EA gamescom 2015: Star Wars Battlefront, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Need for Speed – all the news

By Sherif Saed, Wednesday, 5 August 2015 14:04 GMT

EA’s press conference at this year’s gamescom was short and to the point. Here’s everything they talked about in one place.


The EA press conference just ended. Plenty of news, footage, and cuteness was on display. The briefing didn’t go over the allotted hour, so there was no Story Time with Pelé.

CEO Andrew Wilson started us off with a brief speech thanking the audience before introducing Ghost Games’ Marcus Nilsson who then began his Need for Speed presentation. It sadly wasn’t filled with gameplay as one would expect. After announcing a Twitter competition, Nilsson showed off the Need for Speed Icons – a group of real-life car enthusiasts and professionals who each represent one the game’s pillars.

These are Speed, Style, Build, Crew, and Outlaw. Another trailer highlighted part of the game’s story which was FMV-heavy and showed only seconds of gameplay. As part of perusing each of those interests in the game, you’ll be required to impress each one’s Icon.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst‘s turn came next with the first proper gameplay demo. The demo showed an early story mission and looked impressive. Some story beats were divulged, but we still don’t know enough.

Most interestingly, Faith’s free-flow combat was shown. The system couples running moves with punches and kicks to create a melee system based on momentum.


BioWare came on stage after to talk about Knights of the Fallen Empire, the new expansion coming this October to Star Wars The Old Republic. The demo showed off the Outlander character. BioWare then announced that anyone who joins by August 10, will get new companion character Nico Okarr for free.

The Sims 4 was up next, opening with a live-action trailer of what it would feel like being a god in real-life. The Sims 4 Get Together expansion was announced following that. The new expansion adds a whole new region called Windenburg.

Then a few models/dancers came up on stage to have a mini-rave in The Sims 4’s honour.

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 followed after that, with the reveal of its Mass Effect-inspired character called Z7-Mech – a pre-order bonus for the game. The game’s most interesting feature by far was its online hub called Backyard Battleground.

Backyard Battleground acts as a normal lobby you’d expect from any multiplayer game, except you can do missions, interact with characters, or have friends join you together in matchmaking. It looked a bit like Splatoon, but with much more drab colours. PopCap reiterated the game’s support for co-op and single-player, and revealed new characters as well.


EA’s Patrick Söderlund took the stage next to show footage of various games that are currently in development. These games were not named, but some footage looked similar to E3 2014’s Criterion game, and the indie game from the director of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Söderlund insisted that some of these are very early and may not even end up being games, to highlight the importance of taking risks.

Martin Sahlin, the developer behind the cute physics platformer Unravel was up next. Sahlin showed a new sea level and even died during the demo before restarting. He said the level was inspired by his trips to the coast as a child.

Yarny lives on and we’re okay with that.


Then came the most anticipated game of the briefing, Star Wars Battlefront. There was no countdown this time, so looks like EA learned their lesson. As promised, DICE came on stage to show off their dogfighting mode Fighter Squadron. The mode throws 20 human players, plus 20 AI bots, in one big air battle.

The battle took place on Sullust, which was our first look at the new planet it in-game. Footage looked stunning as always and it looked like you could call in bigger ships to fly when you reached a certain score, as evident by the Millennium Falcon’s entry. The battles themselves did not reach outer space, but took place at pretty high altitudes.

FIFA 16 was up next with the reveal of a new mode for Ultimate Team called Draft. The mode was detailed on stage with a trailer featuring footballers Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.

The game’s Career Mode will also be getting two fan-requested features in Pre-season Tournaments and Player Training. Game day will also support the German Bundesliga this year.

That’s it for news, make sure to head over to the main story for the VoD version of the show.

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