E3 2018 has kicked off with EA Play leading the charge.
This year has seen a slightly more subdued showing from the company with quite a few reminders that micro-transactions are now bad.
A few new games and a couple of nice surprises ensued, and with those mixed in with the usual EA Sports announcements and a big segment dedicated to the excellent looking Anthem, it was a show worth taking in.
And so here are 5 of the very best bits from EA Play 2018.
5. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order/Battlefront II
Vince Zampella of Respawn took to the mic to talk about what Respawn are up to. He announced Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. The game is set between episodes 3&4; an era where Jedi are hunted down and all but eradicated. Vince states that the game is dark in tone but doesn’t really go any further than that.
It is due at the end of 2019.
After that DICE hit the stage to (almost) apologise for the debacle they caused with Battlefront II micro-transactions last year. They have taken a step back, overhauled the progression and changed all loot boxes to cosmetic items only, adding a new hunt mode which has been hugely popular so far, and are currently in the process of updating the squad system to improve they way the game is played.
Not only this but more new modes are on the way, as well as content from the latest Han Solo movie. If that wasn’t enough then later in 2018 the game will receive a significant update based around the Clone Wars era – one that will feature new maps, modes, heros and villains.
4. Unravel Two
Unravel Two popped up out of nowhere to continue the journey of Yarny.
This time around the emphasis is on co-operation with Yarny joining forces with a new blue friend to traverse the diverse and beautiful levels and overcome the many puzzles.
The game can be played alone if you like, but looks like it is clearly designed with two players in mind. A demo has been shown, with it being played by two players, and it looks like a nice step forward from the original. Environments looks detailed and the sense of being a small character in the world is portrayed wonderfully.
… and then out of the blue it is announced that the game is available right now. Xbox One gamers can pick it up from the Microsoft Store for £17.99 – although those with EA Access get the usual 10% discount too.
The first Unravel is actually a genuinely charming little game and well worth checking out.
After the success of A Way Out it was announced that EA would be working on more EA Originals titles. First up was the announcement of Sea of Solitude.
Developed by a small indie team in Berlin, SOS is a game about loneliness. In the game you play as a young woman who’s loneliness has turned her into a monster and her quest leads her to find out why she has become such a monster, and how she can once again become human. It looks beautiful and the art style is reminiscent of Zelda Breath of the Wild.
It is coming in 2019 and certainly has a lot of promise.
2. Battlefield V
Battlefield V details had already been out in the open for a couple of weeks, but at EA Play DICE came out of the gate with some great information on the game. Movement enhancements, moveable defense emplacements, character customisation and the news that destructibility is making a big return are all key talking points.
On top off this came the news that the game will include no loot boxes, no premium pass and all content updates will be free for everyone.
Then came the not so secret news that Battlefield would be following the trend of 2018 and releasing a Battle Royale mode after launch. I don’t know about you, but a Battlefield take on Battle Royale has me chomping at the bit!
Only a few snippets of gameplay were shown but from what these show, Battlefield V is looking to be a big step up for the series and it looks to be shaking up the formula in some interesting ways.
Finally we get a proper look at Anthem, starting with a fist pumping trailer played to a remix of Uprising by Muse.
It will come with a persistent online world, four player co-op, customisable Javelins and a game built to have story content added as things expand. It all sounds very similar to what Bungie envisioned Destiny to originally be.
We are given a quick walk through of a four player mission and it looks colourful, diverse and absolutely gorgeous. The Javelins change up the gameplay in various ways with a whole host of different abilities for each one. Customisation is a big effort here; skins, weapons etc. – there are a whole host of options to make your javelin your own.
Bioware are trying to really make the story feel like a single-player experience rather than a co-op shooter. They have achieved this by making the base areas single player but the wider world is a persistent multiplayer space right down to every player experiencing weather effects at the same time.
Bioware seem committed to supporting Anthem over a number of years with new missions and story content.
Finally the game is given a February 2019 release date and it seems to be set in stone.
So that is it for the first briefing of E3 2018 – a short if solid showing from EA. Let us know what you liked or disliked about the show in the comments bellow.