EA Play – E3 Conference Review 2017
EA kicked of E3 this year with their EA Play event where they showed of 8 titles across a conference lasting around 80 minutes. With a number of announcements to show that most people would expect the question would be could they still bring the house down.
Below I will give my impressions of the games they showed as well as my thoughts of the show as a whole with a score out of 10
EA kicked off their show with the trailer for Madden 18’s newest mode, Longshot. Taking inspirations from the Journey seen in FIFA 17, Longshot places you in a story driven campaign as you deal with the highs and lows of being drafted by an NFL team.
Visually as ever Madden looks great with brilliant character animations and the details we have come to expect from EA’s sport franchises.
Later in the show they also showed off the great visuals possible with the power of Project Scorpio, Xbox’s latest console. Without access to a 4k stream though it was hard to fully appreciate how good these looked but the detail I could see was very impressive.
Madden 18 will release August 25 2017.
EA then moved onto Battlefield 1. Since its launch last year Battlefield 1 has had fantastic feedback from reviewers and the gaming community alike. It was the gaming commiunity that EA focused on though with a video showing online gameplay with comments from some of the communities most vocal members.
From there EA showed off DLC that is coming later this year in the form of an expansion pack called ‘In the name of Tsar’.
This expansion focused on the war in Russian features night maps, winter locations, new vehicles and new weapons. As would be expected from Battlefield the visuals looked amazing and it is sure to be a fantastic expansion for players to look forward to.
In the name of Tsar will release in September.
It wouldn’t be an EA conference without seeing what the latest version of FIFA will be bringing to the pitch. EA started by showing off their latest trailer featuring this years cover star Cristiano Ronaldo. In this trailer we se Ronaldo being scanned in a variety of scenarios you might expect to see him on the pitch. We also get a look at how EA will be advancing the visual and atmospheric aspects of the stadiums in FIFA 18 which will be sure to add to the presentation.
From there EA moved on to the Journey. This story focused mode first showed up in FIFA 17 and in FIFA 18 you will be taking the next steps in the career of Alex Hunter. The trailer shown again looks as impressive as I would have hoped and seems to continue upon the great features introduced in last years game.
FIFA 18 will release September 29 2017.
Need for Speed Payback
The conference then shifted gear to show off the latest title in the Need for Speed series, Need for Speed Payback. Straight out of the gate this game looks very impressive visually. Presented with a story narrative to back up the mission being played Need for Speed Payback almost looks like it could fit into the Fast and Furious franchise which isn’t a bad approach at all.
In the gameplay demo you had a car chasing down a truck carrying a Mclaren that you had to steal. While in persuit there were the typical cars trying to stop you and its here I have my biggest issue. With each takedown of the opposing cars there was a slow-mo cut of them crashing. While it allowed the visuals of the game to shine I hope in the final game they are less frequent to allow the action to flow at a better pace.
Need for Speed Payback will release November 10 2017.
A Way Out
After seeing the latest in a long standing series EA showed of the debut trailer for their latest EA Orignals title, A Way Out. A Way Out is a 2 person Co Op game based around the premise of escaping prison, think Prison Break or Shawshank Redemption. With a strong narrative driving fun Co Op gameplay and a great visual presentation this could really be a hit once it releases. Just to reiterate this a Cooperative game ONLY. You will have to either play online with a friend or in split screen to play this game. While this may but some people off I really appreciate that they have committed to this to drive their story forwards.
After the trailer we got to see a small gameplay demo showcsasing how players choice can effect how each mission plays out as well as the different perspective for each player. This included one player being in a cinematic cutscenes while the other watched that cutscene play out but from their perspective in gameplay.
A Way Out is definitely a game to keep an eye on going forward especially if you enjoy teaming up with a friend to play games.
A Way Out will release Early 2018.
EA then followed up with a trailer from BioWare’s latest project, Anthem. This trailer looked jaw droppingly beautiful and will get a full reveal including a gameplay demo at the Microsoft conference to be sure to check out my review of that to hear more about Anthem.
NBA Live 18
The final sports game to be shown off at EA’s show was NBA Live 18. As with FIFA and Madden the visual quality of this game shines through with EA really pushing to deliver the most authentic presentation possible. The real highlight of this presentation though was NBA Live 18’s latest game mode, The One. The One is a brand new career mode that will see you rise through the ranks of being a pro player both in the NBA as well as on the Streets in real world locations. Both your pro matches and street matches will see you increase your stats and reputation as a player. This different take on a career mode really adds something to a stale formula and I think NBA Live fans will really like what EA has done here.
NBA Live 18 will be getting a free demo in August which will include part of The One. Best of all all your progress made in the demo will carry over to the full game.
No official release date has been announced for NBA Live 18.
Star Wars Battlefront II
Without a doubt EA’s showcase title of their event was Star Wars Battlefront II. Starting off by acknowledging the feedback, both positive and constructive, of their previous Battlefront title EA once again confirmed that Battlefront II will feature a brand new story set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awkens. They also announced that Battlefront II will feature 3 times the content seen in the first game, Co Op Skirmish gameplay, all era of Star Wars, redesigned gun play, a brand new Battlepoint system and post launch free dlc for everyone that owns a copy of Battlefront II. The first of which will be content from The Last Jedi including Finn and Captian Phasma.
To accompany these announcements EA showed off the brand new trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II focusing on multiplayers.
This trailer was incredible! Based on the Battle of Theed, we saw Battle Driods take on Clone Troopers across the beautifully created city seen in Star Wars Episode I the Phantom Menance. As well as Droids and Clones we also saw gameplay of Darth Maul, Yoda, Kylo Ren, Rey, Star ships and much more.
As a bonus EA also showcased a live gameplay demo of Star Wars Battlefront II’s multiplayer in a 40 player Assult on Theed map. This demo gave the team a chance to show off the new class system as well as Battlepoint which will be built up and used to play as vehicles and heroes. It also showed their new 3 Stage game mode with adapting objectives and locations.
The teams behind Battlefront II have really pushed themselves to not only exceed what they achieved last time, but to exceed the expectations and hopes of the fans and from what they have shown Battlefront II is going to be a must for any Star Wars fan.
Overall I think EA delivered a very good conference and highlighted why you should care about their biggest up and coming titles as well as debuting a couple of surprises. Where the conference fell short was in some of its presentation and transitions. A couple of times EA tried to use comedic elements of YouTube personalities to introduce games which from my perspective didn’t quite work.
They also didn’t reveal any real big new titles. Aside from A Way Out and Anthem we had either seen or heard about each of their titles before. Although A Way Out looks very impressive it didn’t have the wow factor that Anthem would have had if they had given it its full reveal and not saved it for Microsofts Conference.
Despite no jaw dropping new news what they did show delivered especially with Battlefront II looking like the game we all hoped it would be.
For EA’s 2017 E3 conference I give them