Oh ho ho! It’s E3 season everybody and you know what that means; game trailers, awkward moments and sequels upon sequels. We are just coming off of the EA conference and in all honesty. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, and that is saying something.
The name EA can really either be considered a gift or a curse. Sadly there were a lot of situations in this conference that could make it come off more as a curse. That is not to say that there wasn’t something good to come out of this, in fact, there is about two to really get excited for.
So let us start from the beginning. This year EA decided to follow up on the EA Play idea and separate themselves from the E3 venue and do more of a personalised show. It honestly wasn’t the worst thing in the world and most of it played off pretty well without a hitch (minus Need For Speed but we will get there soon). The venue looked beautiful and there was plenty of people waiting to see what EA had in store to blow our minds. They didn’t focus too much on their games so heavily, more of some sort of summary of the content with some gameplay and it made it go by pretty quickly.
They started out with a Patriots/Madden 18 inspired drum line that brought the show intro. It was as good as a drum line from EA would be, nothing too impressive but it had its point I guess. It brought us, shockingly, to a Madden 18 preview. It wasn’t anything too innovative, even though that seemed to be the core of the conference this year. The game seems to come with a pretty in depth single player and overall looks like a Madden game.
The next game up was Battlefield 1. This wasn’t so much about the game, but more of a testimonial from various streamers about how good the game is as well as the launch pad to debut their new DLC “In the Name of the Tsar”. It will come with a new army to play, new maps and weapons.
Next up was Fifa, and honestly as much as I don’t have any interest in the sport. They do make soccer seem like a fun sport to play in game form. The game looks impressive and all in all was a good addition to the conference. EA did go over the whole concept of e-sports and its prevalence in EA itself focusing mainly on Fifa. They described some things about a championship that will be held by EA in Fifa that will possibly lead to being in the higher end e-sports league of Fifa. As much as I am not into the game it looks fun and I might actually change my mind and try it out.
Now comes some awkward, EA brought in Jesse Wellens, a YouTuber whose claim to fame is pranking his significant other for the world to see, to describe the new Need For Speed game. Now, I get it, not everybody is built for the conference thing. Getting in front of people can be hard and I will give him the benefit of the doubt and blame it on a possible glitch on a teleprompter or something. That being said, there was a moment where he sort of lost his spot and left a little bit of dead air and you could see he was struggling. Like I said, it’s not for everybody and at the end of his segment he brought it back when one of the games developers came in. As far as the game goes, well it seems less like a racing game and more of something along the lines of the Fast and the Furious games. Not entirely a bad thing, but sometimes it’s just nice to go back to your roots and have some casual racing.
Considering that we are talking about a game that isn’t exactly affected by EA, this is probably the highest point in the entire conference. They announced a new game called A Way Out, and this game looks awesome. The game itself is about two convicts that escape prison and while it seems like a pretty common idea, it’s the execution that separates it from other games. It boasts a pretty extensive multiplayer experience but is just that, a multiplayer game. The developer that showed the game was nothing but amazing. He was probably the most genuine person on the stage and you could tell there was some love for the game that he directed. He also had a moment of losing his place in his demonstration but ended up finding it pretty quickly. On top of all that, the guy said what could only be deciphered as “Hopeshakey Boom!” before leaving the stage. What followed was a pretty awesome piece of gameplay that utilises the couch co-op mentality of split screen as well as the function of having one player doing actions during another player’s cut scene. So person A will be doing some stuff during their break out person B is trying to stop a guard from seeing the other player. It is an impressive looking game and if you have the time to check it out, I definitely will.
Bioware brought a new IP to show the world at the EA conference. The game is called Anthem… And that is all we know at this point. You can check out the full coverage during the Microsoft conference. Good one EA.
We also have a new NBA Live game coming out, like the other sports games. They look very similar at this point and while they try to demonstrate a new feature to the game, it really all kind of blends together. Over all the sports section of this conference was not the greatest. Fifa was really the only interesting game as they put more time and effort into the features of that game and how it connects with the players.
Now comes the most anticipated part of the event. After having a successful but very flawed release in 2015, Star Wars Battlefront 2 was shown today. I have to give the guys at EA some credit, they were willing to bring up the fact that a lot of people were not a huge fan of the previous game and it honestly seems like they have put those criticisms to good use. What we got during the conference was nothing short but amazing looking, honestly. The game looks visually stunning and over all it looks like they have tried their best to correct the wrongs of the first game. We have a story mode, and while I am not to sure about how the story will play out, we are going in the right direction. Add on top of that it looks like the multiplayer has had a complete overhaul. From the old style of picking weapons and cards to actually having a class system like in the original games. From just having above ground dog fights to having what seems to be full space battles. A lot of the features are conjecture at this point due to only really seeing the game play of multiplayer. The multiplayer, by the way, looks amazing. We only got a glimpse of the game as they had a bunch of people of notable online fame to play the game in their venue. The map they showed was beautiful and the graphics were just unbelievable.
There will be added content to the game, and at this point it is being sold as all being free. I am not entirely sure what the details of that are other than maybe the heroes, but at this point we are definitely in a better direction than the first game was. The only real question at this point is if the game continues on this high or dashes the hopes of many fans like it did last time. I have some high hopes but I also am aware that I can’t have all my eggs in the EA basket.
I have seen some pretty bad conferences and honestly didn’t have very high hopes for EA this year. I am pretty happy to say that I was surprised by some of the stuff that they showed. Not all of it, but it could have been a train wreck.