E3 2012: Electronic Arts' 2012 Preview Higlights "Warfighter," "Dead Space" Sequel

Dead Space 3 gets bro-op, UFC comes to EA, and Criterion is back with Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

Isaac Clarke returns in Dead Space 3 from Visceral Studios. This time he's back and as verbose as he was in Dead Space 2. Visceral demoed the game onstage and touted the sequel's drop-in, drop-out co-op as Clarke and new character Sgt. John Carver face the necromorph threat again. The new entry promises more lanky, grotesque masses of body horror to bedevil our heroes, along with derelict facilities. There's more of a run-n-gun cover-based shooter feel to this one with gun-toting human combatants coming at Clarke and Carver hard. Honestly, I'm bummed that Visceral seems to be moving the series away (either incrementally or altogether) from the slow-paced survival horror of the first entry.

Dead Space 3 is on the way in February of 2013.

Madden 13 will have more bits, animation. The annual football series gets a new dev tool with the Infinity Engine which allows additional character movements including player recovery after a near-tackle, allowing a Madden athlete to get back on their feet again after a hit. Madden 13 will also include an updated career mode to provide players with a greater feel of being a newly-drafted player in the NFL. You can also create or join a league of up to 32 other players. You can retire your character and create a new one without quitting the league. The league will have a story engine with a virtual Twitter feed updating players on league progress. You can manage the league across your tablet and PC.

SimCity Social is headed to Facebook as Maxis attempts to rout the proliferation of city-builder imitators (*cough* Zynga). Meanwhile, the PC version of the game promises more enhancements to virtual city building and will be the first entry in the series to include multiplayer. I'm guessing this means you'll be able to clog the plumbing in another player's town.

It's what I'd do.

While former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella were in the audience, their new project at Respawn Entertainment didn't make an appearance at this year's show.

Peter Moore took the stage to announce Battlefield Premium, the shooter's answer to Activision's Call of Duty subscription service. It'll provide themed expansion packs and DLC over the next nine months. Additionally, it'll include early access to content, new weapons, vehicles (motorcycles!), and "hundreds of hours" of content according to Moore. Premium is available now for $49.99 on PSN and will be hitting Xbox LIVE and PC's next week.

Did you know that over 520 million hours have been logged by players in The Old Republic? EA wanted players to know that the first six months of the game have been pretty successful for the MMO and they're promising more PvP content, increased level classes, and an new planet on the way featuring a Hutt cartel. Plus, starting in July, anyone can play the game for free up to level 15.

Next up, we got to see an attack on a Somali pirate enclave in Medal of Honor: Warfighter which is the latest shooter from EA to use their Frostbite engine. Lots of destructible cover and what looked like a very long draw distance. The demo also showed off a breach action which used a counter at the bottom of the screen identifying how many tangos were left alive and in need of shooting. A new ground-based, machine gun-toting drone also enters the mix. Warfighter is on the way October 23rd.

EA wants to push a persistent online identity for FIFA players with their Football Club service carrying experience from FIFA 12 over into this year's iteration. The premiere football game will also include hooks for iOS and Android devices including online auctions for items. Not to be "that guy" but here's hoping security has been improved for this year's version so all of those messy account hacks/thefts don't happen this time out.

From football to feet-to-faces, EA has finally sealed the deal for a multi-year contract with the UFC. It's been a long road getting there given the two companies' inability to lock up a number for the rights for the game. It also ends the cozy relationship between THQ and UFC, the former having developed and published a line of games for the league.

Criterion's back with a new Need for Speed: Most Wanted after their 2010 NFS: Hot Pursuit. The Autolog system returns (yes, more games need this kind of unobtrusive, easy-to-connect social feature) with version 2.0. Most Wanted will be an open world racer a al Burnout Paradise, with a lot of augmented reality-style UI and yes, crashes. Sweet, sweet crashes. Alleys and alternate routes provide opportunities to escape from the ever-present po-po, along with stunt jumps. It's launching October 30th.

Crytek demoed what they hope will be the top sandbox shooter of 2013, Crysis 3. We got to see the compound bow and some guns in action, and I have to say, it looks pretty sweet being able to take down a chopper with an arrow. The transition between shooting and scripted action was pretty seamless in the demo and it put me in mind of a less chunky Killzone experience.

Related posts:

E3 2012: People Can Fly, Epic Developing "Gears of War" Prequel

E3 2012: "Halo," "South Park" Highlight the Xbox 360 Presentation


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