The Year Ahead: EA continues to climb out of the dark ages

While there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to EA’s present and future, the gaming goliath is keeping its cards relatively close to its chest for the next year.

“Madden 2016” and “FIFA 2016” both sold well per usual and according to VG 24/7, “Star Wars: Battlefront” had the largest UK launch for a “Star Wars” game of all time.

EA has let players know that there are big games just around the corner, but have not explicitly specified when big hitters like “Titanfall 2,” “Mass Effect: Andromeda” and the newest “Battlefield” are hitting the scene. These games are 2016 releases (“Titanfall 2” is probably a 2017 game), but details are sparse, so let’s focus on what we do know about EA’s upcoming 365 days.


This was one of the unexpected highlights of this year’s E3. After Creative Director Martin Sahlin gave an extremely heartfelt and nervous intro to who the main character Yarny was, he and the gameplay demo showed what player’s time with the cute character would entail. Viewers got a just a taste of the gorgeous world they would inhabit as the little red ball of yarn, but not much else. Recently though, through IGN First’s coverage, gamers got to see the clever puzzles players will be traversing. The way gamers complete puzzles is through using the yarn Yarny is made from in order to climb everyday objects that seem huge to the small character. If the entire game can replicate the beautiful score and seemingly challenging puzzle design shown so far, gamers could discuss “Unravel” in the same way they do “Limbo” or “Ori and the Blind Forest.” Look for the game early 2016.

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

The first “Mirror’s Edge” game did not sell well on initial release, but the game developed a cult status among the gamers who absolutely loved Faith and her stylized, dystopian world. Well, EA listened to their fans and now are releasing “Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst” on Feb. 23. Fans who are expecting a sequel to the original’s story will be a bit disappointed, as EA has said that this entry in the series is a reboot and will tell Faith’s origin story. That said though, for fans of the original game, there is a lot to be excited about. The visuals and the basic but beautiful color scheme are back and amplified by the power of the new generation of consoles. The trailers have already shown off striking buildings and advertising as our heroine free climbs around the city. Speaking of free climbing, developer DICE knows that it is what made “Mirror’s Edge” such a fan favorite and are planning on fine tuning the first person parkour even more. While most big games these days emphasize the use of a large arsenal of firearms, “Catalyst” really focuses on hand-to-hand combat and encourages players to never even pick up a gun, which looks to make for fast and fluid combat. As stated before, some fans may be displeased with a reboot, but this is the smart move for EA to get new players into the game without fearing they need to play the first entry to get caught up. This is a similar tactic to what CD Projekt Red did with “The Witcher III: Wild Hunt,” in that they emphasized “Wild Hunt” over the fact that it was the third game of the series. Whether you are new to Faith’s world or a savvy vet, “Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst” has a lot to prove, but also a lot of promise when it drops in February.

EA has come a long way from the time when it was called the worst company in America. To go along with all the games listed so far, fans can expect regular updates to “Battlefront,” a new entry in the “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare” series and all their regular sports games.  Now, let’s just all hope they keep their promise and actually ship “Mass Effect” later this year.

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