I’ve been a long time fan of EA Access. For something that is so dirt cheap, and filled with so much content available at the push of a button, it seems ridiculous to be able to slate it. In fact, from the very first moment it was announced, as a monthly or yearly subscription based product that brings you not just the chance to play a number of EA games for free, but also the opportunity to grab discounts on games and content with the added inclusion of early access on a number of new titles, it was all a bit of a no-brainer for me.
But that was a couple of years back and the entire thing has evolved in that time into a beast of a subscription which, Xbox Live Gold membership aside, is quite possibly the best gaming subscription you can buy today. With the recent announcement that EA are dropping a number of old classics from the arcade scene into the scheme as well, fans of Bejeweled, Feeding Frenzy, Heavy Weapon and the awesome Zuma should be flocking.
That’s not all though and with the likes of the rather awesome Star Wars Battlefront, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and EA Sports UFC 2 due to be included in the Vault before the year is out, chances are you won’t be able to get such immediate access to such a huge range of titles for such a little cash payout. When you think that the EA Access Vault also contains a racers dream in multiple Need For Speed titles, the family friendly antics of the Peggle Masters and Plants and Zombies in Peggle 2 and Garden Warfare respectively, and an absolute ton of sports games covering every FIFA, Madden, NBA, NHL and golf games from the last couple of years, I’m not sure anything can match the program for variety. Indeed, if we also remember it contains access to a game that has come on leaps and bounds since its release, Battlefield 4, to keep the shooters happy as well, then it’s quite easy to see that all genres are pretty much covered and the Vault itself is probably worth the purchase alone.
And then we get to the Play First free trials that give us the chance to check out the very latest games, without having to bother opening the wallet first. Whilst it’s been useful to be able to play through the likes of UFC (if only so we know not to buy it) and get a head start on our Pro Clubs careers found in any of the FIFA games since the scheme has been around, surely the free trial that is going to be associated with Battlefield 1 may just be enough to push those on the edge into a purchase – perhaps even at the expense of bothering with Call of Duty? And if we’re honest, that only could be a masterstroke by EA.
So, the EA Access scheme is great for Vault titles, and the Play First opportunities ensure that games which may normally not be appealing suddenly begin to jump out. And that’s not even mentioning the 10% discount that magically appears should you wish to purchase any EA title or the associated DLC. Should you be one of the many gamers who like to be completely up-to-date with the latest game purchases, you need only bother purchasing four games a year to see your money gained back.
For £20 a year, it’s all a bit of a no-brainer in my eyes. Now, when are the other publishers going to get in on the action too? I’m looking at you Ubisoft!