We're live at EA's Gamescom press conference in Cologne, Germany and things are just getting underway. We're going to be following along at home on EA's livestream here, and giving you our impressions live from the show. Find it all after the break.
11:18AM FIFA trailer is very splashy, but our American bones can't properly communicate that to you, soccer fans. We'll upload it for you as soon as we can. Sven is back on stage encouraging us to play their games at the show and check out the Sony press conference later today – and that's it! We know, we were hoping for Mirror's Edge 2 also.
11:14AM Probably the biggest announcement at Cologne, and we've alluded to it for some time" is full 11-on-11 multiplayer.
11:11AM "We have made hundreds of changes this year," Rutter says. He says they've responded to fan feedback with the new "pro passing system." You can also save replays and highlights locally (no online sharing then?).
11:09AM Of course, this being Europe, Moore would be remiss to not mention the latest FIFA title, FIFA 11. He's calling up the senior producer on the title, David Rutter, to walk us through it.
11:08AM They're showing all three versions on stage – Wii, PS3, and Kinect – using heart rate monitors, accelerometers, and obviously Black Magic with Kinect. "EA Sports is really really bullish on what we believe will be continued growth in interactive fitness," Moore says. He cites the 3m sales for EA Sports Active as a major part of the growth of the space, went from a $0 investment at EA to a billion dollar business.
11:06AM Peter Moore is on stage talking EA Sports Active 2, saying he's eager to enter the Health and Wellness space. To help them do that, he's showing a trailer featuring soccer superstar David Beckham who's going to be "joining the EA Sports Active 2 team" – just in commercials, or is the relationship deeper than that? We'll have to wait to learn more.
11:05AM Haha, great one. "So much for the games that I don't know if I'll even be able to sell in Germany," the EA Germany speaker said.
11:03AM "Heccaton" is the boss of all bosses in Bulletstorm, Jessen says. But they're not going to show anymore.
11:02AM BULLET KICK! The game is loaded (overloaded?) with over-the-top action. "What is wrong with this planet?" our hero posits. We'd start with the Burnout infestation and go on from there. "These things just keep coming!" We were about to say the same thing. In the distance, something substantially larger is visible. Wow, here's another classic line: "Yum, yum! Blister juice!" Seriously, we want to get drinks with whoever wrote this game.
11:00AM We're going to see a new kind of enemy – Burnouts – whose only weakness is the oozing puss sores on their bodies. Classy stuff! They're showing a new weapon that, at close range, slices enemies up and at medium range, pushes them back. Of course, all the weapons are designed to help you with your "Skillshots" so you can rack up MOAR points!
10:58AM Epic Games' Tanya "Circle of Awesome" Jensen is on stage talking Bulletstorm.
10:58AM "This is just a small taste of our multiplayer," he says. They'll be revealing more maps and modes before the game's March 25 European release date, and March 22 North American release date.
10:56AM The map we're seeing is called "Rooftops" and the mode is "Team Instant Action." It should come as little surprise that the game looks spectacular. There's definitely a lot of verticality here. Shooting down into the street, jumping onto other buildings, climbing up floors to get higher again. It's a very unique setting, to be sure.
10:53AM EA Partner Crytek is on stage, talking about multiplayer in Crysis 2. Of course, we can't do anything without first talking about the nanosuit and New York City as a setting – "you will have to defend from above and below," he says.
10:52AM And they're showing the first trailer of the game. It's a CGI trailer, so you're not going to get a great feel for the new gameplay in here, or the "new visual identity" really. Still, it looks pretty badass. We'll track it down for you!
10:51AM Mike Laidlaw is on stage. "With Dragon Age 2, we're injecting the franchise with a shot of adrenalin." He's talking about the game's "new visual identity" and the "framed narrative" and the new combat. "If you push a button, something awesome happens." The awesome button then? "We want you to think like a general and fight like a spartan." Dated for March 11, 2011 in Europe, March 8 for North America.
10:48AM Yup! Mass Effect 2 on PS3 coming January 2011! "That's friggin awesome," Muzyka says.
10:47AM Ray Muzyka from BioWare is on stage talking about everything the Big B has in the works, including some exciting news about Mass Effect 2 (maybe a PS3 announcement – we spotted it on Amazon this morning). He's talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic first, and says it's the biggest game they've ever made.
10:45AM Greg Goodrich from the newly named Danger Close studio is on stage talking about the upcoming Medal of Honor reboot. It's a video documentary featuring real Tier 1 operators talking about their experiences and how faithfully the game recreates those. It's got the same October 15th release date in Europe.
10:43AM That's for special edition only, folks.
10:42AM This is seriously loud! I think my ears are going to burst. So he beats Craig's time – Autolog will alert Craig next time he logs in and let him know, and then he can try to reclaim that crown. You see how this is going down, right? It's going to be a real time suck. He also announced pre-orders will get two exclusive cars and early access to four more.
10:39AM They're showing us Autolog (no relation to sister-site Autoblog, we assure you). The social aspects of the game are certainly ambitious – and the level they're showing is a lot more populated than the one we played at E3. The game definitely has some Burnout DNA in there, with the trademark freeze frames to isolate the action: "Roadblock Detected" – that sort of thing. You'll get a sneak peek at cop cars and aerial units being deployed with the same freeze frame effect.
10:36AM Papoutsis announced that the PS3 Limited Edition with Move-enhanced Dead Space Extraction is coming to Europe as well (see guys, we told you not to worry!). He reconfirmed the dates: January 25 in North America, January 28 in Europe. Next up: Need for Speed Hot Pursuit with the guys from Criterion.
10:34AM He's floating around repairing satellites, and now he's inside. And he's speaking! "I'll be there! I'll be there!" His voice sounds ... weird. Normal even. Not as SPACE MARINE GRUFF as we're used to. And we're in a rocket chair being blasted back into space. The space bass is back, and we're rocket shoe-ing around, avoiding space debris. The usual.
10:32AM The video shows the new zero-G segments, where you can actually control Isaac with his new jet boots (like those roller-skate sneakers, but way better). The bass in space (space bass?) is actually making the whole auditorium vibrate. Wondering if Dead Space 2 is going to share the same excellent audio design of the original? We think it's safe to say it will.
10:31AM Here comes Steve Papoutsis from Visceral Games (and a JPAG member!) – he's talking Dead Space 2, 'course. He's talking about the enhancements made to Isaac in DS2, including speeding up his attacks and giving him more tools. It's only fair, we suppose. "In Dead Space 2, Issac fights a government plot to hide the marker."
10:28AM I don't think we're supposed to be able to see the input delay. Wow, the game doesn't even look like it's working anymore. Maybe they're just really bad actors.
10:26AM Jonathan Bunney from EA Bright Light is on stage talking about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One. He's confirmed Kinect support for the game and we've got the movie's Weasley brothers on-stage talking about the game. They say using magic in the game is just like using it in the movies (spoiler: neither use real magic!).
10:21AM Okay, we're rolling – first up is The Sims 3 on consoles and The Sims 3 Medieval. Man, medieval medical practices are gross!