E3 2012: Electronic Arts Keynote Roundup

EA’s press conference fell a little flat compared to the rest (although we loved the Sim City presentations!) with its emphasis on sequels rather than fresh IPs, but that said we have to admit that these sequels look awesome nonetheless. We’ll be covering the more interesting games from the otherwise-blah presser below, but you’ll be the judge of which games we think you’re best off looking out for.

The show opened with Dead Space 3, which has you crash landing on an alien planet and battling monsties in a snowscape (Lost Planet anyone?). It’s a lot brighter and has much more open space compared to the previous two claustrophobic installations, even though it’s described as “the most spine-tingling adventure yet”. It also adds co-op play, where you can play in teams of up to four and battle giant bosses. It’s set for a February 2013 launch.

The Sim City series gets a boost with Sim City Social, a social Facebook game described as a SimCity for everyone. We actually got a shock when the trailer for Social started playing, because we were expecting to see the new Sim City. Fortunately, great trailers for that debuted right after.

Sim City for the PC is said to be the one to revolutionise simulation. Multiplayer will see the choices you make in your city affecting other players, and you’ll be able to connect to entire worlds of Sim Cities. The game’s visuals have also taken on a more cartoony feel, reminiscent of sister franchise The Sims’ look. It’s. Awesome.

Battlefield 3 introduces new DLC – themed expansion packs. Expect to see infantry combat, motorcycles and all-out vehicle warfare, among others. It did feel like EA was selling their premium service as opposed to demoing what we’d see. They even mentioned you can get all the DLC now by purchasing Battlefield Premium (only US$49.99!)…

Lackluster Star Wars: The Old Republic perks up with new content. It’s going to introduce a new playable species – the Cathar, basically humanoid cats – and a new world – Makeb – to explore. Gamers can also try the game for free up to level 15. That’s one way to get more numbers!

Fifa ’13 also had its moment of glory. Players will be able to carry save data over from Fifa ’12, and these veteran players will be able to get bonuses from the football club catalogue. There’s also going to be a new iPhone app that keeps you connected to your Fifa profile. Fifa ’13 draws its inspiration from Lionel Messi, undoubtedly one of the greatest football players of all time.

Medal of Honour returns with Warfighter, boasting improved visuals. The demo we saw was set in a tropical area, and debuted a new interface. The semicircle selection makes swapping weapons and interacting with the environment more intuitive. There’s also going to be a multiplayer campaign with ten different nations for you to play around in. Medal of Honour: Warfighter will be released on October 23rd this year.

Crysis returns with its third installment, with seven distinct areas “designed for you so you can play them the way you want to.” High rise canyons and urban rainforests are just some of the terrain you’ll be treading. It looks amazing as always, and the nanosuit seems to have been tweaked to have a higher defense. The player in the demo was able to take more shots before dying than we remembered being able to.

In a jaw-dropping moment, the Ultimate Fighting Championship series clambered onstage with EA Sports to announce not just a new game together, but also a multi-year and multi-product agreement. Sad day for THQ indeed.

And finally, Need for Speed: Most Wanted by Criterion Games was demoed! A remake of the previous Most Wanted installment, it will see players competing with friends to become the most wanted (duh) in the city. It’s sleek, sexy and fast, and it’s an open world.

This is it for our roundup of the EA press conference. We’ll be back with the Sony and Nintedo keynotes before you know it.