EA’s press conference kicks off today at 4.00pm CET, and while we’ll have Dave Cook’s impressions of it posted later, you can watch as everything else unfolds below.
EA kicked off the conference with Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, it’s tactical co-op title from Visceral Games. Executive producer Julian Bleak took the stage to introduce the game, explaining how the team used Frostobite 2 to leverage the game’s detailed destruction.
A new feature, called Overkill allows the player and their partner bring “massive destruction” to enemies for a limited period of time. Players gain Overkill by eliminating enemies, and it makes bullets more explosive.
The first look at Ao2’s gameplay was shown with split screen featuring prominently. At one point, Alpha hopped into a helicopter and used a chain gun to turn ground enemies into bits and pieces.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is out in March 2013.
SVP and GM of European Publishing Jens Uwe Intat and COO Peter Moore took the stage after the Ao2 demo to introduce the main press conference. During their introduction, NHL 13 GM Dean Richards skated onto stage in his Cologne Sharks uniform, and started chatting about the NHL franchise.
NHL is second only to FIFA as far as representing European teams, and NHL 13 contains the biggest league with connected mode, allowing 750 people to stay connected playing with 30 player online, user managed teams. It’s called GM connected.
“True performance skating captures the explosiveness, top end speed, momentum, and creativity of the world’s best hockey players,” said Richards. “Real world speed and physics govern movement on the ice,” adding the game contains new skating creativity with over 1,000 new skating animations, including backward skating.
A demo for NHL 13 will be available on PS3 and Xbox 360 on August 21, and European PSN players can download the demo the following day, on August 22. The game is out in stores on September 13 and on Origin.
After the NHL 13 portion was over, a Need for Speed: Most Wanted trailer was shown, demonstrating the challenge modes, including Drift Challenge mode.
Once the trailer ended, executive producer Matt Webster took the stage and said players will no longer have to grind in order to unlock all the cars. “If you can find it, you can drive it,” he said. Players can upgrade each car as the game goes on.
With Autolog 2 and a new CloudCompete function, NFSMW will be the most “socially-connected Need for Speed to date,” said Webster as he showed a demo of the function on screen.
A demo of Autolog/CloudCompete was shown, along with friends’ milestones and records which will be instantly viewable, as will speed cameras and billboards. Players can also earn Speed Points for just about everything in the game, which can be used for upgrades and more.
NFS: Most Wanted is out October 30 in NA and November 1 in Europe.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter executive producer Greg Goodrich took the stage, and announced the game will allow players to fight it out in multiplayer for their own nations. This will allow for over 70 warrior combinations to choose from in multiplayer. A new multiplayer trailer showcasing the game’s “Fire Team” co-op mode was shown.
Peter Moore stepped back on stage to announce The Simpsons: Tapped Out for mobile is live now in the German app store. It will re-launch in the US this week, in Europe over the next month. It’s free-to-play on iOS through the App Store.
Moore also discussed Origin which contains 500 games and over50 developers. It will be released on Mac, will become more social with achievements and challenges, and improvements to the user interface will be implemented.
EA Maxis discussed SimCity which will allow players to build whatever type of world they wish: a casino-style landscape, a university town, industrial complexes and each city will reflect the decisions players make. Using the Glass Box feature, it can be played with friends or with the world via the new SimCity World feature.
A gamescom trailer showed off the collaboration and multiplayer as well as a demographic and charts used to track the city’s progress. It’s out on PC and Mac in February 2013.
Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach took the stage to announced Battlefield Premium has garnered 1.4 million players since it launched in June.
Bach stressed once again the team’s dedication to bringing more content to BF3, with the DLC Armored Kill hitting in September and PS3 Premium owners will be the first to get it on September 4. Aftermath will be available in December, and End Game will bring motorcycles to the game next year.
A Battlefield 3 Premium Edition was announced, which includes the core game, Battlefield Premium, plus a multiplayer welcome kit containing in-game upgrades. It will release in September.
The first glimpse of Aftermath in the Premium Edition trailer was shown.
Crysis 3 gameplay was shown via a new trailer, and Crytek’s director of creative development, Rasmsus Hojengaard, took the stage with nine players to show a demo of the Hunter Mode gameplay.
Hunter Mode supports up to 16 players with two teams: a small group of cloaked Hunters and a larger group of CELL troopers. Hunters must fight to take down all of the CELL troopers before the timer runs out, and each CELL unit killed will respawn as a cloaked Hunter.
EA closed out the Crysis 3 portion of the conference with another trailer showing the urban jungle setting of New York City. The game is out in February 2013.
BioWare Austin GM Matt Bromberg took the stage to discuss Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bromberg reiterated the free-to-play option will be live in the fall, and briefing mentioned Cartel Points, which will be introduced as a new virtual currency.
Lots of social and content updates are in the works for SWTOR, such as the Terror from Beyond operation, several level 50+ space missions, and a new warzone for PvP players. The Grand Acquisition, in-game event starts today, and a short preview of it was shown onscreen.
Visceral hopped on stage to discuss the drop-in/drop-out co-op portion of Dead Space 3 as well as the weapon crafting system. Players will gather raw materials and tool parts to create the perfect weapon. Fans oft he game can enter a contest called Tools of Terror on www.deadspace.com by submitting “dream weapon designs”. The winner will have their creation and likeness added to the game.
A live gameplay footage from inside Issac’s ship mid-crash was shown. Dead Space 3 is out February 5 in the US and February 8 in the UK.
Andrew Wilson, EA Sports EVP, came on stage after the Dead Space 3 portion to discuss everything FIFA 13 related, noting that EA Sports and Nexon will release FIFA Online 3 in Korea later this year.
Ultimate Team was touched upon, which is the social ecosystem of connection and competition. Players access it from FIFA’s main menu where they can spend coins, trade players, and more. Since introduced, 92 billion coins have been spent and 30 million trades have been made. Over 380 million games have been played as well.
Players can now access Ultimate Team information through the EA SPORTS mobile app or the FIFA website.
Executive producer David Rutter took the stage to discuss FIFA Season, where 1 billion matches have been made this year. Seasons will be expanding with a new 2v2 online co-op mode and persistent squad saves. Division titles will be available for all divisions, and there’s a new trophy cabinet where players can add trophies to the collection as they progress through the game.
FIFA 13 will include a new innovation called Match Day which includes real-word information and commentary from what is going on in the real-world of FIFA as part of the EA SPORTS Football Club. Players will be able to keep up with real-world injuries, gossip, suspensions, trades, etc. will all form the in-game commentary. Every time the game is played, incidents in the real-world will affect players in-game, allowing them to change the teams based on real-world data. In-game stats will reflect on-pitch performance, and fixtures will change based on real world occurrences.
A demo, featuring Match Day, will release September 13.
Press-only briefings for Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill, The Secret World, Dead Space 3, FIFA Manager, plus and EA Mobile, Chillingo and PopCap titles will take place behind-the-scenes, so be on the lookout for more on these titles and more from VG247 this week.
You can look over the replay of the press briefing below or through EA’s gamescom portal.