EA has become a franchise synonymous with sports video games and at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this year they showed their sports series for the 2015 year with some of the most exciting and anticipated video games annually. Brand name franchises like Madden, FIFA, NHL, PGA Tour and UFC were buzzing around the Los Angeles Convention center on Monday. The focus this year was on emotions and how EA could impose more of them seamlessly into the gameplay.
NHL 15 and hockey in general are at the forefront of many people’s mind these days, especially in Los Angeles, as their Kings have a 2-0 lead over the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals heading into Monday night. NHL 15 the video game series though was made to harness the power of next generation video game consoles by bringing the gamer the sights, sounds and feel of genuine hockey action like never before. This means grimaces on faces, more life like celebrations and other features to make the players seem like their real life persona. NHL 15 also boasts reconfigured game physics that apparently result in precise movement of the puck across the ice according to the impact of the stick.
Another highly touted game coming into the Electronic Entertainment Expo was Madden 15. A game that is often weighted heavily in favor of the offensive experience, especially the quarterback. This year there is clear emphasis on improving the defensive aspects of the game. Tackles have been redesigned to be more effective and can push opponents in multiple directions when needed. Again more emotions have been written into the code for characters to display and a real NFL director will be helping optimize replays to enjoy beautiful cinematic celebrations.
FIFA is always a big unveiling at the Electronic Entertainment Expo and this year was no exception as the EA franchise showed its 22nd installment of the game. With the FIFA World Cup happening in just under a week EA will surely capitalize on all of the extra marketing and interest in soccer/football that is being had this year. It seems emotions are also at the forefront of new features for FIFA 15. Players will have their own memories and react accordingly if their team is winning or losing. There will also be a living pitch, meaning that the field will degrade as the game is played out, and player’s jerseys will become dirtier by mud if taken down.
The biggest surprise this year at the 20th annual Electronic Entertainment Expo was the new face of UFC, Bruce Lee. This will be EA’s first dabble into a UFC game as THQ the former publisher of the fighting series went bankrupt. UFC stands for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is the largest mixed-martial arts competitive organization in the world. Bruce Lee was an interesting choice for the cover because he is no longer living, but EA has been known to use legends of sport in other franchises so it is not a novel idea.
EA showed a fight between Bruce Lee and Jon Jones, a light heavy weight champion in which Lee of course won after completing a jumping kick off the octagon cage that landed on Jones. The likeness of both characters was incredibly real and the beating they took from each other was very visible as the fight came to an end. The game is actually released in just over a week on June 17.
Lastly the PGA Tour franchise that for so long carried the moniker of Tiger Woods will continue next year without his endorsement. The game severed ties with Woods because of his off the course antics the past few years. The game itself will feature a new engine run by DICE called the Frostbite 3. It is the same technology that runs the extremely popular Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare video game series. Supposedly the gamer is able to explore every inch of the golf courses in extreme detail. Course will be the most life like yet and will also feature fantasy courses like the one showed in a video where battleships from Battlefield 4 are used as obstacles for a beach course.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo, EA also showed a number of their other franchises that were not sports related. These included Star Wars Battlefront 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mirror’s Edge 2 and Battlefield: Hardline, which was available in a beta version immediate after EA’s press conference.
By B. Taylor Rash