The sports division of EA unleashed everything they had during the press conference yesterday. Beginning by touting the new Ignite game engine which enables major improvements in AI and character model animation, EA quickly moved into discussing the games coming later this year.
Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers came on stage to promote the return of the popular NBA Live series in NBA Live 14. The biggest addition to the series, besides the obvious graphical improvements, is the addition of a unique physics engine for the ball. Also, the developer promised to have stats updated for players in less than an hour after games are played.
Madden NFL 25, releasing near the 25th anniversary of the series debut, will feature improved footwork animation and control. Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings (I gotta have some hometown sports pride!) will be the face of Madden 25, appearing prominently on the cover of the game at retail.
Soccer, the other football, makes its yearly return in FIFA 14. This year the selling points are the dramatically increased calculation power of the computer soccer player's AI and the "living stadium" feature that makes the crowds more believable and generates effects teams morale during home or away games.
Rounding out the sports talk at the EA show, was EA Sports UFC, a game based on the popular mixed martial arts spectacle fighting that has been growing over the years. The title will feature a system called MMAi, which will allow the computer to adopt new strategies on the fly during matches. It will also feature character models that take and retain damage as fights progress. One of the UFC officials who took the stage to talk about the game declared, "This will be the greatest game about fighting ever made." Bold words. Hopefully EA Sports UFC can live up to them.