EA kicked off its E3 2016 press conference madness by rolling out sequel after sequel to its most successful franchises — and that's not necessarily a bad thing. We got deeper looks into Battlefield 1 (war blimps!), Titanfall 2 (MMA mechs!), Star Wars (years of content coming), Mass Effect: Andromeda (dune buggies — no, really), FIFA 17, eSports plans, and more. Let's dive in!
Set during the four years of World War 1, there was some concern about the low-tech nature of the weaponry of the time period. Would gameplay be fun and engaging? Or would it be an endless slog through the trenches? DICE dispelled a lot of anxiety with the promise of an advanced tech tree and the debut of an exciting gameplay trailer that showcased breathtaking aerial dog fights and war blimps.
Also announced were new game modes for the title. In addition to the Conquest and Domination modes that long time players are familiar with, players will get to try Operations. This is where one team digs in defensively and the other one attempts to overrun them. Expect to hear about other game modes as the title gets closer to release on October 13th for Xbox One and October 21st for PC.
The mech shooter debuted a multiplayer trailer showing off fast-paced grappling-hook action while on foot and sweet MMA combat moves while suited up. Time to do your best Idris Elba voice and live out your Pacific Rim fantasies.
A single player player campaign will add more customization options, six new Titans, and a deeper progression system. The multiplayer version will have a number of technical tests you can sign up for in advance of its October 28th release date for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
'Mass Effect: Andromeda'
The Bioware title has been long anticipated, but we got precious little information here — just a two minute behind-the-scenes video. In it, we see the Tempest ship, an amazing planetscape, a customizable dune buggy, a possible avatar, and a lot of development team members talking about how amazing it's going to be. Yes, we know it will be amazing. Please give us the amazing game so we can lose ourselves in it! Sigh, no release date yet.
Star Wars updates galore
EA has big plans for the Star Wars universe in the same way Marvel has big plans for its cinematic universe. Not only will EA continue with regular updates for Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, but it is also rolling out at least three new titles over the next few years.
In 2017, get ready for an all-new installment of Star Wars Battlefront, followed in 2018 by a new action-adventure Star Wars title from Visceral Games (makers of Dead Space and Battlefield 3). Also in the works is a third-person action-adventure game set "in a different timeline we have yet to explore" from Respawn.
No trailers, titles, or other info to get hyped about, but it's good to know lots of products are in development to keep our Force addiction fed.
'Madden NFL 17' and 'FIFA 17'
For you sports fans out there, EA has big announcements, too. For Madden NFL 17, EA has announced "Play the Moments" for its Franchise mode. This speeds through the boring parts of the season but stops during key plays for the player to be involved. For FIFA fans, the 17th title in the series is getting a narrative mode for the first time. "The Journey" follows a fictional Premier League pro and includes real-life players and managers.
Madden NFL 17 will be released on August 23, 2016 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
FIFA 17 will be released on September 27, 2016 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
EA saw the immense popularity of the independently produced Unravel and has decided to back more indie games. Its EA Originals program invests in indie games, helps them with development and marketing costs, then makes sure the profits go back to the developers. Check out the trailer for the first game they are touting as part of the program, Fe. If EA Originals fosters these kinds of titles, then I'm in.
Sadly, no release date yet on Fe.
EA has decided to formally invest in eSports. The company announced three levels of investment, though it was vague on the exact details. EA said it would help players organize small tournaments. EA also wants to work with outside partners and put together mid-sized events (that would be considered sponsored). Finally, in a program called EA Majors, EA wants to put on major tournaments. To kick it off, the company has announced a Madden NFL 17 tournament with a $1 million prize pool starting with a preliminary event this week at E3.
Battlefield 1 was mentioned, but no further info was given. Likely you'll see Titanfall 2 get involved in this as well as FIFA 17 and Star Wars Battlefront. eSports is big and only getting bigger. EA doesn't want to get left behind.
Play to give
Now, this is cool. EA gives gamers a chance to donate to charities through its titles by performing certain activities in the games during the week of E3. If you play Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, EA Sports FIFA, or Madden NFL 16, check out the list of activities you can perform in-game.
Up to $1 million will be donated to Code.org, CODE2040, HeforShe, The National Center for Women & Information Technology, and Special Effect, which uses technology to enhance the lives of people with special needs of all kinds. So get gaming help out others at the same time!