EA Play 2017 Recap

For the second year in a row, EA has kicked off the E3 festivities with a press conference that featured interesting reveals and awkward moments. While retaining its focus on mainstream hits, the showcase offered intriguing new angles on established franchises mixed with promising first looks at new IP. Ending with an extended look at Star Wars Battlefront 2 multiplayer, EA’s presentation was an obvious step up from their first EA Play event.

Here are the highlights of the show:

For sports, it’s all about narrative

In a surprising move, EA showcased single-player campaigns for each of their major sports franchises. FIFA 18 will see a continuation of last year’s The Journey career mode, and will feature appearances from high profile personalities from soccer culture. NBA Live is back, and will feature a single-player mode called The One, where players can challenge the basketball world both in the NBA on their favorite teams and in the streets on famous courts. Most interesting of all was Longshot, a story component for Madden 18 that features House of Cards and Moonlight actor Mahershala Ali as a football coach working with a prospect to achieve his NFL dream. Check out more about Longshot in our comprehensive breakdown.

Single player narratives were paired with a thriving esports community, as EA highlighted the growing community surrounding their esports scene. More will be revealed about these initiatives this summer.

Need for Fast and Furious

In a move surprising no one, EA unveiled gameplay for the upcoming Need for Speed Payback, a revenge story that will see players taking on a drug cartel. Expanding outside of simply winning and losing races, players will embark on missions that seek to recreate the feeling of campy car action movies. Time will tell if the game can capture the heart that made Fast and Furious into the billion dollar juggernaut that it is. Check out more about Need for Speed Payback in our breakdown.

Battlefield 1 heads to the Eastern Front

A new expansion for Battlefield 1 focusing on Russia and the Eastern Front of World War 1 was announced, titled In the Name of the Tsar. Featuring new nighttime maps, the Russian Army, new weapons and character abilities, the expansion sheds light on the bloodiest arena in the war. For more details on the new content, check out our reveal story.

A Way Out steals the show

After a string of mainstream staples, EA tapped its Originals arm for its next unveil, a prison break game from the developers behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons called A Way Out. The game is being developed at Hazelight Studios, a team made up from the devs responsible for Brothers, and features two playable characters that are controlled exclusively in co-op mode. Featuring gorgeous visuals, an interesting narrative premise and dynamic gameplay scenarios the game was a breath of fresh air in a typical EA showcase. The game is due out in 2018, so we probably won’t have to wait long to hear more.

BioWare unveils Anthem

The title behind the mysterious Dylan codename, a brief teaser trailer was shown for Anthem, BioWare’s new IP that was hinted at earlier this year. The trailer features gorgeous visuals and exo suits, and that’s about all we know. We won’t have to wait long for more, as a gameplay reveal is scheduled for Microsoft’s showcase at 2 pm PDT tomorrow afternoon. EA also openly mentioned Project Scorpio in connection with the title, sowing the seeds for an exciting announcement tomorrow.

EA heard our Battlefront criticisms

Star Wars Battlefront 2 took up the last 30 minutes of the conference, and the primary message revolved around how much EA had learned from the mistakes of its predecessor. Poking at John Boyega’s infamous tweet asking for a full campaign for Battlefront 2, we got additional teases at the narrative revealed at May’s Star Wars Celebration, including a projection of Emperor Palpatine on a droid and what sounded like the voice of Poe Dameron. That wasn’t the only lesson learned, as EA announced that Battlefront 2 would feature three times more content than its predecessor, taken from all eras. What’s more, the game’s first DLC pack was revealed with a video from Boyega himself, and it was revealed that all of the game’s extra content would be free for all players. This content will come in chapters, with the first focusing on The Last Jedi and bringing Finn and Captain Phasma to the game as playable heroes in its first release. Suffice to say, EA seems motivated to show that it learned its lesson.

So what did you think? Were you impressed with EA’s showings? Are you anticipating further announcements at the Big Three events later this week? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for additional MONG E3 2017 coverage.

Brett Williams is an Associate Editor for MONG who can’t wait to pick up his blaster in Battlefront 2 this fall. You can follow his nonexistent ramblings on Twitter.

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