Yesterday afternoon, Electronic Arts kicked off the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2017 in Los Angeles, with plenty of familiar titles – Madden, FIFA, Need For Speed – and a handful of intriguing new ones. Prior to the event, EA had confirmed eight games will be shown/spoken about at its conference, and the publisher did exactly that.
Madden NFL 18
Opening with a band of drumming New England Patriots, the conference soon transitioned into a sizzle reel, showing off the best of 2016 and what’s to come in 2017. Madden has followed suit with its sporting compatriots by incorporating a fleshed-out story mode. “Long Shot,” a story mode akin to FIFA 17’s The Journey, is powered by the Frostbite engine and, apparently, “the most innovative Madden in a decade.”
Madden major challenge has always been making NFL relevant to a non-US audience, but it seems they prefer the ball at their feet, rather than in their hands.
Yet again EA showed off highlights with various streamers reacting to some of the outrageous kills and plays that have typified Battlefield 1. The purpose of the segment was to introduce BF1’s latest expansion In the Name of The Tsar.
The team at DICE have developed a series of epic battles on the Eastern front – six new maps, some of which will be at night – with the Russian army, the Hussar cavalry, and the Women’s Battalion of Death, as well as playable female characters. All of this plus a new mode called Supply Drop will be available in September.
Men in Blazers pranced to the stage to introduce the latest iteration of FIFA. The pair highlighted specific playstyles, improved player and manager animations, and weirdly, they spent several minutes gushing about Cristiano Ronaldo physicality as he sprints and shoots in a mo-cap suit. The tale of Alex Hunter continues in The Journey: Hunter Returns.
Need For Speed: Payback
The series’ attempt to become the game adaptation of Fast and Furious seems to have finally come to fruition. Extravagant set pieces, flashy heists and high-speed chases make this the most cinematic entry yet. During the trailer, there is a mid-game character switch, suggesting the player will control multiple characters throughout the campaign. And with this goes our dreams of ever seeing a real sequel to Burnout. *sighs deeply*
By far the most compelling and promising segment – unless you’re a Star Wars fan – of the show was the EA Originals initiative. Last year, Patrick Soderland (EVP, EA Worldwide Studios) introduced the project which provides independent developers with a platform to bring new, innovative ideas to the forefront of the gaming world.
FINALLY, a game focusing on old-fashioned, split-screen co-op! A Way Out comes via the developers of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Hazelight Studios. Creator Josef Fares introduced a unique story focusing on two male leads, Vincent and Leo (brothers, maybe?) and their struggle with the ensuing chaos that is prison life. Cue the myriad of Prison Break comparisons.
From the trailer, we can expect exploration, driving, stealth and lots of action. The gameplay showcased Vincent and Leo’s diverging paths. While one scuttles through the venting system, the other sneaks through the courtyard, avoiding detection from the prowling guardsman. Fares emphasised variety, as he promised players will unlikely repeat the same action or sequence twice. And yes, you cannot play this game solo. So, you’ll need a partner-in-crime, whether it be local or online, it’s up to you.
SEED stands for the “Search For Extraordinary Experiences Division,” and is EA’s initiative for innovation. From what we know, Project Scorpio and SEED, combined with the Frostbite engine, will result in the most detailed and high-resolution imagery ever from EA. More information has been promised to be discussed at Mircosoft Conference, which you can read here also.
Bioware teased us with the sci-fi, post-apocalyptic adventure Anthem. Honestly, there isn’t much to discuss here, only that there will be high-tech suits, monsters, and a crumbling wall. It seems Microsoft have struck an exclusive deal with EA, as more footage is scheduled for the Xbox presentation.
NBA Live 18
The debut trailer highlighted The One, a common thread through NBA18 that lets you play however you want, with whoever you want, either on the professional circuit or on the streets.
The player’s on-court performances will help increase skills and unlock gear; and there are even 5v5 community games, to test those new skills. Every decision on and off the court will define your legacy. A free demo arrives in August, with your progress carrying over to the full game, if you choose to do so, of course.
Star Wars Battlefront 2
Star Wars fans were left tingling after a 30-minute display of Battlefront 2’s gameplay. John Boyega’s query about an offline story mode sparked internet intrigue as a flurry of tweets, echoing his request, flooded EA’s mentions. Make enough noise and they’ll sure to listen, right? And EA certainly listened. With a new single-player campaign, following the lead Janina Gavankar, leader of the Inferno Squad, fans seem most pleased about the recent addition.
Bridging the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Battlefront 2 will have three times more content than the first entry. More characters – Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Dark Maul – vehicles, planets, intergalactic battles and a revised player progression system – which is filled to the brim with content, from across all eras. Local co-op has also been promised.