The most exciting part of E3 is now over. Each of the major players has hosted a conference, giving everyone a look at their gaming line-up over the coming months. Here we look at what we saw and rate each of them out of 10. How did mega publisher EA do this year?
Tom Orry - Editor
Need for Speed Most Wanted, Crysis 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, SimCity, Dead Space 3 and FIFA 13. That's a great line-up of games. Sure, Medal of Honor has a lot to prove, but the rest are established, quality franchises that any publisher would be proud to own. In short, I thought EA's line-up was extremely good. I even like the look of Dead Space 3, despite online commentators getting worked up about how it looks like Lost Planet. For the record, I liked Lost Planet too.
Again, the show lacked anything in the way of amazing announcements. Dead Space 3 and NFS Most Wanted were both known about ahead of time, and the UFC deal is about as interesting to me as a partnership with One Direction would have been. But all the demos were great. I'm especially excited about Most Wanted as developer Criterion is easily one of the best devs working on arcade racers in the business. I'd hoped to see something on Insomniac's Overstrike, and a small part of me wanted a sequel to Dante's Inferno, but other than that it was top stuff from EA.
Martin Gaston - Reviews Editor
EA does the same trick every year - they say they're not going to be big and flashy but instead they're going to showcase some excellent games. And it works on me every year: Most Wanted looks fantastic, I think Sim City could be something genuinely special, and even the multiplayer reel for Medal of Hono(u)r: Warfighter managed to make me perk up towards a game I previously had no feelings for. I'm not a big FIFA or Madden player, either, but if I was I'd probably be fairly interested in this year's iterations. Good job, then, EA - I'm sure the Internet will roast you over hot coals for not trying to unveil any new IP, but I imagine I'll have a nice time playing your games this year - and that's pretty much the only thing I give a toss about.
David Scammell - Staff Writer
Oh, Dead Space. What happened to you? As a die-hard fan of the original Dead Space and its horrifyingly claustrophobic, fear-of-being-alone atmosphere, the debut of Visceral's third action-horror failed to set my pulse racing anywhere near the way the team may have intended. Why are we rolling about a vast icy wasteland? What's with the bromance? Heck, why on Uxor are we shooting at a big drill? Maybe the loss of Glen Schofield really has made an impact this time around.
But disappointing Dead Effect: Gears of Two: Lost Planet Edition or not, EA's conference was still arguably one of the better conferences of the show. Despite falling out with many of its consumers, EA still has - in my opinion - the best IP catalogue of any publisher. Mass Effect, Need For Speed, The Sims, SimCity, Battlefield, Crysis, Medal of Honor, and - yes - Dead Space, not to mention the silly amount of sports titles it has under its wings. And bar a couple of slip-ups, all are of the utmost quality - an enviably impressive achievement.
Stealing the UFC licence away from THQ, though, was the biggest headline of the night and a huge win for EA, particularly after the comments made by UFC chief Dana White back in 2009. ("I'm telling you straight-up, I'm at war with [EA]," he said after EA announced cage fighter MMA, reportedly threatening fighters with a ban from the UFC should they sign with EA Sports rather than THQ's licensed game.) But there he was on stage, rubbing shoulders with EA Sports president Andrew Wilson. He did look like he was going to punch his lights out at one point, though.
And the hits kept pouring in: FIFA 13, Crysis 3 and NFL 13 each banged out one after the other, although too much time seemed devoted to discussing Battlefield 3 Premium, EA's new Season Pass Plus of which details leaked out weeks ago.
SimCity was a particular highlight, of mine. I actually had the pleasure of seeing a demonstration of it a month or so ago, and though I'm not typically a PC gamer, this could be the game to get me to upgrade. With that said, though, its interface looks remarkably like something that could easily be ported to console. Time will tell...
I thought we'd see The Sims 4 in there somewhere, too. Maybe next year?
But it was the reveal of Need For Speed: Most Wanted that was the clincher. If you'd heard my slip-up on the podcast, you'd know that I knew it was coming, but the anticipation for its reveal was made all the sweeter when Most Wanted turned out to be Burnout Paradise 2.0. Criterion will never admit this, of course, but Most Wanted appears to have far more in common with Paradise than it does any other Need For Speed, with its superb social connectivity and brilliantly fun racing and chasing making it look like one of the stand-out games of the show. I have high hopes for this being Criterion's best game yet.
So, a good show all round marred only by a worrying first look at Dead Space 3. Reassuringly, though, while everyone else seems fairly hesitant to announce new titles for this generation, EA continues to have a superb line-up ahead. And when the next-generation does eventually roll around, I'd expect them to be waiting at the head of the queue, too.