Rather than show off extensive trailers for new titles, EA opted to show off a behind the scenes trailer that offered the first brief glimpses of new Star Wars games from Titanfall developer Respawn, Dead Space creator Visceral with Uncharted creator Amy Hennig, and Jade Raymond’s EA Motive, alongside glimpses at new content for recently released Star Wars games The Old Republic and Galaxy of Heroes.
Watch enough E3 conferences, and you’ll eventually start to realize that each publisher that puts one on every year has developed a kind of “house style” that they pattern their press conferences on. For Ubisoft, we’ve seen it develop with the advent of the “Big Surprise Annoucnement” at the end of each presser. For Microsoft, it has become an attempt to focus purely on the games, which will probably change this year given the leak about the Xbox One Slim. For EA, they’ve taken a different approach in the last couple years by introducing these strange behind the scenes trailers that say almost nothing at all about what’s coming but make the tiny pieces of footage they show of each game included seem much more interesting. Is it padding for time? Yeah, probably. But it is effective.
Its what allows them to get away with only showing 5 seconds of footage from Uncharted creator Amy Hennig’s next game, after all.
This year’s montage was dedicated entirely to the future of EA’s partnership with LucasFilm for Star Wars games, split into two distinct flavors. The first are the glimpses at the next expansions for games you can already have. Star Wars: The Old Republic’s showing was primarily footage from the most recent expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, and promises of more of its narrative chapters to be released throughout the fall. The mobile game Galaxy of Heroes got a showing that promised the inclusion of content from The Force Awakens and other eras of the Star Wars universe. And Star Wars: Battlefront showed off its newest hero character, the legendary Lando Calrissian, alongside flashes of a bunch of new worlds from the upcoming Bespin and Death Star expansions.
But most intriguing was the second flavor – the first glimpses at promised brand new Star Wars games from Respawn Enterntainment, EA Motive, and Visceral Games.
The reveal of Jade Raymond’s studio EA Motive’s role in new Star Wars games is perhaps the most interesting one, considering they aren’t technically working on something brand new. Motive is involved in the creation of a new “installment” for Star Wars: Battlefront, in collaboration with DICE. However, a look at the concept art and test footage from their segment, including footage of someone climbing into an X-Wing, leads me to believe Motive may be working on story content for a possible sequel to the previously multiplayer-only Battlefront.
The second comes from Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment, unique in that it shows zero in-game footage but also offers perhaps the biggest hint as to what their Star Wars game entails. Described as a third person action adventure game in an explored section of the Star Wars universe, the glimpse of Respawn’s title is two motion capture actors working on a lightsaber duel. Lightsabers are a part of every Star Wars story, true, but the focus on them in this segments would seem to indicate a focus on them in Respawn’s game proper.
But the biggest new thing shown were the five seconds of gameplay from Visceral Studios’ Star Wars project, announced long ago but until now unseen. Two years ago it found a new creative director in Amy Hennig, the creator of Uncharted, following her controversial departure from Naughty Dog. Now, we have the first footage of the game, which immediately recalls Uncharted in terms of camera position, artistic style, and that little shrug off the door the game’s unnamed protagonist has. In a desert town that recalls Mos Eisley from A New Hope, adorned in the flags of the First Order with an intimidating Star Destroyer hanging in the sky, this is the closest we’ve seen to real footage of brand new Star Wars games out of EA. It isn’t much, but with the pedigree involved, its hard to not be excited.
We’ll have more on these games and everything else throughout E3 week.