of their choice.” (Press Release)

EA also announced a reward program called the Gun Club.
‘Gun Club’ members will receive benefits ranging from in-game content unlocks, early access to beta tests and demos, as well as the hottest news and exclusive access to development teams. The ‘Gun Club’ brings together some of the world’s biggest and best games, including Battlefield: Bad CompanyTM 2, Medal of HonorTM and a brand new paid digital expansion pack for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 set in Vietnam. Additional games will follow, including offers from Battlefield HeroesTM and Dead SpaceTM 2, among other titles. (Press Release)

Other games announced or displayed:
EA SPORTS Active 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 The Videogame
Madden NFL 11
MySims SkyHeroes
NHL 11
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11