Community News: EA press conference
Check out my impressions of EA's keynote speech inside.
So Microsoft's keynote was pretty disappointing; we all know it's true. Unless you care about watching Kinect, there was very little that was interesting. So then came EA's keynote. Was it better than Microsoft? For the most part, yes.
EA opened up with a new remake of Hot Pursuit. I have to say it: I wasn't that much impressed by the demo. It's from Criterion, and it certainly looked like it; the game really did appear to have a Burnout feel to it. The graphics do look impressive, but I just can't get over the fact that the game looks more like a Burnout game than a Need for Speed game. EA boasted that the game was going back to the Need for Speed roots, but I just didn't see it in the demo.
After that they had the Dead Space 2 demo. Now I have to admit that I was pumped about Dead Space 2 even before I saw the demo, but the demo really took my hype to another level. It looks like they might be abandoning the tight corridor feel of the original, but that looks like it could really work in favor of the game. I really believe that Dead Space could end up being the next big franchise from EA, because it certainly has the potential.
EA also had a 24 player demo of the multiplayer for Medal of Honor. Despite the fact that I couldn't shake the similarities to Modern Warfare, I'm confident that EA LA and Dice together will create a fantastic game. The claim from EA LA is that Medal of Honor will be more realistic and less campy than Modern Warfare; if that ends up being the case, then I really think this new Medal of Honor has the potential to be great. I didn't have any interest in Medal of Honor before, but after seeing the demo I think that it will be fantastic.
The EA Sports stuff...you know what, it's Madden. I don't care how much EA is claiming that it will evolve the series - I don't buy it. They did show EA Sports MMA a bit more, and I do think that it looks like it has the potential to outclass the UFC Undisputed games; it definitely has that EA Sports pedigree behind it, so I have no doubt it has some quality behind it. There is also the new Active game - but let's face it, nobody cares.
There was a Crysis 2 demo that looked freaking amazing - not that that would surprise anyone that knows about Crytek's reputation. The fact that Crysis 2 will be available on consoles is going to be a huge factor in boosting the popularity of the property. Do I think Crysis 2 will be the next amazing first-person shooter? I don't know; I'm still undecided - but Crytek is definitely a developer with a reputation for quality, so I'm keeping an open mind.
And then there's the elephant in the room: The Old Republic. I'm not much of an MMO player myself, but this game is setting itself up to absolutely revolutionize the genre. I can't believe the hype surrounding this title. I remember back when Star Wars Galaxy was coming out - everyone was hyped about that, and you see what happened to that. But The Old Republic has Bioware behind it, and Bioware is known for quality, especially on the Stars Wars front (look at Knights of the Old Republic!). There was a new Old Republic trailer that...well, I thought it was a bit too over-the-top for my taste; the direction of the trailer was almost like watching a CGI anime, what with all the extreme cuts and close-up action. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, because anime can have some incredible action sequences. The trailer didn't impress me too much, but I nevertheless have a lot of faith in the guys at Bioware.
Speaking of Bioware, where was Dragon Age 2 and/or Mass Effect 3? I figured one of the two - more likely Mass Effect 3 - was a definite show, but both were absent from the keynote. I definitely think that an amazing Mass Effect 3 trailer would have upped the quality of the EA keynote tenfold, so I'm a bit disappointed by its absence.
All things considered, I'd say EA had a pretty good keynote speech. I don't necessarily feel that they had the best show that they could have had, but they still did a by-far better job than Microsoft. The lack of Mass Effect 3 was killer, but the fact that there seemed to be a genuine focus on the core gamer was definitely a huge redeeming point.
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