This year, EA kicked off the series of press conferences and exciting announcements E3 is known for. A quick overview of what we saw today:
As said by the developers, the next installment in the Battlefield series focuses on moments of human heroism during their take on World War 2.
A quick multiplayer video was shown, showing off the fancy new ultra-destructable environments. Tanks were driven through houses, tearing hiding places open in seconds. This should keep it interesting by limiting the permanence of shelter, and giving you a new way to fight back against campers.
A quick confirmation was also given that character and vehicle customization will be available.
In response to possibly the most asked question considering EA's history, they confirmed Battlefield V will not have lootboxes or premium passes. All players will have access to the same maps and features, so no one on the squad will be left out for not having the latest DLC.
And, because it's 2018, they have also announced a Battle Royale mode in addition to the single player story mode and various other multiplayer modes.
Battlefield will be launching October 2018.
For FIFA, they put a lot of emphasis on a new champions mode, focusing on club football in addition to regular modes. More information will be coming soon, as we get closer to the September 28 launch.
Also, as the world cup is almost upon us, FIFA 18 has received a free update for a "World Cup Experience". The full game is also available for a free trial if you haven't picked it up yet and want to get in on the World Cup fun!
EA's CEO Andrew Wilson took the stage a few times during the show, most notably to speak about a new streaming service and a new subscription integrated with their Origin platform. Origin Access Premiere will give you access to new games as they launch - specifically including Battlefield V, Anthem, FIFA 19 and, for the first time in a decade, Madden NFL 2019. It will also include access to over 100 older games, which as of yet haven't been specified. This program launches this summer, but a trial is available this weekend.
Star Wars - Jedi Fallen Order
The event's host cornered a dev from Respawn Entertainment in the crowd, asking for any hints about the upcoming Star Wars game. He revealed the name - Jedi Fallen Order - and that it will take place between episodes 3 & 4, when the Jedi were being hunted. The new entry in to the franchise will be launching Holiday 2019, so we can expect more details further along in the development cycle.
Battlefront II Update
Throwing the sacrificial lamb to slaughter, a friendly young developer came onstage to announce a few updates to Battlefield II. Upcoming features include a new squad system for teaming up, a dogfighting mode, and a new multiplayer sandbox mode. This will be based off of the Clone Wars, and feature fan-favourite characters General Grevious, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Count Dooku and Anakin Skywalker. These updates sounds great, and I'm glad to hear they're continuing to support this game after last year's lootbox drama.
The unravel two portion showed off a short trailer and some gameplay, showcasing the new co-op multiplayer. This new entry to the franchise seems to be a little more intense that the first entry, but luckily you'll have a friend to help you through it. You'll be able to play either solo, switching between the two yarnys, or co-op, working together to solve the puzzles. The characters are attached, so teamwork is at the core of each level's design. From pulling each other up cliffs to creating tightropes to cross gaps, to distracting hungry chickens while your partner finds higher ground, this seems like a great couch multiplayer puzzle game that will mirror that experience found in Portal 2.
Unravel Two is available today on PC, Xbox One and PS4.
EA Originals - Sea of Solitude by Jo-Mei Games
This year a new indie studio is being supported under to EA Originals program (which brought us A Way Out last year), developing a solo story experience about a young woman overcome by her loneliness. It seems to be set in a fantastical post-apocalyptic world which has been severely flooded. The footage showed the main character sailing between ruined buildings, disembarking to explore and run around. Throughout the trailer, she was also hunted by demons that looked like twisted versions of herself - including a massive sea creature. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this project as it looks like an interesting introspective story like last year's A Night in the Woods.
Command and Conquer Rivals
A new mobile RTS entry to the C&C franchise was shown off in a slightly awkward live demo. Looks like it will consist of 10-minute matches based around holding control points to charge missles and destroy your opponents base. This is coming for iOS and Android, with alpha available on Android now.
Last but certainly not least was a more in-depth look at Anthem, the ambitious new multiplayer RPG from BioWare. We were given a look at one of the game's missions, where the combat system, questing, and world events were all shown. As for as combat goes, I can't help but think of Guild Wars 2 and Borderlands. Explosives and other moves were telegraphed on the ground, giving you time to react like in Guild Wars, and Borderlands fans will notice your damage ticking up on the screen and feel the all too familiar need to grind for better weapons and better stats. BioWare employees confirmed that this is designed as a story game with multiplayer elements, instead of a primarily multiplayer game with story elements tacked on. Anthem is available on the show floor, and I expect we'll learn more throughout the week.
Anthem launches February 22, 2019 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.