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E3 2017 – EA Press Conference

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Madden 18

EA starts the show by deafening the front few rows and sending a drum line dressed in American Football gear in front of the stage. I was prepared to wait through the release of the new Madden game, but when I saw the trailer I was intrigued. I’d played the NBA 16 story line and was impressed that such a thing was … a thing. But the new Madden 18 campaign Long Shot looked like it was going to be the most drama-filled, story-led sports game I’d ever known. While I know nothing about American Football except the helmets, mouth guards and wearing umbrellas on your shoulders, Long Shot looked like something I wouldn’t mind sitting down and watching.

Battlefield 1

Afterwards they introduced a whole bunch of new content for Battlefield 1, starting with night maps. Or, one new map called Nivelle Nights which is only available for Premium Pass owners (*source)

Continuing on Battlefield 1 content, they’re taking the war to the Eastern Front in a new update called In the Name of the Tsar. It will have six new maps, new vehicles, new assignments, new specialisations and new soldiers from the Russian army, including from the famous Women’s Battalion of Death. There will also be the introduction of a competitive Battlefield on a tighter, more team-based scale.

In the Name of the Tsar is coming out in September, but game play will be showcased at GamesCon in August. Check out the trailer here:

FIFA 18

FIFA 18 was up next with a super cool trailer showing off motion capture sessions with Cristiano Ronaldo. And then we found out that Alex Hunter is returning to the FIFA story campaign in The Journey: Hunter Returns.

This here is the gameplay trailer (and proof that I’m not lying about Ronaldo):

And here is the pretty funny trailer about Alex Hunter’s return:

Need For Speed: Payback

Need For Speed: Payback is looking exciting with a diverse open world, heaps of customisation and with three different characters to play, each with their own unique play style and story line. Alongside Tyler, Mac and Jess, Ghost Games wanted you to get behind the wheel and take on heists, battles and races as you get revenge on the House. They took a Hollywood lens to give a “blockbuster feel” to the game. Though, I am wondering if the slow-motion action shots that happen every time you bust a car won’t get annoying.

They’ve improved the AI so that they’re a lot harder than in previous games and they’ve added even more to the customisation options. They’ve also brought in the Nissan 35OZ, which fans have been asking for. Out in the open world you can find derelict cars which you can bring into your garage and upgrade. When you’re driving, you’re not limited to the road either, there’s a bit more dirt and off-roading than in previous games.

A Way Out

Okay, this next game I’m super pumped for. EA Originals teamed up with Josef Fares, the creator of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and his new studio Hazelight to create the new couch co-op prison break game, A Way Out. Here at Pretty Much Geeks we are really into couch co-op and we’re so glad that it’s coming back into style.

A Way Out seems to be redefining “splitscreen” and what it can and should do. For example, we’re shown how one player is in the middle of a cutscene while the other player can walk around while watching it happen from their character’s point of view. The co-op can happen online as well as local, but I’m wondering if even then the splitscreen stays because it’s done so artfully and is constantly changing to fit the story.

Josef Fares, in his adorable Swedish accent, excitedly tells us that he wanted to create a game that isn’t a drop-in, drop-out experience, but one where you and your friend go through an emotional experience together. “I live and breathe this game,” he exclaims, trying to convey the absolute enthusiasm he has for it, “I’m telling you, it’s gonna kick ass!”

Please, please, please take a look at this trailer, as it looks like one of the best games to come out in 2018:

Anthem

Alright, now up comes the part that I was super excited for: BioWare’s new IP. I wasn’t expecting something entirely new, maybe a new Dragon Age or a Mass Effect: Andromeda expansion. But no, this was looking pretty new. And exciting. Anthem is BioWare’s new game and it looks AWESOME. I mean, we only got a sneak peek at it, but there was an overgrown dystopia, mech suits, weird dinosaur creatures. The setting just looks amazing. We’ll be seeing more of it at the Microsoft Press Conference on the Project Scorpio (which the CEO of EA says is “coming at the right time”) so I’m waiting with baited breath.

For now, here’s the trailer:

NBA Live 18

NBA Live 18 started pretty drily with some replay footage two guys had just played. I mean, that’s pretty cool and all, but not to start with. You gotta excite us. The trailer did excite me, and it’s looking pretty cool. It has the kind of vibe that FIFA Street was going for (I enjoyed FIFA Street more than any other FIFA game, so that’s a compliment). But I’m just going to let the trailer speak about the game because that’s really what EA did:

Star Wars Battlefront II

And then, for the grand finale, EA finished strong with “30 minutes of unadulterated Star Wars.” We went through a whole game of Battlefront II multiplayer game play, where Youtuber Muselk smashed everyone, as well as the whole world witnessing a poor guy expertly crash their plane into a building. Their mum must be so proud.

Battlefront II is looking super exciting and my main takeaways are DROIDS and awesome new vehicles like the AT-RTs, which are those ostrich leg robot things that you can sit on top of and run around with. We got a look at the new Theed map, which has three sections: an open style fighting area, a storming of the palace and taking over control points, and then taking over one control point inside the Throne Room. I hope this means that there are going to be more complex modes to fight on.

We were promised by Inferno Squad Commander Iden Versio herself (the actress Janina Gavankar is the splitting image of Versio) that there will be three times the content in Battlefront II than in its predecessor. With more heroes, more vehicles and more maps from across all the eras of Star Wars, including Crait from upcoming film The Last Jedi. The game will have a whole new class system with heaps more customisation options than Battlefront. A few of the new classes that were looked at in the live gameplay showcase were the Heavy class, which has more health and a shield, and the Officer class, which is more supportive by putting out turrets and replenishing allies’ health.

The Hero pick-ups of the previous game have been removed and are replaced with a Battle Point system, in which you gain points depending on how well you are doing in the match, and when you respawn you can ‘buy’ a hero or vehicle or other special character. This gives people the chance to actually play heroes, instead of finding people camping the Hero pick-up spawn points and you never getting a chance to be Han Solo. The new Battle Point system also means that the further into a match you are, the more likely there are going to be heroes bouncing around. And so the culmination of the match becomes even more intense than it would have been otherwise.

And finally, DICE have listened to us and there will be themed seasons that are cycled through – free of charge to all players!

Here is the new trailer featuring multiplayer gameplay:

And you can check out the live multiplayer match that was done here or on your favourite Youtuber’s channel (if they got to be one of the lucky forty to play).

That’s it for the EA Conference. For the lowdown on all of E3, you can check out our article E3 in a Nutshell, where we’ve got everything in one place.

Microsoft is hosting the next conference at 9am tomorrow (12th June) NZST.

 

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