When it comes to the EA press conference, I usually have mixed feelings because they do a lot of sports stuff that really puts me to sleep, but they also have a variety of other games that I would enjoy playing a find them interesting. Usually these come from BioWare, but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. I made a lot of predictions for this year’s EA conference, so let’s see how everything played out for their hour + conference.
EA kicked off their press conference with a band to come out and play the drums in order to promote Madden 18’s story mode Long Shot. Seriously, I had thought that Ubisoft was the only one that did this kind of thing each and every year for Just Dance. Guess not. Moving on, EA then went on to do a reveal of some Battlefield 1 content. The team working on Battlefield 1 is still working on it and there will be new maps and a whole new DLC to go with it. That’s cool if you’re a Battlefield player, but if you’re not then it’s really not that interesting. Moving on there was some new information on the FIFA and Madden Championship games where real people play for real glory and all that other stuff. This is about the time of the show when I start to glaze over a little because it seems like the sports stuff is the same each and every year. I know that EA is trying to incorporate some kind of story mode into each and every sports game, but it’s still not drawing in any interest from me and I don’t think it’s drawing in any kind of interest from non-sports playing gamers. Anyway, Men in Blazers came up to do a thing about FIFA and I guess it was a big deal. So I just don’t look like someone who hates sports games, I used to be totally into sports games on my PS2 and even tried playing FIFA once, but it just never worked out for me and since then I’ve given up.
The reveal for Need for Speed Payback was up next. I feel like this was a cool game when it first came out in 1994, but this is one of those franchises that should just give up. Correct me if I’m wrong, because sometimes I am, isn’t this just the same game over and over again? Anyway, what I did notice about this game was that the voice acting was just terrible. Anyone else get tired of the voice acting within the first minute or two of the game demo? Next up was a presentation from EA originals. I have to say I was excited about this because last time we got Unravel and it was awesome. I was excited to hear that the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons have joined EA originals to come up with their next game. I thought this was going to be awesome, but I was soon sadly mistaken. The next game coming from this studio is A Way Out. This is basically a prison break game where you’ll play one of two inmates who for whatever reason don’t want to serve their time and just want to break out. The catch is though that you can only play this in co-op mode and while it does support online co-op it was mostly made for split screen on the couch co-op. This had me groan because seriously who likes split screen co-op? I thought the overall concept of the game was a pretty stale one and the graphics didn’t look all that great anyway. I feel like this studio can do so much more especially after Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons but did a complete 180 and I don’t think it’s going to work for them.
There was also talk of a new SEED team which is basically a research team so that maybe EA can stop getting as much hate as they do. Tall order. Anyway there was some project Scorpio talking from EA about how amazing it is and so and so before the semi-reveal of BioWare’s mysterious new IP dubbed “Project Dylan.” There was about a minute preview of the game along with the reveal of the game title which is Anthem. The minute preview really wasn’t enough to judge the game, but the rest of the game along with gameplay footage would have to wait until the Microsoft conference. There was then some more sports stuff with NBA Live. They showed off some of the mechanics of the game and it had me think that “Wow these games have become complicated.” NBA Live will also have a story mode that still did not get me interested and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. After this we finally get to the good stuff which was Battlefront II. Not a Star Wars fan, I did love Battlefront I and though it was amazing even though it got a lot of hate for having no single player mode. EA has listened to the fans and have added a full story mode for this game along with a more enhanced version of the multiplayer. All of this looks fabulous and what they showed off secured my pre-order. Everything about this game looks amazing and I really can’t wait for it to be released. That being said there is no season pass for this game either. This was surprising because it’s EA we’re talking about here, but any updates done, characters added, maps added, and whatever else will all be free. I had to double check and make sure that this was still the EA conference at this point.
Overall I felt that EA was a little lacking this year and it felt like all they really had was Battlefront II. This was disappointing as I thought some more games would be revealed and the show would be bigger. Starting E3 is a big deal and if you aren’t going to bring it, then you should schedule your conference some other time. I also feel that BioWare was really slapped on the wrist this year for making a mediocre Mass Effect game. Nothing was revealed about upcoming content and they sure as hell didn’t mention anything about the confirmed Dragon Age 4. At this point I’m thinking that BioWare is looking like they’re in a really bad situation at the moment and it’s sad because they really are a great company. Sure they suffer from mistakes and stuff, but so does Bethesda and a bunch of other companies. It just seems like BioWare gets shit on the most. Anyway, I’m thinking that if Anthem doesn’t work out, the studio is done for.