"At Criterion, we come from a world predominantly explored through cars. It's time for us to experience new adventures."
So begins the first look at new IP from Burnout and Need for Speed developer Criterion Games. The video below was shown at last night's EA press conference ahead of E3 2014 this week, and sees the Criterion team exploring the ideas behind their new games, as well as glimpses at extremely early footage.
When introduced last night, EA CEO Andrew House stressed that this was far earlier than the publisher usually shows any game in development – a point emphasised by the mighty red bar of 'Prototype Gameplay' seen in the footage. The trailer also shows concept art and talk from the team about how they are restructuring their development progress (even doing away with individual desks, according to one member of the team).
The decision to show such primitive footage at this stage, undoubtedly years before the game comes close to release, was a bold new move by Electronic Arts – something our very own Craig Chapple praises right here. That said, it could be in part to reassure people about the health of the studio.
Criterion has had a rough year. Back in September, most of its workers were moved over to Ghost Games UK to work on Need For Speed – with that studio suffering its own round of layoffs just a few months later. Meanwhile, Criterion co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry left the studio to form their own company, Three Fields Entertainment, later poaching the Criterion CTO for their new team.
The video below proves that the studio still has plenty of life left in it, and will no doubt be looked back on as the origin of a future EA franchise. In the trailer, the team describes all the extreme sports and other inspirations for its new IP, a project that goes beyond anything it has developed before.
Still unnamed, the title gives players the chance to pilot multiple vehicles – ranging from cars and ATVs to boats, jetskis, planes, helicopters and wingsuits – to complete challenges in an open-world, all experienced from a first-person perspective.
The footage is notably primitive but, we think you'll agree, highly promising. Check it out for yourself: