E3 Reactions: EA’s Conference

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Posted June 12, 2016 by Roshan Krishnan in Video Games

EA’s press conference this year was mediocre at best, and disappointing at worst. As the conference lacked substantial gameplay footage, EA was only able to show fans what they could play in the coming months. Aside from their annualized titles, EA’s games coming out this year seem non-existent.

Titanfall 2

Titanfall-Cover-Art-2.0

It was unfortunate that the story trailer for Titanfall 2 leaked before EA’s conference, as it was a great trailer that would have been a genuine surprise for fans. Respawn’s Vince Zampella took to the stage to show off this trailer along with a multiplayer trailer. The game looks like a significant step up from its predecessor, both in terms of scale and polish. As a result, the crowd’s excitement for Titanfall 2 was palpable. The original Titanfall was a lot of fun to play for a short time, so I’m hopeful that its sequel is a lot more immersive. As the game comes out in October, players don’t have to wait too long to play it. I am a little concerned about how close the release dates of Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 are to each other. The sales of either game could possibly suffer.

EA Sports Games

 

I don’t really play EA’s sports game so I am not going to pretend to be knowledgeable about them, save for my rudimentary FIFA skills. EA’s conference this year maintained an emphasis on competitiveness in their sports game. The unveiling of Madden ’17 was met with polite applause. FIFA ’17 seemed more popular with the audience. The newest iteration of the series overhauls some mechanics of the game. Additionally, the game has a new story mode about the rise of a young football player, possibly taking due to NBA 2K16’s success. The game looks like more FIFA and if you didn’t like the previous games in the series, you probably won’t like this one either.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

The highly anticipated RPG from Bioware made an appearance at the conference, much to the delight of Mass Effect fans. More details about the game were announced, along with a sizzle reel of game footage. The new setting seems like an easy way to introduce a bunch of new worlds. As for the story, we now know that humanity has fled to the Andromeda galaxy to build a new home. As a result, exploration is key to the game. The game looks incredible running on the Frostbite engine. I wish EA told us at least a little bit about the characters in the game. The release date still seems to be in 2017, so don’t expect Andromeda any sooner. EA seems to have jumped the gun with the Mass Effect announcement last year, especially if the game runs into additional delays.

EA Originals

During last year’s E3 conference, EA revealed Unravel, a game introduced to us by a very nervous man that everyone immediately loved. In order to support indie developers, EA created EA Originals – a way in which they could publish such games and assist monetarily. Originals also seems like a great way for a smaller studio to achieve bigger goals. EA also showed Fe, an EA Original. Fe is a game about a young cub finding its connection to the larger world. It also has music as a core mechanic and one of the ways of interacting with the world. Fe’s art direction is reminiscent of that of Ori and The Blind Forest, which was one of its biggest strengths. Although we heard nothing about Fe’s release date, it doesn’t seem too unlikely that the game comes out this year to fill out a release calendar.

Star Wars

Jade Raymond from Motive took to the stage to talk about Star Wars. As the sole publisher for Star Wars games, EA has a lot in store for this franchise. A sequel to Star Wars: Battlefront is confirmed to appear in 2017. It is jointly being developed by DICE and Motive and will presumably have a single player campaign and a larger variety of modes. Interestingly, the game will also include the newer Star Wars movies. As Rogue One comes out this year, that’s at least two movies’ worth of characters and maps that the game can include.

Visceral’s game helmed by Amy Hennig of Naughty Dog fame is set for a 2018 release. It is an action-adventure game – Hennig’s forté – and will also have a new story set in the Star Wars universe. The confirmation of some of these details means that Star Wars fans can rejoice. There were some glimpses of concept art and early in-game footage that looked amazing. Although 2018 is a long way off, it looks like this one’s going to be worth the wait.

Finally, Respawn is also working on a third person, action-adventure game. The game’s motion capture suggests that the game will feature some form of lightsaber combat. Personally, I’m crossing my fingers for a Jedi Academy. As Respawn needs to focus on Titanfall for the foreseeable future, I don’t see this game coming out until at least 2018.

While this Star Wars roadmap looked amazing, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see anything about Battlefront’s upcoming expansion, Bespin, but I suppose it could be added to Sony’s conference. We also got no information about the last expansion for the game. As for the upcoming games, it seems like EA is announcing games before they have amounted to anything. Most of these games are at least 2 years away and considering that the studios have nothing to show us, it was probably better to just save the announcement for coming E3s.

Battlefield 1

Arguably the most popular game at the conference, EA showed off a new trailer for its hallmark shooter series to thunderous applause. The trailer highlighted the differences between Battlefield and a more modern shooter. Weapons seem slower, horses and trains run side by side, and dogfights appear all over the sky. With the power of the Forstbite engine, the game also looks incredible. The dynamic weather system further shows the graphical fidelity of the game. The conference ended with a playable 64-person demo of the game. While I’m not a huge fan of the shooter series, the large scale battles in this setting looks quite interesting. There also seems to be a variety in the types of battles, which makes sense in World War I.

Well that about wraps up all of EA’s announcements at this year’s conference. They had a mediocre conference, and I expected a lot more from them and the crowd seemed to concur. After continually being seen as one of the worst companies, EA definitely bought some goodwill with its donations to STEM foundations and its EA Originals program. For more about the E3 conferences, stay tuned!


About the Author

Roshan Krishnan

Roshan is an avid writer and was recommended by four out of five doctors. He loves watching TV shows, reading as many novels as he can, and generally surfing the internet. He would be a much better writer if he knew how to finish stuf