E3’s official door-opening is still a few days away, but the keynotes have already kicked off and first out of the gate was Electronic Arts.
As we expected, the EA Play event, which took place in the rather swish Hollywood Palladium, showed off the publisher’s expected high-end franchises and was pretty light on announcements. Here’s a round up of the moments that landed with the audience.
Madden takes a page out of Fifa’s playbook
First up was news on the new Madden game (if you’re not into American Football, you can skip the next paragraph), which will boast a new story mode for players this year. By all accounts it looks very similar to the The Journey mode contained in last year’s Fifa title, which put players into the boots of a promising young player trying to stand out in the big leagues.
Madden’s new story mode is called The Longshot and while details about its story are pretty thin on the ground, we know that it focuses on a young man named Devin Wade who wants to play in the NFL, and that Devin’s dad is played by Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali.
Fifa 18 looks dreamy
After some new content announcements for Battlefield 1 (and a pretty amazing smash cut of insane moments in the multiplayer), Fifa 18 took centre stage. EA reminded us all that the Fifa Interactive Cup final was this August and that the publisher was launching the largest Fifa championship this autumn (that would be spring out here in SA). Then it showed off a positively swoon-worthy trailer for Fifa 18. I mean, look at this:
Oh, and Alex Hunter? Remember him from last year’s Fifa? His journey is apparently continuing in this year’s Fifa 18. So there’s that.
Need For Speed gets a cinematic edge
Need For Speed: Payback drops later this year and Ghost, the studio behind its development, seems to have been watching a lot of Fast & Furious movies. The game will have a stronger narrative, involving gear-heads stealing things at high-speeds, and the overall story involves the player taking down a cartel called The House.
The gameplay looks awesome, the eye-watering crashes for the Hot Pursuit era are back and there seem to be cutscenes aplenty. In the past, narratives haven’t been this franchise’s strong point but we have to say we’re intrigued.
EA will publish Hazelight’s new game A Way Out
If you ever played the indie hit Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons, you may remember having your heart ripped out. You may also remember that it had unique mechanics, which made its two protagonists work in tandem in a variety of ways.
Well, the bloke behind that game, Josef Fares, has founded a new studio called Hazelight and looks set to bring another co-op experience to gamers. This time, Fares is quarterbacking a game about a gritty prison break called A Way Out in which two inmates work together to break out of stir. EA will be publishing this under its EA Originals banner.
BioWare’s new IP is called Anthem
This was a bit of a head-scratching moment at the EA Play event. Everyone and their aunt knows that BioWare has been working on a new IP and that it’s most likely a persistent-world-shooter in the mould of Destiny. So why not lay out the details if you’re going to confirm its existence?
And why offer Microsoft the lion’s share of the attention about your new IP for its Xbox briefing in a couple of day’s time? What gives EA? Well, at least we now know BioWare’s new game is called Anthem and more details are forthcoming. Colour us confused.
Star Wars: Battlefront II is getting a single-player mode
So it seems the internet was as pissed off as we were that Star Wars: Battlefront didn’t have a single player mode and DICE has moved to address this. Not only that but the new story will apparently be the bridge between Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Of course, multiplayer is still a major focus in this game and players will have a huge array of options when they get their online frag on. Battlefront II allows players to use avatars and maps set from The Phantom Menace era of the franchise – which includes Darth Maul – and is that’s not in line with their tastes, they can use Force Awakens era accoutrement – including Rey.