We gamers are a very passionate lot – in general we tend to either love something with all our heart, or hate it with a burning passion. With this in mind we at newbreview.com have decided to grant our writers a dedicated slot to talk about the things in gaming that they genuinely love and the things that fill their hearts with hate. Following on from the controversy surrounding his Battlefield 3 vs Modern Warfare article, our News Editor Richard Burley starts things off by telling us why he has a special place in his heart for mega games publisher Electronic Arts.

On occasion fellow gaming enthusiasts will strike up a conversation / tweet / email / forum discussion with me by opening with the following, completely understandable, gambit;

“Hey! You! Slightly portly, mildly hirsute, middle aged gaming guy, why is it you seem to hang out with EA so much?”

I have a range of answers for this, but today I’m delighted to provide a very clear and simple practical exercise for any who have pondered just such a question of myself, or any of my excellent fellow community members, to partake in; Simply read the following list and consider;

Gamescom 2011 Awards
Battlefield 3: Tactical FPS
FIFA 12: Sports
Star Wars: The Old Republic: MMO
The Sims Social: Browser Based

So, they won awards for most of both the available platforms & in every main genre available.

Sometimes, a question is simply that easy to answer.

Why do I choose to affiliate myself with EA when it comes to gaming? Well, they just make the best games.

In fact, at this point it actually bears mentioning a couple of other games which would have won awards had the relevant award existed;

Best Use of Technology : Need for Speed: The Run (For combining Frostbite 2 + Autolog)
Best Action Shooter : Mass Effect 3
Best Exciting “Mash-Up” : Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (For combining Action + RPG)
Most Innovative MMO : The Secret World
Most Exciting Social Experience : SSX (RiderNet)
Best Feedback Implementation : Sims 3 Pets
Best Collaborative Development : Wrath of Heroes (Jointly with Warhammer Online)

And guess what, they are all EA games.

That many journalists cannot be that wrong

EA is making the running in the industry right now and I was right in the middle of it at Gamescom 2011. We got to see it all from the inside; Previews of all the games hitting shelves and digital distribution over the next 6 months +, developers eagerly seeking more community feedback, visionaries sharing their plans for the future of gaming and the community team making the PR people’s life a nightmare with their endless interview questions (sorry!).

OK, so enough overall summary, it’s my favourite time of the day! It’s “deep dive” time! Scuba gear fitted, oxygen tested, funky underwater watch thingy calibrated and we’re going in… (*NOTE: You may have realised by now that I know nothing of diving, apologies to all scubists or scubarers or what ever the correct term is.*)

Right, I wonder which game we could concentrate on? Any themes from today? Any big games of note that may have won game of the show?

So, Battlefield 3 eh? That’s some game right? Right.

Battlefield 3 so deserves “Game of the Show” that I feel I probably shouldn’t bother it with my puny thoughts and musings. Sadly, for Battlefield 3, I’m about to think and muse the “flip” out of it.

Right, let’s get this in context quickly, a summary of my favourite things about Battlefield 3;

Battlefield 3 is bigger, better, faster and stronger than any previous tactical shooter, ever. Fact.

Its powered by the most impressive game engine to emerge in the last couple of years; Frostbite 2.

It features a raft of cool combat vehicles that are fun, balanced and not impossible to use.

It has more destructible environments, which are now a stone-cold requirement of the genre.

The changes to the “class” system are well thought out, effective and streamline the game.

64 player maps (on PC) bring the “epic” back to what had been becoming a bit of a parochial genre.

Co-op has been introduced, basically providing a whole new, and very welcome, experience.

Ah Battlefield 3…

The new “Team Deathmatch” mode makes a number of other games in the genre redundant.

So we can see that DICE are busy ensuring Battlefield 3 has every single base covered, and then some.

The phrase “I can’t wait for this game to release” so totally understates my feelings on this one that I shall likely ask the editor to remove it from this piece.

I’ve played the Alpha, extensively, more, in fact, than I have played many full games this year! It’s just that enjoyable on so many levels. To the extent that this is likely to be one of the first games I ever buy on more than one platform, just so that I don’t miss out on sharing the experience with ANY of my friends, regardless of what platform they will be playing it on.

Anyway, better stop now, before I run out of superlatives, I’ll just say I very much look forward to “squadding up” with you and taking it to the opposition. See you on the Battlefield in 3.

– Richard “Rax” Burley