We get the details from EA's press conference in Cologne.
EA kicked off the Gamescom press conferences, bringing us a host of new media for their various games. We're going to be following many of these up with hands-on and interviews, etc, but in the meantime, here are our impressions of what we saw...
An all-new FIFA Street game, it follows the recent trend of dropping any trailing numbers, etc, and just calling itself by the original title - as though this was the first in the series (it's not). It is, however, the first to be made by the actual FIFA team, which is pretty exciting for fans of that franchise.
The focus of the title is on berserk handling stuff, and in recreating the sport of football as played out in the world's streets. It's got 35 environments, social integration (more details to be announced), supports the new "Football Club" of FIFA 12 (and Season Ticket, for that matter) and is coming early 2012.
Need for Speed: The Run
For Gamescom, EA have revealed an all-new level from the upcoming race-across-the-USA game, called Independence Pass. The demo was jaw-dropping. So fast, so crazy. Basically, you blast down a mountain road at break-neck speed, while all the while some nasty bugger is using rockets to set off avalanches. Chaos ensues, all at 300mph. It was insane. The sound, the light, the camera shakes - you name it, this level's got it all. We want more and we want it right now.
Dr. Ray Muzyka came on to talk about the various BioWare games that are currently in development, including some surprises...
Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes
This new, free-to-play (with premium, purchasable stuff - count on it) "PvP" (player vs. player) game challenges players to go head-to-head-to-head (there are three factions) with up to 18 players in this 6-a-side action game. It's fast-paced and focused on fun, apparently - something you can find out for yourself, with an opt-in beta available now.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Apparently people are pretty excited about this one, with EA announcing that the game has set a new EA pre-order record. To ensure that players aren't disappointed, EA are giving themselves the goal of setting a new standard for MMO releases when the game comes out early next year.
We then got to see the world debut of an in-game "operation" - known in other MMOs as a "raid"- in which 8 players attempted to take on a scenario by the name of "Eternity Vault". In this, we got to see the various classes in action, with the usual MMO archetypes (tank, heal, dps, utility) clearly in attendance. It looked good, for an MMO, with the demonstrated (German!) dialogue showcasing both the dialogue wheel tech (as seen in Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic) and the impressive depth of entirely vocalized narrative.
If you're an MMO fan and like Star Wars, this one's looking more and more like a slam dunk every time we see it.
Huge. Fast. White. Those are the three words we'd use to describe it. EA, on the other hand, like Race, Trick, and Survive. Basically, if there's content in the game, it's built around those three core ideas.
What we saw impressed with its depth if nothing else, with loads of cool social gaming modes, for example, that allow up to 100,000 people to compete in a single tournament. There were heaps of possibilities here, with friends and strangers all catered for. There's even an autolog-like utility called Rider Net that lets you track what your mates are up to and helps you find stuff thanks to its in-depth recommendation engine.
The Other Stuff
There was loads more, of course, including more of the OH MY GOD Battlefield 3. In particular, we saw a big chunk of a multiplayer map called Caspian Border, with jets and up to 64 players. We're hoping to play this on the show floor, so more on this later, but... just... wow. It blew minds.
Ken Ralston talked more about the awesome sounding Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (and he's quite the presenter) and we got another tantalizing glimpse at the bizarre "everything is real" MMO The Secret World. We still don't really know what it is, or how it works, which is potentially concerning given the game comes out in April. Still, you can sign up for the beta from the 26th of this month, so chances are good detail will be coming thick and fast after that.