Unless you’re living in a climate that never changes, it’s pretty safe to assume that we’re in the midst of summer. New York has been rather balmy lately, and what better way to cool down than with some awesome video games?
This past week, EA Games rolled into town to show off their upcoming titles, including the latest installments of their EA Sports franchises. Here are my first impressions of what I experienced:
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Developed by BioWare
Coming October 7th, 2014 to PC, XBox One, 360, PS3, and PS4
I’m not terribly big on RPGs (occasionally I’ll pick up Warcraft or Clash of Clans), but this title piqued my interest. You play as a group of four called “The Inquisition” who scour a massive country in search of demon portals to close and dragons to slay.
What really intrigued me was the fact that your group of four was not only customizable, but you could essentially pause the game in order to control all four at once. For example, during the preview there was a point where the person playing set all of his team up in various positions in the room (kind of like chess pieces) in order to move the enemies into the center of the room for a quick defeat.
In addition, the game gives you choices depending on who you pick to be in your Inquisition. This also changes both where your characters are sent as well as how they interact with other characters in the game. The preview of the game was on PC and looked amazing, which only makes me wonder how much better it will look on PS4/XBox One.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Developed by PopCap
Coming August 19th, 2014 to PC, XBox One, 360, PS3, and PS4
A new twist on an old classic. I’ve played a handful of PvZ on PS3 and mobile, and it’s fun and addictive. This new version takes away the tower defense aspect and moves the game into the world of co-op 3rd person shooters. I didn’t get the see much of the game, but what I did see looked pretty cool. If you like teaming up with buddies to take down zombies (as well as plants), then fun will ensue.
Developed by EA Canada
Coming September 23rd, 2014 to PC, XBox One, 360, PS3, and PS4
The World Cup ended on Sunday, and it won’t be back for another four years. But that shouldn’t mean that the fun is over. Whether you call it soccer or futbol, the game remains the same, and also looks amazing on next-gen. Your entire team is connected through “Emotional Intelligence” this go-around. Why not go back with Argentina and show Germany who’s boss?
Madden NFL 15
Developed by EA Tiburon
Coming August 26th, 2014 to XBox One, 360, PS3, and PS4
After 20+ years, the name stays the same but the game just keeps getting better and better. This time, EA Sports teams with some of the folks who worked for NFL Films, making the game’s visuals even more stunning than what you’d expect from next-gen tech. I had the chance to test drive the first two quarters of the game. It’s really amazing: there are Hollywood-style camera angles, lens flares that would make J.J. Abrams pee himself, and there’s even a Halftime Show with play-by-play analysis showing off your game as it happened.
Each individual player has his own stats and attributes, so some teams will be stronger than others. There are even legends that you can swap out for current roster members. So if you’re feeling nostalgic, you could always swap out Eli Manning for Lawrence Taylor on the Giants. I play the Madden games sporadically (I believe the last for me was 2011 or 2012), but I this year’s looks like a must-have for me.
Developed by EA Canada
Coming September 9th, 2014 to XBox One, 360, PS3, and PS4
They missed the first year of next-gen, but new opportunities arise with this title. Much like Madden and FIFA, NHL brings a lot of focus on the visuals (not only on the ice, but all around the arenas). This year is also the first year EA Sports is teaming with NBC to bring a full-on NHL experience to your system of choice. As soon as the game starts, you’re greeted by live-action sports commentary, as though your game is being broadcast live from the actual arena.
As with Madden, I was able to test out an entire game (OT included) where I played as my favorite team: the 2014 Eastern Conference Champions, the New York Rangers. The controls were rather easy to adjust to, and just as with Madden, each player has their own attributes. While my opponent downplayed “the hype” of Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, he was still blocking most every shot in sight. Between Madden and NHL, if these games could get any more realistic, I honestly think even the players would agree that playing would be better than watching them play live.
It was a blast to be a part of EA’s sneak preview. I’m definitely looking forward to reviewing most (if not all) of the games listed for everyone in the not-too-distant future. Game on.
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