EA held its Spring showcase on Wednesday and we were invited along to check out some of the games which the mega-publisher has coming up in the future months. In this article we are going to focus on the downloadable titles which are on the way from EA Partners, and from what we have seen these could make a mark on services such as XBLA and PSN.
The first downloadable title we saw at EA’s Spring Showcase was Gatling Gears, an all out action game from the developers of Greed Corp. Here you take control of a mech as you shoot your way through the various levels, destroying everything in your path. Speaking to Nikki Keppins, one of the game designers, I found out that the emphasis in this title is purely on shooting, therefore you won’t see levels broken up by cutscenes, explaining exactly what’s happening, while there will also be very little in terms of dialogue. No, instead this game is all about the action, therefore you will find yourself sitting down on the couch, controller in hand, taking out anything in your path using the games generous variety of weapons.
There are a decent range of weapons to be had in Gatling Gears such as the Gatling Cannon, Grenade and Spark Bomb. Usually you will find yourself using the cannon to take out enemies, however when things get tougher using the grenade is certainly a good idea, and if things get too much too handle, then the one-use Spark Bomb will clear the screen of enemies, leaving nothing but cogs (the games way of keeping score) in its wake.
From our brief play through we could see that a lot of work has gone into the small details of this game, with the environments crumbling underneath you and plenty of other well thought out design work in the on-screen action. The story does sound like it will be quite lacking, but maybe that sort of thing should be left for the big boys anyway, afterall this is an arcade title, and when it comes to pick up and play value, in this respect, this one could very well deliver.
Gatling Gears certainly sounds like it will pack in plenty of content for your money, with six levels, each containing five stages to play through. The game will also include co-op both online and offline, with the offline mode also allowing for drop-in/drop out play.
On release Gatling Gears will arrive on both PSN and XBLA, with a PC release to follow at a later date. Keep an eye out for this one when it’s released later this year.
Another title we managed to see at the showcase was a new downloadable title developed by Trap Door, named Warp. Unfortunately we only managed to get hands on with a five minute demo, however it was still enough to convince us that this again could be a title to keep an eye on.
The story behind Warp is that you are an alien who has been abducted and held in an underground lab. Your captures seem to think it would be a good idea to carry out experiments on you, however you have other ideas and decide to escape. Thankfully you do have some rather nifty skills to help you along the way; you see this alien can warp through doors and other objects, which we’re sure you’ll agree is handy when you are trying to escape; that’s not all he can do though. As you make your way around the levels you will come across guards and other enemies out to stop you, thankfully you can actually warp into them, give the left stick a jiggle and combust them from the inside, it’s pretty gruesome, but also pretty awesome at the same time. Sometimes the guards have a shield meaning you can’t actually warp into them, it’s at times like these you will have to think tactically, seeing you warp into exploding barrels to take out the guards or waiting until their backs are turned.
Like we say, there was unfortunately only a small demo, though a brief chat with one of the developers ensured us that there is a lot more to come from this title; we believe them.
The final title of the three downloadable games on offer was one by the name of The Fancy Pants Adventures. Created by Brad Borne in conjunction with Over the Top Games, The Fancy Pants Adventures is a classic style platform game. In Fancy Pants, you are tasked with trying to rescue your kidnapped sister, Cutie Pants. It’s all very straightforward as you race through the open levels, fighting enemies and overcoming obstacles as you try your best to save her.
The beauty of Fancy Pants is that you can scroll along horizontally and also vertically as you work your way through levels, going up and down and left to right trying to find the three stars which unlock new areas. The game does promise to provide all new weapons, however since many people may not have played the original Flash version anyway, most of this brand new and original console version will be a whole new experience.
We only managed a brief play of this title, which perhaps gives an idea about how popular it was on the day, however from what we did see, the cute and addictive nature of the title certainly shone through.
EA’s Digital Future Look’s Good
EA’s new focus on downloadable titles certainly looks like it could pay off judging by the quality of the three titles we have mentioned above. All of these titles seem to have very high production values, however they are also original, addictive and most of all, great fun to play. If these three games are a sign of things to come from EA’s digital strategy then the future is certainly looking bright.
We are looking forward to seeing a lot more of these titles, especially since all of the developers we spoke to said there is much more to the games that meets the eye.