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Gamescom 2013 - EA Press Conference Coverage

A camera scans across a blue room, the audience sat waiting patiently for the EA press conference to start. A number of people in green stand out from the crowd. That can’t be a coincidence.

A trailer appears on the screen and features a montage of the different games we can expect to see in this conference.

As the trailer subside Peter Moore appears on stage and announces that we will be treated to a look at ten titles they currently have in development for not only next-gen consoles, but PCs and mobiles/tablets too.

Without further ado the first game trailer starts. A live-action video starts showing people looking out of their windows at an unknown entity showering a green light across the city. A rogue llama pops up on a farm hinting at the only game could be. The screen centers in on a plumbob, confirming that this is definitely for... The Sims 4.


The Sims 4

Rachel Franklin Executive Producer for The Sims 4 steps on stage and explains that the latest version of the game will be a “bold step forward for our sims”.

One of the main ways the new game differs from its predecessors is sim emotions. The gameplay itself will be much more emotion-based.  New tech Smart sim lets you control a new generation of sims who are intelligent and emotionally aware. You can explore a plethora of human emotions from, anger to feeling flirty, from sad to happy. The dynamic new gameplay affect the mind, body and hearts of your sims giving a more personal experience than ever before.

The new creative tools at your disposal are intuitive, powerful and flexible. We see a preview of how easy it is to make homes. Fully decorated rooms can be placed, like the Blueprint mode which was introduced in Patch 42, despite Franklin’s claims that this is something completely new.


In the new Create-A-Sim mode you can pretty much sculpt your sims by hand, dragging features to appear however you’d like them to. They are fully customisable and you can even set their walk style to match their personality.

Franklin then shows us a video showing how, as players, we can influence our sims emotions to manipulate different situations. We see a love triangle between three sims; Sophia, André and Ollie. By using items like a violin to play a sad tune, the mood of sensitive Ollie is effected, causing him to feel depressed and ultimately not up to putting the moves on Sophia. He gets his revenge by using the voodoo doll (first introduced in the first Sims expansion back in 2000) and makes André furious, ruining his mood and chances with foxy Sophia.

Ollie then uses the suggestive artwork in his house as a means of setting the mood, getting him and Sophia into a sexy situation in a rocket of all things.

Franklin explains that she could have manipulated this situation however she liked, leading to hundreds of different outcomes which is essentially what the essence and beauty of The Sims franchise.

The Sims 4 is available for pre-order NOW and will be released in 2014.



Command & Conquer

The guys from Victory Games head to the stage and show us a battle between two guys who both claim to be masters of C&C. It’s a fast-paced affair showing lots of different units and interesting tactical decisions; like using a small selection of units to mask your true attack and toxic choppers damaging troops from above. We even get to see an aeroplane drop a fuel bomb and obliterating everything below it.


Victory games are aiming to provide new content on a regular basis, with new maps, modes and generals, and the best part is that player feedback can be incorporated right away.

There will be a brand new story-based mode for C&C, featuring episodic gameplay that you can play alone or with friends, which is something that the fans have been demanding for a long time. This will add a whole new layer of awesome to Command & Conquer and you can apply for the beta now before its release in 2014.


Dragon Age: Inquisition

Bioware’s aim with their new Dragon Age game is to create a vast open-world experience, with epic storytelling and “real choices with real consequences”

We are treated to a dev diary showing some of the features and ideas behind the game. Freedom is the first step for the game, it’s huge and you can explore everywhere with a surprise around every corner bringing a new level of immersion to the Dragon Age series, with everything from art, to things found under the rocks being completely relevant.

The world of Thedas will be on edge from the very beginning as the Veil (the barrier between the world and the spirit-world) has been town asunder, and the beings from the other side are attacking Thedas and its inhabitants.

You will take on the role of the Inquisitor, whose job it is to discover who caused this tear between worlds. You can be whoever you want, with a choice between races and classes as well as tailoring your look however you want.


From the very beginning you have power which is unlike any of the other “low beginnings” type we have seen in the previous games. But as we all know with power comes great responsibility and players will now have to make much larger decisions, some with devastating consequences. These king-like decisions look to be quite similar to those you encounter in the second-half of Fable 3, and your actions will have serious repercussions to your people.

The game will be available in Fall 2014. Frankly, we can’t wait.


Plants Vs. Zombies 2/ Garden Warfare


It’s time for PopCap to excites us with everyones favourite mobile/tablet game Plants Vs. Zombies. This second installment has recently been released and already has had 16 million downloads as well as 15 millions hours of gameplay and has been EA’s biggest mobile game launch in history. A new patch called 'Far Future' is very close on the horizon, and more content will be rolling out for this throughout the next few years.

Brian Lindley heads to the stage to talk more about Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, which was announced earlier this year at E3 2013. The game will run on the Frostbite 3 engine and you can play with friends in either online multiplayer or co-op as well and single player.

The biggest question on everyone’s lips is answered straight away with the answer to “Can I play as a zombie?” being a resounding yes. At this point a trailer kicks in to introduce us to the different types of zombies we will be able to play. The trailer is all in-engine footage and looks rather nice indeed.


The different zombie classes are:

  • Soldier zombie

  • All-star zombie

  • Engineer zombie (complete with a builder’s bum)

  • Scientist zombie

“The zombies are coming” exclusively first to the Xbox One in Spring 2014 and is available for pre-order right now.

A boss mode is also announced for PVZ: Garden Warfare, where voice commands come into play and will work exclusively with the Xbox Kinect and Smartglass and will allow you to play on tablets anywhere in the world.


Peggle 2


There is also a quick trailer for Peggle 2, showing some footage for the hotly-anticipated sequel, with roaring cheers from the crowd accompanying it.


UFC

The “voice of UFC” Bruce Buffer takes to the stage to introduce the first sports-based EA game to be covered; UFC. He tells us that “fighting is in our DNA”, that the sport is world’s fastest growing, with unparalleled excitement across the globe.

The game, which is due in Spring 2014, works with the new EA Sport Ignite Engine and will help players feel the fight like never before. We are show some pre-alpha footage to get an idea of what it will look like.

There is a new facial animation system which helps convey how the fighters are feeling, showing you the effect of exertion that the fights have on the human bodies, and giving a much more personal and realistic look to the stars of UFC that you control. They act like living human beings rather than just action figures.


There will be a real sense of weight and momentum as well as precise movement with the new locomotion system. The graphics themselves looks very nice even in this early footage, and we will get to experience them on the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.


Need for Speed: Rivals

Marcus Nilson, Executive Producer turns up now to tell us about the new Need for Speed game, with the question “Will you play safe or take a risk?” setting the scene for the game.

The new installment in the popular racing game will let players share their experience at any point, maximising the ability for people to play together either online or split-screen.  The customisation of not only the cars themselves, but your own career progression through something called "Speed Lists", means that all players will be able to progress in the game but with goals they choose for themselves.


There are some very nice new cars included, but in particular the Ferrari 458 Spider, and we catch a glimpse of its stunning curves on the race course.

Need for Speed: Rivals will be release 21st November 2013, just before their 20th Annivesary in 2014. “Will you cross the line?”


Titanfall

We now have a look at some footage from Titanfall. The trailer features some incredible fast-paced footage, with big mech suits and even bigger explosions everywhere. There is not much more information on the game, just a smorgasbord of epic battling.


FIFA 14


It’s back to sports and Andrew Wilson with the latest FIFA game which is heading to our shelves later this year. With 33 official leagues and 600 different clubs at your disposal, EA Sports have really taken it up a notch this year.

We see a trailer featuring the Real Ball physics system and precision movement that we can expect in the new football game, with the unmistakable voice of Patrick Stewart himself getting even the dubious amongst us excited.

The game will change around real-life events, with things like injuries that happen to players in the real world taking effect on their counterparts in the game.

Another trailer comes to the screen this time about the living world around the game itself; the stadium and audience. These things, the environment around the players, will come to life in a way like never before, adding a truly authentic experience to FIFA as audiences react to everything that happens in-game.


Alongside the current and next-gen version of this game, FIFA is coming to your mobile devices as a free-to-play game, with touch-screen controls providing a unique gameplay-experience.


Battlefield 4

Karl Magnus takes to the stage to give us some more information on arguably one of the most popular reveals at E3.

The trailer we see showcases some incredible footage, and in particular something called Levelution which influences each level and making every single game completely different. Things like destroying the power source in a building and taking down the enemy in complete darkness with the aid of your night-vision goggles, or even blowing up a dam to flood an area completely, forcing players to use just amphibious vehicles are just a couple of the amazing ways in which you will be able to interact with the environment.


All this, with 64 players playing at 60fps will make for an experience like absolutely nothing else out there, and those of us you want to try it out need only wait until October for the beta.

It wouldn’t be an EA conference without a premium content reference, and here is where we get it. With Battlefield 4 Premium content pack, players will have the chance to get early access to every content update on the game from day one.

Battlefield 4 is out October 31st, 2013.

And with that, folks, the conference is over. I hope you enjoyed the coverage.

Emseypenguin | 20th August, 2013

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