Andrea Rene hosted this year’s EA Games Press Conference, called EA Play, Saturday at 11 AM Pacific Time. The show was two and a half hours long and played host to new indie game reveals, Star Wars announcements, EA Sports updates, the first look at Anthem, and of course new Battlefield V information.
While many fans of EA Games will be pleased, some of the more skeptical gaming community members have had their hesitant outlook verified. Overall it was a mediocre showing with EA clearly trying to reduce the amount of time spent on their usually boring segments but presenters often being too nervous to deliver a solid presentation.
Editor’s Note: Opinions are my own and may or may not represent those of the other RealGamerNewZ Writers. Videos are provided by our friends over at GamersPrey.
In the pre-show a bunch of EA Sports features were shown including Overdrive Mode in Madden NFL Overdrive which combines the concepts of fantasy football with real-time gameplay mechanics. Captains is another feature which different strategies are offered depending on which Captain is used and that’s also tied in with the style of your favorite teams. Not only offensively, but defensively as well, Captains will alter gameplay tactics. FIFA
EA is hosting 100 games will be streamed by 100 streamers on their EA Twitch Channel which started yesterday at 9 am and runs through Tuesday. The games streamed will include everything from The Sims: Seasons to Anthem, Bioware’s new online open world game that is expected to combine shared shooter and story elements into one title.
THE SHOW: EA PLAY
A sizzle real featuring sports and action games as well as the new expansion for The Sims and some Star Wars flare opened up the show once the pre-show concluded. EA Play 2018 featured 3D holographic display of an Anthem scene in which jetpack shooters duke it out with mega enemies that looked straight out of the Turtle Rock Studios’ title Evolve. Andrea Rene lets us know that EA Play will be hosting gameplay for fans, press, and streamers for the three days of E3. Battlefield V multiplayer was the first focus of the show followed by FIFA 19, two indie games, and Bioware joining the stage with Andrea Rene for a closer look at Anthem.
The game’s developers at DICE took stage and brought gameplay with them claiming that Battlefield V will be the deepest and most immersive Battlefield yet. Diving and smashing through windows, moving artillery around on the field, and a full return of the destruction system Battlefield was known for are highlighted as key features for the game. Customization is also a large focus. Single player and the “War Stories” included in them are talked about next. Inspired by real soldiers, we are told, which is nothing new for Battlefield games. October 2018 is given as the release date for the game. We are told we’ll see the story mode they just mentioned at the Xbox Press Conference.
There are no loot boxes in the game and there will be no premium pass this time around. This garnered some applause, though we have to wonder if there will still be DLC sold separately. There’s also a Battlefield V Battle Royale mode including vehicles. Some people boo’ed at this and said “NoooO!”, we are told we will see more of this throughout the year. Operations mode for multiplayer was promised next but they only showed a cinematic trailer.
As EA Sports takes their chance to show something off, FIFA 19 is given a cinematic trailer. Champion’s League is discussed by the producers of FIFA. Tournaments mode and Career mode are directly linked to FIFA Ultimate Team with Champion’s League being an over-arching umbrella. “We know how passionate you are about gameplay” the producers state, as if the gamers are the only ones who care about that. Strange wording, still, they claim they’ve improved the gameplay.
September 28, 2018 is given as a release date and FIFA 19 is about to be done with its stage time. The trophy on stage takes the spotlight. You can get the sense that EA wanted to keep everything short this year, especially the EA Sports segment. The World Cup Experience comes as a free update to FIFA 18. For a limited time, FIFA 18 Complete with the entire World Cup Experience is available as a Free Trial on PlayStation 4 and EA Origin as well as Xbox.
The CEO of Electronic Arts, who many remember as the man who fights for lootboxes, took stage against the better judgement of many. “The greatest disruption to the consumption of entertainment media” is how Andrew views subscription-based, digital cloud gaming services. This is EA’s way of saying they don’t want to rely on consoles in the future. This harkens back to Ubisoft CEO’s desires to proclaim consoles dead every generation, and of course he’s wrong every time (so far).
EA Games will launch Origin Access Premier which is a subscription service that brings PC Games (even Madden NFL 19, back on PC for the first time in a decade), Anthem, and Battlefield V, as well as the EA Vault of over 100 games on Origin. This launches in the Summer of 2018 and is EA Games’ shot at trying to push cloud services on gamers so they can make more profit and have more control over gamer libraries. It’s hard to have a positive outlook on such a technology when every company has had a similar service at every E3, every year, and none of them have replaced consoles yet.
JEDI: FALLEN ORDER
Andrea Rene sits in the crowd and gets Vince Zampella of Respawn to give a little teaser of what they’re working on next. Disney has approved the next Star Wars game and Respawn is working on it, it’s called Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Confirmation that players will be taking control of a Jedi during the dark times when Jedi’s are being hunted and lightsabers are obviously an equippable weapon. The game takes place between Star Wars Episodes 3 and 4. The title will be launched Holiday 2019 and as such will not be shown off just yet.
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT 2
A new hunt mode will be added to the game as part of DICE “fixing” their game which caused an international scandal due to lootboxes making the headlines worldwide and government regulation coming from multiple countries. A new squad system will come to the game which will make it easier to play with friends. A new star fighter mode revolving around dogfights will also come to the game as well as a zone capture and capital ship mode. The largest level ever built for Battlefront will be part of a Clone Wars Season expansion to Star Wars Battlefront 2. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker will come to the game’s expansion as well as Count Dooku. It’s hard to be excited for base game features and content that should’ve been in the title and is instead only now coming, especially after that lootbox scandal, but they’re trying at least.
For all of the repeated mistakes EA has made so far, they’ve also repeated something they do well at, giving indie games a real chance. Yarn symbolizing love, and the loss of this light are the opening themes of an indie story for Unravel Two. The entire game is made to be played with two characters who share one yarn and work together throughout. This becomes necessary after a disaster that the original character survives. However, the title will still maintain its fun and friendly outlook.
Update: Unfortunately Unravel Two will only feature Local Co-Op and not Online Co-Op at this time, but it still looks great.
The graphics for Unravel Two look incredible. A PC was used to show the game off of course, and on PC the frame rate performance is just as great as the detail and beauty of the presentation. Players can split into two and then reconnect. There will be some puzzles that have a sense of urgency, with platforming mixed in to help create this effect. More info can be found at Unravel’s Official Website.
EA ORIGINALS : SEA OF SOLITUDE
As a surprise Unravel Two was released during the EA Games Press Conference and is now available. EA Games takes this chance to talk about EA Originals and the project A Way Out. EA vowes to continue helping indie games with EA Originals.
Sea of Solitude will be the next game from EA Originals with indie devs Joi-Mei taking stage to introduce the new title. This Berlin-based company will states, “When humans get lonely they turn into monsters,” which is something many can relate to. The concept of loneliness was fuel for the game’s writing we are told. Different kinds of loneliness are explored as well as the way it can look from the outside, but the game keeps fun-factor at the center with a deeper emotional world hiding under the surface.
A woman named Kay is the main character who becomes a sea faring monster from the crippling feelings described above. Players will attempt to uncover what made this happen, and how to turn her back into a human. The game will come Early 2019 and more info is available at the Game’s Official Website.
NBA LIVE 19 will get a release on September 7, 2018 and had a flashy trailer based around squads. Madden NFL 19 is shown off with an eSports competitor known to many as Young Kiv, the Madden NFL 18 Champion playing the game in a high-stakes match. Next he takes the stage with professional NFL Pittsburgh Steelers player. Young Kiv speaks about his wins and losses in his own Meek Mill moment as he’s rocking the Madden NFL 18 Champion belt. The two will have another match soon, but first we are shown an in-game, cinematic trailer of Madden NFL 19. The game will use the Frostbite Engine and arrive on Xbox, PlayStation and PC at the same time for a change of pace.
COMMAND & CONQUER: RIVALS
A heavily simplified version of Command & Conquer: Rivals takes the stage and without being named until the very end, gets its World Premiere. It’s really bittersweet to see EA doing this since they bought out Westwood Studios so many years ago and single-handedly destroyed the Command & Conquer franchise. Fans of the RTS genre will have a hard time watching this.
The Pre-Alpha game is given an eSports style battle which shows how the game plays as well as EA’s hopes that the title has potential for audience interaction. Players take control of a bottom lane as well as top lane and this influences the income of the game’s economy. Players use turrets, tanks, and infantry while trying to gain the ability to launch a nuke in the center of the map, two of which will end the match. This is a truly depressing moment as we see the legendary C&C RTS franchise reduced to a football field sized Clash Royale match. The title is available for Pre-Alpha testing on Google Play today but comes to iOS and Android later on this year.
ANDREW WILSON… AGAIN
The robotic man joins the stage again to talk about how EA is “listening” to fans and “learning” that players should have a choice and be treated fairly. EA Games will try to provide value for the time we spend in their games and keep fun-factor as a priority. He promises that EA wants to “be better” and promises that EA is trying. Next we are shown statistics of how EA Games has donated a million dollars to charities including anti-bullying, transgender rights, and feminism organizations.
“The gods vanished and left our world in chaos,” opens the Anthem presentation which is perhaps is the only game that people will all agree is EA’s strongest showing this year. While many are afraid to get hyped for it, EA Games and Bioware are going to do their best to make sure players at least give Anthem a chance despite EA’s current reputation. An impressively intriguing cinematic trailer which gives way to a slightly more in-depth showing of the title than previously seen.
Andrea Rene and Casey Hudson began a deep dive talk as behind-the-scenes clips are shown behind them. Anthem is a shared world game when you’re out and about but when you return to your own base the game becomes personalized and provides a story mode experience. Bioware also seeks to add more story over the years to come. Early concept art scenes were shown with a little bit of animation flare added on top.
Gods that left behind the world unfinished also left their tools. These tools are the source of constant conflict and also create dangers like dynamically shifting weather systems, creature spawns, and even mutated landscapes.
Players take control of a freelancer who is uniquely skilled to pilot the Javelin exo-suites which are required in this world for safety. The ancient rivals, the dominion, will attempt to weaponize the tools left behind the Gods. The Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor, and Storm are four different Javelin exo-suites which change the game’s play-style. These can be swapped at any time, so players have a freedom of choice. The Ranger is a general suite for up close combat, Colossus is more of a tank with slower, heavier duty weapons.
Built-in customization and cosmetic mictro-transactions have been confirmed as part of the Q&A questions answered from Twitter users on-stage. There will be no pay-to-win elements in the game according to Bioware, and they’ve said you’ll know what you’re buying when you participate in micro-transactions, which should mean no lootboxes.
Combinations and special abilities during co-operative gameplay are key to the game. Fusing the personal single player content together with co-operative moments was a major focus for Bioware. The game is more challenging by yourself, but co-op should feel like a choice not a requirement. Gameplay is shown next which begins in the planning phase of a forward-operations base.
An acid-based super weapon is a threat facing the free world and players hop into their Javelin suites to put an end to the menace. The shooting shows damage numbers on-screen giving hints at the RPG system underneath the hood of Anthem. In-game chatter is mixed with story dialogue but the footage mostly contains the original sound effects and musical score of the game itself. The first part of the mission wraps up quickly, securing of a relic from the gods, but soon after a new enemy is discovered. The acid-based weapon is a living being which lays eggs and has its own deadly boss fight waiting for players. The screen cuts away before that fight happens, but the full demo is available to play at E3 in Los Angeles. The game will come out February 22, 2019 on Xbox, PS4, and PC.