Top 5 games releasing after June 26th I’m looking forward to playing

I promise this was planned and not a last minute decision


Ah yes, anyone who’s anyone in video games blogging/media has done at least one of these (unless they actually have ideas of course). 2017 looks like a good year for video games, so here are 5 games I’m looking forward to this year (or after June 26th at least).

Honourable Mentions:

South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Need For Speed: Payback, The Evil Within 2, Sea of Thieves and Far Cry 5.

5: Call of Duty: World War 2

Now, before some of you roll your eyes so far into the back of your own head you actually see your own brain cells, let me explain. While Call of Duty has been less than good as of late, after seeing gameplay and hearing the general response on social media, I’m excited about Call of Duty again for the first time in a while.

4: Assassin’s Creed: Origins

The two-year break that the series took seems to have paid off, as the new combat system, RPG elements and intrigue around the general location and setting has got me back on the hype train for Assassin’s Creed (I was never really off the hype train but at least this game actually looks good and not Assassin’s Creed 2.5).

3: Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Monolith’s second go around in the Lord of The Rings universe looks to build on the what made the first game a smash hit with fans and critics alike. With the developments to the nemesis system and the new story, I very much look forward to taking on Sauron’s army once again.

2: Super Mario: Odyssey

Psychotic cap aside, this game looks brilliant. The movement mechanics, the varying worlds an even the story make this new game very interesting. Mario has been a staple of Nintendo’s consoles longer than I have been alive and this new addition to the franchise looks excellent.

1: Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

This game deserves all the hype it gets, with the first one being the diamond in the pile of shit that was games in 2014. I expect it to be more of the same, excellent story and mechanics with characters people can be invested in. Also, who doesn’t love shooting Nazi’s in the face? (In video games of course, don’t actually shoot someone in their face, despite their backwards political nonsense).

All in all, it looks like whatever your tastes are when it comes to video games, it seems to be another good year. And yes, I’m aware 3 of my top 5 all release on the same day.

The Call of Duty Conundrum

COD’s not dead

Ah, Call of Duty, that totally non-divisive franchise that everyone loves and agrees on how it should progress as the games go on. Activision’s smash hit series, which is one of the biggest selling franchises of all time has had troubled times as of late. Or, at least troubled times for one of the biggest game series of all time. With Activision having to ship Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered with latest game Infinite Warfare to even persuade players to buy the game, its clear that there are problems that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. Here are some of the problems I think the series has and how I think they can be fixed.

The first problem with Call of Duty has been temporarily solved at least, and that’s the setting. While not seeming that big of a deal to an outsider looking in, the recent time period settings for the past few games have been a serious issue for the community. Most fans seem to think that the future setting has been a step away from what made the game great in the first place and I’m inclined to agree (although my issues go a little deeper).

Solution: Well, with the next one being set in WW2, this isn’t as big a problem as it was. However, modern or previous combat settings for the foreseeable future please.

Classic maps will forever be remembered by long time fans. Whether it is Crash, Terminal, Nuketown, Firing Range or even Dome, there’s a reason these maps get remastered every few years. And if I’m honest, none of the maps on the last few games have been anywhere near as memorable as these ones. Activision is pushing that the next game goes back to the roots of what made COD great, so having maps that are both classic in feel and function is vital for the series going forward.

Solution: Look at what made those maps fundamentally great and place that in your chosen setting. Also, the COD community has to simmer its expectations, every COD has awful maps (Stonehaven we’re looking at you). You could just cheat and re-skin the classic maps, the community would complain but at least the maps would be good.

Gunplay is vital to the success any Call of Duty. If the guns don’t feel satisfying to use and have some impact, then payers tend to be less interested in the game. Then there’s the issue of weapon balance, and it usually goes one of two ways. They either patch or hotfix too often, or not at all. Every COD game has a weapon that’s overused to death, and when that’s patched another one comes along.

Solution: Developers need to find a middle ground to keep the game interesting, and preferably make other guns better instead of making the better guns worse, as the game doesn’t lose any of its fun factor.

Micro-transactions are a funny one, because they’re awful, anti-consumerist nonsense that we as a community seem to be letting Activision get away with. But, on the other hand, they make Activision incredible amounts of money, so they’d be stupid not to continually put them in each release. After all, games might be a medium of entertainment for us, but it’s also a business for Activision.

Solution: EA are approaching DLC in AAA shooter, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, in the way I feel is going to be the best compromise for both players and publishers. While the game will contain micro-transactions, all extra Maps, guns, vehicles etc. will be free. Also, the paid map pack method splits and fractures the player base. So, I think as a goodwill gesture to customers more than anything, Activision should copy EA’s method. In an ideal world, both games wouldn’t have micro-transactions but they are unfortunately here to stay.

YouTube is a wonderful thing. It has united communities in a way nobody thought to be possible. The COD community is no exception, even having its own Sub-communities. However, the feeling of finding that new gun and telling your mates about was part of the fun back in the day. Admittedly, this is an entirely personal gripe, but a gripe nonetheless. So, guys, cool it with the best class setups in the game videos please? (I am aware I can avoid these videos and this problem is solved, but I’m privileged and have an obligation to complain about stuff that is entirely avoidable).

Solution: Stop watching these videos.

Play styles are a big thing in COD, and while I can’t tell you how to play. If you get your kicks out of finding a dark corner and not moving, power to you. But, I will call you obscene names you probably aren’t in the heat of the moment and discuss imaginary encounters with your mother.

Solution: Camping will always be in COD, it always has, it’s about making the game in the favour of more mobile players. Campers already have an advantage and at its core, Call of Duty is an arcade shooter, so start moving you fools!

Considering everything, Call of Duty isn’t in a terrible state, but things could be a lot better and if changes aren’t made soon, the series could follow Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater to the Activision graveyard.




Thoughts On Sony’s 2017 E3 Press Conference

Year of Dreams 2.5

Sony has been dominating both the console market and E3 press events since the launch of the PS4 back in 2013. This year, with the bar set a decent, but beatable height, can Sony dominate yet again?

In what seemingly has become tradition at these press events, Sony let the games ‘sell themselves’ by having very little developer or publisher discussion on stage and just focusing on gameplay or trailers. Beginning with Naughty Dog’s Uncharted The Lost Legacy, a standalone adventure game which focuses on series characters Nadine and Chloe. A trailer showed more detail of the widely anticipated story at this point. The game will release on August 22nd on PS4 exclusively.

My Thoughts: I missed the original Uncharted Series, so this doesn’t really peak my interest, but fans of the beloved franchise will love it and based on the reputation of Naughty Dog, I expect it to be good.

While on the subject of DLC, Sony gave us a first look at smash hit, Horizon: Zero Dawn’s DLC, The Frozen Wilds. Aloy returns in search of more answers and it appears to focus on a mountain that appears to be crumbling. The DLC will launch later this year at some point.

My Thoughts: More Horizon is good.

We got another extended look at Days Gone, this time showing off the stealth elements within the game and a tiny peak into the narrative. No release date was confirmed but it is suspected to be out sometime this year.

My Thoughts: Zombie games generally don’t interest me, but this one has me intrigued. I don’t want to see anymore gameplay however, after two E3s with extended looks, Sony have shown enough. With Regards to the release date, my best guess would be late November or early December 2017.

We then got a couple of unexpected surprises in the form of Monster Hunter and a Shadow of the Colossus HD remake. Both games are set to launch in 2018 at some point. Also, Marvel vs. Capcom infinite got a brand new trailer and release date of September 19th, with a playable demo launching immediately.

My Thoughts: Monster Hunter looked cool and Shadow of the Colossus is perhaps a bigger deal than people are making out. And Marvel vs. Capcom looks interesting, if you are into fighting games.

Call Of Duty made its annual appearance this year (I’ll write about Call Of Duty as a series in another post) and revealed the multiplayer for this years iteration, which is going back in time to World War Two, a smart move if nothing else for Activision to make.

My Thoughts: Looks good, but it looks good every year so I’m not getting my hopes up (You won’t get me this time Activision). It’s a nice move for fans to go back after the future setting went down like raw chicken at a dinner party. No doubt it’ll have microtransactions though.

PS VR got a big mention at this years show, with several games announced, including Skyrim, a game that simply won’t die; Star Child, a sci-fi sidescroller; The Inpatient, a prequel to Until Dawn set in an asylum; Monster of the Deep, a Final Fantasy 15 fishing VR experience; Bravo Team, a co-op shooter by the developers of Until Dawn and Moss, a puzzle adventure game akin to Zelda.

My Thoughts: Seems VR is slowly becoming a valid gaming platform and not just a tech gimmick for people who wear trousers a little too tight for their own good. Skyrim, The Inpatient, Bravo Team and Moss all look great and really show VR’s strengths.

Announced earlier in the year by Bungie, some exclusive Destiny 2 content was show. This included a strike called Lake of Shadows, a PvP map called Retribution, exclusive armour and an exclusive exotic Sniper called the Borealis.

My Thoughts: It seems these are only timed exclusives, so this isn’t that big of a deal, so fans can rest easier knowing that they’ll get this content eventually.

We ended the show with three games that were previously announced, starting with God of War. Another trailer was shown, as we see Kratos, dad and worlds angriest Bowie tribute act take his son to a new location to fight more gods it would seem. God of War launches in early 2018 on the PS4. Then, a trailer was shown for Detroit: Become Human. Showing off more of the varied choices system within the game and more story information. Closing the show was Insomniac’s Spiderman game, which we saw extended gameplay of, and a look at one of the villains in-game. Spiderman will release sometime in 2018.

My Thoughts: All three games looked incredible, and I’d say because of pure intrigue, Detroit takes my game of the conference award (a prestigious one I know) but all three of these games are must buy in my honest opinion.

Overall, Sony definitely had the strongest conference of E3 so far, but definitely not as strong as previous years.

Thoughts on Ubisoft’s E3 press conference

New Iconic Logo looks like a turd

We are well into E3 season and as is tradition, Ubisoft had their turn in the spotlight. Here are the games announced at this years Ubisoft E3 press conference.

We got another trailer for the next Assassin’s Creed game, which didnt add anything to the details we already know. We also got a trailer for the new South Park game, the Fractured But Whole. Both games are set to release this year on the 27th October and the 17th October respectively on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Speaking of South Park, we got a mobile game announced for this year called South Park Phone Destroyer. Its like the stick of truth, just without a theme.

My Thoughts: I’m looking forward to both these games when they come out later this year. I genuinely think that Assassin’s Creed will be good, despite the expectations of some. The South Park Mobile game looks really interesting too.

In perhaps, what was the least surprising news of E3, the Mario and Rabbids crossover was shown. Titled, Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the turn based strategy RPG with X-Com like combat will launch August 29th this year on Nintendo Switch Exclusively.

My Thoughts: Looked a lot better than I expected it to, will probably buy and try out.

Okay, I didn’t really care for this but the new Just Dance game was announced. It’s the same as the last one but now has K-Pop as part of the tracklist. Just Dance 2018 will be released on October 24th on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U and Nintendo Switch.

My Thoughts: Partridge

The Crew 2 was also shown for the first time at this conference. They showed off four types of racing you can do which were Street Racing, Off Road Racing, Water Racing and Aeroplane racing. Bikes were included in the trailer for both Off Road and Street. There will be a beta later this year but the game launches in Early 2018 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

My Thoughts: I didn’t play the first Crew game, but I imagine it will be more of the same.

Ubisoft is dipping its feet into the Virtual Reality market with the game Transference, a psychological horror game that encourages players to ‘enter the home of the mind’. According to developer Spectrevision (Elijah Wood’s development company) the game will be part film, part game and available next year on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The game will be compatible for PSVR, HTC Vive and Occulus Rift.

My Thoughts: This game looked trippy and horrifying, so I suppose the devs achieved their goal.

There was an announcement for the newest steep expansion ‘Road to the Olympics’. The expansion will release on December 5th, later this year and include lots of winter Olympic sports. We also got a trailer for a new game, titled ‘Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Starlink is a toys to life game that allows you to build custom starships to fly through galaxies fighting an enemy of some description. Starlink will launch in the fall of 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

My Thoughts: I don’t care for Steep but Starlink looks very good and as long as my assumption is correct that you don’t have to use the toys and can just build the ships in game (I think I heard them mention that) then it will definitely be trying it out.

We also got another New IP from Ubisoft in the form of Skull and Bones. Skull and Bones is a pirate multiplayer only game (similar to For Honor) where you control an individual ship in 5 vs. 5 multiplayer to try and collect the most treasure possible. Early access was announced but no release date was confirmed.

My Thoughts: Really disappointed in this announcement, Ubisoft had a great chance here to take the best mechanic from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and turn it into a really powerful, narrative driven game.

Having announced it earlier this year, Far Cry 5 got an extended showing which showed off the Far Cry gameplay we’ve become used to and a look at the new villain, religious cultist Joseph Seed. Far Cry 5 launches Feb 27 2018 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Then, to close the show, the announcement that nobody saw coming… we got a trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2. Described as being set in a multi cultural, diverse world. We didn’t get a release date which is unfortunate.

My Thoughts: Far Cry 5 looked incredible and gave me vibes of Far Cry 3. Beyond Good and Evil 2 is getting a lot of people excited, lets just hope we see it sooner rather than later.

Ubisoft in general had a fantastic conference this year, a huge improvement on last years debacle.

Thoughts on Bethesda’s E3 Showcase

Bethesdaland is like Wicksteed Park

At two previous E3s, Bethesda stepped up its presence at E3 by having its own annual showcase. 2017 was no different and here is what we learnt.

Note: Expect this one to be shorter than the others as they didn’t reveal much.

Bethesda kicked off the show by announcing that two of their biggest titles, Fallout 4 and Doom will be playable in VR. Titled Fallout 4 VR (obviously) and Doom VFR respectively, both titles will launch later this year on HTC Vive exclusively.

My Thoughts: If you could afford the HTC Vive without selling your entire collection of technology and your soul, this would’ve been a huge deal. It’s a massive step for VR, whose lack of ‘Real games’ has been one of its biggest criticisms. So, if you have HTC Vive, enjoy two great games for it.

After being seen in the trailer for the system back in October, we also got a trailer for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch. We saw that it was amiibo compatible and you can get the Master Sword, Links Blue Tunic and the Hylian Shield in Skyrim. Unfortunately we didn’t get a release date but they did say everything we saw would be out in 2017, so expect it this year at some point. Elder Scrolls Legends, Bethesda’s mobile card game also had some new content announced in the form of a brand new expansion titles ‘Heroes of Skyrim’ releasing later this month. Speaking of Elder Scrolls, we also got a trailer for the recently released Morrowind Expansion for Elder Scrolls Online. Quake Champions was also shown, with a hype trailer and a $1 million prize pool E-Sports tournament later this year at Quake Con. Wolfenstein protagonist BJ Blazkowicz was revealed to be a playable character within the game.

My Thoughts: Skyrim for Switch looks awesome, playing one of my favourite games will on the move is going to be great. If you like the Elder Scrolls Legends, the new stuff is cool. For me however, I’m not invested in this news at all. And the Elder Scrolls Online stuff was for promotion purposes only. As for Quake Champions, I don’t play PC games so have no thoughts.

Bethesda also unveiled a sort of paid mods system called ‘Creation Club’ for Fallout 4 and Skyrim where players buy credits from either Xbox Live, Playstation Network or Steam and exchange these credits for original content that won’t affect achievements, like current mods do. Bethesda mentioned in a FAQ on their website, that this is separate to Mods currently on both games and will continue to be so.

My Thoughts: I’m not sure about this, paid mods weren’t a great idea initially. and this just seems that but tied up in a nice bow and gift wrapped. However, if this stays separate to free mods, I don’t see this being an issue.

Also, revealed at the show was Arkane studio’s Dishonored Death of the Outsider, a standalone expansion, where you see Daud(the assassin who murdered the Empress in the first game) and ex-second in command Billie Kurk as you have to eliminate The Outsider. The game will release on September 15th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC and will cost $30.

My Thoughts: Dishonored 1 and 2 are both good games, so it’s a reasonable assumption that this will also be at least good, significantly shorter, but still good.

Bethesda closed the show with two major announcements in the form of The Evil Within 2, an action horror game made by Tango Gameworks, led by Resident Evil  creator Shinji Mikami. They gave the game a lengthy reveal trailer which pushed the horror vibes the developers were surely going for. The game is set to be released on Friday 13th October later this year on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Closing the show, MachineGames latest creation Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. Set in 1960s America, protagonist and real American BJ Blazkowicz returns and joins up with a resistance group attempting to take America back from the Nazis (*insert Trump Joke here*). The game is set to release on October 27th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

My Thoughts: Both games had a great showing at this conference, and both follow on from great games, so I hope they live up to expectations and will definitely be getting both come October.

All in all, I feel Bethesda’s showcase was an average showing. The two games at the end made it worth the watch and I hope both games deliver.



Thoughts on Microsoft’s E3 Showcase

4K digital blocks

It’s a fairly safe bet to say that Microsoft are losing the ‘console war’ with Sony. With the PS4 outselling  the Xbox One considerably (and as an Xbox fanboy, that’s hard for me to say), Microsoft had to come out at this years E3 swinging for the fences to entice audiences back toward the Xbox One.

The first, and perhaps most important part of the conference was the reveal of ‘Project Scorpio’ Microsoft’s answer to the PS4 pro. Xbox One X is reportedly the most powerful console yet and has true 4K gaming. It was revealed that Scorpio is actually named ‘Xbox One X’ and will retail at $499, £449 CA$599 and AU$649. They also went over the specs again but you can view those all over the web. It’s also the smallest Xbox ever. Xbox One X is launching worldwide on November 7th.

My Thoughts: The price is a concern, I feel that it won’t connect with the casual consumer but for the power of the console I’m not surprised by the price at all. I suspect the price will drop around six months or so after the initial launch so I might pick one up in a year or so.

After that we got the beginning of what was to be 42 game announcements. We started off with Forza 7, which looks like all the other Forza games with better graphics and new cars. Forza 7 will launch on October 3rd.

My Thoughts: It has an audience that are loyal so it will sell well regardless of the fact it’s basically Forza 5.

Then we had a gameplay trailer for Metro Exodus, the latest in 4A games Metro franchise.Executive Producer John Bloch gave more details after the showcase while talking to twitch, which included that it would be an open world game, set directly after Metro Last Light. Protagonist Artyom returns as he journeys across post-apocalyptic Russia and eventually board the Aurora, a steam train that’s been heavily customised, to look for a new place to live in the East.  The game is set be released sometime in 2018.

My Thoughts: The gameplay trailer looked great and the details that have come out after make the game seem really interesting.

Next we had Ubisoft come out and show us the brand new Assassin’s Creed game, Assassin’s Creed Origins. The reveal confirmed the leaked ancient Egypt setting and the name of the Protagonist, Bayek. They also showed some gameplay elements that have been added to the franchise, including RPG elements and an enemy level system. It also looks like combat has been changed to add a bit more of a challenge to the game.

My Thoughts: Looks like the year off for the franchise has done it some good, despite Assassin’s Creed Syndicate being a great game, I think this one has the potential to be one of the best in the series.

PC hit Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (or PUBG) was confirmed as coming to Xbox exclusively later this year. Followed by trailers for Deep Rock Galactic, a co-op FPS game by Ghost Ship Games and State of Decay 2. State of Decay 2 will launch in the Spring of 2018.

My thoughts: PUBG looked fantastic and the PC crowd seem to love it so I’ll definitely be getting that. Deep Rock Galactic looked very interesting so I’ll be keeping an eye out for more details about that. As for State of Decay 2, zombie survival games have never really been my cup of tea but it looked good.

Next up was a look at The Darwin Project, a survival game coming out exclusively to Xbox One and Windows PC. Set in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, it showed players with different powers battling each other in a Hunger Games style battle royal.

My Thoughts: Very Interesting looking game, will be definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

Following that was Mojang announcing that Minecraft was going to be completely cross-play across devices such as PC, Mobile, VR, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Minecraft is also getting a 4K update later this fall.

My Thoughts: The cross-play thing is really cool and I hope it succeeds but I the 4K visuals are pointless.

After that we were shown more trailers which included Dragonball Fighterz, a fighting game set in the Dragonball universe; Black Desert Online, a fantasy MMO; The Last Night, a cyberpunk adventure game; The Artful Escape, a Rock and Roll adventure game and Code Vein, which looked like anime dark souls. Black Desert Online was the only one to get a release timeframe of early 2018.

My Thoughts: The Last Night and Black Desert are the pick of the bunch for me. Both games look really interesting. Dragonball Fighterz isn’t for me, but will do very well nonetheless. I’m not a fan of souls style games, so Code Vein doesn’t interest me and The Artful Escape looks a little strange but it is certainly intriguing.

Rare’s newest game, Sea of Thieves was given an extended showing at the conference, no new mechanics or gameplay features. Sea of Thieves is an open world co-op game where you and other players become a pirate crew and explore the world. Early 2018 is the set release window for the game.

My thoughts: This looked incredible, it was my personal game of the conference.

Three long awaited games were given release dates next. Fullbright’s adventure game Tacoma will release August 2nd, StudioMDHR Entertainment’s  run and gun adenture game Cuphead will release September 29th and Sumo Digital’s Crackdown 3 was given a November 7th release date in line with the Xbox One X.

My Thoughts: For those that want these games, they’ve been waiting a long time, so its good that they finally have release dates. I’ll certainly be trying Crackdown 3 and Cuphead.

The ID@Xbox followed those announcements by revealing 21 indie titles coming to the Xbox One in the future. Those titles were:

  • Osiris: New Dawn
  • Raiders of the Broken Planet
  • Unruly Heroes
  • Path of Exile
  • Battlerite
  • Surviving Mars
  • Fable Fortune
  • Observer
  • Robocraft: infinite
  • Dunk Lords
  • Minion Masters
  • Brawlout
  • Ooblets,
  • Dark and Light
  • Strange Brigade
  • Riverbond
  • Hello Neighbor
  • Shift
  • Conan Exiles

My Thoughts: All of them only really had a few seconds to showcase what they were about, so not much to say, but the buzz online around Ooblets means the game has my interest.

We also had trailers for Ashen, an open world survival game; Life is Strange Before the Storm, a prequel to the massive hit Life is Strange and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, the follow-up to Ori and the Bind Forest.

My Thoughts: All the games looked good, and two of them are follow ups to great games, so all of them are worth checking out.

Monolith Productions also showed some Middle Earth: Shadow of War gameplay, including the new nemesis system which allows you to recruit Orcs to your cause as you fight Sauron and his Nazgul army. Shadow of War will release on October 10th this year.

My thoughts: I like the additions to the nemesis system a lot, and if the game is mechanically the same as the first game, I’m sure it will be fantastic.

Phil Spencer then announced backwards compatibility is getting better. Original Xbox titles will be playable on Xbox One in the fall of this year. Classics such as Crimson Skies, Splinter Cell and even Halo 2 may be playable on Xbox One very soon.

My Thoughts: A logical step for Microsoft, this will generate some sales from the nostalgia market and why not use a library of games that are sitting dormant?

The final part of the show was the full reveal of Bioware and EA’s new IP, Anthem. Anthem is a Co-op open world game that gives off the vibes similar to Mass Effect: Andromeda. Anthem involves using different types of mech suit with specialist abilities and upgrading them with weapons. Anthem is set for release in the Fall of 2018.

My Thoughts: It looks like what Andromeda should have been, hopefully it lives up to already high expectations, despite how little we know about it.

Overall, Microsoft’s E3 showcase was a solid show. However, the price of the new Xbox One X is a concern which may affect them going forward.

Thoughts on EA Play 2017

Sports and Space

The time of year has rolled around and E3 is upon us once again. This is perhaps the most interesting E3 in a while, in terms of what we are expecting. It all kicked off last night with EA doing its second iteration of EA Play. Here’s what we found out at that conference with my take on each announcement.

Let’s get a few things out of the away, Anthem was just a teaser we don’t know much about but will be covered in Xbox’s press conference later this evening, so I’ll cover it more after that one. Also, SEED (I think it’s like that?) was confusing. I’ve watched the conference twice and replayed that moment four or five times and I’m still not sure what SEED is about. EA and Origin access is free for a week, along with PS4 users getting some free trials, which is good, I suppose.

Now, let’s get into the games we know about. Starting off with Madden 17, which showed a trailer for the new story mode called’ Longshot, similar to Fifa’s The Journey mode, about a college footballer’s difficult journey to the NFL. College football seems to be included in the gamemode as there were two licensed college teams in Oregon and Texas. They also mentioned that competitive details would be coming in the summer.

My thoughts: I don’t play Madden at all but the story mode intrigues me and looks like a better story than this years The Journey mode.

Next we had a look at Battlefield 1, Dice’s hit shooter that released last year. Two new night maps were announced for July and the next expansion ‘In the name of the Tsar’ which is based on the Eastern Front and the Russian army, which will launch in September. It will also contain female soldiers, a first for the game and the famous Hussar cavalry. Along with new weapons, vehicles, operations and maps.

My thoughts: More Battlefield is good, I like the game so it is nice to have some fresh content to dig into.

Fifa 18 was up next and, to be honest, they didn’t show much at the conference itself, just a trailer about the next season of The Journey. Most of the Fifa 18 information came out after the conference. The Journey season 2 will carry on from where you finished in Fifa 17 and it seems there is a rumour Alex Hunter wants to leave the club he is currently at. More locations to visit and leagues to play in have been teased but nothing is confirmed. All of Hunters family and agent are returning and new customisation options have been added (including Paul Pogba’s blonde hair cut).  They dished out the usual comments of the game being more fluid, responsive and other marketing buzzwords that the shareholders love. Teams will now have unique play styles also.

My Thoughts: I buy Fifa every year, so was going to buy it regardless and there isn’t much they can change in all honesty.

The next game talked about was Need For Speed Payback. You play as three characters by the name of Tyler, Jess and Mac (and switch between the three GTA style I’m assuming) as you attempt to take down ‘The House’ a cartel that controls pretty much everything by the sounds of it with different types of race and missions. There is also a new form of customisation called ‘Relics’ where you find abandoned classic cars and restore them to former glory and beyond.

My Thoughts: Don’t usually play racing games as I’m awful at them, but the narrative and the addition of Relics means I’ll probably try this game at least.

The next game out of the gate was a brand new IP from the EA Originals program called A Way Out. A Way out is a co-op only game about two prisoners called Vincent and Leo who attempt to escape prison together but for very different reasons. The developers, Hazelight Studios recommend playing locally with a friend but online co-op is available. The game will launch in the spring of 2018.

My Thoughts: Game of the conference for me, look really interesting and I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of this game as the year rolls on.

NBA Live 18 (Yes they’re still making these) was up next and they showed the new ways you can play the game in the new mode ‘The One’. The One offers you the choice to either play in the NBA, on streets or in The Drew League. There will be a demo in August and that’s all that they said on the game.

My Thoughts: Either the game is nowhere near ready or EA don’t have much confidence in the game, cause there wasn’t much for them to show. The game looks disappointing and if you’re looking for a basketball game to play, my advice is to stick to NBA 2K based on what we saw here.

Then… The Grand Finale, The Headliner, The Main Event… Star Wars Battlefront 2. We learnt that the story bridges the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The main talk was of course, about the multiplayer. A new battlefield-esque class system has been introduced to the game. All 3 eras of Star Wars are included from launch and there is a new battlepoint system in game that allows you to unlock heroes, vehicles etc. Dice also premiered Assault on Theed, a 20 vs. 20 gamemode that is a crossover of rush and Overwatch’s escort type mode. They also announced that Finn and Captain Phasma would be part of the first season of downloadable content and that all downloadable content going forward would be free which includes maps, weapons, vehicles and heroes.

My Thoughts: It seems that Dice have learnt from the first Battlefront and gave us more depth with all the fun of the first game. Although they have confirmed micro-transactions but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to have free DLC.

All in all, I think EA had a solid conference. While they didn’t surprise us, they certainly delivered some interesting games going forward.