EA Reinvigorates Madden, Need for Speed and Crysis for E3 2009

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Monday’s Electronic Arts press conference held plenty of surprises for the diehard fans of the company’s franchises, including Need for Speed, Mass Effect, and of course, Madden. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s show:

EA’s Hasbro division will continue to work on title targeting the venerate “tween” market, including Charm Club Girls (which had girls racing to tease hair the fastest in a live demo on the Wii), Littlest Pet Shop Friends and Littlest Pet Shop Online.

Dragon Age Origins will be gory. Very gory. The sheer amount of splatter in this game made quite a contrast to the above titles.

In-game footage of Need for Speed Shift showed one of the most visceral driving experiences we’ve yet seen, rivaling the likes of Forza Motorsport 3 for the sheer presence (though likely not in realism) of the cars, due to the cockpit view that plops gamers right in the rev-happy hearts of their favorite vehicles. In true NFS style, there will be awards for different driving styles as well, and feats such as clean passes or drafting.

Mass Effect 2 is in the works. That’s about it.

Fight Night Round 4 has been refined for incredibly smooth and realistic gameplay, right down to sweat drops controlled by a physics engine. This game will be intense. According to EA, it’s also been tuned up to run at 60 fps, which accounts for how incredibly smooth it looked on screen.

EA has a mixed martial arts (MMA) title coming up! MMA 2010 was announced, but we saw no in-game footage or even a trailer. Finally, we can fulfill our MMA dreams without cabbage ear and brain damage.

Madden NFL Madden NFL 10 Online Franchise will give players access to stats and players from online, and allow them to customize their teams from anywhere thanks to an iPhone app. The addictive nature of this franchise is already a running joke, and it looks like this title will be responsible for even more freshman-year college dropouts.

Pete Sampras showed up to demonstrate Grand Slam Tennis, which aims for a more realistic tennis experience on the Wii, but still retains a cartoonish look, to us anyway.

Pandemic Studios’ The Saboteur looks like a fantastic Nazi shooter that reminded us a bit of the old Commandoes. Check out our in-depth look!

Brutal Legend will feature voice cameos from a number of metal legends including Ozzy Osbourne himself!

Crysis 2 is also in the works, although like Mass Effect 2, we didn’t get to see much.

All Points Bulletin (APB) definitely shows the heritage of its developers, who were also responsible for the first two GTA titles. Though not as realistic looking as GTA IV, the promise of a persistent online sandbox city full of cars, guns and up to 100 players has us really looking forward to where this one goes!

A trailer for Star Wars the Old Republic garnered perhaps the most applause of any reels we’ve seen from EA, although the over-the-top intro with full-blast Star Wars music and a parade of Jedi probably didn’t hurt matters, either. Sorry, no in-game footage just yet.