E3 2018 | Press Conferences: Day 1 Highlights (EA)
EA kicks off the E3 press conferences
Published on June 9, 2018
Welcome to the first day of E3 2018! Although a star-studded lineup of companies is slated to present during the event, the first day was quiet, with just one press conference in the early afternoon. EA kicked off the press conference chain in Hollywood with EA Play. With a lot of anticipation on upcoming flagship titles such as Battlefield V and Anthem, here’s what they had to show to gamers.
After the mixed reaction that the initial reveal trailer received, the expectation was that there’d be more shown at the conference. Unfortunately, very little was revealed in the way of actual gameplay footage. Some of the new features were briefly covered, such as being able to construct defensive structures, tow weapon emplacements with vehicles, and driving tanks through buildings. The cinematic trailer showed off provided some brief views of the gameplay that seems toned down from the chaotic scenes of the previous trailer and more to the typical Battlefield pacing. A battle royale has been officially announced as in the works and will have more information later this year. No lootboxes or premium passes will be present in the game. Instead, the game will use currencies that can either be earned through play or bought to get cosmetics and customization options for your soldier.
Origin Access Premier Announcement
On top of the already existing Origin Access subscription service, EA announced a higher-tier version aptly named Origin Access Premier. Instead of a list of games that are curated in “The Vault” that subscribers have access to, the Premier service will allow gamers to play all EA games for a flat monthly or annual fee.
Similar to the lower-tier service, all subscribers will have early access to new releases; a week earlier than the public launch. However, instead of a timed trial that was previously offered, this new service will gamers play the full game in the early access period. EA is planning on launching Origin Access Premier sometime this summer. It will cost $14.99/month on the monthly plan, and $99.99/year on the annual plan. The existing Origin Access service will stick around, maintaining its price of $4.99/month or $29.99/year.
Jedi: Fallen Order Announcement
In what could be considered the most bizarre way of announcing a game, Vince Zampella, founder of Respawn Entertainment (developers of Titanfall) announced from the comfort of his seat in the audience that the studio is working on a new Star Wars game called Jedi: Fallen Order. Not many details were shared outside the fact that you will be able to play as a Jedi, and the story will take place between Episodes 3 & 4 in the movie series. Slotted for release during the Holidays of 2019, hopefully, we’ll see some press kit for the game in the coming months.
Star Wars Battlefront II Future Support
Acknowledging the incredibly shaky start that the game had, the conference focused on the new content they’ve got planned down the road, which includes new Clone Wars era content and a whole new mode with large-scale conflict in mind before assaulting the enemy capital ship. There will be a return to the planet Geonosis, and popular characters will be implemented as heroes, including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Count Dooku, and General Grievous. In addition to that, they’ll be adding collaboration material associated with the recent Solo film release, and they’ve acknowledged the popularity of the Ewok Hunt game mode, so there may be more of that down the road.
Unravel two Launch
Crowd-favorite and lovable game developer Martin Sahlin from Coldwood Interactive showed off the sequel to the hit indie game, Unravel at EA Play, named Unravel two. It features the protagonist from the first game, Yarny, returning with a friend to explore and navigate through the world. The most significant change from the first game is the inclusion of a co-op mode, where the player and a local friend can solve puzzles together to play the game. Although the game was designed with co-operative gameplay in mind, it also supports solo play, with the player controlling both on-screen characters at the same time. As a surprise, Sahlin announced that the game would be available to play today, and released promptly after the conference on Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
Sea of Solitude Preview
The second game shown off as part of the EA Originals segment was Sea of Solitude, an adventure game that focuses on loneliness, depression, and anger. The section kicked off with Cornelia Geppert, director of Jo-Mei Games in Berlin, giving a passionate talk about the inspiration and what story the game is trying to tell. Featuring a unique art style and a terrifying trailer, we join Kay who is suffering from loneliness which manifests into her transformation of a monster. The trailer showed her exploring a submerged city via a boat, where she tries to learn more about what’s happening to her so she can turn back into a human. Although we weren’t able to see too much of the game from the conference, we’re excited to learn more. Sea of Solitude is slated to release sometime in early 2019.
Command and Conquer Rivals
After cancellations, delays and general neglect for the series, Command & Conquer makes its return as a mobile game for Android and iOS as Command & Conquer: Rivals. Similar in vain to Clash Royale, it seems to be positioning itself as a competitive game, with head-to-head battles between players. A show match between iNcontroL and Nickatnyte walked the audience through how a typical game would play out; with players battling over control of a nuke in the middle of the map. Once a player acquires two nukes, they win the match. With familiar units and characters making a return, it looks to win over fans of the series, but there are still many features and components that haven’t been shared with the public. The game is currently available in pre-alpha for Android and will be available for iOS at an undetermined date.
Anthem Lore and Gameplay Detailed
As the finisher, Anthem was given a lengthy discussion covering some of the basic lore for the world of Tarsus. Old beings left behind tools that have become known as Anthems of Creation. These devices have incredible power, which causes the surrounding environments and ecosystems to be in constant shift. The player is a freelancer who keeps the locals safe and takes on jobs to explore the planet and stop threats. The Dominion are the adversaries of the game and are believed to have found a way to weaponize the Anthems of Creation. Bioware plans to support the game far beyond its release, providing new content, places to explore, and an expanded story that will reflect their vision of an ever-changing world.
As a freelancer, you rely on your powerful suit of armor, referred to as a Javelin, to survive in the wilderness of Tarsus. Javelins come in 4 flavors, Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor, and Storm. In the examples given, the ranger is more general purpose-focused and good in a one on one fight, while the colossus brings the heavy firepower. One character can switch between Javelins before heading out at their own will; there’s no being tied down to a single class for every encounter. Javelins will have cosmetics in the way of paint jobs and other such things, but there will not be lootboxes and no pay-to-win content.
Anthem will release February 22, 2019.
We’ll be back tomorrow with highlights from Microsoft and Bethesda’s shows. We will be live tweeting all the press conferences; you can follow us on Twitter.