Saturday, June 09, 2018

EA's E3 Presentation 2018

Today is the early, early start of E3. The expo that use to take place Tuesday-Thursday is now nearly a week long spectacle for developers to show off their content, before all of the info is leaked.

EA is up first and they are live streaming their event now. I will be periodically updating this post with the announcements from EA Play. Due to the nature of E3 clashing with work schedules, I won't be able to do this for all the presentations. But I will do what I can!

- Everything started off with Battlefield V with really nothing new that we weren't already told about when the trailer released. Tanks can crunch through objects. You can move around heavy artillery to reorganize your battle plan. Characters can be customized. And there's a battle royale mode. And yep. That's it.

- Fifa 19 along with the  18 world tournament came up next. While we in the U.S. don't appreciate futbal as much as the rest of the world, this is a big title for EA. What they showed off was really no different than past years. It's Fifa that looks better. So...boring presentation is boring so far. Woo!

- Updates to Origin including a new subscription service that allows you to play the latest EA titles without having to buy the games outright. This will include the upcoming Battlefield V, Madden (back on PC in over a decade), Fifa, and Anthem. One membership. Loads of games. Not a bad option if you're on a budget and you can test games freely.

- And awkward interacting with the crowd moments. Did you all not learn from Aisha Tyler to avoid this?

But we have a new Star Wars game: Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. Takes place during the "dark times" when the Jedi's are being hunted between Episode III-IV. No images. No gameplay. Only talk.\

- Star Wars: Battlefront II. The presenter started out with an honest "we didn't get it right at launch." Some more content will be added to multiplayer, a new map, new cosmetics, a better team-up system, including 'Solo' characters, and large-scale sandbox battles. They will be bringing The Clone Wars to us this year with the planet Geonosis (yea), General Grevious, Obi Wan, Count Dooku, and Anakin Skywalker.

- The adorable string puppet from Unravel makes a return with a sequel with two characters. You can play it solo or in co-op. Unravel Two is both "friendlier and more challenging." We're getting our first live gameplay for the day. 29 minutes in! You can pick up the second controller at any time to join. The visual styling of the first game are still there. More puzzles, platforming, and action. And...you can play it today!

-EA Originals is expanding their program to support independent developers, showcasing the success of A Way Out. Now it's on to Jo-Mei, a studio in Berlin. Their game Sea of Solitude is a story about loneliness. With very little applause from the audience, but it is quite a concept. A journey about being lonely...

- More sports, because EA. NBA Live 19 and Madden. Again. EA. Sports. They do it well. And now they're talking to the winner of the Madden 18 tournament, who is not exactly the best person. He is known for being a poor sport, doesn't like to lose, and does not support his competitors. Good job EA at highlighting the right people for your show! #sarcasm

- A new mobile game from Redwood Studios. And no one in the audience cares. The lack of clapping is borderline hysterical. As for the game itself, it's a straight forward tap-tap-tap mechanic. Tap to make your soldiers. Tap to move them. Tap to defend. Tap! Obviously this is a Command & Conquer game based on the studio. Rivals is an RTS with the pre-alpha available today on Android.

(Opinion: If this is any indication of how the rest of the presentations will go, this will be a boring E3.)

- Presentation is closing out with Anthem. This is the first time that EA has pushed a Bioware product to the main stage so let's see how this goes! Already a +1 for Muse music. And they're doing a Q&A session with some of the developers along with Casey Hudson. The game is trying to capture a single player and multi player experience. Your home is the last of a city-state on this world that you have to protect. When you're in this city, you have your single player content. When you're out in the world, it's a shared experience where you can choose to be involved with other players. Everyone will see the same world at the same time - weather, geography, etc.

The 4 suits are called Javelins with different abilities. As always with Bioware, there will be suit customization. No loot boxes. No pay to play. There will be some purchasable items for cosmetics, but you'll know what you're paying for. And hey look at that. We have gameplay! Well...pre-rendered not live gameplay. But gameplay! Really jumpy gameplay. Trying to get a feel for this game is a bit rough. The concept sounds good, but the footage right now feels very rough with the editing.

It also sounds like SAM makes a return from Andromeda, which I'm completely okay with. Or it's Jarvis. One of the two.

- The crowd's general excitement is low. I think they're tired of the dullness as much as we all are! But that's it for the presentation. The stream will continue with the Fifa tournament.

Underwhelming is the final verdict. Please XBox and Bethesda do something better tomorrow.

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