SPOnG has just received EA’s line-up of titles to be shown at E3 next week (minus the obligatory surprise announcements we’ll hear about at the show, of course).
It would seem that the uber-publisher is making a concerted effort to portray itself as a forward-thinking innovator and not, as it has so often been accused of being in the past, over-reliant on sequels and cash-cow movie licenses.
So, it’s goodbye FIFA and Harry Potter and hello Will Wright’s Spore and Crytek’s Crysis. Well, it’s hardly goodbye FIFA, but you get the gist.
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and Battlefield 2142 will be the other two major PC titles on show. Console-wise, there'll be a new title called Army of Two (PS3, X360), film tie-in Superman Returns, and new PSP titles Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover and NASCAR 07. The Live-enabled Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle-Earth II for Xbox 360, due out this summer, is also something we’ll be taking a close look at.
EA Sports’ line-up is as healthy as ever with Madden NFL 07 (all formats - including most interesting by far, the fully Wii-compatible version) NBA Live 07, FIFA Football and Tiger Woods PGA Tour all on show.
SPOnG, as ever, has full 'behind-closed-doors' access to all of the above and, inevitably, some more big surprises, which we’ll be telling you all about as soon as we hear about them next week.
Paul Lee, President of EA Studios said in typically bullish fashion: "EA is leading the industry with a new generation of games on a new generation of platforms… We're pushing the technology to provide more innovation in our EA branded games and authentic athletic performance in our EA SPORTS games. We're also leading the resurgence of PC gaming with groundbreaking titles like Battlefield 2142, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Crytek Studio's Crysis and of course Will Wright's new game, SPORE."
Here is that line-up, in full:
EA SPORTSTM branded E3 line-up
Along with playable demos that showcase deep new offerings of Madden NFL 07, EA will feature tech demonstrations of NBA LIVE, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR and FIFA Football behind closed doors in the EA SPORTS Lab. These demos will illustrate the new tools and development philosophy that drives gameplay and feature innovation in EA SPORTS games on next generation consoles. Highlighting the EA SPORTS Lab will be never-before-seen technology that delivers authentic athletic performance— the athletic movements, awareness, look and emotional intensity that bring characters to life in EA SPORTS games. The Lab will also feature a demonstration of ESPN content integrated in upcoming EA SPORTS games, including ESPN ticker and ESPN SportsCenter Radio updates.
Madden NFL 07 - With the exclusive video game license of the NFL and its players, Madden NFL 07 continues to be the #1 football franchise in history with more than 51 million copies sold. In its 17th installment, you control the running game like never before. For the first time ever, step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback and smash through, overpower, or slash away from would-be tacklers as you fight for every yard. Innovative rushing controls give you a game-breaking ground attack featuring all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs. Developed by EA Tiburon, Madden NFL 07 will launch in August on the Xbox 360, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCubeTM, PSP system, PC, Nintendo DS and Game Boy® Advance. Madden NFL 07 is also in development on the PlayStation 3 console and Nintendo Wii.
NASCAR® 07* (Working title) - Take risks, be rewarded, and become a champion with NASCAR® 07* on the PSP system. With all-new Adrenaline Moments, use your skill and instinct during the most intense situations and control the outcome by avoiding disastrous wrecks and flying debris. Maintain your focus on dangerous conditions ahead with the new RaceBreaker feature, which guides you through every treacherous moment of the race. With all-new speed blurring, realistic spark and smoke effects, and camera shakes, get your adrenaline pumping and experience the all-out drama and intensity of 190-mph racing with NASCAR 07.
EATM branded E3 lineup
The EA game line up is as diverse as the audience games reach today. Gamers will have all-new experiences on award-winning franchises or discover completely new franchises; EA titles will demonstrate that next generation has arrived on the console, PC and handheld devices.
ARMY OF TWOTM - You're not alone soldier, not anymore. At E3, EA unveils details of the action title that has been kept top secret for the past year. Developed at EA's boutique production house in Montréal, Canada, the new, original game will redefine strategic TWO man cooperative play when it launches on the PlayStation 3 console and Xbox 360 in 2007. ARMY OF TWO will throw gamers into hot spots ripped from current day headlines where they will utilise unique TWO man strategies and tactics while seamlessly transitioning between playing with intelligent Partner AI (PAI) and a live player. When one man is not enough, it will take an army of two to fight through war, political turmoil and a conspiracy so vast it threatens the entire world.
Battlefield 2142TM - The year is 2142, and the dawn of a new Ice age has thrown the world into a panic. The soil not covered by ice can only feed a fraction of the Earth's population. The math is simple and brutal: Some will live, most will die. In Battlefield 2142, players choose to fight for one of two military superpowers in an epic battle for survival. Armed with a devastating arsenal of hi-tech weaponry, including assault rifles, cloaking devices, EMP grenades and sentry guns, players can level the playing field against massive Battle Walkers that control the ground and futuristic aircraft that rule the skies. Massive online* battles for up to 64 players drop gamers on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their team-mates. Battlefield 2142 also introduces an all-new game type for the first time in franchise history: "Titan" mode, which challenges gamers to control the battlefield and destroy their opponent's Titan - a massive flying warship - while defending their own. Battlefield 2142 is developed by Digital Illusions/DICE Sweden and is slated to ship for PC in Winter 2006.
SPORE – SPORE takes players on an epic journey from the origin and evolution of life through the development of civilization and eventually into the outer reaches of space. Create a creature, then control every dimension of its evolution from pond scum to galactic god. Experience multiple styles of gameplay as your creature advances through different stages of development. Fight for survival in the wild, develop a sprawling metropolis, trade and war against rival civilizations and explore the outer reaches of the galaxy. Every aspect of the universe from creatures to vehicles, buildings to plants, are created by the player and automatically shared with other players, providing a limitless number of worlds to explore and play. Create, control and explore your universe with SPORE. SPORE is under development for the PC by legendary game designer, Will Wright.
CrysisTM – Crysis is all-new first person shooter from Crytek, the award-winning developers of the critically-acclaimed hit Far Cry. Powered by the revolutionary CryEngineTM2, Crysis delivers next-generation PC technology, graphics and gameplay. Set in 2019 after a colossal asteroid crashes to Earth, Crysis begins amidst a tense military standoff between the North Korean and United States governments for control of the impact zone. Amid rising tensions, the asteroid suddenly bursts open revealing a massive alien ship, which begins freezing vast portions of the island and altering the global weather system. The invasion of Earth has begun. Crysis features an epic three-act story of alien invasion where players are able to customise their armor and weapons in real time to confront an ever-changing enemy and a harsh, dynamic environment. Advanced enemy AI employs realistic military tactics, forcing gamers to actively outsmart their opponents rather than simply reacting to them. Crysis is slated to ship for the PC in Winter 2006.
Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium WarsTM – The genre defining Command & Conquer series is back! The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and The Brotherhood of NOD continues...and the third Tiberium WarTM is about to begin. Welcome back, Commander. Command & Conquer, the groundbreaking series that put the Real-time Strategy (RTS) genre on the map, is returning in full force with Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars. This highly-anticipated next chapter takes the popular series back to its roots in the Tiberium universe and features the fast, fluid gameplay that Command & Conquer is known for and a gripping story that will redefine storytelling in RTS games. Experience a revolution in RTS gaming with a breakthrough single player campaign that rewards you for your gameplay style. Add layers of strategy to your gaming experience by building mobile bases, wielding the power of terrifying Ion Storms on the battlefield, or customising your armies by combining units. Battle it out online with native voice-over IP, integrated clan support, and new spectator modes that let you play RTS games like a sport. Windows PC, 2007.
The Lord of the RingsTM, The Battle for Middle-earthTM II for the Xbox 360 – Now command the epic battles of Middle-earth from your living room couch! Take control of huge armies and venture into the heart of Middle-earth to live the battles seen in the blockbuster New Line Cinema films and classic J.R.R. Tolkien literary fiction—all in spectacular high-definition. The game boasts a new, intuitive console-specific control scheme that allows novice players to enjoy the game's signature Real-time Strategy gameplay while giving expert players the flexibility needed to engage in a deeply complex strategy experience. Directly control hundreds of units in an attempt to defeat enemy armies, conquer new lands, and seal the fate of Middle-earth. As the first game in The Lord of the RingsTM series to be playable over Xbox LIVETM*, add to the intensity of the experience and challenge friends online* to engage in action-packed real-time battles. Summer 2006.
SUPERMAN RETURNSTM: THE VIDEOGAME challenges players to master Superman's unrivaled powers to save Metropolis. Based on 60 years of DC Comics and the upcoming motion picture, SUPERMAN RETURNSTM: THE VIDEOGAME creates the ultimate open-world super hero experience. As the Man of SteelTM, you'll hone your unworldly super powers such as Flight, X-Ray Vision and Freeze Breath to fight villains that only SupermanTM can defeat. SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME will be available on Xbox 360, the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, the PSP system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.
Def Jam® Fight For NYTM: The Takeover – Experience the ultimate hip hop fighting game anywhere you go. Master over 180 new fighting moves and 50 new dirty moves in order to win fights and rise among the ranks of your crew. Create your own fighter and battle through over 40 of the hottest artists and celebrities in Hip Hop including Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Snoop Dogg, and Xzibit. With a new story, new moves, new venues, and head to head wireless gameplay, Def Jam Fight For NY: The Takeover is the summer's must have title for the PSP system.