GamesCom 2011: Day 1

During the EA Press Conference at GamesCom today, BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka presented four items: Dragon Age Legends on Google+, Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, Star Wars: The Old Republic gameplay footage, and Mass Effect 3 gameplay trailer. Videos and notes after the break.

Dragon Age Legends

As we already know, Dragon Age: Legends has been released as a browser game on Google+. This platform expansion is an opportunity for more people to be exposed to DA universe, etc.

Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes

Bioware Mythic's new MOBA title, Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes is now in beta, and it is a pvp-focused, free-to-play, online game pitting three teams of 6 players against each other.

  • Gameplay focuses on 6v6v6 combat
  • You can form and break alliances with other teams
  • You control champions during combat that can be switched mid-round.
  • You can sign up for the beta at http://www.wrathofheroes.com
  • No word yet on monetization, but the game is Free-To-Play

Star Wars: The Old Republic

The SWTOR presentation was the most elaborate of all the games presented, with a live stage demo, commentator, and raid gameplay trailer. If you can't see the GameTrailers video, you can see the raid gameplay footage on Youtube.

  • The SWTOR presentation started off with a German-language cinematic video showing some dialogue selection.
  • Beta Test Weekends coming in September were referred to as "open testing weekends."
  • End-game includes replayable raids - known as Operations. Gameplay footage demo'ed on stage showcases the Eternity Vault, a more entry-level example. The demo features a team of 8 Empire characters slaughtering a helpless tauntaun and taking on the first two stages of the Vault's defenses, ultimately defeated by a giant civilization-destroying droid.
  • Bioware also revealed a trailer showing some later content in the raid.

Mass Effect 3

Bioware also debuted a new Mass Effect trailer entitled "Squad Leader", the first official ME3 trailer that uses gameplay footage.

  • The trailer showcases how Shepard can lead squadmates. It includes coordinating Shepard/teammate attacks to maximize effectiveness, issuing context-based orders, and seeing Liara get crushed by a Mech.
  • The trailer also shows off the updated weapon-equipping system, as a tech-based class (likely an engineer, due to Shepard's use of Incinerate and Cryo Blast) has both a sniper rifle and an assault rifle, and that was impossible in ME2.
  • The tech-based melee attack was also shown to be a flash of incineration IN THE FACE.
  • Explanation of the release date shown at the end of the trailer: the game will be released on March 6, 2012 in the US/Can, and March 9, 2012 in Europe.

More Stuff

We'll be updating this post as more tasty tidbits come today.

Mass Effect 3 Screenshots

To celebrate someone's birthday (coincidence?), BioWare released 6 crisp, new, official screenshots, including one that shows Liara in the clutches of a mech, and if you saw the trailer, you know what happens there...

Mass Effect 3 Concept Art

Along with new screenshots, BioWare released 5 new pieces of concept art. Thanks to ME3News and Vertigo_1 for pointing out the additions.

SWTOR Community Meet and Greet

SWTOR European Community Manager Chris Collins just announced the date and location of the GamesCom community meet and greet, where you can schmooze with other fans and the SWTOR developers.

As we previously mentioned, we’ll be holding a Star Wars: The Old Republic Meet & Greet event during GamesCom!

For those that are attending the show, if you want to take a bit of a break from the mayhem, feel free to come join the team for drinks, food and music on Friday 19th August from 8PM at The Renaissance Hotel in Cologne! Details of how to get to the hotel can be found on their site.

Attendance is strictly limited, so we’ll be letting people in on a first-come, first served basis. The event is strictly over 18's only, so you will need to bring a form of identification that displays your date of birth, such as a Drivers License or passport.

So if you can, why not come and join some of the team from Star Wars: The Old Republic for an evening general merriment and relaxation!

GamesCom Nominations

This news is actually old since the nominees were selected prior to the start of GamesCom, but BioWare community manager Chris Priestly recently tweeted a photo of Mass Effect 3's nomination sign:

Mass Effect 3 was nominated in the Best Console Game category and Star Wars: The Old Republic got a nod in the Best Online Game category.

Read about: Day 2