It's a wrap for EA at the Orpheum Theatre. Ideally, you've just watched what I've seen, and I'm sure you've got your own take on the event. Here's the highs and lows of the show for me:
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit: It's been eight years since the last Hot Pursuit hit shelves and Criterion needed a fresh start post-Burnout Paradise. I'm exceptionally interested in how the team will integrate online features and future content, since Criterion did an outstanding job keeping Burnout fresh with a variety of new (and more importantly, several free) updates. This immediately has become one of my games to watch at the show.
Dead Space 2. The first Dead Space was a sleeper hit, but expectations are much higher for Visceral's sequel. Everything from the character design -- Isaac resembled Raiden more than a Space Miner -- to the weapons screams sleek and streamlined. I'm definitely interested in crashing EA's booth to get a look at this one.
Medal of Honor. How do you launch a full-on assault on your rival's top-selling series? Like this. Sure, the 24-player demo was impressive, but I'm intrigued by the summer launch of a game beta just as many gamers are souring on Modern Warfare 2 and looking for something new. Smart, smart move.
Loyalty Programs. As I've been reading lately, publishers aren't just pushing games, they're pushing loyalty a la mileage programs. Building product loyalty alongside content like betas (especially betas you're dropping during summertime) is a very smart move. I expect Gun Club to catch on.
Star Wars: The Old Republic Trailer. Bioware is drip-feeding information for now, but damned if they aren't handing out tasty morsels for us. I'm not even an MMO fan and I'm excited to see more from them. This is how you do great trailers that keep people talking.
Crysis 2. Crytek's gameplay and grandiose setpieces looked very impressive -- seriously, destroying the MetLife building is a great way to get my attention. Plus, the 3D trailer was quite good. It wasn't quite on par with what you've seen in movies like Avatar, but it did the job of whetting your appetite. Hopefully there will be more 3D action to check out at the show.
Madden NFL 11. Although Peter Moore promises a more accessible Madden, how can you convey it onstage? I understand the sentiment behind the revamps, but the only thing I felt like I got from the presentation was that you'll waste less of your free time when someone pulls the plug during your 49-7 rout over Xbox Live.
EA Sports Active 2. I love what they're trying to do with the tech, and the potential with Kinect is great, but the software still looks like it's lagging behind the ambition. I'm sure that the Wii version will be strongest (since the team should've ironed out those wrinkles by the third release), but despite word that the game has 1:1 movement, I didn't see it on display today. Both HD versions seemed to lag a bit. This game needs some tweaks to live up to its potential.
Audience Plants. Seriously, guys, if your games are impressive, you won't need to have people whooping and hollering at stuff at every interval. If the games deliver, people will applaud accordingly. Knock it off. It was old two years ago, older last year, and annoying now.
Being Totally Wrong. I was hoping for more EA Partners information, such as Grasshopper's project -- going in, Insomniac and Respawn confirmed they'd have nothing to show -- but alas, empty-handed.
What were EA's highs and lows for you? What are you most excited about?