While EA didn’t technically take part in the E3 festivities this year, opting instead to have their own events (one in Los Angeles and one in London) to showcase their upcoming games, they still did host a press conference with a few announcements for the upcoming year. Here are some of the highlights:
There were some big announcements for Titanfall 2, Respawn Entertainment’s sequel to 2014’s Titanfall.
- The game will be released on October 28th of this year — earlier than expected!
- Titanfall 2 will see a PS4 release in addition to the Xbox One and PC releases.
- Though it was leaked before the conference so it wasn’t a surprise to most, a full-scale single player campaign was revealed. The lack of offline, single player play was a major knock on the first game. It appears to have some Halo-like aspirations, and it will be a welcome addition to the game.
- New features in the game include grappling hooks(!), increased customization, a better progression system, and more new Titans.
- A pre-release beta for the multiplayer version of the game is happening, and you can register at Titanfall’s official website.
Here are the trailers for both the single player and multi player modes of Titanfall 2.
EA SPORTS PRESENTATION
This Madden-focused presentation was pretty light. A trailer for Madden 17 was played, which mostly featured the Denver Broncos, though there was a glimpse of Mortal Kombat ace and Madden 17 cover athlete Rob Gronkowski. EA also announced changes in the gameplay to improve “balance”, as well as changes to the game’s Franchise mode, though those changes were not specified. They also announced the removal of unpopular CBS broadcasters Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in favor of lesser known Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis, who will do more dynamic work over the course of the season.
EA announced an increase of competitions in all of their games, featuring three levels — “Challenger” competitions, which are small-scale and can be hosted by game community members; “Premier” competitions, which will be run by EA but on a more regional scale, and “EA Major” competitions, which are intended to be worldwide in scale. They also announced an increase in scale for the Madden Challenge, a long-standing Madden tournament.
MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA
We didn’t see much concrete content from this game, which has been delayed until at least 2017, but Bioware’s Aaryn Flynn did a nice of coming out to talk it up, and there was a very compelling cinematic trailer. Flynn did emphasize that the story would be separate from the original trilogy, and hinted at a larger and more open in-game universe. Other than that, though, we didn’t really learn much about this one this time around.
The big announcement for FIFA this year is an added story mode called “The Journey”. It looks very, very similar in concept to NBA 2k16’s MyCareer mode (which I wrote about a while back here), and it was a nice touch to have the actor who played the story mode’s protagonist, Alex Hunter, give a monologue. Not a lot of specific information was out, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can execute the concept of a sports game story mode better than 2K did. One notable difference between The Journey and 2K’s story mode is that it appears that the main character cannot be customized, which may actually make the story work better.
Additionally, EA Sports head man Peter Moore announced some improvements to gameplay, including improved AI intelligence and strategy as well as some fixes to the physicality of the men on the pitch. They also announced that Premier League managers would be incorporated into the game, which was a nice opportunity to bring out Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and engage in some admittedly charming trash talk.
Following up on the success of last year’s “Unraveled”, EA seems to have a renewed interest in bringing smaller, artsier developers to a wider audience. The EA Originals program was announced as an attempt to bring in more of these games, and their first guinea pig is a game called “Fe” from small-time Swedish developer Zoink. The gameplay trailer for this was probably the highlight of the presentation, as “Fe” appears to be an aesthetically gorgeous and immersive game with an atmosphere-oriented experience. The player controls a young cub who is abandoned in a forest and has to travel around meeting other creatures. Each creature has a unique song that they sing, and it appears that meeting the creatures will prompt them to assist you as you find out what happened to the rest of your species. The antagonists are large, golem-like creatures called Silent Ones who seek to destroy the music that the forest creates, and the game seems to have a part-stealth, part-puzzle mechanic to it. The trailer can probably explain it better than I can, though.
A few interesting announcements for new Star Wars content were made.
- Dice and Motive are partnering for a sequel to Battlefront, to be relased in 2017.
- Visceral Games is working on an original action-adventure game in the Star Wars universe — the cinematic footage of this was by far the most impressive of any of the showcased Star Wars content.
- Respawn Entertainment is working on a Star Wars game as well, but there’s no footage or release date yet.
Presenter Jade Raymond also emphasized that currently released and supported Star Wars titles like Battlefront and The Old Republic would continue to get updates and additional content.
Finally, the best for last — a trailer for the hotly anticipated World War I shooter. This is the game that EA clearly wants to put most of its energy into promoting, and admittedly, it seems like Battlefield One could potentially be something special. A very impressive trailer, featuring both gameplay and cinematics, was shown, and Dice announced the addition of heavy vehicles such as airships and armored trains to the game.
What do you think of what EA had to offer this year? See all of our E3 coverage here.