EA kicked off E3 2018 with their EA Play press conference. Millions tuned in to see what EA are bringing to the proverbial table in the near future and although their offerings went down well with the crowd, we have to ask, did they do enough? Well, that really depends on what you enjoy from EA’s catalog of annual releases. For me, I quite enjoyed what they had to show, though there are many that felt as though the conference went on for too long with too little to carry it. You can watch a full recap of EA’s EA Play 2018 above.
The meat of the matter largely consisted of Anthem and Battlefield V, EA’s bread and butter for the year to come. Anthem is set to be released on February 19th and marks BioWare’s first new IP in ten years. Going from the information so far, it certainly seems to show a lot of promise. We know that the game will be a “live service” (think Destiny) but we also know that the game can be played solo. Furthermore, Anthem will not support Loot Boxes, which given EA’s background and track-record with Battlefront II, is a very wise move indeed.
Following the event, executive producer Mark Darrah took to Twitter to reveal more information about the upcoming online RPG. We now know that players’ stories will be told through interactions with NPCs at Anthem’s Tarsis Base, a location that allows you to build relationships with characters, though not on the same scale as those found in other BioWare titles. Interestingly enough, Darrah did point out that if the demand was high enough, BioWare would add “romances” to the game, post-launch, free for everyone.
An online connection is necessary to play Anthem, though we find out that PvP elements will not be present in the game, or at least not at launch. The four exosuits can be upgraded and the Freelancer – your character – will have unique power progression. Taking a leaf from Destiny’s book, and loot that is dropped is independent to the player that earned it, meaning that other nearby players will not be able to steal it. All in all, Anthem is shaping up to the the most interesting game from EA in years. See the stunning new trailer right here.
Battlefield V’s multiplayer was also showcased, in which we learned that the game will support Battle Royale. This mode in particular will have a focus on team play, destruction and vehicular warfare. Sadly, we didn’t get to learn too much about this mode, including whether or not it will feature one hundred player capacity. Still, it’s an interesting reveal nevertheless. EA recently revealed that they were binning the premium pass model in favor of free maps and cosmetic upgrades, which again, is a very wise move given EA’s history.
Battlefield V is set to unleash its iconic action-packed carnage on October 19, however, those that own EA/Origin Access can play the game on October 11. Those that buy into the Deluxe Edition can also get in on some early access on October 16. The new trailer, seen here, shows off some truly breathtaking visuals and design, tied together by Battlefield’s distinct personality. You’ll also catch a glimpse of War Stories, Battlefield V’s single-player campaign that offers up different vignettes of the overarching devastating story setting.
More is set to be showcased at Microsoft’s Xbox Briefing later today, but until then, this was more than enough to tie us over. With Anthem and Battlefield V out of the way, EA shifted focus to the smaller announcements. This included Command & Conquer Rivals – a free to play mobile game, and Origin Access Premier, a new subscription service tier that offers more benefits than that of it base version. From here, and as to be expected, of course, EA swiftly moved onto their sports titles; FIFA 19, Madden NFL 19 and finally, NBA Live 19.
With Konami and PES losing the license, it surprised no one that EA would swipe up the Champions League license this year, which will be present in FIFA 19. EA provided fans with a first look at the upcoming game as well as confirming its release date; September 28. Madden NFL 19 was also shown off as well as EA stating that it will come to PC in addition to console, a first for the series since Madden 08. Naturally, a new trailer was revealed with a release date set for August 10. That leads up to the final in the sports lineup, NBA Live 19.
Much like with FIFA 19 and Madden NFL 19, fans enjoyed a sneak peek at what lies ahead. The trailer, seen here, shows off some of the game’s new features as well as its firm release date of September 7. Moving to a galaxy far far away, EA shifted focus to Star Wars. Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella didn’t bring any footage or screens for their upcoming game, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, but we did enjoy a few teases here and there. For instance, we now know it’s set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
The backdrop is one that sees Jedi being hunted in a time of darkness, in which players will take on the role of a surviving Padawan, confirming the use of lightsaber wielding. That, sadly, is the limit of what we know. We don’t even have a release date more specific than the holiday season of 2019. No doubt we’ll hear more in due course. EA took some stage time to talk about the rocky start for Battlefront II as well as revealing future plans for the game, including that of adding in Clone Wars DLC, something fans have wanted from the get-go.
This will be added to the game this year through some strong content drops, beginning with Geonosis – which will feature multiple levels, including one that’s the largest in the game so far. General Grevious, Count Dooku, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker will be added to the game as new heroes. EA posted quite a bulky piece of information regarding the Clone Wars DLC on their official site following the event. We’re not sure when this arrive in the game, but we suspect EA will be very vocal about it leading up to its implementation.
Outside of that, we also learn that the game will receive a new Starfighter mode that emphasizes dogfights with Hero ships on top of large-scale multiplayer sandbox experience. Safe to say, it’s going to be a good year for the game. With all of the big announcements out of the way, EA took some time to showcase EA Originals. This included the surprise reveal of Unravel 2 as well as a glimpse at the massively intriguing Sea of Solitude. Developer Coldwood states that the sequel will be more platformer focused than its predecessor.
This is made apparent in the new trailer, seen here. The game will support bonus challenges alongside its story mode, as well as the inclusion of co-op via a drop-in/drop-out feature. The game will also seemingly allow players to quick-swap between Yarnys. Stepping over to Sea of Solitude, this game in particular caught a lot of interest via its new trailer. The game is set to release in early 2019. The premise reads: When humans get too lonely, they turn into monsters. That’s what happened to protagonist Kay. But she’s not alone.
The ocean is full of creatures just like her. Finding them may be the key to changing her back. It’s certainly an interesting looking tale and one that I hope we learn more of leading up to next year. That’s pretty much the summary of EA Play 18. It’s understandable that many were left wanting more. I don’t think there was a problem with the content, but rather the length of the event could have been cut shorter to make for a better pace. Still, this is EA we’re talking about, a company that’s not at all too popular lately, despite their best effort.
Was there enough? That depends on your expectations. As alluded to above, I enjoyed the event but I was expecting to see more, especially given its run-time vs what was shown. This is, however, only the beginning of E3 2018. We’ll be seeing more from EA at Microsoft’s Xbox Briefing tonight. So until then, let’s just hope that Microsoft, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Sony, Nintendo and the rest, can make better use of their time. Did you enjoy the event? Anything you want to add? Sound off in the comments below to make yourselves heard.