EA kicked off E3 today with a show that managed to feel both bloated and lacking in content, but which still managed to have one or two surprises. The show started with yet another E3 drumline because it wouldn’t be E3 without at least thirty confused percussionists at each show. This time they wore Madden themed shirts, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same band of undead troubadours that they always wheel out for this thing.
After the little drummer boys had departed, EA showed us what they were showing off today and it wasn’t a lot. The show was mainly given over to their sports games and Star Wars Battlefront II, however they also announced two new IPs in couch co-op prison-escape-them-up, A Way Out and they also teased us with Bioware’s new game Anthem, of which we saw basically nothing as it’s getting shown properly at Microsoft’s presser. I have to say that, despite an unusual art style, A Way out looks like a well made, story driven game that looks to have handled the split screen in a similar way to Divinity: Original Sin, plus, we all love couch co-op, right?
When it came time to show Madden, FIFA and NBA Live, the trinity that EA have built their tower of lies upon, they showed that they were taking The Journey, last year’s FIFA career mode, and basically just putting it in everything. Let’s hope it lasts longer than a single season this time.
A lot of the show was given over to Star Wars Battlefront II’s multiplayer. However I’m not the biggest expert on BF2, but Roy is and this is what he has to say about it:
“The presentation opens by addressing one of the most asked for feature that the first Star Wars Battlefront lacked, a campaign. The campaign will tell an untold story that takes place between SW: Return of the Jedi and SW: The Force Awakens. In the campaign, you will be able to play as some of our favorite characters as well as some new ones. They didn’t remove the so call single player of the last game though, because local multiplayer a.k.a. couch co-op will make a return in the form of skirmish.
They continue going over the multiplayer and tell us that the new game will have three times the content of the first game. It will have content over all three eras so the droids and clone troopers are back. Aside from that it will also have: more heroes, more vehicles, more planets, and my personal favorite, more space battles and Starfighter assaults.”
“The next announcement was a nice surprise as DICE apparently heard our cries of anguish with the price of last game’s season pass. They want to keep the community together… so can you feel it coming? Yep you guessed it, all post launch maps, weapons, vehicles and heroes will be free with no additional cost. Yeah, I know, I also had to check if we were still on the EA conference.
Then they showed us a live gameplay stream of a 20v20 Assault on Theed, a successor to Walker Assault. It seemed like it was just as big or even bigger. With the multiple different phases and urban surroundings, it made me think of Battlefield 1’s operations. We saw a lot, it had dog fights, special characters, vehicles like tanks and AT-RT’s. It even had gameplay of heroes like Boba Fett, Rey, and Darth Maul, the Darth Maul action was especially awesome.
Another thing I noticed was that there are four classes in the game (Assault, Heavy, Officer and Specialist) that have different health, weapons and special abilities. So, every class and their weapons will have their own playstyle. They also threw out the old power pickups from the last game and replaced them with battle points. Battle points are earned by all activities during a multiplayer game, like killing opponents, healing teammates, giving suppressing fire and playing the objective. You can spend your battle points on special characters, vehicles, or heroes, all with different prices.
After seeing the live stream and whole their presentation I’m very happy as a Star Wars fan. If they keep the promises they made, I feel like they have stepped in the footsteps of Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall 2) by really listening to critique of the fans. Hell, it might even look like the original Star Wars Battlefront 2. With all those changes, the free post launch content and watching the stream of Assault on Theed, I’m officially hyped for yet another game. That said though, I still have some concerns, like how they are going to limit the hero and vehicle purchases. But if I stay positive I guess I can kiss my social life and sleep goodbye.”
They also showed some Need For Speed Payback, which looks pretty and is obviously starting to take inspiration from The Fast and the Furious franchise and they seem very proud of their “Action Movie Moments”. It moves quickly and the car to car combat looks like it was lifted straight from Burnout Paradise and that’s never a bad thing.
Battlefield 1 is also getting a major expansion with 8 new maps, 2 of which are night maps, The Russian Army, Women’s Battalion and a small squad competitive mode which they said they’d show more of at Gamescom.
And that was it, really. Underwhelming from EA really, but at least there are a couple of things to look forward too.
-bb + RiA