By Adam Brown
August 21, 2008 - Sure, it has only been about a month since this year's E3 conference, but video game news continues to flow like a raging river. Fresh off of their impressive E3 showing, Electronic Arts (EA) opened the doors of their Redwood Shores campus for their annual EA Studio Showcase. Having already shown some exciting upcoming games such as Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, and Left for Dead at E3, it was hard to imagine that EA would have anything left for this event. Thankfully, our fears were put to rest almost immediately upon arrival.
As journalists made their way from the parking lot to the event, they were accosted by a sea of plastic pink flamingos. While initially creepy beyond all reason, apprehension quickly turned into laughter. Upon closer inspection, these flamingos weren't your garden variety lawn decorations.
Instead, each one was disfigured or mutilated in some way, be it with bullet holes, a noose around their necks, a plastic bag tied around their heads, or even snapped necks. With black Xs taped over all of their eyes and tags that read Godfather II dangling from what was left of their necks, their purpose was finally apparent.
After wading through the plethora of deceased lawn ornaments, we finally made it inside. Here, death continued to be the theme as Dead Space related paraphernalia was inescapable. Journalists were treated to framed concept art, several screens with trailers for its animated film, and even Isaac himself. While a life sized mannequin of Isaac was a bit unsettling, checking out the intricacies of his getup was quite gratifying. Even our provided meal had a Dead Space theme, with every dish cleverly named to tie in with the game.
So, with the thoughts of hardcore games swimming in our heads, we made our way to EA's presentation. EA quickly dashed such notions by explaining that E3 was their hardcore demonstration and that they would instead be focusing on more casual games for this showcase. Here they discussed their impressive upcoming casual lineup, while announcing major partnerships with Grasshopper Manufacturer (Killer 7, No More Heroes) and Epic Games (Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3). Unfortunately, neither company was able to give any specifics about these upcoming projects, but hopefully they'll be able to enlighten us soon.