Join the likes of Madden, NHL, and more at EA’s New York City summer software showcase.
Electronic Arts had their annual Summer Software Showcase in New York City recently and guess who was there to try out all the upcoming games. If you didn’t say “Steve/Me” then there is no help for you. Those who shouted Steve at their computer screen are right but please stop shouting. Anyway, enough of my ramblings, lets get on with the games EA plans to bring out this year and the future.
First up on the menu was Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare from the guys at PopCap. Garden Warfare brings the classic strategy game into the first person shooter style. Play as either the Plants or the Zombies. Team up with your friends or random people online to be the best plant of zombie you can be.
There are different variations of each “fighter,” each feels different and gives you a different feel while playing. For example the all star zombie will have different sport variations to give them each a different feel and thus more fun/customizations. Hockey All Star Zombie was my favorite since I’m a huge hockey fan but more on that later. The game has different game modes to play such as one that is similar to capture the flag but with the added charm of the PvZ universe. There are PvZ coins to collect while playing and you can use them to buy things in the sticker shop. There are the usual types of players like the healer and the shooter for example.The game takes these characters and makes them unique like giving the Pea Shooter shots that are easy to aim. PvZ: Garden Warfare gives a genre that might feel tired and brings plenty of replay value to it in terms of the various variations of characters to play as. August 19th is the day Garden Warfare comes out so keep an eye out for that, and zombies.
Next up are two of my favorite sports, Hockey and Football. NHL 15 is going into uncharted territory for EA in terms of Hockey. They wanted to make one of the most realistic hockey games out there and they succeeded. Realism is something companies strive for in this era of gaming and EA nailed it. The 12 players on the ice will react like they would if they were actually on the ice and someone scores a goal. The facial expressions are crazy real.
Going back to realism, I have been the Prudential Center in New Jersey, being a Devils fan, and I made an effort to look to see if the area looks like it does in real-life. EA gets a check on that as well as getting a check for that same point in Madden 15, but more on Madden in just a bit. NHL brings in the likes of Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Ray “Chicken Parm” Ferraro to be the play by play and the color while the game is going on. The new controls were a little tough to get used to at times like how hard to pull the thumb stick back to shoot and strength of passes (similar problem to shooting). The puck will be bouncing all over the place and just like in reality, that’s what the puck should do. Just like with any game, practice will help you get the feel of the controls and as I played more, I felt myself getting the hang of the controls.
Madden NFL 15 takes a cue from NHL 15 and runs with it. The stadiums look fantastic and very realistic. I work at MetLife Stadium and the way the building was set up for the Giants, in game, is spot on at the building. The only thing wrong is that it should be Jets green in game but I digress. Anyway, NFL 15 centers around playing defense and playing the demo really shows EA went all out to make this a great game. There are pre-snap movements that allow the player on defense to jump/time the snap and get that extra jump. I have always had trouble playing defense in Madden games but with NFL 15, I jumped right in and played a great game on defense. I was able to make plays and sacks and intercept timely passes to win the game!
The controls in general were easier to use than in Madden’s past. It was fluid to switch between players at the line of scrimmage as well as switching between during the play. It was also easy to catch the ball both on offense and on defense. I can remember in past games having a tough time to intercept a pass on D but not this time. EA is breaking the bank with this game with their NFL on CBS TV crew and it felt like I was watching the game on TV. Madden fans will not be disappointed with this installment.
Finally, I was able to demo FIFA 15 just in time for the World Cup Final. The game looks great and you feel like you’re right on the pitch with the soccer players and in the stadium with the hooligans. For a soccer game, the controls weren’t as crisp/tight as they should have been. It should have been easier to set up a play going downfield but fell apart when a header went astray. It could also have fallen apart when one of the several computer players went out of bounds for no reason time and time again. The game is high on all the players being connected with emotional intelligence but if they keep going out of bounds all the time, how will anyone every score a goal, something that is at a premium in soccer to begin with. EA seems to be banking on realism at this time and the games don’t disappoint in terms of looking/feeling real. Sports games need to have that real factor and NFL/NHL/FIFA don’t have that problem. Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare has enough charm/unique feel that dwarfs the fact that realism went out the window. It’s shaping up quite nicely for EA this season and I can’t wait for NHL 15. Go Devils!