At 5 am, Sunday morning, Australian east coast time Electronics Arts put on a press conference to show the games they had in the works for the gaming year and more. Peter Moore, who left to run the Liverpool soccer team was noticeably missing from the seemingly always awkward presentation. The presentation from start to finish missed his ability to control the room, this was part presenters fault but also to the crowd which was either too small or just not as interactive as a big E3 Press conference would have been. You can not fault Electronic Arts for trying new things but it did detract from the overall message.
Sports games are always hard to demo to a crowd but for Electronic Arts it is impossible for them to brush over as they are the biggest part of their business. They had strong showings from Madden 18, Fifa 18, NBA live 18, all of which will feature heavily a character progression or story mode. Madden’s story mode actually looks very interesting and well put together with some big name actors thrown in the mix. Fifa 18 will follow on with “The journey” of Alex Hunter that was started in 2017 and see him face even bigger decisions. Finally, NBA Live 18 will let you decided where to take your character and include the option to take to the streets with real life street courts being a major part of levelling your character. Electronic Arts will also double down on its competitive tournaments and try and find more eSport superstars from their couches with its 2018 lineup.
Electronic Arts will also be breathing new life into its massive commercial success of 2016, Battlefield 1, with an all-new expansion called, In the name of Tsar. they will also add a long running request from its community for smaller, more team focused battles so you can really show off your ability to crush your opponents. Night maps will be dropping in Battlefield 1 in the very near future for an even more intense gaming experience. As for the expansion, players can expect 6 new maps, vehicles, new assignments and the Russian army along with the famous women’s battalion of death. So if you have not played Battlefield 1 for a while it may be time to get back into it later this winter and at the end of the year.
EA Originals has continued to create more new IP for the publisher with Electronic Arts unveiling Josef Fares new game on stage called, A Way Out. Josef was behind Brothers: A tale of two sons and in this new project, he is bringing a heavily story driven game to us that will be played completely in Co-op split screen. This means you will play the whole game with a mate on the couch next to preferably or online if needed. Because of the decision to go with split screen each player will always have something to do in A Way Out, even when one player is in a cut scene the other player can be moving around trying to find or do something. The story is set in a prison with the two main characters having to break out and then it seems the story will really expand in what could be a story of revenge. The concept of this game really does excite me and I can’t wait to find out more.
The two most exciting games for me I have left till last. The Need for Speed has lost its way for a while now and has never been as good as it’s days of Underground and Most Wanted where it really dived into being a Fast and Furious style game. It not only seems to have gone back to that with the latest instalment called Payback, but it seems to be pulling on a lot of cues from Burnout Takedown in the process. The mission we got to see saw the player having to eliminate hostile drivers and when they did you got what only could be described as takedown cam sequence. This, more so than the story of revenge is what has me now excited to see more from the latest Need for Speed game as we get closer to the launch of this game.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 was what everyone was there to see however, the follow-up to the lacklustre reboot to the franchise from 2015 got a full half hour of the presentation with the first ever showing of a multiplayer match. Electronic Arts seem to have taken personally what the critics have said about the first one and have created a checklist of features the game had to have before it released the newest version. Single player returns to the franchise with an untold story from the Star Wars universe but the multiplayer still seems to be the focus of the title. A class system is now in the game as well as a rework of all the weapons and gunplay. There will be triple the content in this game and it will have seasons of content that will be completely free for all players while ever the game is still live. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is the game to watch from this conference.
There were a few other awkward moments from the show, including the announcement of BioWare’s new title only to say that Microsoft would unveil the gameplay of “Anthem” on their stage tomorrow with the word Project Scorpio thrown around a few times. Electronic Arts are the second biggest publisher in the game and as such deserves a big presence at E3 but after watching their presentation I am not sure if they know how to present one any more or need their own thing. Most of their titles will be on the first party stages anyway and the other things could be just trailers released or press statements. However, E3 has begun and that makes me more excited than anything else. Bring on the next conference, Microsoft, Monday morning, 7 am for the eastern states of Australia.