E3 Expectations: EA

This week E3 kicks off, with many expectations and a surprisingly low number of leaks, at least so far. The first company to take the stage will be EA, Saturday afternoon, with an apparent stronger lineup than last year, which was a very weak presentation, that had no surprises and little content. But what can we expect from them this year?

Bioware’s New IP and Maybe Something Mass Effect Related

Bioware

The Canadian studio has a tough road ahead of them. After the backlash suffered with Mass Effect Andromeda’s release, they need to try to take that bad taste of their consumers’ mouth, while working out a way to reveal their new IP.

And here they face a conundrum, since we’re talking about something completely new, they can’t wait that much to unveil their next project. If we were talking about a game based on a well-known franchise they could postpone the announcement. Being released next year, they need enough time for marketing to present it to the audience, having a least one year to do it. 6 months may work with Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, famous brands, but that won’t for something nobody never heard about before. Gamescom may be the last acceptable date for the reveal, but leaving the biggest show in the industry behind may be a very risky choice.

Mass Effect Andromeda’s lukewarm reception and subpar performance makes it much harder, creating a need to compensate for their mistakes, given that their name is a little tainted to fans. I’ll guess that they might announce that they are creating something for their fans, like for example a free story DLC revolving around a character from the old trilogy, like Wrex, to gain some goodwill.

It’s in the Game

As always, that’s a safe bet, there will be a segment focused on EA Sports and their profitable franchises. We may hear more about the continuation of Alex Hunter’s story in the Journey season 2, and how Madden is changing with the choice to use the Frostbite engine, and get a sneak peek of the story mode hinted at the reveal trailer of this year’s iteration.

Other than that, they’ll use the time to talk about their connection with eSports, how Ultimate Team is successful, more about NHL, NBA Live, and UFC 3, unveiling their cover athletes. Speaking of athletes, we can assume we’ll see some on stage talking a little about the game, maybe on NBA Live or UFC.

Need for Speed: Payback or Family (Your Choice)

NFS-Payback_5-1200x800

We’ll probably see the first gameplay, or a trailer that will talk about the story and the characters. There’s no doubt that the game will look simply incredible, but it needs to go beyond that to regain some of the love lost for the franchise. Leaving the always-online feature is a step in the right direction, but there needs to be more improvements, especially after the release of Forza Horizon 3 last year, possibly one of the best racing games ever.

Seeking inspiration from the Fast and Furious franchise is an interesting choice, after all, it is insanely successful, being very profitable. But focusing on amazing set pieces and a beautiful world isn’t enough, the gameplay must be finely tuned, leaving that drift camera, improving the feel of the cars, the map can’t be flooded with other cars who seem to aim yours all the time, and some landscape variety would be nice. Of course, they must create charismatic characters, something that racing games rarely do, and that the Fast and Furious franchise understood a long time ago.

Star Wars

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Most likely Star Wars Battlefront II will be the star of the show, and I’ll guess that they will start the show with a sneak peek of the campaign, showing a part of a mission, highlighting the main character, Iden Versio. They announced that 30 minutes before the press conference they will premiere a battle with 40 players, but that looks like multiplayer, and they have focused a lot on the campaign lately.

They might also talk about the state of the other games based on the franchise. Show a little glimpse of the Respawn project, but it would be interesting to finish the presentation with a teaser trailer of the project from Visceral, helmed by Amy Hennig, who is scheduled to be released between April 2018 – March 2019, probably in the Fall of 2018.

Some Predictions and 1 Crazy Thing I’d Like to See

  • Announcement of Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1 and backwards compatible titles coming to EA Access soon.
  • More EA Originals titles, Fe and Unravel 2 release date.
  • Teaser trailer for Motive’s new action IP.
  • Dragon Age 4 revealed on stage.
  • 1 Crazy Thing I’d Like: Skate 4 being shown on stage by the Hawkman, Tony Hawk, announcing a partnership with EA.

 

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The Game Awards 2016 Predictions

Now a tradition, The Game Awards, the biggest awards show in the gaming industry, is upon us, and we can expect some surprise announcements and an Overwatch/Uncharted domination. And this year, that felt a little bit underwhelming, with some of the biggest titles disappointing, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End with 8 nominations, is leading the pack.

Inside, Overwatch and Firewatch have 5 nominations each, with a total of 63 games being nominated overall. And here I’ll try to guess the winners, and in some cases, talk about my personal favorites.

PS: Some categories are not here because I don’t have enough knowledge of the candidates.

Here are the nominees:

GAME OF THE YEAR

For a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

  • Doom (id Software/Bethesda)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn/Electronic Arts)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

If I had to guess

overwatch1280jpg-6daa73_1280w

Overwatch took the world by storm, destroyed the competition, and was critically acclaimed due to the successful combination of smooth gameplay, charismatic characters, great maps and a strong community. All of that with 1 game mode, being extremely addictive, with a foundation so firm that the lack of a single player campaign hasn’t affected the game, something that others like Titanfall, Star Wars Battlefront couldn’t. But if had to choose I’d vote for Uncharted 4, and I don’t understand what Doom is doing here.

BEST GAME DIRECTION

Recognizing a game studio for outstanding creative vision, game direction and design.

  • Blizzard (for Overwatch)
  • Dice (for Battlefield 1)
  • id Software (for Doom)
  • Naughty Dog (for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
  • Respawn (for Titanfall 2)

If I had to guess

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Again Overwatch is the probable winner again, giving Blizzard another award, mainly due to how all the elements work well, the design of the characters, which is just outstanding. The gameplay is spot on, being fast and easy to understand but hard to master, and the ability to create an addictive multiplayer-only game is something to be praised.

BEST NARRATIVE

For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Mafia III (Hangar 13/2K)
  • Oxenfree (Night School Studio)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SIE)

If I had to guess

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Inside from Playdead is one of those games that you just have to play, the way the complex story is told is simply amazing, without any words. All through smart design, with the world being responsible for it, allied to the use of imagery, being an example that a picture is worth a thousand words. My choice would be Mafia 3, given the importance of the plot especially nowadays, and for making it stand out despite the weak gameplay and repetitive missions.

BEST ART DIRECTION

For outstanding creative and technical achievement in artistic design and animation.

  • Abzu (Giant Squid/505)
  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/SIE)

If I had to guess

uncharted-4-africa

A testament to the level of quality that Naughty Dog has achieved, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is breathtaking, with amazing vistas, varied locales. An attention to every single detail, every expression of Nate and Elena, they way they interact with objects, Uncharted 4 is a true example of masterful design. If Inside wins, it is fair, the way Playdead uses design is unique, as it’s an important part of storytelling.

BEST MUSIC/SOUND DESIGN

For outstanding audio, inclusive of score, original song, licensed soundtrack and sound design.

  • Battlefield 1 (DICE/EA)
  • Doom (id/Bethesda)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Rez Infinite (Enhance Games)
  • Thumper (Drool)

If I had to guess

bf-1

DICE created a Battlefield that has surpassed any expectations especially due to a meaningful campaign. And a significant part of that success came from an exquisite sound design, from the melancholic soundtrack that was simple yet beautiful, to the individual noise of every weapon, enhancing the experience of being in the battlefield. I missed seeing Mafia 3 here, after all, it had an incredible soundtrack, but you can’t get everything.

BEST PERFORMANCE

Awarded to an individual for voice-over acting, motion and/or performance capture.

  • Alex Hernandez as Lincoln Clay, Mafia III
  • Cissy Jones as Delilah, Firewatch
  • Emily Rose as Elena, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Nolan North as Nathan Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Rich Summer as Henry, Firewatch
  • Troy Baker as Sam Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

If I had to guess

uncharted-4

All actors in this category did a great job in their roles, with Uncharted 4’s standing out, mainly due to the “end” of the franchise. And Nolan North is expected to win, not only because it was his last time playing Nathan, but also because he did without ever sounding cheesy, bringing a lot of charisma and quality to one of the flagship characters of recent years.

BEST INDEPENDENT GAME

For outstanding achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system.

  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe/Chucklefish Games)
  • The Witness (Thelka, Inc.)

If I had to guess

inside_01-0

In a year filled with indies that far surpassed the quality of many of the most expected AAA titles, Inside brought something unique to the market. An emotional, brutal, thought-provoking game that actually was far superior than anybody expected, especially working as a follow-up for Limbo. Despite The Witness’ superb gameplay ideas and innovations, it didn’t have the same impact as Inside did.

BEST ACTION GAME

For the best game experience focused around first or third person combat.

  • Battlefield 1 (DICE/EA)
  • Doom (id Software/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Gears of War 4 (The Coalition/Microsoft Studios)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn/EA)

If I had to guess

titanfall-2

Given the nomination for game of the year, if Titanfall 2 doesn’t win this category it will sure be strange, especially since Overwatch might dominate the show. Bringing a revered campaign, that surprised critics and gamers alike, Titanfall 2 also brought new and creative situations in the tired FPS genre, unfortunately receiving less attention that it deserved because of a strange decision regarding the release date.

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME

For the best game experience that combines combat with traversal and puzzle solving.

  • Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Hitman (IO Interactive/Square-Enix)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

If I had to guess

dishonored-2

Even though my gut feeling says that Uncharted will win another category, my mind says that Dishonored 2 might steal it from Naughty Dog’s title. Reviews have been praising Dishonored for its world building, characters, story, with many considering it their game of the year. And despite Uncharted 4 quality, it definitely isn’t the best in the franchise, and its campaign had some issues.

BEST RPG

The best game designed for rich player character customization and progression, both offline and online, including massively multiplayer.

  • Dark Souls 3 (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Eidos Montreal/Square-Enix)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Blood and Wine (CD Projekt RED)
  • World of Warcraft: Legion (Blizzard)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X (Monolith Soft/Nintendo)

If I had to guess

dark-souls-3

In a weak year for RPG’s, with an expansion (that really is incredible) being nominated, Dark Souls 3 was a beautiful finish to one of the most beloved franchises. More beautiful than ever, DS3 took advantage of the PS4 and XONE, to bring a more interesting world, and impressive bosses, maintaining the level of quality and ending this saga in a very satisfying manner.

BEST FAMILY GAME

Best game for family play, including toys-to-life, rhythm/music/dance, and other genres.

  • Dragon Quest Builders (Square Enix)
  • Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (TT Fusion/WBIE)
  • Pokemon Go (Niantic)
  • Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Skylanders: Imaginators (Toy for Bob/Activision)

If I had to guess

ratchet-and-clank-screenshot-02-psv-us-10jun15

An insanely beautiful game that worked as a reboot, Ratchet & Clank astonished everybody for its capacity to change the story whilst keeping its spirit. Breathtaking places, a funny and compelling cast, Imsoniac’s trademark arsenal of imaginative weapons, bringing color and fun to an industry filled with violence and grit, and being family friendly without being boring.

BEST SPORTS/RACING

For traditional and non-traditional sports and racing games.

  • FIFA 17 (EA Canada/EA Sports)
  • Forza Horizon 3 (Playground Games/Microsoft Studios)
  • MLB The Show 16 (SCE San Diego Studio/SIE)
  • NBA 2K17 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PES Productions/Konami)

If I had to guess

Forza Horizon 3 City Skyline

I know NBA wins every year, and 2K17 is an amazing entry, but Forza Horizon 3 deserves to win this year. Playground Games’ recreation of Australia is just outstanding, allowing the player to cruise through the Outback, Surfer’s paradise in one of the most beautiful games of this generation. And the level of customization, from creating championships and challenges, to the visual of the cars, is unlike any other.

BEST MULTIPLAYER

For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences.

  • Battlefield 1 (DICE/EA)
  • Gears of War 4 (The Coalition/Microsoft Studios)
  • Overcooked (Ghost Town Games/Team 17)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn/EA)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

If I had to guess

gears4_storm_vista_4k-0

I would love to see overcooked winning, it is one of those special games that reminds me of the days of couch co-op. But Gears 4 also manages to do that, with off and online co-op in the campaign, a great multiplayer, that feels like a greatest hits of the older Gears games, and a revamped Horde Mode that on its own deserves to win this category.

MOST ANTICIPATED GAME

An upcoming game that has shown significant ambition and promise in moving the gaming medium forward.

  • God of War (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda (Bioware/EA)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

If I had to guess

red-dead-2

This one seems like the easiest one, given the sheer level of excitement that this picture caused. With commotion around the world, the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the biggest stories of the year, and despite the lackluster reveal trailer, there’s no doubt that this is the most anticipated game of 2017.

 

 

Why sports and racing games are so overlooked?

If you look on any list of the best games of the year so far, and possible game of the  year candidates, you’re going to find indie games, such as Inside, The Witness, AAA titles, like Overwatch, Uncharted 4, Dark Souls 3, amongst others. But there two genres that are always, sometimes criminally, overlooked despite having titles like NBA 2K17 and Forza Horizon 3 in the low 90’s and Fifa  and PES 17 in the high 80’s. But why does that happen?

Forza Horizon 3 City Skyline

Some people claim that maybe it’s because the video games media doesn’t have a lot of sports fans writing and talking about games, and even though it sounds like prejudice, it may actually be true. Just look at the reviews of games of both genres in major outlets, you’ll usually find the same reviewer for all racing games, and for sports games they usually hire a freelance writer to do it. Another example is when you listen the biggest podcasts, that cover major releases, but won’t give a lot of attention to these games, dedicating as little time as possible, mainly because they don’t have any interest or haven’t played them.

The fact that a significant number of these franchises are released annually doesn’t help, given that we tend to take these games for granted. Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty are examples of this situation, it doesn’t matter how well realized each iteration is, it will hardly be considered as game of the year contenders due to the market and media saturation, with annual franchises being regarded mainly as cash cows, what is not necessarily a lie in some case,partly because creating innovations every year becomes harder and harder.

thejourney-intro-md-fifa-17

But we cannot dismiss what those teams are capable of doing, creating fully realized career modes, worlds, features, all in a very small time of development. GTA V took several years, Red Dead Redemption went through the same situation, while every MLB The Show takes 8 months, the same for FIFA, NBA 2K, and even though they have a limited window of release they manage to bring great games every year.

And yes, they reuse a lot of assets, but that doesn’t take from the fact that they manage to always bring something new, that for non-players don’t feel like much, but for regulars make a huge difference on the gameplay, as career and story modes that become more complex and complete every time. And talk about the Forza Horizon series, that every 2 years present us beautifully realized worlds, always impressing by the focus on details and attention to the environment, like in Forza Horizon 3, creating an RPG-esque system, varied locales, adding new and interesting features and ways to impress.

I’m not saying that the media is disrespectful, you can’t force anyone to enjoy a specific title or genre, but there are so many huge titles that end up being disappointing, like No Man’s Sky, The Division, Street Fighter V, receiving headlines, podcasts dedicated to it. When that time could be used talking about quality franchises that may not revolutionize every year, but maintain a high standard for years now.

 

E3 Expectations (Part 1)

It’s the best time of the year for gamers, our “Super Bowl”, “Christmas”, E3 has arrived and it begins today with EA’s and Bethesda’s conferences, and what can we expect from this year’s event? New hardware? The beginning of the end for E3? Surprises? Or just leaks confirmations? We’ll discuss here what we wish we’ll see there.

EA

Known for playing it safe and rarely presenting any surprises, this year seems like another opportunity for the company to show gameplays and possible minor changes in their franchises, what to expect:

Battlefield 1 gameplay: In last month reveal event we had a taste of the game, with a very interesting trailer, but with little gameplay and even though it was in-engine, it doesn’t mean that showed the real graphics capability of the game, and it will be nice to better understand how the close combat scenario will work in the franchise.

Mass Effect Andromeda reveal: After being in development for more than 5 years, it looks like we’ll have a first look of how the gameplay, world, graphics have changed after being built from the ground up to this generation, especially after some leaked videos showing some interesting innovations like a jetpack, and the possibilities brought by a new galaxy and a new leading character.

Fifa 17 changes: The first game of EA’s sports games to use the Frostbite, they’ll probably show how it’s has changed being powered by a new engine, and a possible reveal of the long rumoured reimagined career story mode.

Amy Hennig’s Star Wars: In a recent interview, Jade Raymond, head of Motive, that has been working with Visceral in Amy Hennig’s Star Wars project, said that the game still was a few years ahead, but we can hope that EA will at least show a teaser trailer of the project, expected to be released in Fall 2017, especially due to the high expectations the market has towards the game.

Titanfall 2 campaign: Despite being a great first entry for a franchise, Titanfall suffered for not having a campaign to explain the world behind the maps, and producers of the sequel promised a real campaign, that has been bringing a lot of expectations to it, most notably because of the team behind it, responsible for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare’s revolutionary campaign.

Bioware’s new franchise: A story that baffled the media happened a few months ago, when a Bioware was wearing a shirt that revealed the studio’s new IP, and to his own amusement, nobody realized it, and even though it may be a long shot, there’s a possibility it could be teased in Sunday’s conference.

IndiEA: After Unravel’s success, getting a sequel, we might see new indie project from the publisher, especially a reveal of the announced game the Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons creators.

New Skate (Please): It’s a long shot but we can alway hope, the best skated franchise in the marked, sorry Tony Hawk, deserves a new sequel produced to this generation that can’t be represented on the skate genre by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5.

Bethesda

After being the surprise conference of last year, being regarded by many as the best, Bethesda surprisingly returns with another conference that despite not having a lot to show in the beginning, in the past week had some very surprising rumours about:

Dishonored 2 world premiere: The game will be shown for the first time after an enticing CG trailer, the sequel to a successful new IP, both critically and commercially, it promises to be even bigger and more impressive than the first one, with 2 protagonists, a bigger world and new ways to go through each mission.

Possible Skyrim remaster: After being longed by the franchises fans, it looks like we’ll finally see a Skyrim remaster to this generation, and this rumour came from a reliable industry insider, and it doesn’t seem too far-fetched, especially because Fallout 4 team remastered the title to become used with this generation machines.

Evil Within 2: Since the release of Evil Within, Tango Gameworks hasn’t released any news regarding a new project, and rumours floated claiming that a sequel might be presented in the company conference.

Wolfenstein 2: With the successful revival of the franchise, it might be a perfect time for a sequel announcement, since it’s been more than 2 years since The New Order’s release, MachineGames has released an expansion pack, The Old Blood, and a possible sequel might be revealed with a date for beginning of 2017.

Prey 2 Rebirth: Revealed in 2011, Prey 2 had an impressive reveal a few years ago presenting a beautiful game with a fast-paced gameplay in an open-world, but as far as we know the project was cancelled, according to rumours because of an impossibility of achieving the same quality in the game as in the demo, but according to an industry insider, the game will come back in this year’s conference, and using a more powerful machine the developers may have finally reached what they aspired at first.

Microsoft

Amidst reports of new hardware, Microsoft still needs to show a strong presentation, specially after Sony’s last year conference focusing on fan service, revealing games long requested by gamers.

New hardware: Still not confirmed by the company, reports claim that the company will show 2 new models of the Xbox One, a slim one with 2TB, and a more powerful one, as the PS4 Neo, codenamed Scorpio, due to release in 2017, as well as a streaming device, under the leadership of Phil Spencer we suppose they’ll have a smoother presentation than the infamous Xbox One reveal event.

Gears of War 4 and Halo Wars 2: The 2 biggest Xbox franchises are scheduled to appear in the conference will a new gameplay o GOW 4, hoping to clear the bad impression left by last year’s demo, and the first gameplay footage of Halo Wars 2, that’s being produced by the studio that produces Total War, regarded as one of the best strategy games of the market, as well as the announcement of an open beta, with both games expected to be part of the Fall lineup of the company.

Forza Horizon 3: Speaking of Fall, a new Forza game will be announced, and if they follow their pattern, Forza Horizon 3 will be announced as another Fall game, with a possible Australian Coast setting, serving as a follow-up to a beautiful Mediterranean setting in the great Forza Horizon 2, as well as new innovations to the franchise.

Rare presence: After a trailer that caught the eyes of long time fans of the studio, Sea of Thieves is set to make a return to the E3 stage, showing gameplay footage of the Pirate open world MMO game, that was highly praised as a possible comeback to Rare’s old days, another possibility, but with a smaller chance is of the reveal of another project from the English studio, possibly a Battletoads revival or a new Banjo game, specially after the latest Yooka-Laylee trailer showing signs that it may happen in the Banjo universe.

Recore and Crackdown: Present in last year’s conference, both games are expected to come back with Recore being shown after a quiet year since last year’s reveal of a CG trailer, with the expectation of the company showing gameplay of the mysterious game, and Crackdown is expected to show more about the its story and the impressive technology behind the game, creating a destructive environment like never seen before.

Red Read 3 and Dead Rising 4: Last week leaks of Dead Rising 4 surfaced with alleged Gamestop posters outing a new entry of zombie franchise being exclusive to Xbox One and PC, and a possibility that has gained force is of a Red Dead 3 reveal in the Xbox conference with a possible backward compatibility announcement attached to it, that has long been requested as one of the most desired by fans.

 

 

 

How changing the engine could affect Fifa

 

Since the reveal of this generation, EA has used in all their sports titles the Ignite as the official engine, being advertised as the next great revolution, making sports games “alive” with better animations, more reactive audiences, improved artificial intelligence, amongst other refinements, but recently in the reveal trailer for Fifa 17, rumours were confirmed, with the change to the Frostbite engine, that’s used in most of the company’s games.

But what is an engine? It is the software framework used to create and develop video games, responsible for all of the areas of creation, going from the physics, to the movement of the characters, to the sound, and the Frostbite is one of the most famous in the market, being developed by EA, and has been used since the Xbox 360/PS3 generation in franchises such as Battlefield, Need for Speed, Star Wars Battlefront, Mass Effect Andromeda, being recognized as the backbone behind the elevation of Battlefield to a whole new level, transforming it in one of the biggest IP’s, and for its graphical capabilities, most notably, destruction capacity, and multiplayer characteristics.

What does that change in Fifa?

Even though that change doesn’t seem to really affect the consumer, it can represent a fundamental moment in the evolution of the franchise, that has shown signs of stagnation, losing ground to their main competitor, PES, that has slowly recovered both critically and  commercially after years of being recognized as inferior to Fifa,  that since the 09 entry became the main representative of football  or soccer, up to you, simulation of the market.

And the choice of a new engine could bring many exciting possibilities, like improved graphics as we can see in Eden Hazard new character model, better lighting on players, on the pitch, a more responsive artificial intelligence, and rumours claim that a remodeled career mode inspired on the NBA 2K franchise, that has garnered praise for being innovative and one of the biggest features every year, creating a scenario in which a player fresh out of college enters the NBA with rivalries, interactions with teammates, sponsorships and other aspects of the pro life, amongst other transformations to the gameplay and features.

On the development side, it can improve the developer’s capacity to bring innovations to a game that needs to be produced in months, creating an environment in which they can use assets from a much larger number of games from EA’s portfolio, improving their ability to implement features and  modifications long requested by fans.

The media has responded with apprehension due to the the risks of this change, with the possibility of  bugs and glitches lowering the quality of the game, amongst other issues, EA’s choice of using it on one of their biggest franchises works as a way to tranquillize the market, paving the way for all of the EA Sports franchises to utilize it in next iterations.

 

 

 

Something New

Last month I moved from Brazil to Ireland expecting not only to improve my English, but also in search of something new and different, something fresh. And one thing I learned in this time, was how being open to new experiences can create some amazing moments you’d never thought you were going to live, but then you think, it’s a blog about games, what does all I’m talking about is related to this? Everything.

Watching a video of gamespot.com series The Point, one of the most intelligent shows about games that you can find on the internet, on the matter of what if we never play our favorite game, I realized how closed we can be to new games, movies, songs because we’re too afraid of leaving our comfort zones. And there’s nothing wrong with loving annual franchises, or playing some series that you love, I still play Assassin’s Creed, FIFA every year, but in the past few months I’ve been trying to do things I’ve never done in my life, like singing in a karaoke, going to places without planning anything, among other things.

And last weekend I went to Dublin Comic Con, that is insanely smaller than San Diego Comic Con, but incredibly fun, and had one of the most entertaining experiences that I had playing games in years, with a small project that’s on Steam Greenlight, called Floaty Ball, made by a tiny studio of Ireland, goodmanladsgames, amazing guys that I had the opportunity to talk for a little while about the game, and the idea is very simple, each player controls a bouncing ball looking to hit each other scoring points.

And the beauty of this game is the simplicity, having an extremely addictive and fun gameplay that can be played alone or with up to 4 players, that was able to entertain 2 friends that were with me, both aren’t gamers, 3 year-old kids, or anybody willing to have a good time, creating moments of laughter and joy in a way that many AAA games can’t create, something that I’ve been having difficulty to find recently in these kind of games, with some looking like chores instead of entertainment.

For a long time I only wanted to play AAA games with amazing graphics and that “pushed” the boundaries of the console, overlooking indies because of visuals that were “too simple” for me, or because of the thought that I didn’t spend money on a new-generation console to play games like this, and this weekend I remembered why I love games so much with a straightforward indie game, with simple graphics, an even simpler control scheme, a soundtrack that remembered me a Worms game, and the feeling of being a child playing Super Mario World on my SNES, all because I dared to try something new.

Here’s the link to both The Point video, and this amazing game called Floaty Ball, please support it.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=502932925

And what was the last game that brought you this feeling, comment.