As previously confirmed, Electronic Arts won’t be holding floor space at this year’s E3. Instead, the publisher has decided to hold a separate event called EA Play, the stream for which began at 9PM UK Time (1pm PT). During the event, the company shared some more information surrounding both its previously released games, and some of its up and coming titles.
Since its initial announcement, Battlefield 1 has seen a tremendous amount of hype. Opting for a bold premise set amidst the events of the First World War, the game’s official reveal has already seen nearly 40 million views, as well as securing a name for itself as the most liked trailer on YouTube.
During EA Play, it was revealed that Battlefield 1 will feature dynamic weather, heavy warfare and an intuitive structure, spread across a variety of different environments to deliver an experience in which “no battle is ever the same.”
Battlefield 1’s combat will be switched up by a dynamic weather system, which forces players to adapt their playstyles and strategies to accommodate elemental change. Whilst rain may affect player sight and ranged combat, cloudy days could well raise the challenge level during some of the game’s airborne escapades.
The game also looks to proffer a diverse range of weaponry, from biting SMGs, LMGs, gas and assault rifles to tank warfare and airborne dogfights. Players will even be able to operate hulking airships, hovering above the fray to aid their side in battle. Further still, the remains of defeated airships remain dead within the environment, rather than fading from the field. Multiplayer sessions themselves were confirmed to support up to 64 players.
The varied combat of Battlefield 1 saw some additional limelight in an all-new gameplay trailer, as well as a 60-minute multiplayer session involving a heated battle between 64 gaming elites, overseeing the remnants of shelled villages and boggy trenchlands. You can see the official trailer below.
Battlefield 1 is set to release on October 21 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Battlefield insiders, however, will gain access to a beta announced to be coming this summer.
Whilst news surrounding EA DICE’s recent Star Wars Battlefront was expected, Group General Manager Jade Raymond also announced the company’s plan for future Star Wars releases, which – at present – spans from late 2016 to 2018. This year, Raymond confirmed that three new digital Battlefront expansions will be released by the end of this year: Bespin, Death Star and a third unnamed pack the company are reportedly “especially excited about.”
VR fans will also get to experience a whole new Battlefront mission designed especially for Virtual Reality, in collaboration between EA DICE and Criterion, for release on the PlayStation VR in 2016.
Next year will see another Star Wars Battlefront installment from DICE, in collaboration with Motive Studios, whilst a “brand new Star Wars story” is set to release in 2018, in collaboration between Lucasfilm and Visceral Games. Amy Hennig (known for her work on the earlier Uncharted games) is on board to work on the fresh adventure, alongside co-writer Todd Stashwick.
Raymond also stated that a “3rd person action adventure game” is currently in the works at Respawn Entertainment, that utilises gameplay styles and narrative timelines previously unseen in EA’s existing Star Wars titles. A specific release date for Respawn’s creation has yet to be released. However, it sounds as if development has only just begun, suggesting that it’ll be quite a while yet until players hear any more about a further Star Wars title. Nevertheless, amidst the reel of new games and the upcoming Rogue One film, it seems Star Wars compatriots may have plenty to look forward to.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Officially announced during last year’s E3, little has been heard about the status of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Indeed, information surrounding Andromeda were kept decidedly brief here, but it was confirmed that the game will be powered by DICE’s Frostbite engine, as well as that it will – perhaps as to be expected – take place in the Andromeda galaxy. The game promises to “build on the things you love about Mass Effect”, but will reportedly give players more freedom than has ever been permitted by previous BioWare games. The Mako tank also looks to be making a comeback.
A trailer was also shown, offering a brief behind-the-scenes look at the development of Andromeda, overseeing snippets of animation, creature design and motion capture. You can watch the video below.
More information surrounding the game was said to be coming this “fall”, so fans might not have long to wait until a possible release date is confirmed.
Respawn’s Vince Zampella appeared on the EA Play stage to give some more info surrounding the upcoming sequel to Xbox One exclusive Titanfall. Whilst the game was described to build on the signatures already chiseled out in the original game, Titanfall 2 was confirmed to contain six new titans, in addition to a heavier emphasis on grappling hook and zipline gameplay as the pilot, and tons more customisation. A single-player campaign will also be included in Titanfall 2, extending a story that will delve deeper into the “relationship between pilot and titan.”
Titanfall 2 will release on October 28 2016 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. An official single player gameplay trailer shortly before the event began, which you can watch below.
The newest addition to the extensive FIFA franchise also experienced some limelight during EA’s live event. Powered by DICE’s Frostbite engine, FIFA 17 includes new modes, managers and a bunch of technical improvements.
Perhaps the game’s most noticeable addition is that of an all-new Story Mode. Named ‘The Journey’, the mode follows English character Alex Hunter and his journey into playing for Manchester United and in the Premier League. According to EA’s Peter Moore, the new mode will present players with “real football worlds” and “characters full of depth and emotion.”
For the first time, FIFA 17 will include Premier League managers. Four managers will be featured in the game, including Arsenal’s Arséne Wenger and Jose Mourinho of Manchester United.
In addition to new managers and modes, many of the systems and mechanics in FIFA 17 have been updated to give players more freedom on the pitch. Set-pieces have been overhauled, permitting control over each ‘dead ball’ situation with free-kicks, penalties, corners and more. Physical play has also enjoyed an update, changing players’ physical interactions and allowing more active battle for possession of the ball, amidst a smarter intelligence system that changes the way players move and react to each other during the game.
FIFA 17 will release in September 27 2016 in North America and September 29 in the rest of the world, for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC.
Madden NFL 17
Madden NFL 17 introduces a new ‘Play the Moments’ element to the game’s Franchise Mode, allowing players to dive right into a game’s key moments and events, offering the opportunity to fly into a game’s high-points and play them directly; a useful element for players who’d rather just experience a game’s tenser instances than follow a match from kick-off. Players have the ability to disable Play the moment, but will also have the option to dip into moments as they choose.
Madden NFL 17 launches on August 23 2016 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
EA announced two new programs during EA Play. The first was their ‘Play to Give’ scheme; a partnership that introduces in-game challenges to a selection of EA games that offer donations to a number of charities, including Code2040, HeForShe, Special Effect and Code.org.
The second announcement introduced EA Originals: a partnership between EA and small developers that aims to provide indie creators with security and support to allow a game to reach its full potential.
The first game to integrate the EA Originals scheme is Fe; an intriguing game about “our relationship with nature” . Created by Swedish company Zoink, the player assumes the role of a young cub, and traverse a mystic realm of music, learning the songs of the various strange creatures they encounter. The more songs you learn in Fe , the more you’ll come to know about the secret of your own kind, and realise that everything is connected, through unique languages and sound.
You’ll also use cunning and stealth to evade The Silent ones; a formidable, beshadowed species that look to be the antagonistic force in the game, but players will encounter a breadth of other enigmatic creature-folk, in an experience that will “leave you scared, amazed and delighted.”