Let’s get this out-of-the-way; this isn’t a news post, nor am I trying to give you a play by-play of what went down at the EA Play event. This is almost a stream of consciousness reaction to the event. These are my honest opinions and first thoughts about the reveals and teases. In no way is this any indication of the final products or even my opinion of the final products that EA showcased. This is me screaming into the wind basically.
To start off the show with NFL makes sense. It’s a huge title that prints money for Electronic Arts. I myself am not a huge football fan, but I can appreciate Madden for what it is. This new Madden title, with its Long Shot story mode fascinates me. you take a named protagonist through his lifetime dream of playing in the NFL. It looks like they will have a story to follow his tale, all the ups and downs of trying to make it in the NFL. I am excited for this, the idea of playing a set story, dealing with off field issues, negotiating contracts, and dealing with reporters. That is exciting, yes I may be over hyping it but it looks rad. This is reflected in their FIFA 18 trailer as well. I play FIFA sparingly, mostly after it comes free to EA Access, but these new story modes get me excited for those games coming to the service, yea I won’t go out to buy them but you bet that I’ll be downloading them the moment they go live on that service for free.
Speaking of FIFA, EA has doubled down on competitive sports gaming. They flaunted competitive FIFA, calling for the largest FIFA championship ever. That seems smart as a business move, as competitive esports are all the rage at the moment. My issue is that I could not give two shits about competitive sports games. I mean in the sizzle reel they had shown there were so many douche bags shouting and talking about how they were the best Madden player ever. This struck me as odd, as EA was trying to foster a sense of community and collaboration with this event. They started the event talking about how this a collaboration, with players and developers coming together to make great games. Then cut to some dude screaming in the face of an opponent after he loses in Madden. Struck me as odd and out-of-place.
Odd and out-of-place you say? Well then let me tell you about Men in Blazers! These guys are the talking heads of Futbol. Which is great for the people who are into that stuff, and I understand FIFA is huge, but jeeze. It was cringe central. Maybe that is their shtick. It got a few chuckles out of me, but maybe it was huge to soccer fans. Those guys could be rock stars to people who follow the sport. The Men in Blazers weren’t the only one poking fun. EA took self infected shots at their past business models and choices. I thought it humanized them, it made them seem more grounded and likable. Which is probably the whole marketing spin on it, but hey it worked for me.
I have casually played Battlefield One since launch. It’s fun, and the new announcements made go out and buy the season pass (which is on sale this weekend by the way). They will be adding night maps in an upcoming update. Also in the new expansion In the Name of the Czar they will open up the eastern front of WWI. You’ll be able to use 8 new weapons, race across maps in new vehicles, and play as the Woman’s Battalion of Death(a historically accurate group of women from WWI). More operations will of course join in with this update, operations are my favorite part of BF1. These are multi battle campaigns that change depending on who won or loss the last round. It’s a fun way to kill an afternoon. They will also be giving fans a more competitive, tight, small team Battlefield experience with more information coming in August at Gamescon.
Need for Speed Payback was shown off for way longer than I feel like it should have. The game looks super arcadey, which NFS has always been but even more so. It reminded me of the first NFS game on the next-gen systems. They added in a story, 3 protagonists you can switch between a la GTAV, and touted a giant open world and more customization than before. Again a game I will play once it gets over to the vault on EA access.
The real show stealer here was an EA Original, these are smaller studios that EA partners with but let’s them keep some semblance of independence and just make new and exciting games. The game is called A Way Out, from the developers behind Brothers : A Tale of Two Sons. When I first heard that it was this dev team I rolled my eyes. Brothers wasn’t awful, but nothing to write home about. A Way Out is a total departure from the type of games they made before. It is a coop only, prison outbreak game. When I say coop only,. I mean that. You cannot play this game by yourself, they will have online play but advise you to play it couch coop. This is amazing, in this day and age in video games, where every developer is starting to take out couch coop this team forces it on you. I am so hyped for this game. It’s not just breaking out of prison either! It even follows the two inmates after they escape and try to avoid capture or visit their wife who is giving birth the their next child. The game just seems so fresh and exciting. With a release date of early 2018, I wait with bated breath.
We finally know what Bioware has been working. Anthem, for a game so under wraps and had so much hype I was extremely disappointed. The trailer literally starts with talking about how this giant wall they built is their only shield against the alien threat. Ok Destiny. But regardless, most of the stuff in the trailer looks regurgitated. Exo suits, sci-fi, alien menaces. But who knows, because in a stroke of honest brilliant marketing they will have a full reveal of Anthem at the Xbox press conference later today. I feel this is going to be a giant focus with Scorpio and they will use this game to gentle shove Scorpio down our throats. I am so ready.
Following the slam dunk of hype that was Anthem, they shown us NBA Live 18. No. Just no. This looks awful, the transition at the conference didn’t do the game any justice. The first few seconds of game play was shown of pointing a camera to a screen. It wasn’t doing the game any favors. I would love to know if NBA is honestly making them more money than their NHL franchise WHICH THEM SEEM TO NOT WANT TO SHOW OFF AT THEIR MAJOR PRESS CONFERENCE WHAT THE HECK…ok I’m ok. It’s just sad after seeming how awful these NBA games look but seem to get more of a development budget and what not than NHL. But in August you will be able to try NBA in a free demo that all progress will carry over to the final game upon release.
Finally capping off their conference was Star Wars Battlefront 2. This will be EA’s blockbuster, it looks phenomenal. This is EA’s hat in hand moment. They really took this one on the nose, showing John Boyega tweet that called for a single player story. Well John’s prayers have been answered. BF2 will add a single player campaign telling a story that links Return of the Jedi to Force Awakens. I’m excited for this, I love Star Wars so more SW is good for me. The story is shaping up to be pretty crazy as well. Bringing in the star power in the writers and actors is going to pay off for Dice. I can’t wait to play as the Empire post Return. Multiplayer is getting an overhaul. Adding classes like old school Battlefront gives me hope and rebellion are built on hope… Get it… Anyway! We’ll have better customization when it comes to our characters, and a new battle point system changes the way you play. You’ll gain these points during a match and can be spent on spawning in vehicles, heroes, and upgraded classes. And I know most any Star Wars fan knows, but they are adding all three eras of content. I just want to know if you can do cross era battles, like take The First Order and have them combat the CIS droid armies. I want to see Rey cutting down battle droids and Clone Troopers taking out Storm Troopers, which now that I think about it might be way to confusing but I don’t care. Thankfully we’ll also be getting new content for free. The kept referring to these as seasons of content, not season passes or anything. I think this is a sign they will be looking at this game as a platform, expanding with new “seasons” of content in MMO fashion. At least that is my wish.
EA’s conference was awkward, fun, and promising. It was classic E3. Suits trying to act hip and in touch with the community, maybe some of it is true, but it’s most likely marketing PR speak. It got my juices flowing for the rest of E3. It’s difficult to go first in any type of event, but EA did passable.
Let me know what you think in the comment below. Are you looking forward to any of the games shown off? How do you think EA fared? What am I wrong about? Let me know!