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.