Breaking away from this week’s main event, EA put on a separate show for press in London and Los Angeles, streaming the conference to millions of fans over the web. With Andrew Wilson hosting on one end and Peter Moore the other, the duo welcomed a number of guests on-stage to talk about upcoming projects, many of which are just around the corner.
Getting EA Play off to a strong start, Vince Zampella of Respawn Entertainment stepped out into the spotlight to show off Titanfall 2. Slated for October 28th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, this sci-fi shooter sequel has clearly been shaped in response to player feedback from the original. Aside from expanding Titanfall’s existing patchwork of systems, the second instalment brings a hefty singleplayer portion to boot. From the early footage shown, it’s certainly looks promising, combining some luscious alien backdrops with the kind of set piece action one might expect from a blockbuster first person shooter.
You can expect our hands on preview in the next couple of days.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Once again, BioWare held back from a full-blown reveal of the next Mass Effect. Instead, developer GM Aaron Flynn managed to regurgitate existing information surrounding the title with a few gameplay clips here and there, showing that Andromeda actually exists. The lack of solid details is frustrating, but it’s hard not to get excited listening to BioWare’s pitch. Andromeda will see players travel to a far-out galaxy in their search of a new home for humanity.
Whether this means a strong base-building core or some kind of emphasis on multiplayer is unknown, BioWare stressing that this will be a completely separate story in the Mass Effect universe. For a small minority, including myself, that’s not particularly good news. Although it was some years ago now, the lack of clarity and closure surrounding the trilogy’s ending continues to haunt us. The studio needs to break away from Shepard’s arc at some point, sure, but they could at least properly close one saga before entering another.
There’s not a great deal to be said about FIFA 17, at least in the eyes of its core playerbase. Dig deeper, however, and you’ll find it to be the most ambitious instalment we’ve had in a good few years. First off, FIFA 17 will have its very own story-driven game mode dubbed “The Journey”. Here, players will mould the career of Alex Hunter, a rising star in the Premier League looking to conquer the top flight of English football. Next to that, EA Canada is shifting away from Ignite to the Frostbite Engine, giving some visual elements a lifelike appearance. Finally, the team have re-jigged a number of advanced mechanics. Even as someone with only a passing interest in FIFA, this is perhaps the first one I’m actually considering buying for myself.
Check out our hands on preview here.
When Unravel was announced at last year’s E3, it almost seemed like a malfunction in EA’s usual machine-like process of making games. Although not quite as surprising, Fe marks a pleasant change in direction for the publisher, with the founding of EA Originals. The game itself hardly looks ground-breaking, with its snowy vistas and low-poly critters, but is certainly quite charming. That said, the prospect of EA scouting for more indie projects such as this is exciting, especially if it can support games of this calibre on a frequent basis.
Despite having a stable of talented developers working with the Star Wars license, EA had very little to show at last night’s press conference. Sure, we got our first glimpse at Visceral’s upcoming third person action game, but that did very little to sate the hunger of keen fans. Nor did the news of a X-Wing title planned for VR, not to mention Jade Raymond’s confirmation of a new Battlefront game coming next year. Although EA will want to avoid Star Wars fatigue, what’s even worse is this turgid drip-feed of information.
For many, Battlefield 1 stole the show at EA Play, even managing to overshadow Respawn’s best efforts. Hopefully that’s something that won’t be replicated when the two games launch, with just a matter of days between the two. With Battlefield 1, DICE is taking way more of gamble than archrival Activision and its various Call of Duty studios. Not only has the team dialled the game’s timeline back, it’s yanked the knob clear off in an uncharacteristic sideway motion. The result? A vibrant yet brutal depiction of World War I under a fictional and somewhat zany lens.
While some of EA’s games were shrouded in a frustrating veil of mystery, DICE staged a mass media blowout for Battlefield, streaming an hour-long session of online multiplayer as two teams of 32 went head-to-head. Aside from watching Snoop Dogg blaze up live and the humorous deluge of #ripcod comments in Twitch chat, the game itself looks incredibly fun and diverse.
We’ve been hands on with the game, so you can expect our preview very soon.
Other tidbits include EA’s “Play To Give” Initiative, a gesture of goodwill established to reward both gamers and a cluster of selected charities. eSports is also another big push for the publisher as they seek to widen its appeal to the masses. This involves the creation of three-tier system, allowing even the scrubbiest of scrubs to get on the ladder and feel immersed in this growing global trend.
Overall it was a strong yet safe showing from EA. Although a little more reserved than other press conferences, it’s hard to argue with the quality of what’s been shown. Fans of both BioWare and Star Wars will no doubt feel pangs of frustration, though these do little to diminish that enduring sense of excitement to see what awaits both of these licenses in future.