gamescom 2013: EA Games Conference Recap


Today EA Games held their gamescom conference to members of the press. Here are some of the highlights from the event!

The Sims 4 was the first game showcased at gamescom for EA, a game which will launch in 2014. Smart Sims will act within a multitude of emotional ranges, allowing for more personable created Sims. It appears to be easier and faster to create the Sims’ desired homes using the improved creative tools, including furnishing an entire room at the click of a button. Create-a-sim allows a lot more customization than before, down to how each created Sims walks in response to their personality. To wrap everything off, EA ran gamescom exclusive gameplay footage, including a cringe-worthy love triangle scenario that made me question if this game was a life simulator or a romance simulator.

Command & Conquer will be a free live service launching later this year. Episodic, story-driven missions will be added to the game, with campaign missions coming in 2014. These can be played co-operatively or solo. Gameplay footage was shown as two of the game’s developers dukes it out. Audience members with cards representing the winning team’s colors received free beer and pretzels as a prize, truly encapsulating the spirit of gamescom home city of Cologne, Germany.

Dragon’s Age: Inquisition begins as a worldly event sets in motion an investigation by the Inquisitor; the main player. You control this organization with the goal of conquering evil. As well, as you progress through the game you have access to Agents who will investigate and act on your behalf. For more information, check out the below video. The game will release in Fall of 2014.

Plants vs. Zombies 2 got a brief announcement tack-on. “Far Future” is the name of the newly-announced content update coming to mobile devices soon. They also showed some statistics about how successful the game turned out to be so far.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare allows you to play as a zombie. This is huge news for those of us who have always wanted to play as the other side. Some of the character classes include Soldier, All-Star (heavy artillery), Engineers and Scientists. Each of these characters feature different abilities and weapons, with hints of additional accessories and attachments available to be unlocked.

Additionally, the team revealed a gamescom exclusive scoop in a new Boss Mode that will be exclusive to Xbox One’s Kinect and SmartGlass. You control the battlefield from an overhead map, similar to a strategy game. You act as commander in chief of either the Plants or the Zombies, whatever you prefer. Hopefully it will be more than just a throwaway feature used to act as content exclusivity. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will launch in Spring 2013.

Peggle 2 was featured, reminding people that the game will come “exclusively first” to Xbox One. What little “gameplay footage” that was shown made Peggle 2 look like a more-cartoony Peggle. It acted as a subtle reminder at gamescom of the mobile division, just as it did back at E3.

EA Sports UFC got off to an odd start, featuring a trailer of real-life UFC footage and UFC announcer Bruce Buffer hyping the crowd up with obvious fake crowd noise being pumped through the speakers. We eventually got pre-alpha gameplay footage from the development team, showing off the EA Sports Ignite engine. The focus was on gameplay ideas, as the game is still early in production. The fighters acted more precise and had solid movements, removing doubts of “slippery” and sliding character models. The game is being prepared for a Spring 2014 launch, although an executive at the event said “9 months away,” suggesting a May or early June release.

Need For Speed: Rivals mentioned that “AllDrive destroys the line between single player and multiplayer.” It seems like the game will be yet another game that erases the line between separate play modes. Gameplay footage featured next-gen graphics of traditional Need For Speed gameplay mechanics. Performing races will get you Speed Points that will allow you to progress your career, buy new avoidance technology and buy new cars. You still need to get away from the cops after races, with a new feature allowing you to wager your points to prolong escape and rack up even more. Getting busted, however, will result in losing all of your progress on the race. Releases on November 21, 2013.

-Titanfall showed off more gamplay footage, showing the balance of story in a multiplayer gaming environment. Titans can follow you as you leave their capsules, use gravity-bending powers to attack and defend debris and can be latched onto in order to travel faster and reach higher ledges much easier. Other than obviously-scripted play shown off, the game looked like a breath of fresh air to the FPS genre. How the Respawn team plans to utilize a full story mode with online players will remain a mystery until the game comes out in early 2014.

-FIFA 14 talked about how it is a lot more accessible, allowing you to play on mobile devices for the first time in the series, and will be free-to-play. The game will provide a demo on September 10th. 33 leagues and over 600 football clubs are included in FIFA 2014. Real world statistics, injuries, player improvements will be updated as the seasons go on. Cross-gen transfer support is provided. A plethora of changes to the game’s physics aims to maintain a higher quality of soccer play than the competition. FIFA 14 launches for almost any 21st century device imaginable (excluding Nintendo consoles) in September.

-Battlefield 4 beta will launch in early October. Sticking with the “levelution” shtick, Battlefield 4 will once again focus on destructability and large environments to separate itself from the Call of Duty franchise. New gamescom gameplay footage showed that you can close shutters, turn off lights, shoot at fire extinguishers and be open to many more opportunities to create havoc-inducing gameplay variables. Even the weather can be controlled, creating huge headwinds and waves that will affect vehicle availability.

Battlefield 4 Premium was also announced. 5 expansion packs, 12 battlepacks, server priority is offered for this service. It remains as a season pass-type option for pre-purchasing content. Obliteration Mode serves as a new gameplay option, dropping only one bomb in the entire map. Both teams must fight to gain access to it and plant it successfully. Everything announced was combined into one gameplay video to showcase everything unique Battlefield 4 has to offer.

And with that, EA concluded their event. Not much new information was provided, but we did get to see a lot more gameplay footage of intriguing upcoming games. You can check out a replay of the gamescom footage here.

Meanwhile, check out our other gamescom coverage!