EA kicked off the string of E3 Press Conferences on Saturday with their EA Play keynote. For fans of EA it had everything we expect – sports, Anthem and a couple of little surprises. So here’s what they showed off and some of our thoughts on what’s coming from EA over the next year.
Origin Access Premier
While it wasn’t the first announcement of the show, we wanted to pin this to the top in case you missed it but Origin will be offering a service which will get you new games including Anthem, FIFA 19, Madden 19 and Battlefield V before launch. It is a membership so will involve you parting with your cash but similarly to other membership services, the games are all yours as long as you’re a member and if you stop, your access will stop. With hundreds of other games on offer along with new releases, you can also get a discount on purchases. The service should be live later this summer. From what we gathered this will be similar to their current membership scheme, but will include AAA titles off the bat along with early access to them in some cases.
The devs kicked off proceedings to talk about Battlefield V which was announced a few weeks ago. Their vision is to create the deepest and most immersive Battlefield yet and also confirmed that War Stories will be shown during the Xbox briefing. They also announced a Battle Royale mode as this appears to be the flavour of the month, and every games studio is going to try and crowbar this mode in just to keep fans playing. Above is the multiplayer trailer and more of the narrative story gameplay will be available to watch at the Xbox keynote. I personally am terrible at Battlefield but know a lot of people who do enjoy the previous games and it looks to be a fun multiplayer experience if people can get over there being female soldiers with bionic arms in a reimagining of WW2 warfare.
Battlefront II update
Now sadly I have yet to pick up Battlefront II as it came out when there were a lot of titles to juggle with so this one lost out. But for fans of the game, some new updates are coming and there is not a new Battlefront game coming. As you can see from the image above, General Grievous is making an appearance as The Clone Wars comes to the game along with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Count Dooku and Anakin Skywalker. There’s a squad system also coming but they have also announced that there will be a non-liner game mode along with a Starfighter hero mode which could be incredibly fun. Now it’s not the Star Wars VR flight simulator that a lot of folks were hoping for but the addition of The Clone Wars should keep fans ticking over for a while.
As soon as I saw that yarn I knew Yarny was making a return and was so excited to see Unravel Two be announced at the show. This time, Yarny isn’t on his own as you now can play co-op or solo with the two characters as they help each other get through the landscape chasing their spark. We got a taster of the gameplay by way of a demo and then they announced that the game was available now!!! So what are you waiting for! Head to your respective digital download store and get the game!
Sea of Solitude
Sea of Solitude was hinted at by the developers at Jo-Mei Games a little while ago as gifs were posted on their social medias but now the game has finally arrived and will be here in early 2019! It follows Kay who has experienced such loneliness that she has become a monster in a almost completely flooded city. As you explore, Kay will find other monsters and finding them may help change her back to human. The game looks beautiful and we’re already looking forward to adding this to our 2019 list.
Madden 19 will be available on August 10th and other than that, they didn’t give too much else away as JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR for Pittsburgh Steelers (sorry none of the Darkworld Team are Steelers fans) and the current Madden champ took to the stage for a few minutes. There wasn’t a great amount of detail about any changes to mechanics and such however the biggest news was that Madden 19 will be available on PC, for the first time in a decade, which has made two of our team members very happy indeed.
NBA Live 19
EA also announce the latest NBA title during their press conference so if you’re a fan of Basketball and have been following the games over the years, here’s the next one to fulfil your gaming needs!
Command and Conquer Rivals
Command and Conquer returns, however this time it’s for mobile devices. Now this seems to have disappointed a lot of people as many were looking forward to a new game. As someone who doesn’t do any gaming on a mobile device, this didn’t excite me personally either. We did however get a live demo during the conference of how the game plays and for fans of mobile strategy games, this may well be for you as you defend your base and try to hold areas in order to charge a missile which you will then fire at your opponent. It looked to be a back and forth sort of game however the hosts were saying that it can change in a moment if you lose some ground. A lot of fans had picked up on EAs hints of a new C&C game leading up to E3, but this wasn’t what they had in mind. Gameplay looks to work well on mobile devices, though we can’t help but think a full blown PC RTS would’ve gone down better…
Well it wouldn’t be an EA conference without FIFA. Offering Career Mode or the all-new standalone UEFA Champions League mode, FIFA fans will be back on the pitch. It also offers the finale of Alex Hunter’s story in The Journey: Champions. There was some World Cup news too for folks with FIFA 18 so be sure to keep an eye on your dashboards of what’s coming up.
To be fair, we all know what we were waiting to see and that’s more of Bioware’s Anthem which we’ve waited a year to hear more about. With 4 Javelin exosuits to choose from as you fly and fight through a savage environment, you are in for a treat with this game. For fans of Mass Effect though, you may be sad to hear that while there is a focus on relationships… you won’t be able to woo other characters in Anthem, instead you’ll have dialogue trees which are there to maintain friendships rather than trying to bed someone. Graphically, the game looks marvellous and while it is an online game, you can choose to play by yourself, you can also play with friends and there will be a hub area that only you will go back to where you can pick up missions and choose which Javelin you’ll be equipping next – Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor or Storm all which have useful perks and abilities to support a squad. There will also be an element of customisation allowing you to maybe have your exosuits in N7 colours or whatever you fancy but you can only be human and while you will be able to purchase vanity items for your suits, there will be no lootboxes or Pay to Win systems in place. Anthem had already piqued our interests, and now that we’ve seen actual game play and heard a little more about it we’re getting very excited for it. It’s due out on February 22nd 2019 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. For some more information from the Press Conference, you can see the on stage session below.