Gamescom 2011: the key news from the EA press conference

The return of Fifa Street was the only new product announcement, but EA had a few interesting revelations at its pre-Gamescom event. Here’s a quick rundown

Electronic Arts put on a slick show at its Gamescom press conference on Tuesday, steaming through its current portfolio, but adding little to its E3 roster. Here’s a quick runthrough of the four key revelations.

Fifa Street is backYes, EA is reanimating its urban football sim in early 2012. The focus remains on nifty footwork and tricks, with small teams facing each other on various street surfaces. There will be 35 locations from all over the world, and apparently matches in each stadium will reflect the urban footie style of the relevant country. We can expect a huge range of skill moves, and a large roster of superstar players. The game is also compatible with the EA Sports Football Club social connectivity service. It’s being developed by the Fifa team at EA Vancouver, headed up by Gary Paterson, one of the key figures in the renaissance of the Fifa sim series.

Battlefield 3 co-op mode looks like funWe’ve heard a lot about the campaign and multiplayer modes so far, so EA DICE used Gamescom to show-off the two-player co-op mode, which features a range of full Campaign-style battlefields, inlcuding air, ground vehicle and close assault missions. On stage, the publisher shows off one level which involves a series of tense shoot-outs through what looks like a Middle Eastern city environment. The players are able to spot enemies for each other and work tactically with contrasting weapons to get through. The demo ran on PS3 and provided a convincing showcase for the console versions. However, the amazing trailer for the 64-player PC “Caspian Border” multiplayer level is an absolute blast, featuring jets dogfighting overhead as choppers strafe the ground with machine gun fire and tanks rumble across the rolling grasslands. Pulverising stuff.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – beta tests and Operations detailedBioware used the press conference to discuss its 8-16 player “Operations”, group-based P vs E missions, which work like raids in World of Warcraft. The developers shows off one example that revolves around a Sith raid on the Eternity Vault galactic prison, in which an ancient and highly destructive evil is about to be released. Assassins, bounty hunters and marauders must work together to blast through several waves of enemy troops. Looks quite exciting. There will be beta-testing weekends beginning later this month and running through the autumn. With no news of a launch date and with Ray Muzyca promising months of beta playing, it looks like those November release date whispers were unfounded.

Secret World release date announcedNorwegian MMO publisher Funcom has been working on its massively-multiplayer conspiracy drama, Secret World, for several years, but at the event, EA announced that the game will be launched via the company’s EA Partners programme in April 2012, on PC. Set in a near-future in which all the world’s major conspiracy theories are true, the player must choose to represent one of three secret societies – the Illuminati, the Dragon or the Templars – to see off some kind of alien of demonic invasion. There are no classes and no character levels – instead, an organic skills system, featuring more than 500 abilities, allows players to build the avatars they want. Beta registration will begin on 26 August.




Keith Stuart © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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