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During E3 week, one must take the good with the bad. With so many developers vying for attention, everyone expects great pressers. Whether it’s trying to gain momentum or re-energize the fanbase, E3 is where companies build consumer confidence for their products. Some companies take this challenge head on. Others, not so much. Count EA in the latter category.
It’s not so much that EA’s presser was terrible. Well, actually, it was pretty terrible. It was boring in some spots, cringe-worthy in others, and generally, just an unpleasant viewing experience. We’ll start with the positive.
The Good: Mass Effect Andromeda is coming next year. Apparently, players will be able to search entire planets and have more interaction with those planets than in previous entries, but EA didn’t really give too many details outside of that.
Gamers also saw the return of Mirror’s Edge, which has taken the series from individual stages to new, open-world gameplay. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good or bad idea just yet, but there’s a certain level of excitement in being able to use Faith’s abilities without being hamstrung by the boundaries of “leveled” gameplay. Being able to free-run is essentially the calling card of the franchise, so it’s good to see EA double down on the gameplay mechanic.
Need for Speed looked amazing, and the customization options should make for some unique designs when the game launches this November. The gimmick here is the five different ways to play. They still haven’t shown the drag racing mechanic from Underground in any of the gameplay videos, but I’m secretly hoping it’ll be in the final build.
That’s the end of the good stuff. Let’s talk about where EA went wrong.
The Bad: Earlier, I lamented EA’s show was painful to watch. It started going down hill with the Plants vs Zombies demo. The franchise appears to be a popular one, but it makes for a pretty unimpressive game to display on the main stage. It might’ve been a treat to watch for fans of the franchise, but one might be hard pressed to say it captured the hearts and minds of those who weren’t previously paying attention.
For sports games, EA immediately raised eyebrows even further with their borderline minstrel show promoting NBA Live 2016. I haven’t the slightest clue where they found the random “hip-hop” Black dude to come on stage with his forced lingo, but it wasn’t endearing in the least bit. The feature shown (taking pictures and uploading it to create characters) was cool but man…that dude really just put an awkward tinge on things. Also, having Pele speak barely understandable English in promotion of Fifa 16 was wholly unnecessary. Everyone could’ve REALLY done without that.
Lastly, mobile games suck. Nobody wants them.
The “Holy Shit” Moment: Unravel. Firstly, it was incredibly awesome to watch the presenter/creator of the game be so damned nervous on stage. He was clearly not only excited about the game, but scared to death of the reaction to it. The longer the game was shown, however, the less he had to worry about. As it stood, Unravel looks to be an amazing game. Readers, I’m giving you a heads up, this is the kind of game Tashaun goes nuts over, so when new information starts coming out, it’ll definitely be on the site.
The surprise moment came from two different things. One, this game is absolutely gorgeous. Two, it looks like a sleeper hit for platformer of the year. Unravel has a very dynamic twist to it, an incredibly cute character, and the person behind the game is clearly passionate about the product. It’s too early to tell, but one has a hard time understanding how this game fails when the creator appears to care far too much for that to happen. Be on the lookout for this one.
EA’s presser was more bad than good, but even in that, gamers still have some pretty good games to look forward to.