If I could describe the EA Play event in one word, it would be “tease.” It doesn’t help that a number of announcements were spoiled ahead of time, such as Titanfall 2’s single player that looks to mash up Attack on Titan with Fable 2’s dog (it’s going to happen, isn’t it), but it was mostly just sneak peaks at the good stuff we were hoping to see in more detail. It wasn’t a bad show by any means, but I was expecting something more substantial in terms of content.
A disturbance in the Force
I was hoping to finally learn more about what Visceral have been working on in regards to the Star Wars IP, but we were left with the briefest of moments showing a lone figure walking out on what looked like Tatooine (or possible Jakku) with the Empire making its presence known. Other than that, the most notable tidbits were that Criterion are helping with a PlayStation VR mission for Battlefront, and Respawn are doing something involving motion capture and lightsabres in an era that hasn’t been covered before. Colour me excited about that one.
The lack of any substantial news on the Star Wars front might not have been such a bitter pill to swallow, but it wasn’t the first major tease of the evening. No, that went to…
BioWare still making calibrations
News on Mass Effect; Andromeda was what I was looking forward to the most this year, but after a year of teasing it never came. Seeing more renders and in-game cinematics was pleasing on the eye (seriously, it looked fantastic in the Frostbite engine) but there no live gameplay to go with it. There weren’t even any big narrative reveals outside of what we already knew – that we are the aliens this time – and as such as never got a release date. What we did get was a promise for more details “this fall” (which we will hold you to, EA) and a look a human character that might possibly be the “FemShep” for the game.
I’m hoping that when EA and BioWare are finally ready to start talking, it will be a Fallout 4 style explosion of joy and imminent release dates. For now, though, I return to cryosleep. Or to carry on covering E3. Either or.
EA’s Helping hand
While Unravel failed to really set the world on fire, what impressed many was EA’s willingness to support a smaller title. With the announcement of EA Originals we should start to see similar smaller projects emerged, as the reveal of Fe was an interesting one. While it certainly has an Ori & the Blind Forest meets Journey feel to it, it ended up being the highlight of the show purely by being the unexpected elements. Well, that and it looks cute as hell.
Additionally, the promise that the developers signed up with EA Originals will get 100% of the profit gets the thumbs up from me. I expect EA will get their money some other way, but supporting smaller studios to create unique gaming experiences is a fantastic opportunity.
And the rest…
While I must give kudos to EA for not having a dreadful Sims segment, they did manage to bring the cringe with their celebrity cameos. Jose Mourinho’s uninterested banter was only beaten by Zak Efron’s unenthusiastic use of the word “stoked,” once again reminding us all that, if you’re going to use someone famous, make sure your guests actually want to be there.
Otherwise, the headliner of Battlefield 1 didn’t end the show with the power that it could have, instead opting to show the good stuff after it had finished with the 64-player battle, which looked glorious (although we already knew it would.) Of course, I was never going to be bothered by the Madden and FIFA reveals, but EA’s push to support eSports is something I’m all for.
So what did you think of EA’s showing at this year’s E3? Were you happy with what was shown? Perhaps the teasing was too much? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to stay tuned for our impressions of the rest of this year’s pressers!