EA is in charge of some of the biggest gaming properties around, from choice-wheel RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age to strategy FPS blends like Battlefield and Medal of Honor; and when they're not stepping into marketing slug fests against their rival Activision it's all about spinning new ideas from their plethora of development teams into new franchises.
2014 makes a pretty big leap for EA into next gen, as most of their titles have either abandoned the older consoles entirely or features games that are meant to be played first and foremost on the PS4 or XBO. Some we'll see in under a month, while others we'll likely get a taste of this year as hype for 2015 starts to build. Either way, here's what we can likely expect from the publisher in both news and full fledged release.
Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare
A mix between tower defence and third person shooter, Garden Warfare is one of those games that looks too ridiculous to pass up. Players will be able to work together as plants in order to combat zombies, or vice versa in online game modes, and will feature a wide range of plants (and zombies) from the previous iteration of the tower defense game Plants vs Zombies 2. Not that it really makes a difference since the mechanical difference from Garden Warfare and every other game in the pretty huge.
Each plant/zombie class brings a variety of different moves to the table, and what gameplay we've seen so far has been remarkably chaotic. How expansive the co-op and single player modes are will likely be the big break in value for most gamers, but a well fleshed and balanced competitive multiplayer doesn't hurt either. It's also one of the first big next gen releases of the year, although exclusive to the XBO.
Perhaps EA's biggest weapon this year is Titanfall, a game that's won just about every single award under the sun from just about every corner of the globe. Maybe it's because it's fierce urban combat mech game, or maybe because it's got limited use jetpacks and wall running, or maybe its the even blend of both into one vicious fast-paced FPS; but whatever the combination gamers have made it clear that Titanfall's complete package has set it up as the first huge title of next-gen gaming and maybe even the possible staple for FPS games to come.
Despite promotional videos Titanfall is the kind of game that's difficult to read from articles or gameplay videos, and until launch day comes around Respawn Entertainment still has the final hurtle of convincing players that 6v6 games are the perfect size for a game with such incredible aspirations. Even still with so much having gone right for Titanfall it's hard to imagine failure for the XBO exclusive, and it will be interesting to see if the game will draw in as many sales for the console as everyone predicts.
Star Wars Battlefront
Just like Activision we know that EA likes to rotate their shooters, keeping any one franchise from reaching over saturation. Battlefield having just released the normal go-to would be Metal of Honor (or perhaps even Titanfall DLC) but this year we may see something a little different. With two major FPS titles either launched or soon upcoming we may see EA focus the rest of their development attention on the soon-to-be re-imagined Battlefront series set to release sometime in 2015.
The possibilities for a Battlefront game by DICE are actually limitless if left to the imagination, but they've already been kind enough to give us a very small glimpse of what the game is shaping up to be. An AT-AT amid the battle of Hoth and a crashed Snowspeeder already drop hints that vehicles will be a huge part, and though the game isn't a spiritual successor many familiar elements of the Battlefront franchise should carry over onto the next gen revival. If EA doesn't have anything else in mind for late 2014, then pumping up gamers for an early 2015 release of Battlefront is just as good a plan.
Mirror's Edge 2
It's one of those games that we've been asking for a sequel to, even though no one's really sure what they would genuinely want in a sequel. More running, more jumping, more skill based obstacle courses are the obvious answer, but how do you do that while still keeping the game fresh? Say what you will about EA they're a company that likes to make sure their franchises don't become stale, and there are plenty of concerns when it comes to Mirror's Edge.
So far we do know a few limited details about Mirror's Edge 2, which sits it closer to a reboot then a full on sequel. Additional characters with unique skillsets were leaked a bit back, but there's no confirmation on whether or not they'll be playable or if they're simply part of the single player story. Time trials, the crux of ME's gameplay, will likely see a return and otherwise the sterile urban landscape may see a trade in for more technologically futuristic look.
The Sims 4
A new Sims game means an expansion on Sims features, which probably means new character customization, home options, jobs, and ways to trap and murder your Sim by throwing everyday items in their path. Other improvements include changes to the game's performance on low-end PCs and a new gameplay mechanic that will revolve around the emotional state of your Sim. It seems like a lot of great changes to come for those who prefer the fake jobs, relationships, and dream houses of their Sims to what they've really got.
Which is probably most people.
So it's a another MOBA, which defines almost 90% of its gameplay elements, but there are elements here that stand out from the rest. A community-driven story would be the first, competitive arena is always something to look forward to, but the biggest change would be the uniquely customized champions that differ from most. Being able to forge a character and fine tune it to your particular needs is something no one else is experimenting in right now, and so though Dawngate may have a lot to prove that little bit of detail may be enough to push Waystone Games into the spotlight in a good way.
We'll be honest, this is probably the a no-brainier. A new year means new instalments in sports titles which generally features updated graphics and rosters. Predictable but reliable, yes? The big thing to look for is how each of these games decides to approach multiplayer with access to streaming and file sharing becoming so huge on both the XBO and PS4. If there was any ground to break it's in bringing players and communities together in the sports world, and that's a change that would truly make a difference for this new generation of EA Sports titles.