By Michael Andronico
This past Wednesday, June 27th, video game publishing giant EA hosted their annual “Hot for the Holidays” event, where all of their major fall releases were available for hands-on preview. EA filled a sleek Broadway bar with big televisions, new games, free drinks, and, most importantly, quesadillas.
The first game I got my hands on was the upcoming Need for Speed: Most Wanted. This new entry in the storied car-racing franchise infuses elements of car-crashing game Burnout with a full open-world experience, allowing gamers to cruise around the city and enter races and challenges at their own leisure.
I took part in a 4-player multiplayer match, which consisted of a standard race, team race, speed challenge, and jump challenge. Being the overall victor, I was awarded with a bottle of champagne. EA doesn’t kid around. Need for Speed: Most Wanted was a ton of fun, even for someone who doesn’t typically play racing games. It will hit shelves on October 30th.
I was later able to spend some time with Medal of Honor: Warfighter, the latest installment in the long-running first person shooter series. While the shooter genre is getting saturated with titles trying to dethrone Call of Duty and EA’s own Battlefield, Warfighter attempts to set itself apart by giving players twelve vastly different classes to play as in multiplayer.
Each class in Warfighter represents a nation, such as the U.S. Navy Seals and Polish GROMs. I played as a standard assault trooper, while I was frequently taken down by a Spec Ops fighter using a variety of melee weapons and gadgets. Warfighter uses the same Frostbite engine as Battlefield 3, meaning the game’s war-torn environments are gorgeous and destructible. The controls will feel right at home for any modern FPS player, and the overall gameplay felt like a more forgiving version of the brutally realistic Battlefield 3. Medal of Honor Warfighter hits shelves on October 23rd.
EA also had their 2012 sports lineup on display. FIFA 13 promises more unpredictability and player creativity for the beloved soccer series, while Madden 13 looks to offer the same experience using it’s new Infinity Engine. NHL 13 was also on hand, which will offer better player control using the True Performance Skating system.
Between its marquee titles like Medal of Honor and Need for Speed and its tried-and-true sports games, EA is likely to have yet another huge year. For all things EA, check out their official website.