E3 2017 – EA Conference

EA’s market is sports and shooters. Their lad culture/ video game hybrid business plan has made them one of the most powerful video game companies in the world. They also have more money than god and therefore tend to snap up any properties that look particularly promising, so this year’s EA conference didn’t necessarily have to be all ‘slightly tweaked sports titles’. Here’s the list of the big talking points, surprises and what caught our eye at EA’s E3 conference.

Star Wars: Battlefront II
With the entire first half of EA’s press conference dedicated to showing the sequel to Battlefront, which was met with largely negative reviews, we were expecting a stronger message. Opening with promises that EA had listened to overwhelming fan opinion, particularly that the first game featured no single player, EA proceeded to show masses of multiplayer footage. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

It’s true that Battlefront II will contain a single player campaign mode however this was only shown to press behind closed doors. It will follow Inferno Squad Commander Iden Versio played by Janina Gavankar, however the exact details of the storyline are still relatively vague.

Gavankar is in attendance tonight, and along with Josef Fares, the creator of A Way Out (which we’ll get to soon), is one of the only believably human presenters. EA seems to be run by a strange race of clones who run solely on emotionless auto queues. But I digress, the games are the focus here.

A live multiplayer game is screened in full, taking place on the new Naboo map, and also featuring the clones and separatist armies, both new to Battlefront II. There’s a lot of cuts between players streams so it can be difficult to really gauge what an actual multiplayer game of Battlfront 2 will feel like. EA promise more vehicles, more customization, more abilities, more classes, and more options in general, although from what we’re shown, looks like largely more of the same. The shooting feel has apparently been fine tuned but how good that actually feels we’ll have to wait until some hands on gameplay for.

Anthem gets a teaser trailer quickly thrown into the mix, featuring lush jungle and power armour (always a winner). We’re expecting to hear more about Anthem at the Microsoft press conference though, so fingers crossed it’s something with original ideas.

A Way Out
Certainly the most original looking title by a long way at EA’s press conference was A Way Out. From the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, this cinema style co-op ONLY title (yes you read that right) will see a duo pull a Prison Break style, erm, prison break.

The game can be played either online or in split screen mode and comes as an unlikely lifeline in an EA press conference largely dominated by remakes, reboots and sports titles with little new to offer.

Need for Speed Payback
Need for Speed Fast and Furious Payback looks impressive until you compare it to it’s predecessor, the rebooted Need for Speed. The main draw is it’s focus on crime/heist based antics, other than this it seems very similar to the previous Need for Speed reboot title. It’s car customization for example looks virtually identical, its graphics, at a glance the same, but perhaps these new styles of mission and focus on action movie scenarios will push the already impressive rebooted Need for Speed up a gear.

Battlefield 1 DLC
Battlefield 1 has been unbelievably popular with multiplayer shooter fans and E3 announced that two new night maps will be debuting this Summer, as well as an Eastern front themed expansion In the Name of the Tsar. The latter will add six new maps featuring the Russian army and a “women’s battalion of death” in September when it releases.

Madden 18
Madden 18 will be getting a FIFA style story mode that seems about as over the top as you could make a sports title story game. We’re not sure why it’s becoming a thing, but it looks like it’s here to stay.

Meanwhile FIFA 18 gets new animations and signature moves, for example a change to the way each player controls the ball, runs ect. They leave us in no doubt that the title is  “fuelled by Ronaldo”, meaning they’ve squeezed the football star into a dangerously tight motion capture suit. The title will once again feature a story mode focusing on Alex Hunter in his second season, with the option to play co-op, as well as import your FIFA 17 character. Like Madden 18, the game will have a story mode, which can be played in co-op with a friend and will allow you to import your FIFA 17 character.

NBA Live 18
NBA makes a quick appearance and shows off how the game plans to mix their NBA tournament games and street games to develop your players.

You can read our full coverage of E3 2017 here.

Jack Holmes

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