E3 2017 has finally begun. At 7 am this morning I woke to find multiplayer innovations, ominous reveals and of course, an overhaul of sports games. Overall EA’s conference proved to be one of their better ones in recent years, despite being admittedly thin. So let’s take a look at the top 5 announcements from EA’s EA Play 2017.
5) This is what I mean by EA’s conference being a little thin. Because one of EA’s top announcements proved to be the reveal of Fifa 18. Fifa 18 doesn’t seem all that different. Minor details added to gameplay and graphics, to entice die-hard football fans (or soccer to American’s) and bore most other gamers. However what put it above EA’s other sports titles was the continuation of the last Fifa’s story mode. The Journey: Hunter’s return, will delve into your save files, and continue your own personally customized tale of up and coming football star, Alex Hunter. This second season of Fifa’s single player campaign highlights customisable gear and appearances for Hunter as well as the possibility of football within countries outside of England, as the infamous Cristiano Ronaldo is a voiced character.
4) Anthem is Bioware’s newest I.P. Its reveal raised more questions than answers, however. We were shown a short cinematic trailer featuring strange creatures and a Master Chief styled armor. EA then urged viewers to check out the full gameplay reveal at Microsoft’s conference tomorrow. But what is Anthem? It’s being developed by Bioware’s A team, the previous developers of the Mass Effect trilogy. Rumors have also been circulating that Anthem could be a shared world multiplayer game akin to Destiny. And why are we seeing the first gameplay for Bioware’s new I.P. at Microsoft’s conference? Could Xbox have scored some kind of exclusivity deal with EA? We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.
3) Surprisingly Star Wars: Battlefront 2 wasn’t the highlight of the conference. We got a brief look at Battlefront’s single player mode (which I’m sure we will see more of at Sony’s conference) but also received an extensive dive into the games multiplayer. Visually stunning, skirmishes between battle droids and clone troopers took place on the planet of Theed. We saw the execution of ships, specialty characters such as super battle droids, and a range of heroes including Darth Maul, Rey, and Boba Fett. We didn’t learn anything new during the lengthy gameplay demo, other than the fact that Battlefront 2’s additional content will be released for free over the course of an extended period.
2) EA’s most surprising announcement was surely A Way Out. Josef Fares, the mind behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, has announced his studio’s next game. A Way Out is arguably the first ever forced co-op, cinematic story game. The game is split into two halves which portray A Way Out’s story through the perspective of two different prison inmates. The game cannot be played in single player and must be played either online or preferably through couch co-op. From a quick glance at the game, it seems to be a combination of Mafia and a David Cage title. Who knows if this prison break story will pan out, but it will surely be like nothing we’ve played before.
1) To my utter amazement, my highlight of EA’s conference was Need for Speed: Payback. I’m not a big racing fan. I enjoyed Rally Championship and Jak X on the PS2 and Motorstorm Apocalypse and MX Vs ATV Reflex on the PS3, but I wouldn’t say I play many games of the genre. Forza, Gran Turismo and Project Cars, although beautiful, bore me. However Need for Speed: Payback seems to reach out to gamers who might otherwise be uninterested in the genre. Playing off the success of the Fast and Furious franchise, Payback’s story is that of a heist. Several experienced drivers making their way through chaotically beautiful environments, while dishing out Burnout style takedowns. If they nail this aesthetic, this could be the first racing game I jump into in years.
However, what was missing from EA’s conference? We didn’t see any of EA’s other smaller titles, like Fe, which was announced at E3 last year, or Unravel 2. We also didn’t see Visceral’s upcoming Star Wars game or Bioware’s rumoured Dragon Age: Inquisition sequel. And of course, to many gamers disappointment, Skate 4 was not announced. What did you think of EA’s conference? Did it stand out, or bore you with sports drivel. For everything on E3 and all the other big conferences of the week, stay tuned to Thenerdstash.