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E3 Live: EA press conference

EA’s press conference had hardly any big announcements, but it still made for an entertaining watch. Business speak was thankfully kept to an absolute minimum as CEO John Riccitiello allowed the developers to take to the stage and let the games themselves do the talking.First up, (following a bunch of Sims-related crap) was the cool-looking Dead Space. The volume was cranked-up to a stupid level as exec producer Glen Schofield tried to shoot the legs off some angry mutant. “The core gameplay mechanic is strategic dismemberment” bellowed Schofield. “Which is a clinical term for “you have to literally tear these creatures apart limb from limb if you want to survive”. Quite. We then saw a very cool set piece where the main character got dragged through the space ship’s corridors by a giant tentacle, and had to try and shoot its weak point on the way.

Next was a sexy demo of Mirror’s Edge (a game that we’ll have a more in depth look at later on in the week, after we get to actually play it), which was looking as resplendent as ever. Then the creator of the Sims and Spore, Will Wright, took to the stage and gave a very witty power point presentation on Spore, which has now nearly 2 million user created creatures, more than the amount of species on the planet! Impressive stuff, though seeing as Spore hasn’t been confirmed on the PS3 we’ll move on…Ex Microsoft executive, Peter Moore, was in fine form, guiding us through EA’s sports titles. Most of the presentation revolved around the next NBA Live, which features a natty system allowing the game to sync with real life statistics from the current NBA season. Some old basket ball player that we never heard of was on stage, and made loads of NBA related jokes that we didn’t understand but the crowd seemed to love it. Moore then spent the rest of the presentation making sexual innuendo (a more universal comedy) while some sexy female golfer demonstrated the Wii version of Tiger Woods (“tossing the putter” was definitely the highlight).

A lot of time was spent explaining EA’s new online id network Nucleus, which looks suspeciously like a giant conduit for microtransactions in games. “It is essentially you gamer profile, your acheivements, your likes and dislikes, and it carries your identity wherever you go, across all EA games and different platforms,” crooned EA’s Nanea Reeves, who seemed a bit drunk to us…but anyway. We weren’t sure what to make of Nucleus, it all sounded a bit pointless given that Home is on the horizon.The one “big” announcement of the conference was saved until last. id’s John Carmack turned up, looking like a massive nerd, to let everyone know that EA is publishing Rage – the developer’s upcoming Mad Max-style FPS. We weren’t all that impressed, and Carmack only showed a very loose trailer of the game, after telling us to go to Quake Con if we want to see anymore (we probably won’t bother).

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