June 1, 2009 (The Orpheum Theater, Los Angeles) - Electronic Arts' E3 2009 presentation gave us a snapshot of twelve different games coming out for the company over the next year that will continue to reshape and define it. Though we were utterly surprised by the sheer brevity of the presentation, we were still satisfied by the prospect of the quality.
For starters, we got a look at Dante's Inferno via a cinematic trailer. Though no gameplay footage was shown, the eerie feel of going to hell as a fallen medieval knight was still nicely communicated. This is obviously an IP created to go head to head with the God of War franchise. Hopefully the game is different enough to break the standard action genre mold, adding a bit of its own character to the mix.
Though Littlest Pet Shop Online looks like it's going to be a great, safe environment for little girls to have fun in, and Charm Girls Club will undoubtedly sell through titles like Ubisoft's Imagine series to tween girls, it's games like Need for Speed Shift that got us excited again. The game's lead, Patrick Söderlund, took us literally behind the wheel of what looks to be the next great installment in the often schizophrenic franchise. The introduction racer types - aggressive versus precise - as well as the emphasis on speed should have fans of the series and genre quite happy.
BioWare had a massive presence for EA this year. Titles such as Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2, and Star Wars: The Old Republic will be an absolute mint for all companies involved. Dragon Age: Origins is said to be a fantasy genre-redefining RPG, while Mass Effect 2 will be getting players into the darkest and dirtiest places of the galaxy as Commander Shepard and the Normandy crew. While it appears our favorite crew members are still around, the Normandy may not be for too long. The jettisoning of lifepods from the side of the vessel doesn't bode well for the craft. As good as Mass Effect 2 is looking, Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO is going to be simply off the hook. In addition to all cutscenes, all player character and NPC interactions will be fully voiced. This should lend a level of immersion and realism heretofore unseen in MMOs. Besides, even if half the care and quality goes into the visuals and story of the game as went into the impressive trailer, players are going to be more than happy to trade in their Ashbringer for a Lightsaber.