Electronic Arts just kicked off E3 2017 with an earlier than usual Saturday press conference. EA showed some Star Wars, some sports, some car chases, and a brand-new game from BioWare called Anthem. There was also a live drumline, in case you thought E3 needed more drumlines.
EA didn’t announce much—the only two new games were Anthem and a prison break game called A Way Out—and most of the conference was dedicated to sports and Battlefront II. Let’s run it all down.
EA dedicated the entire back half of its show to Star Wars: Battlefront II, focusing mostly on multiplayer, which will span all eras of Star Wars. All post-release multiplayer add-ons will be free this time around, meaning that everyone will be able to keep playing the game “for years to come,” according to presenter Janina Gavankar.
(Gavankar, who plays the main character in Battlefront II’s single player, stared down the audience in character as she took the stage. It was a fun, if slightly awkward moment in an otherwise sleepy press conference.)
They then showed a bunch of live multiplayer gameplay set on a map on Naboo. There was a ton going on, and it was hard to tell how it’ll actually feel to play. EA says the game will have more vehicles, more customization, more abilities, more classes, and more options in general. They also say they’ve fine-tuned the gunplay so that everything feels better than it did in the first game. At the very least, it’ll be cathartic to hop in a tank and blow the shit out of Naboo. You can find more info on the Battlefront II announcements, including EA’s press release, here.
We also got a teaser for Anthem, a brand new series from BioWare. It looks like a sci-fi game with lush environments, big monsters and characters who wear suits of power armor. The teaser was scant on details, but EA says it’ll share more at the Microsoft press conference tomorrow.
EA will also be publishing a new game called A Way Out, which is being made by the people behind the fantastic Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. It’s a cinematic prison break game where you control one of two unlikely partners thrown together in a common cause.
The game is built entirely as a co-op experience, meaning you can’t play it solo, though I’m sure some intrepid gamers will make it work. It can be played in splitscreen or online. Brothers was a really good game (if you haven’t played it, play it!), and A Way Out looks like a promising evolution of a lot of the ideas that game explored.
EA shared some new information about Need For Speed Payback, which sure looks like a Fast And The Furious game. Which I am totally in favor of. Gameplay-wise, it looks like some kinda combination of Split/Second and Burnout, which, also, sounds good.
The already wildly popular shooter Battlefield 1 is getting two night maps, which debut this summer. Because Battlefield 1 wasn’t chaotic enough. They also announced In The Name of the Tsar, an expansion that will add new maps from World War 1's eastern front. The expansion will add six new maps featuring the Russian army along with “the iconic women’s battalion of death.” That expansion hits in September. Lastly, they teased a new small-squad competitive mode, saying they’ll share more details at Gamescom in August.
Madden 18 kicked off the show as EA announced a new LongShot game type, which adds a sports movie-like narrative to the game. It looks melodramatic as hell.
Fifa 18 got a reveal trailer showing off their new animations and signature moves, which aim to make each team feel more distinct and closer to its real-life counterpart. I also very much enjoyed their use of the phrase “FUELED BY RONALDO.” Like Madden 18, the game will have a story mode, which can be played in co-op with a friend and will allow you to import your Fifa 17 character.
We also got a quick look at NBA Live 18, breaking down how you’ll progress through the game.
And that about does it for EA. We’ll be covering E3 for the next week, with news, liveblogs, podcasts, videos, and more. Stay tuned.