With E3 2010 less than five weeks away video game developers, publishers, and distributors are now in the final stages of setting their lineups for the three day event, hoping to make the biggest impact possible on the expected record crowd.  Electronic Arts, featuring a roster of recently called-up prospects, grizzled veteran players, and a yet-to-be-revealed free agent slugger, submitted its card during its financial conference call this week.  A glance at the new EA lineup suggests a lot of power at the top of the order, some new faces in the middle, and the usual complementary role players at the bottom.  

Here’s the rundown:

(1) Crysis 2. The revolutionary FPS shooter that EA intended as a Halo killer is a perfect table-setter for the rest of the lineup.  It’s fast, it’s sleek, and its Crytek-engine ensures precision in every aspect of its game.  A five-tool prospect to be sure- if it can get all the aliens off its back.  You can check out the trailer here.  Crysis 2 is slated for release on the Xbox 360, the PS3, and the PC in Q4 of this year.

(2) Dead Space 2. Sure, it has its fair share of problems:  The Church of Unitology, the Necromorph infection, terrified gamers who couldn’t finish the first one.  But with its unpredictability and its downright Lovecraftian demeanor in the batter’s box, Dead Space 2 is assured of a high on-base percentage that is perfectly suited for the two-hole.  Use the above link to view the trailer and laugh at our own Jeff Schille’s admitted aversion to the horror genre.  Dead Space 2 is set to release on the Xbox 360, the PS3, and the PC on March 31, 2011.

(3) Star Wars:  The Old Republic.  With BioWare on board, people are already excited.  But with news of eight playable classes, newly revealed planets, and Sith Lords not portrayed by Hayden Christensen, SWTOR is sure to drive in a lot of runs.  SWTOR will shake up the world of MMORPGs in the Spring of 2011.

(4) We’ve arrived at the cleanup spot, but this is where EA pulled a fast one on us.  Instead of trotting out an established All Star in the middle of the lineup, EA has only promised “a key title that will be shown in breathtaking 3D,” with a more substantive reveal set for E3.  At this point, nothing is known about the title beyond EA’s cryptic statement.  Is it a completely new game?  A known title with 3D-enhanced visuals?  A little bit of both?  We’ll find out next month.

(5) Bulletstorm. It is probably no coincidence that EA announced Bulletstorm as an integral part of its lineup and then released the game’s shoot ’em up debut trailer less than 48 hours later.  Game Rant’s Rory Young is already all over this story.  Head on over to get the scoop!

(6) Medal of Honor. The DICE reboot rounds out the heaviest hitters in EA’s lineup, but Medal of Honor is certainly deserving of the six-hole.  Set in modern day Afghanistan, the game will try to wow fans with the heavily modified Unreal Engine 3 for the single player campaign and the Frostbite engine for the multiplayer mode.  Check out the “Leave a Message” trailer here.  Now for the best news:  Medal of Honor releases for the Xbox 360, the PS3, and the PC on October 12 of this year!  With the release date a mere five months away, the game should receive a substantial showcasing at E3.

(7) A legion of new games and technology.  EA’s lineup doesn’t just feature huge platform games that fans have already known about for months.  Rather, we can expect news on a new Need For Speed game, another Harry Potter effort, and the much hyped motion peripherals Project Natal and PlayStation Move.  With teenage wizards driving fast cars with motion controllers, how can you go wrong?

(8) The Sims 3 Console Ports and PC Expansion Packs.  We already reported the news when EA announced that The Sims 3 will be moving to the Xbox 360, the PS3, the Wii, and the DS in the fall of this year.  We can expect additional news from EA on The Sims 3‘s impending move to the console world next month, along with more details about expansion packs for The Sims 3‘s PC faithful.

(9) The Usual Suspects.  Finally, EA Sports will roll out the newest versions of its oldest franchises:  Madden NFL 11, FIFA 11, NHL 11, NBA Live 11, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, and a new EA Sports Active game for the Wii will all receive attention in Los Angeles next month.  No word yet on whether the Tiger Woods game will feature a Perkins restaurant setting or a dirty texting mode, but a plethora of options for the sports gamers ensures that EA isn’t just using the nine-hole to sacrifice runners over.

Is this EA’s most potent E3 lineup yet?  What are the predictions for EA’s ace-in-the-hole game, and what kind of reception will it receive?  Personally, I think EA could just show looped footage of Crysis 2 and it would leave me satisfied, but I’m just one guy.  So, what are you looking forward to the most from EA next month?

Sources:  1Up, IGN

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