EA Impress At GamesCom With Battlefield, Mass Effect & FIFA, 20 Minutes Of Gears Of War 3 Footage + Six More New Stories

It’s typical. I decide to delay the news for one day, and then EA amongst others drop multiple bombs at the GamesCom conference in Germany. Oh well, means I’ve got more to write about – and believe me, this stuff is sehr gut (very good, as the Germans would say). Let’s crack on:

  • The most pertinent thing to discuss is Battlefield 3, and how it has played a massive trump card today. After announcing the addition of co-op gameplay (which seem to be missions separate from the main storyline retaining all the features of normal gameplay) and demonstrating a mission live to the GamesCom audience, they showed off some frankly unbelievable multiplayer footage: the amount of stuff going on in the video is crazy, featuring your standard gun and run action, but with plenty of tanks and other vehicles to keep you occupied.

And jets. So many jets.

I’m sorry, but I defy anyone to not watch that and say that DICE’s effort is more than worthy as a challenge to Modern Warfare 3.

  • Bioware were determined not to be beaten by DICE however, and demonstrated a new gameplay video (the first in a series it seems) of Mass Effect 3, where we see Shepard, Liara and Garrus taking on a team of Cerberus operatives. The immediate things to note – Shepard’s ability to issue orders seems to have improved, as evidenced by actively telling his squad mates to move behind a wall; the gun sights and their fire patterns have been changed, indicating this will be an even more gun heavy game than the second instalment; Shepard can use the Omnitool to deliver destructive damage at close range, and enemies now interact differently with your squad. For example, we see a mech picking Liara up, rendering her useless to the battle. Clever stuff. Shepard also throws a grenade at the finale of the video, indicating their return from the first game. You can watch the video via this link here.
Use The Force, Shepard
  • As promised last week, EA have released the date when FIFA 12 will be available in demo form. The all important date – September 13th, which falls on a Saturday; allowing you plenty of time to get stuck in (unless you have a weekend job…like most footballers ironically). They also released a trailer once again highlighting the new trinity of features being heavily pushed for this edition, such as precision dribbling and tactical defending. The trailer does give off the briefest glimpse of career mode however, and the transfer deadline day dynamic within the mode – looks like they’ve sorted out the news bar at least. Best be selling off those copies of FIFA 11 then if you want to get some value in the disc before its too late.
  • In a surprise move, EA had more FIFA news, in the form of a reboot for the FIFA Street series. The original set of three games was released on the last generation of consoles but performed poorly both in sales and critical review. Perhaps by borrowing some elements of FIFA 12’s engine, the game can be improved.
  • The reboot for SSX has been forgotten by a few people in light of all the great games coming this winter, but it hasn’t stopped EA trying something new out. In Explore mode, it you set a personal best time, the game will record a ghost copy of your run and let your friends automatically see it – an intriguing concept. You can also get notifications of beating other times through an iPhone application.
  • Hideo Kojima’s Twitter account has been a hive of information recently. After confirming that the special editions of MGS2 and MGS3, Substance and Subsistence respectively, will be the games used in the upcoming HD collection and posting an image that all but confirms Zone Of The Enders on 3DS, Kojima turned his attention to the delayed Metal Gear Solid 3DS game, demonstrating a new camouflage creation tool. Basically, you use the camera on the 3DS to take pictures, and then scan them into the game for Snake to wear while he crawls around the jungle. Its really nice integration with the 3DS, and no doubt some hilarious and very inappropriate camouflage is going to come as a result of it.
  • Bethesdahave released new photographs from the upcoming Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, showing off the faces of the races that you will able to play as come November 11th. It’s good to see the game’s overall graphical upgrade has been applied to the character models, which look very classy indeed (just look at the muscles on the Nord warrior). I think I’ll be picking Argonians and Khajiit for the first of my many predicted playthroughs.
Giant muscles.....
Or giant whiskers?
  • It has been said many times in the past, but it requires repetition every time: Suda 51, you are one crazy bastard. His latest idea for a game, Lollipop Chainsaw, has had its debut trailer, and features the cheerleading protagonist eliminating many a zombie into rainbows and bright colours using her trusty chainsaw. I’m lost for words on this one, check it out yourselves.
  • Epic Games have been talking quite a bit recently about their upcoming blockbuster, Gears Of War 3. After confirming the addition of four player co-op in story mode (HALLEJUAH), they released 20 minutes of footage from the game, showing off one of the early levels where you take control of the one and only Augustus Cole – The Cole Train – has he visits his wrecked home town in search of supplies. The video shows quite a few of the new nasty mutated Locust enemies (and their subsequent deaths by bullets, explosions or Lancer chainsaw), as well as showing off two new cast members, some hidden Easter eggs, new control mechanisms, and the ever present sharp and witty script we expect from a Gears game. The game will also support stereoscopic 3D, one of only a few titles that has the feature on the Xbox 360. The gameplay footage is accessible by this link.
I spy, with my giant infected eye....
  • Turn 10 studios have been busy adding the final bits of spit and polish to Forza Motorsport 4. Today at GamesCom they released a video showing off the Hockenheim track in Germany in all its glory, and also a terrific look into how they managed to put the real life track in the game, using military standard GPS equipment to map the circuit and its bumps and over 10,000 photos for the artists to make the game world from. Clearly, they know what they are doing, and it will no doubt keep the excellent Forza series going strong as ever.
  • Halo Combat Evolved: Anniversary has already had a fair bit of exposure, 343 Industries still want to appease the fans and sceptics though. Today they showed off some of the multiplayer gameplay, showing the classic Damnation map running on the Halo Reach engine. It isn’t quite as exciting as seeing the Silent Cartographer running in HD, but Reach has proven itself to have a very solid multiplayer, so I’m sure it will suit the classic maps just fine.
  • Sony have announced there will be a new version of the PSP launching this Autumn for a RRP of 99 Euros. It will not have Wi-Fi, but can play every PSP game available. One last ditch attempt to get sales up before the Vita?

I would wager that there is plenty more yet to come out of GamesCom, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Also, a quick note to say my next review, Final Fantasy 13, will be ready sometime this week.

P.S I have just passed 4,000 views for my blog. Thank you very much for all the views, it makes me feel good that people are taking something, if very little, from the site and it gives great incentive to keep writing.

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