Last year, Electronic Arts rewarded viewers with a glimpse of its rebooted parkour title Mirror’s Edge, because it put up with a barrage of buzzwords like “levelution” and a bunch of basketball slam poetry and mixed martial art gloryhounding no one had asked for except the meatheaded jocks.
Is EA’s 2014 presentation roadmap a step above the gimmicks? Well, the only good thing we can say about it is that it’s mercifully short.
Apart from a nice opening featuring the Dragon Age: Inquisition theme performed live and with gameplay footage, there were lots of teases of concepts (not gameplay, mind you) and production videos, nothing more. Though EA dares to show off prototype ideas so that we can get into the swing of things, they were nothing more than that: backbones of promises of a possible future thing that will only see fruition no later than the end of next year.
We also got teases of the new sci-fi Mass Effect and a new Bioware RPG intellectual property, as well as more tidbits on the new Mirror’s Edge. That’s all there is to it: teases and glimpses that do nothing to keep a huge number of us invested until maybe next year’s E3 where these games will have a full-fledged gameplay.
Still, what gameplays EA had to showcase were on games that are targeted for this year. Simulation title The Sims 4 gets the spotlight, as does the new Battlefield Hardline (cops and robbers gameplay on an open world deathmatch map) to placate its target market of users and shooter fans respectively. The former will be out on September 2, and the latter on October 21.
The status quo is then preserved with the usual offerings of football and sports titles with realistic graphics and weather stuff, along with the addition of martial arts master Bruce Lee in the upcoming EA Sports MMA (which may sound disrespectful in the long run).
If any company should receive an award for playing it safe and also not putting much of an effort to surprise anyone, it’s the house that Trip Hawkins built. Instead of going all out for its fans like Microsoft and taking a risk with indie showcases like Sony, EA chose the path of least resistance, which is also filled with least excitement.
But hey, its showcase of Pro Tour golf game features fantasy courses, with a first glimpse of a Battlefield series-inspired map complete with exploding battleships. EA, we need more of that, and less of what you gave us this week.