EA's Gamescom 2014 briefing Finished
So they saved the best for last, right? EA's show probably lingered a little too long on demos for Dragon Age and The Sims, but we did get to see the intriguing Shadow Realms as well as a first look proper at Battlefield Hardline's single-player, which seems more Far Cry than Call of Duty. Here's all the news as it happened.
Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...
Good morning! I woke to the news that the PT teaser was actually for a new Silent Hill game, which was great.
Pretty cool that Kojima's onboard - as has been rumoured for a good few years - and is working with Del Toro. I do kind of feel sorry for the studio that's actually doing all the work, as I imagine both are just lending their names to the project.
Meanwhile, in Cologne, the games industry wakes up still reeling from tuckgate yesterday. Whose side will EA take when they walk up to the stage in just under an hour?
Ten minute warning!
I'd actually dozed off for a bit after listening to this hold music for a couple of minutes.
The tragedy is we're probably missing Peter Moore's warm-up routine, which has become a staple of EA conferences in recent years.
Moore has already weighed in on the great tuck debate, providing some sage advice.
Hello and good morning everybody! I'm in the audience, which is on the show floor, and I have a sheet here telling us what we're going to see (way to spoil the fun).
We're going to see, as Moore mentioned, Battlefield: Hardline, Dawngate, Dragon Age: Inquisition, FIFA 15 and The Sims 4. We're also apparently going to see NHL 15, SWTOR and Titanfall...
"As well as a few surprises."
I'm sandwiched between two very big people. It's... cosy.
Star Wars: The Old Republic making an appearance? That's a blast from the past. Maybe they'll just execute the servers live on stage.
We're off! It's Andrew Wilson, EA boss, on stage. He's looking incredibly sharp in a black ninja ensemble, with slicked hair and tight trousers.
Tucked, of course. Neatly so.
We're kicking off with Dragon Age: Inquisition! We're going to see an extended demo in a location called Fallow Mire. Aaryn Flynn, general manager of BioWare, is going to talk us through it.
It's the biggest and most ambitious game they've ever made at BioWare Edmonton, he gushes.
And rack up one for the untucked crew. Scruffy bunch at BioWare. Score draw as it stands.
The sheet tells me the demo will be 20-30 mins and in it we'll see the War Table, where you'll command your Inquisition from.
You can name the items you make! Bertie's Blunt Bludgererer!
We're seeing the Inquisition Skyhold, your customisable fortress. He's fiddling around with the War Table, picking a mission. We're going to be a human female inquisitor. Solus, Blackwall and Cole are in are party.
Cole is the character who may be a demon, Blackwall the Grey Warden and Solus a nomad Elf with a love of the magical Fade world.
He's buying abilities for the Inquisitor warrior that he's playing. There are more than 200 spells and abilities, he says again. Combat! Numbers above heads!
The demo is showing us tactical - paused - combat, as we scale a rainy castle and take on some barbarians. Now we're fighting the boss!
He's a big horned fellow - a Qunari? - and the party need better tactics to take him down. The fighters are going to tank the boss while Solus and Cole take down the archers, in other words.
Menus glorious menus. Poisoned, sundered - various battle states appear in words above the boss's head. That speaks to the tactical combination play between classes. The party loot an axe from the boss.
Some northern accents in full flow here. I wonder if Sean Bean is tucked away in a nook and cranny somewhere.
The demo is over, the rescue mission complete. DAI has almost one million lines of dialogue, and one completionist playthrough by a tester clocked in at 150 hours. This is an RPG that "defines the future of BioWare".
It's a problem EA side, I'm afraid. Bertie's our one reliable link into that room!
We're seeing the challenge we have to overcome for the first time. There's a magical being at the top of a tower, because we've never seen that in fantasy before. It's some bloke in service to The Elder One.
"You are the mistake. You should never have existed." This refers to your Fade Rift abilities, your special-ness.
Morrigan! A giant enemy crab! A giant dragon! Gravelly laughing. A rousing trailer.
Onto Titanfall now. There's nothing on the sheet for this. They're talking about how they've been updating it. How they've been inspiring Call of D... Oh wait what?
More free updates are planned that will introduce new features and modes. They're revealing their third map pack today IMC Rising. Adds 3 more maps, coming this autumn.
"We've really only just begun to explore the Titanfall universe." Watching a bombastic trailer cinematically capturing the promise of Titanfall (but not necessarily the reality).
Hold onto your seats it's NHL 15!
This is next-gen hockey with emotion. It's all been rebuilt and there's more stick control and player control than ever before. "Hockey is a tough sport and you have to be mentally equipped."
It's got next-gen crowds. They hold signs up and presumably get very drunk and fight each other. A level of immersion you've never experienced before in a sports game. Live recorded commentators!
NHL 15 demo available 26th August for everyone. Full game out 12th September in Europe.
You can fight other players! The all-important feature is in. It sure looks pretty. And meaty.
Peter Moore is on stage trying out his German! Applause! "Not bad for a lad from Liverpool!"
His blue shirt matches the colour of the screen behind him. Deft choice, Pete, deft choice. We're moving onto Sims 4 and to a live demo. It sounds like Moore is going to play too.
If you refresh the browser you'll sync up and be in Bertie-time - they're up to the Sims 4 now.
They're crafting German Chancellor Angela Merkel! This is a live demo. Now there's a topless Peter Moore character! "That's what I saw in the mirror this morning, that's for sure," he says. He's got some tattoos. "Flip that around - we don't have a tramp stamp." Oh Peter!
He looks like a muscular Ming the Merciless. Now they're giving him personality traits. Bodybuilder, because he trains for marathons... Now they're picking his walk style. It's very camp.
They're in Build mode now building Peter Moore's house. Brand new in Sims 4 is the ability to pick up the entire house and move it.
You can browse other people's homes and someone has built a pyramid. "OK Rachel time out. To hell with a Bat Cave, I need a man stadium - that's what I need!"
If you can see his avatar in the bottom left of the screen it's fantastic. We're in Live mode now. "I look like Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters - what's going on?!"
Yes, that, um, happened.
"Everybody looks a little gloomy," observes Moore. He's talking about the characters in the same, silly, not the audience.
Why, they're just pretending to eat - the food is still sitting on their plate! They're pretenders!
Are you all caught up now and is the stream working?
Peter's avatar is attempting to hug another character, but the other man is not having it. Peter's having to do a dance to impress him. "What am I... Am I kneading bread there? We nearly broke into a Twerk."
Peter has enticed Bob.
You're seeing it here first: a cow plant. An actual cow plant. It's eaten a cake and now it's eating Moore. 20 minutes long, this demo, says the sheet. Come on come on. And it's over!
An announcement! The Sims 4 Create a Sim demo is available at thesims.com now for everyone. The sims you create can be ported into the full game.
Did someone order another The Sims 4 trailer?
Mike MCabe, executive producer of FIFA World, is out talking about... FIFA World! It's a free downloadable game for PC. An average of half-a-million games per day, apparently.
A new engine is coming before the end of the year. It adds complete dribbling, such as babies do. You can transfer all your players and stuff into the new engine and you'll get a reward if you've been playing so far.
It's David Rutter, Mr FIFA, talking about FIFA 15.
Rutter, untucked once more. We know where his allegiance lies.
The usual roster of boasts about unmatched authenticity. "We've no doubt this is the best FIFA ever." There's "immersed" again. Ding ding ding!
The Turkish Super League is back with all 18 teams, and there's more detail than ever from the Barclay's Premiere League, which Arsenal will comfortably win this year actually.
An important question!
Goalkeepers have been reworked for FIFA 15 - something that's taken two years to make. A demo is coming out next month.
I wonder if the sweeper keeper fad championed by Neuer is present and correct.
Demo is free on all platforms - good news after the recent Madden/EA Access story.
There's Joe Hart, who's replacement had a shaky game in the Charity Shield this weekend passed.
The changes to goalkeepers mean there are new ways to score. Keeper AI means they'll dive in and do things without you specifying. Maybe they'll go bonkers like Jens Lehmen.
Matt Bromberg on stage talking about SWTOR now, which is played by 1 million people each month. Galactic Strongholds digital expansion coming as we know. Nothing else new in that brief presentation.
BioWare's brand new IP about to be shown. An action-RPG. It's in development at BioWare Austin, the SWTOR studio.
Looks roughly modern day. In a city. But people with crazy powers. A big demon, lots of magic. "Everything dies, let's begin with you." Shadow Realms is its name.
That's a good way of putting it.
That's a good way of putting it.
It's an online RPG. 4v1 gameplay. (Some of my updates are dropping, sadly.) Story is at the heart of the game and it's continuously updated.
The narrative is going to be released episodically, and will play out like a TV series. Oh.
"We want to build Shadow Realms with your help." Available for PC late next year, but we can play it today. I will, after this.
You can sign up for the closed alpha for Shadow Realms now at the game's website.
Battlefield Hardline now, with Steve Papoutsis, general manager of Visceral Games. My sheet says we're going to see two new multiplayer modes: Hotwire and Rescue.
Oh and hello - the debut of Battlefield Hardline single-player. Some people meeting in a place out of town, guns pulled, Nick Mendosa has been caught.
Oh no the deal she brokered has gone awry. Old white man mentions he's not racist he just doesn't like the guy. OK then.
You, Nick, are in a cell. Markus is trying to get you out. He does but you're cuffed. You're navigating a decomissioned missile silo. The pacing is different in this Battlefield campaign, and so is the experience, says Papoutsis.
You're not doing a lot but stumbling around with cuffs on. Sneaking up on a baddie, strangling him with the cuffs. It's up close and in your face. "As you can see, you can get through a lot of our game with non-lethal means," adds Papoutsis. "You can decide how you want to play."
Sneaking again but this time you're armed. Pistol-whipped baddie falls to the ground. This is stealth gameplay and you're using a bullet casing to cause a distraction so you can sneak up and whack another baddie. Oh, now the shooting has started and you have a shotgun.
When I think Battlefield, I think dynamic, open spaces with loads of crazy stuff going on. That's why people love the series, surely? I'm pretty sure you can have a slice of that in single-player, too.
I certainly don't think sub-CSI drama and stealth sections.
The game is giving you a choice - how do you want to approach this outpost filled with armed enemies? You're using a new gizmo to tak people and recon, and eavesdrop. It's like a Sneakoscope from Harry Potter obviously.
Freeze is a new feature. You can hold people up and isolate a confrontation before it spreads to a big gun fight - all signs that this is a stealth-focused affair.
There's lovely detail on the environment. I can almost smell those... whatever animals they are, skinned and hung up to dry. There's a tazer, another non-lethal option.
How to confuse a burly armed man lesson one: throw a bullet casing and he'll walk dumbly forward looking for the cause of the sound. A combo take down sees him off without much fuss.
We've been held up! But he's walked too close and now we're using him as a human shield. Now the stuff has hit the fan. BOOM! Explosions, machine guns, spurts of blood, cover torn to pieces, heavy breathing.
The demo ends with a mash-up of what's to come, including plenty of urban environment stuff. "Choice is going to really mix up the experience. It's up to you to choose you're path."
Now the two new multiplayer modes mentioned earlier are being unveiled: Hotwire and Rescue.
There are also going to be two new maps, Gator Hunt and Growhouse, debuted.
We're seeing Rescue in action first, the hostage-rescuing mode. You're SWAT. You've got three minutes - you're against the clock.
Teamwork essential as you work in and out of the building. It's not a straight look at gameplay but a collection of gameplay moments.
Now we're being asked to go play some games. That sounds like that's that. Thanks for joining us!