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EA E3 2011 keynote, live from The Orpheum

Justin McElroy

Can't wait for the latest news on the biggest EA properties? Starved for info about Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and even some games that don't have "3" in the title? We can sympathize, but sadly we can't do anything for you ... that is until Monday at 3:30 p.m. EDT/12:30 p.m. PDT when EA kicks off its E3 keynote.

Set your bookmarks on this post now, and we'll see you right here when it all gets started!

1:31PM And that's the show, folks!

1:30PM Not much we haven't seen before. As pretty as it was.

1:30PM A friendly tank is destroyed as its flaming pilot leaps out. The unit rolls out once again, heading toward the base, laying down machine gun fire and pushing forward. Troop transports unload friendly soldiers nearby. The pilot seems to have struck an ammunition cash, triggering a huge explosion and incinerating a squad of enemy soldiers. The victory is cut short, however, as a huge enemy force is waiting just over the hill. Battlefield 3 arrives October 25.

1:27PM The pilot switches vision mode to see through smoke and destroy some hidden armor. The unit heads toward a distant ridge as enemy artillery begins to pepper the ground ahead. Pilot switches to an aerial view (helicopter or UAV) and paints enemy base with a laser, calling in an airstrike to take out the artillery.

1:24PM Anti-aircraft fire flies toward the sky in the distance. Scouts report tankes ahead. The player goes below and takes control of the main turret. Realistic dust gathers on the view plate. Tank fire rips the ground in front of our hero. He fires back, quickly destroying three enemy tanks. Now four. Enemy tanks now smoldering in the distance.

1:22PM Live gameplay demo. A soldier examines a child's dinosaur toy as an armored squad rolls across the desert. Jets fly overhead, dust billows behind each vehicle. Massive smoke cloud in the distance.

1:21PM A new service, Battle log allows players to connect socially and, Karl points out, "it's 100 percent free." So, not an "elite" service, we suppose?

1:20PM Frostbite allows DICE to deliver "a more physical battle experience." The series has always been known for its "best in class" multiplayer. Let's take a look. A multiplayer map in the middle of Paris. This cannot be overstated: The game is gorgeous. Again, entire buildings are destroyed in great detail.

1:19PM Kal Magnus Troedsson from DICE steps up. "This the game we always wanted to make, and will be the best Battlefield experience ever." A Frostbite 2 engine promo video now. Really impressive destruction as an entire building comes down. Massive desert and urban landscapes. All in real time, by the way.

1:17PM Battlefield 3 time!

1:17PM Dalton Brooks is being interviewed, he's obviously the gruff one. Quick shot of him breaking arms, legs and generally making some soldiers miserable. The plucky scientist is up next, turning on a cloaking device and murdering her own set of soldiers. Next is a gadget-loving operative (maybe she's the scientist) who coats soldiers with some kind of debilitating foam. Now the whole team takes out a giant robot. Looks like a heavily team focused game. Sifferent soldiers with different abilities.

1:14PM Insomniac's Ted Price is up, getting ready to share the new multiplatform franchise. "Allow me to present OverStrike." It's an action team featuring a team of black ops black sheep taking on daring missions. Pre-rendered trailer.

1:12PM It's a vibrant, colorful world. Epic sword battles with lots of spilt blood. Magic spells summon stones from the earth, engorge swords with fire, shoot electricity. It certainly looks pretty.

1:11PM Curt Schilling takes the stage to talk about Kingdoms of Amalur. Being on stage discussing it is just as exciting as talking about the World Series, he says. Promises hundreds of hours of gameplay, designed by Ken Rolston. "I'm so proud of what these people have created." Gameplay trailer time.

1:09PM Sims Social allows players to share their Sims experience via Facebook. Play with friends (or strangers), the trailer focuses on some girlfriends sharing messages about the perfect digital man.

1:08PM Riccitiello is back, talking The Sims Social for Facebook. "There's a lot of fans waiting for this one." Nice FarmVille jab.

1:06PM Peter Moore: Madden 12 kicks off on August 30. "Our new connected experiences will unite our worldwide community."

1:05PM Real NFL players taking the stage, explaining what victory means to them. "Victory is when a new champion is crowned!" The Ravens' Ray Lewis, Cleveland Browns' Peyton Hillis and the Packers' Clay Matthews. What happened to no random celebrity appearances?

1:03PM Time for more football. American football. Live action video of a coach giving a rousing speech to his team, intercut with gameplay footage. Lots of hard hits. "Men, let me see your hearts. Victory is waiting for you." Slogan: "True to Victory. True to the Game."

1:01PM "Everything I do" in FIFA contributes to experience points. Players can issue challenges to one another. Bilbey mentions a "redemption" challenge, in which his favorite team has to make up for a loss. "FIFA 12 is the next generation of football games."

1:00PM Bilbey announces a new service, the EA Sports Live Football Service that is "fresh and new" all year round. Allows players to "connect and compete" and has "persistance and presence across all platforms." It will be available via Facebook, iPhone, iPad or PC.

12:58PM FIFA promo video goes up, with people from all over the world singing its praises. "Some guys watch videos, some guys watch highlights, I play FIFA" says one player. Coaches use FIFA to get an overview of the teams they play against in the real world. Lil Wayne loves it too, apparently.

12:56PM Matt Bilbey, VP and general manager of football on stage. "This year we have what we believe to be the most advanced" engine in the industry. FIFA 12 has all new tactical defending. "Timing and tactics are crucial." New precision dribbling. The Player Impact Engine has been in development for over two years, a new physics engine for the players. Players will push and pull at each other as they fight over the ball.

12:54PM FIFA "most critically acclaimed sports title of this generation." Last year, more than 42 million people played FIFA across consoles and mobile devices.

12:53PM Peter Moore takes the stage promises a "massive, open world," putting emphasis on "massive." Three modes: "Race It," "Trick It," and "Survive It." All three modes are playable at the show.

12:52PM Pre-rendered footage. One of the racers just slid through a broken down jet engine. And who wouldn't want to board across the Great Wall of China? Both racers careen off the mountain, one of them deploys some crazy bat wings before sailing up to a waiting helicopter. January 2012.

12:51PM A trailer with vast, snowy mountains now. A crashed planed and ... snowboarding. It's SSX time.

12:50PM There's a fire! Oh, no, the theatre is just getting pumped with fog.

12:50PM It's epic stuff to be sure.

12:49PM Pre-rendered goodness. Bald, dual-saber wielding Sith. Plenty of epic battles with droids. "Now, we begin out true assault." Massive all-out Jedi and Sith brawl now. A fifty-on-fifty fight with more lightsabers than you can shake ... a lightsaber at.

12:47PM "I'm not going to convince you to play it" says Zeschuk, "Just play it, get lost in it, and live in it." Trailer time.

12:47PM Dr. Greg Zeschuk on stage now. Time for Star Wars: The Old Republic. "Meeting and hopefully exceeding the expectations of the most loyal and demanding" fans is intimidating, but Zeschuk says meeting BioWare's own expectations is even harder.

12:45PM All of this accompanied with a police radio play-by-play. He almost gets away before the helicopter ignites an oil tanker, launching the car off the road. Another QTE as the protagonist struggles to remove himself from the overturned car. He'd better do it quick ... because there's a train barreling down on him. Whoo, last minute escape.

12:44PM Quicktime events pop up to time jumps, grab onto ledges. Looks like he failed the last one and is now cornered by cops. No problem though, a new QTE starts up and he knocks out the cops and steals their car. And now we're racing in a car again, all in the span of a few minutes. The car is pursued by a helicopter (again with the mini-guns).

12:42PM Wet streets, powersliding, then a wreck. The driver jumps out of the car and now he's running across rooftops and being shot at by a helicopter. All of this transpired in about 15 seconds!

12:41PM Live demo time now. Chicago race. The car literally just dropped onto the track and started racing. No "ready, set, go" here, folks.

12:40PM Jason DeLong takes the stage to show us Need for Speed: The Run. "Over the last few years, the team at Black Box" has been creating an all new racing experience. "Need for Speed the Run is packed with break-neck speed." Autolog has "revolutionized" how gamers play racing games. This time around, Autolog is weaved into the game story, and fully implemented in career mode. The game also has ... foot racing?

12:39PM John Riccitiello jumps on stage now. "At EA we do it a little different." We don't invite random celebrities to our press events for guest appearances. We demo our games.

12:38PM Shepard uses his melee blade to shatter a frozen enemy.

12:37PM Hey, grenades are back!

12:37PM Back to Casey: It's not just combat, it's decisions all wrapped up in a story with "tremendous emotional impact." Visit to see even more. Now comes the first gameplay trailer. "Shepard warned us they were coming, but we didn't listen. Now the fate of our world... of every world, rests in his hands."

12:36PM Orbital strike did the job ... or did it? The Reaper shrugs it off. Shepard peppering it with gunfire now. Not looking good and ... blackout.

12:35PM Shepard commanding a turret now. Fires on it while calling in an orbital strike on this ... it's not a Reaper ship. It's a live Reaper.

12:35PM Now it's Shepard versus a massive Reaper ship. Troops dropping down. Liara cleaning up leftovers.

12:34PM Shepard using a laser to paint a target. A ship zooms in and blasts it to kingdom come. And almosts takes Shepard down with it.

12:33PM "We're giving our fans the opportunity" to see how all their choices have led up to this final chapter. Combat designer Cory Gasper starting up a live demo. A fleet in orbit. "Commander Shepard's going to call in some heavy fire power."

12:32PM Casey Hudson, executive producer of ME3 on stage. The war for humanity begins March 6, 2012.

12:32PM Here we go. Starting up with Mass Effect 3. Massive comets streaming toward Earth. It's not looking good, humanity.

12:28PM There is a seriously fancy camera rig floating around up above. It's cool but kind of unnerving.

12:28PM The music is thumping. Things are about to get real in here.

12:23PM I cannot believe I'm sitting in the same room as the LA auditions for America's Got Talent were filmed.

12:21PM That's definitely Aaron Greenberg up there. Nice jacket.

7:16PM 12:16PM He's the guy. With the thing.

12:15PM Which one is Trip Hawkins?
12:03PM We've arrived! The theatre is packed and the event starts in 27 minutes. Stay tuned.

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