Electronic Arts presented their annual E3 press conference this afternoon. Just like last year, EA opted to hold their own private event, instead of bringing their games to the actual E3 show floor. What were the big announcements from EA Play 2017? All of the reveals and updates are down below, including a new IP from Mass Effect developer BioWare.
Let’s just get this out of the way: EA showed a bunch of upcoming sports games. In fact, EA Sports was one of the major focus points of the EA Play conference. The show opened up with a small band performing traditional American football music, leading into a big announcement regarding Madden NFL 18. This year’s Madden title will feature a single-player story mode, which EA is calling Madden Long Shot. Long Shot will feature a dramatic story featuring new characters, which will be paired with the Madden NFL gameplay experience that is well-known. Madden NFL 18 will be released on August 25th on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Xbox One version will feature upgrades when played on the upcoming Project Scorpio console.
FIFA is the most successful sports game on the market, so it’s no surprise that EA would present plenty of new information on this year’s release, FIFA 18. A new trailer was presented, showing off footage and gameplay. It was also confirmed that FIFA The Journey will be making a return in FIFA 18 with The Journey: Hunter Returns. Alex Hunter will be returning to continue his story in this year’s FIFA story mode. For fans of eSports, EA will be hosting a FIFA 18 championship this Fall. More details on the championship event will be revealed later. FIFA 18 will be launching on September 29th on all major platforms, including the Nintendo Switch.
Finally, the last sports title EA discussed was NBA LIVE 18. After taking last year off, NBA LIVE is back with a new entry. The first trailer showcased footage from the game and also confirmed a new career mode being added to the game. The career mode, called “The One,” will allow players to choose what type of ball they want to play. You can play in the big leagues, playing with professionals, or on the streets, playing with your neighborhood friends. It’s currently unknown if “The One” will also be considered as NBA LIVE 18‘s story mode. NBA LIVE 18 currently has no set release date, but expect the title to ship this year. NBA LIVE 18 will be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a free demo coming in August.
Two New IPs from Electronic Arts
EA took the opportunity to announce two brand new IPs launching in 2018. The first game shown was an indie game being published under the EA Originals label. A Way Out is the latest game from Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons creator, Josef Fares, and the first game to be produced by Hazelight, Fares’ new studio. A Way Out is a story-driven prison break game fully focused on co-op gameplay. The game is only playable in split screen co-op, but can be played both online and locally with friends. A Way Out will feature plenty of action, exploration, driving, and shooting. This title is expected to ship in early 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
There are two other EA Originals currently in development, Fe and Sea of Solitude, but neither of them appeared during EA’s showcase. It’s currently unknown what progress has been made on those two projects since their reveals last year.
The second new IP shown during the conference is a game that’s been a long time in the making. In 2014, Dragon Age and Mass Effect developer BioWare announced that a new IP was in development at their main studio. Today, we got our first look into the world of Project Dylan, now officially known as Anthem. While not much is currently known about Anthem, we do know that it’s an online-only game, similar to Activision’s Destiny series, and that it will ship after March 31st, 2018. We expect to hear more details regarding Anthem at Microsoft’s Xbox briefing, tomorrow.
Need for Speed: Payback
The next installment in the popular Need for Speed franchise is coming this Holiday season. During the conference, the company showed off a new trailer featuring an extended look at Need for Speed: Payback. From that brief look into the game, we can expect all of the crazy racing shenanigans that Need for Speed is known for. Need for Speed: Payback launches on November 10th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Star Wars Battlefront II
A huge chunk of EA Play 2017 was dedicated to Star Wars Battlefront II, adding up to about 30 minutes of coverage. Within this time, we learned a lot about EA’s next big Star Wars title. Star Wars Battlefront II will feature iconic characters and locations from all three generations of Star Wars, as well as an original story campaign that will take players through those three eras. In a shocking reveal, all additional content coming to Battlefront II after launch will be free. This includes content based off the upcoming Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. A beta will also be coming this Fall for those who pre-order the game.
We received an in-depth look into Star Wars Battlefront II‘s multiplayer, as a full match was shown featuring 40 players on the battlefield. Players will be able to fly aircraft, use droids and Stormtroopers, and even use the power of the Jedi during multiplayer matches. The large areas of Battlefront II‘s multiplayer maps look to provide a hectic, but also fun experience. EA also confirmed there will be full space battles in the multiplayer. Star Wars Battlefront II launches on November 17th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
A Big Update for Battlefield 1
Battlefield 1 is receiving a new update in September. In the latest expansion, “In The Name of Tsar,” players will gain access to six new maps, 11 new weapons, and a new mode called Supply Drop. Players will take control of the Russian Army during World War I, and for the first time in Battlefield history, there will be a playable female character. Battlefield 1 was a nominee for our 2016 Game of the Year award and was highly received among critics when it launched, last year.
Our Take: EA Play showcased a lot of great games, but the company didn’t present those games in an interesting fashion. The first 25 minutes of the show was just painfully boring, mostly focusing on updates for older games and sports titles. The show had a redemption, though, when Need for Speed: Payback, A Way Out, and Anthem were shown to be impressive and interesting reveals from EA. Star Wars Battlefront II also looks great, but over 30 minutes of coverage on the game was overkill, leaving us a bit sour by the end of the presentation. In summary, EA Play 2017 gave us a number of exciting games to look forward to, but the overall messaging and organization of those reveals wasn’t quite there. We don’t think these types of presentations are in EA’s best interest.