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Electronic Arts Makes A 180 Degree Turn Around

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Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Naughty Or Nice EA event in NY. I knew what was in store for me but I didn’t realize that what I was going to see would more than live up to my expectations. I’ve been a fan of Electronic Arts since the Mail Order Monster days. They’ve been up and down over the years in my books. After seeing their new offerings I can honestly say that EA is living up to their name once again.

When I first walked into the Naughty lounge I looked to my left and nearly lost it. I saw Battlefield Bad Company 2 in all it’s full glory. The moment I laid eyes on this game, nothing else mattered. Not Left 4 Dead 2, Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2 or Dante’s Inferno. I was dumb struck. Once EA PR sat me down and I got my hands on a controller, I wasn’t getting up unless they asked me too.

Two things happened in the next 35min. First, all the excitement I had for Modern Warfare 2 just vanished. All of the mystery surrounding BFBC2 was gone. DICE had taken me further than Infinity Ward. They had nothing to hide and wasn’t forcing me to wait until the game was released to get a taste.

The second thing that happened was surreal. It was almost as if I was playing a next generation game. Remember when you saw your first 360 or PS3 game? Yeah, that’s the feeling I’m talking about. They could have easily told me it was on PS4 or X3 and I would have accepted it. Everything you’ve seen in the trailers is gameplay quality. There’s no smoke and mirrors, no loss of parity between cut scenes and gameplay and no bullshit. DICE is going to own 2010 with this game and sadly that’s all I can say about it until embargo breaks. Enjoy MW2, we all will, but make sure you get yourself a copy of BFBC2 next March so your face can melt into oblivion.

My next stop was Left 4 Dead 2. It was the same build I played at E3 but I played it again anyways. It’s definitely a full fledged sequel and you’ll be getting your money’s worth with this one. As long as Valve keeps their promise to continue to support L4D1, no one should be upset at all by this. It will sell by the boatloads simply because L4D is a cult classic.

I quickly headed over to the middle booth to check out the Dante’s Inferno showcase. I’d never really watched any footage of the game and had only seen a few screen shots. It’s built on the Dead Space engine and is simply beautiful. It’s a cross between God Of War, Ninja Gaiden and maybe Devil May Cry. This game screams the M rating it will be given and that’s a good thing. They were demoing the Lust level and believe me, there’s enough phallic and vaginal references on this level to have Cooper Lawrence back on Fox News spreading bullshit lies. For all of those on the fence I say this much, think of it as God Of War for the Xbox 360. If you own a PS3 and are anxious to pick up GOW3 in March, you probably won’t be missing anything. If you own a 360 and want good GOW clone, Dante’s is for you. If you love this genre you’ll probably buy both GOW3 and Dante’s Inferno.

I briefly checked out Dragon Age, Saboteur and Mass Effect 2. Although I’m not sold on Dragon Age yet, it still looks good. It seems like EA is going for the jugular in 2010. Pretty much all the titles they are releasing are triple A. They’ve got more developer synergy than any publisher in the business and I’m glad to see that the EA of old has returned.

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