EA E3 Keynote: Everything you need to know

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Electronic Arts has been in something of a holding pattern over the last couple of E3 expos. Last year the biggest announcements dealt with established franchises – Battlefield, FIFA, Madden and the like – with one or two teasers tossed out to whet players’ appetites – top among these was Mirror’s Edge 2. For this year, EA came out guns blazing, unveiling a couple of new instalments in old and beloved franchises and one or two surprises. You can see the major announcement from EA’s E3 keynote on its official YouTube channel. If you want the highlights in one concise pacakge, read on:

There is a new Mass Effect game coming

It’s been three years since we saw the back of Commander Shepherd in one of the most convoluted (and reviled) endings to any franchise in recent memory. Given the fact that Mass Effect, for all its faults, has been a license to print money, we were expecting a new instalment in BioWare’s space opera to emerge at some point.

EA opened its keynote with a trailer for the next Mass Effect game like it was a statement of intent. There’s no release date for Mass Effect: Andromeda and we don’t even know if the footage in the trailer is representative of the in-game experience, but at least we now know players will be returning to the Mass Effect universe sometime in the future – and that’s just fine with us. Here’s hoping that the MAKO transport vehicle – which eagle-eyed gamers will probably spot in the trailer – will have better handling than its predecessor. Also, if we could have a few new details about the plot, that’d be lovely. For now, it’s just great to see that one of EA’s most beloved franchises is set to return.

Need For Speed will be released on November 3rd

And speaking of beloved franchises… er… yeah, Need For Speed’s reboot got a release date. Ghost’s re-imagining of EA’s flagship arcade racer will see release this November 3rd. Once again the trailer made it look so pretty, but there were precious little details what players should expect from multiplayer or campaign options.

What we do know, however, is that Need For Speed will come with super deep customisation options. Since previous iterations have locked players into using certain cars for certain missions or skimped on the internal pimping options, this is a very welcome piece of news. The chop-shop options look like they border on the fetishistic. If Need For Speed’s handling mirrors the detail that seems to have gone into its visuals and depth, it could be something truly special.

FIFA 16 probably won’t star Sepp Blatter

Unless you’ve been locked in an isolation ward for the last couple of months, you’ll know the brand behind EA’s premier football sim has taken more than a few knocks in recent days. Perhaps this is why the new trailer for FIFA 16 began and ended with Pele, perhaps the most revered ambassador for the beautiful game in existence.

Aside from the brand boost offered by Pele, FIFA 16 apparently has a number of new features aimed at pulling in new players and satisfying veterans. Aside from the (rather late) inclusion of womens’ international sides, FIFA 16 offers more challenging defenders, better finishing, goalkeepers who make less mistakes and better teamwork from the AI. It also looks prettier than any FIFA game of recent memory – not that this is a deal breaker for the faithful. They’ll be buying it anyway…

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is in the pipeline

Mirror’s Edge 2 has been teased at E3 for the last two years, so it was great to see that not only does it now have an official title – it has a release date too: February 23rd 2016. Aside from that, details are scarce – aside from the fact that it looks absolutely gorgeous.

We don’t know if it contains a multiplayer, co-op or any extra bells and whistles. We can hope for a more cohesive story than the last instalment and possibly less ropy gameplay. In the meantime it’s nice to know Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is actually on schedule for release and it won’t end up as vaporware.

Star Wars: Battlefront will be awesome

Just watch the video. Seriously.