EA started us off at E3 this year a day earlier than usual, did this year improve from the circus that was E3 2016? For the most part, yes they took the problems, and fixed them, for the most part. The biggest change with this conference was that they didn't spend too much time, comparatively to last year, on any one specific topic. While they did have points of very slow, dry verbosity it is once again, an improvement of last year.
The conference starts slowly with a drum line dressed in Tom Brady jerseys, which leads directly into a trailer for the Madden 18 story mode "The Long Shot," while it personally looks, okay, it will probably have a willing audience to gobble up that content. Then it slowed down slightly with a bit of talking about the new content coming to Battlefield 1. While it would have been better to show what was mentioned rather than talking about it, thankfully it was a short segment. The new BF1 content to be added will be two night maps, along with details pertaining to the new DLC "In The Name Of The Czar." This will include 8 new maps, and two new factions which you can choose in MP.
After that short coverage, they moved to cover their competitive aspect of their business, stating that being under the EA umbrella to be a part of the largest competitions concerning Fifa and Madden respectively, with a bit of coverage of their plans for Battlefield in the competitive sphere in the future. YouTubers Men In Blazers spent a bit of time talking about Fifa 18, and it story aspect, which is a continuation of what was in Fifa 17, titled, The Journey. Also, it is apparent that the EA sports coverage, is an integral part of their E3 presence, it is also appreciated that they took the criticism from the last two E3 and altered their presentations accordingly to make it more appealing to those not inherently interested in sports.
Next on the docket was Need For Speed: Payback; which, other than a slightly awkward beginning to the presentation seemingly due to a teleprompter issue was a short gameplay presentation. It started with a bit more information about the customization, then went into a demo that showed a bit of their highway heists, that harked back to a distinct Fast And The Furious feel. While it was stylish and fast paced, there was not a lot there, but what was, seemed interesting enough.
The coverage for the EA Original was next, and a personal highlight of the show. The game is the project of the studio Hazelight, who were the creators of the game Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons. The title shown; A Way Out, while co-op like their previous game, is based on two characters who are working with one another in order to break out of prison. The game is purely a co-op based experience, either on the couch or online, and the play style changes based on the character the player chooses. A cool aspect about this, is that while one player is involved in a cutscene, the other player has the freedom to do what they want (within the confines of the narrative only it seems, which is expected.) The two characters seem to have diverse, and distinct personalities that give you two separate avenues with how to approach each part of the game. With an early 2018 release date, it will be interesting to see how this game changes between now and then.
There were a number of smaller segments that while being slightly out of place, and chatty were thankfully short. The first was information about their S.E.E.D (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division) initiative, which is something that is used to try and find innovative new ways to change games and the gaming industry as a whole, other than that, not a lot of information was divulged. With a short mention of the Xbox Scorpio, and the beauty that is Madden 18 on the system, they showed a short trailer of the new I.P Bioware has been working on, Anthem. There is definitely a Sci-fi feel to this new game, but other than some verbiage that gave it a Destiny feel, and the appearance of some somewhat interesting armor, there is not a lot to go on. After that was the reveal of NBA Live 18 and its new feature "The One" that lets you play the game between either Street ball, or in the NBA, not explicitly a story mode like their other sports games, they are obviously trying to give their basketball game something to differentiate themselves for their competition, NBA2K. The last aspect of this block of their charity initiative, Play To Give; while they stated they have given 1 million dollars to date to a number of charities, the presentation of it seemed off, but regardless it is good to see them doing such.
The real perceived meat of this conference was the Star Wars coverage. While what they showed was more succinct and less fluff than what was presented last E3, it still left a lot to be desired. When it was mentioned that there would be 30 minutes of Battlefront 2 coverage, it was surprising when a 5 minute multiplayer trailer was shown, and the remaining 25 minutes was spent in a multiplayer match, which was pretty terribly commentated. While this in and of itself is not a terrible way to show off their game, and that they listened to what their customers wanted, there was still a distinct lack of anything new. Aside from a small clip at the end of the trailer, there was no information given on what the single player content will pertain to, other than reiterated information that was already out in the ether of the internet. That said, it was announced that all content for multiplayer (maps, heroes, weapons, and vehicles) will be included in free content updates for everyone who owns the game, post launch. However, even if it was slightly lackluster in actually new single player information, it was still an improvement over the debacle of last year.
In closing, while the conference that EA presented was not as terrible as whatever the hell they presented last year, this year, seemed like it was more of a "checking all the boxes" situation, rather than them putting in a conscious effort to achieve a higher level of presentation. This is not saying that it is a bad presentation, especially not for EA, who in recent history has had horrible E3 showings, though at best; it could be said that this presentation is above average at best. It is definitely a step in the right direction, and whoever made the decision to go in this direction, deserves to be commended, and hope that they continue on this path in the future, both in E3, and their business decisions in general. That is the end for today, tomorrow is a busy day, there are a total of three conferences, starting at 2 pm Pacific Standard Time with Microsoft, then Bethesda at 9 pm, and lastly Devolver Digital one hour later, hope to see you here tomorrow!