Electronic Arts (EA) kicked off the week’s E3 festivities with a few stellar previews.
For those who like sci-fi flavored games, EA has you covered.
First, there’s a glorious new trailer for the true sequel to Bioware’s epic space opera Mass Effect trilogy. The goal of this trailer is fairly transparent, of course – showing off the work going into the game as the various sceners, animators, and artists tweak the game’s assets, then show those assets in the Frostbite engine; meanwhile, on stage, Bioware’s Aaryn Flynn said we’ll have to wait until the fall for more actual information on the game.
However, the trailer does reveal a few nice details along with plenty of questions. First, while we definitely heard that the known alien species would be reappearing, it’s nice to see Krogan and Asari showing up in the trailer. If we assume this is some amount of time after the events of Mass Effect 3, though, my real concern is whether the Turians and Quarians, being of a different DNA structure and therefore unable to eat the same foods as Humans, Asari, Krogan, et al, found a way to survive. Of course, there’s a chance that we’ll see a completely different story in a parallel universe situation where the events of the original games, in this universe, never happened. However, I don’t see Bioware playing it that way.
Then, there’s the ship. The new ship’s name is the Tempest, and I don’t recall hearing that before. While the name of the Normandy, and the reasoning behind it, seem pretty clear, the Tempest isn’t as straightforward, with my best guesses being related to Operation Tempest in Poland during WWII, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, or just the general definition of the word as a simplification of what made the sentient races of the Milky Way embark on this journey, or the trials they may face in the process. Whatever it means, Captain/Commander Ryder is sure to take us to amazing places in it.
Lastly, we see a female character coming out of a deep sleep, though not necessarily cryogenic since we don’t see her in a cryo chamber of any sort that I can tell. But her pure white suit is visible as a member of the player’s party at several points throughout the trailer. I don’t think she’s the female character choice of Ryder, though, as in most marketing/teaser materials leading up to the Mass Effect games, Shepard and Ryder are shown either helmeted or with their backs to the camera or both – in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Benedict Cumberbatch in the role at some point.
Moving on, EA also announced some details on their Star Wars projects (there are three of them, for those of you who aren’t keeping count; okay, fine, five if you include BioWare’s ongoing The Old Republic and Capital Games’ mobile title, Galaxy of Heroes, but I’m only really discussing the other three). First and the biggest, is a confirmation of Battlefront 2 coming out next year sometime, and a betting man would wager next Fall in the pre-holiday cluster, so we’ll hear more details in a years’ time.
The one that excites me most is the action-adventure title coming from Amy Hennig’s Visceral Games. Does that name sound familiar? Yeah, she was the lead writer and creative director for the Uncharted series, at least for the first three games. We won’t get that game until 2018, but I think it has the best chance of any game planned so far of bringing us an original plot that could be the closest we’ll get to the glory that was Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic in a new title anytime soon.
Then, there’s also confirmation that Vince Zampella and Jason West’s Respawn Entertainment is working on a Star Wars title. There were rumors about this already, but it’s nice to have them confirmed. If you’ll recall, Zampella and West are pretty big names, as well. Maybe even bigger than Hennig, since they made news for a bit when they had a very public falling-out with Activision. Yes, that Jason West and Vince Zampella. The ones who headed up Infinity Ward and made Call of Duty a thing. After Modern Warfare 3 they left Activision, were scooped up by EA, formed Respawn, and their only title since has been Titanfall. Given that history, we might normally expect Respawn to give us another Star Wars shooter, but I’m certain that EA won’t want to have Respawn produce something that might draw sales away from DICE’s Battlefront franchise. So maybe we’ll see the new-FPS deities step out of their comfort zone and offer us something a bit different.
Finally, Respawn is also bringing us a sequel to Titanfall this year. This Fall. And I might have to put this one on my list because they’ve announced that it will have a standalone single-player mode. Whether it will be a good single-player story line … well, we can certainly hope for the best. The premise of the franchise has always intrigued me, but multiplayer-only games are too limiting for my budget.
From EA alone we have a solid offering of sci-fi coming our way in the next few years. If you need something more immediate, replay the Mass Effect trilogy while you have time, before you get a bunch of new games this Fall. Or pick up No Man’s Sky in August, because I know I will, the moment I get my paws on a PS4.
Images taken from E3 trailers shown by EA.
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