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E3 2017 is finally here and once more it was the Electronic Arts Conference which lead the charge with the Madden 18 trailer kicking things off. EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson outlined EA’s focus for the conference, mostly being about the gaming experience while sharing a goal with the other developers to prove the “gaming is the best source of entertainment ever.” This message was further reinforced as they celebrated the Battlefield community with their montage of footage from the fan community, highlighting some insane moments of gameplay.
The other focus for EA was clearly the E-Sports market as they focused on the changes they are making to improve their games for competitive play. Considering the amount of money being attached to the “League of Legends,” tournaments it’s unsurprising to see EA keen to claim a piece of the market. With their focus on gameplay, the EA Showcase was unsurprisingly light on previews but here is what we did get to see. (If you missed the conference you can rewatch it here.)
Knowing that the franchise already has its established fans, Madden 18 was sold solely on its reveal trailer which mainly served to highlight their first cinematic and playable story mode “Long Shot” which follows Devin Wade on his journey to being drafted into NFL. With the launch of “The Journey” for FIFA 2017 last year, it seems that EA are keen to replicate the formula for another of their mainstays and certainly it promised an immersive experience outside of the usual play. Madden 18 will be released on August 25, 2017.
Two new expansions for Battlefield 1: “In the Name of the Tsar” and “Night Maps”. Night Maps are two upcoming maps set at night and in extensive trenches, which promises to make the players rethink their strategy with the change in environment. The first releases sometime this month (June) and is called Nivelle Nights. The second map which launches in July is called Prise de Tahure.
The big news of Battlefield 1 has to go to their upcoming DLC called In the Name of the Tsar, which confirms that it will be set in the blistering cold Russian landscape with a Russian army including the spear-wielding Hussar cavalry and most excitingly, the all female battalion of death. In the Name of the Tsar will launch with 6 new maps as well as new vehicles for expansion of armory. The other focus for this expansion is to provide a richer gameplay experience and deeper player progression along with tailored play style and a game mode called Operations. Battlefield 1 DLC In the Name of the Tsar will be released in September 2017.
FIFA 2018 resumes after The Journey in FIFA 2017 with Alex Hunter and its story will be titled Hunter Returns. As with the majority of these returning sports titles, there is little change to the gameplay other than the usual tweaks to encourage the fans to hand over their cash but for some reason EA still felt that we had to have “Men In Blazers” come out to hype the game and run through their usual stique which no doubt looking at the live chat most took as their cue to get another beer or take a bathroom break. But then this is one of those titles you’re either going to buy or you won’t. FIFA 2018 will be available on September 29, 2017.
This new addition to the Need For Speed franchise was teased a few days ago before the conference and here we certainly got to see a lot more with “Need For Speed: Payback” tapping into the “Fast and Furious” fantasy with the promotional video selling us an “action driving fantasy” with the sort of vehicle destruction that we’ve come to expect from the “Burnout” franchise. This latest addition to the long running franchise also looks set to add fresh new changes including the ability to switch between three different characters alongside a diverse set of challenges and a varied open world to explore. The game also introduces relics which like in “Forza Horizon” has you finding abandoned cars and customizing them into race-worthy cars. Need For Speed: Payback is set to release on November 10, 2017.
At last year’s conference EA announced their plans for supporting Indie gaming with “EA Originals” which here they continue to build on with A Way Out. From the makers of Brothers, the team Hazelight Games is highlighted with a co-op adventure called A Way Out. The main characters in the story are called Vincent and Leo and they meet in prison where they scheme to break out together.
This co-op is designed to be played as a couch co-op with its split screen design however it will also be available to play online with a friend. A Way Out promises to create a unique experience with the different characters in an emotional journey. This game will also feature a wide variety of gameplay from exploration to driving to action while what could have just been a prison break game soon proved over the course of the trailer to have a surprising big scope to the story it wants to tell.
Some of the cool features highlighted included the flexible approach to scenarios as well as the fully functional gameplay while another character is in a cut scene. This aspect in particular really looked fantastic and much like the “Hitman” series appeared to really provide multiple solutions to any situation the characters face making us keen to see how it plays when more gameplay footage is released. A Way Out is aiming to release in early 2018.
A new property is announced from developer Bioware in this teaser trailer after a long talk about using Frostbite and the Scorpio hardware from Microsoft giving us a taste of what we have to look forward to when Microsoft officially unveil Scorpio at their conference. Anthem’s teaser trailer only shows a bit of the world and the character design with more promised to be revealed in Microsoft’s conference which from the footage only added to the anticipation surrounding the Scorpio reveal.
Continuing the sports releases, NBA Live 2018 is titled The One and it launches with a dynamic career journey where you can create a basketball legend either on The Streets or in The League with both promising a distinct play style. Your journey will be defined by your choices on how to earn respect and build a legacy. The first look was incredibly brief, however, there will be a free demo available in August on Xbox One and Playstation 4.
The crown jewels of the EA Conference this year as they looked to improve upon the issues of the previous Battlefront while clearly keen to grab the fanboys attention they drafted in Janina Gavankar who will be appearing as Commander Iden Versio in the game’s story mode which will be set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. While a lot the game is shrouded in mystery, it will allow you to play as some of your fave characters from all three generations while also introducing new ones as it promises 3 times the content and certainly from the trailer it appears to not only live up to that promise, but also provide more heated and chaotic battlefields than we previously saw.
John Boyega (Finn) whose tweet we can pretty much thank for all these changes being made will be part of Battlefront 2 first season of free content alongside captain Phasma and the planet Kree which we got to see in The Last Jedi trailer. Most exciting through is the promise of themed seasons of content all with no additional charge! Gameplay capped the finale of the conference as we got to see droids battling clone troopers as well as plenty of the new features from the game which really drove home the fact that EA are keen to improve on he mistakes they made with the first game and certainly it looks fantastic from the footage we saw. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is coming in November 2017.
The final note of the conference was the announcement of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes which is available now for mobile gamers.
What are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments below.