So, does that mean I get to hold a Lightsaber?
Never afraid to be the table setter, EA delivered an on-par performance. Acting as expected, most everything that EA talked about was in their usual wheelhouse of games. That didn’t mean that there werent some surprises. EA certainly pulled a few tricks from their hat, however, this conference ran very much like every other EA conference. You have Star Wars, the annual sports titles, and the occasional original game.
Battlefield V was only brielfy talked about with only a few short minutes of primarily Multiplayer discussion. The focus was on the royale gameplay which everyone had been expecting to this point. However it didn’t feel like they were willing to show a lot today because they are waiting for tomorrow and Xbox’s conference to reveal story and main gameplay.
Battlefront’s new DLC also felt lackluster due to the lack of any real gameplay shown on the stage. However, the characters added seem like they were fairly overdue to be featured in the game. General Grievous, Obi Wan Kenobi, Count Dooku, and Annakin Skywalker are all being added to the game. Which is a huge plus, however, like before, real gameplay would have made this announcement a lot more exciting.
Fifa is going all in on championship play this year with the addition of the champions league and World Cup to the game. Making the emphasis strongly on winning the most valuable trophies for both club and country. EA is choosing to focus on the Champions League primarily, with the adidition included in the story mode, career mode, and ultimate team. It seems like an odd choice considering that the world cup starts in 5 days.
Unraveled Two was genuinely the biggest surprise of the show. Generally off everyone’s radar for a sequel, especially for how soon it released, releasing everywhere worldwide today. That’s right, this game is available right now. The story looks phenominal, the new co-op system looks interesting, although it could fall flat.
Sea of Solitude is this year’s chosen indie showcase, and it definitely looked interesting. It was given a stirring speech about loneliness and how it affects us and who we are. The designer is truly moved by this inspiration and you can see it in her face and read it on her body. This is a passion project for her and her team, and the footage shown was interesting enough, look forward to hearing from this game in the future.
NBA Live and Madden 19 were both exceptionally short announcements. More time was spent with JuJu Smith-Schuster and his apparent Madden Rival. This segment was entertaining enough even though it was a bit awkward, (not unlike any of the rest of the presentation.) There was a slight drop on the fact that madden will be coming to PC for the first time in years, however that was about it. Both trailers shown were in-game engine but not game footage, neither had a real presenter come out and talk about additional features being added or updates to existing ones. Sports games took a major step out of the spotlight unlike some previous years.
The weirdest reveal of the day belongs to Command and Conquer Rivals on mobile devices. Instead of introducing the game, we were treated to what looked like a watered down version of starcraft made for phones. The selection looked limited, the battlefield is short, and it was presented as an Esport before it was even announced what the name was. This reveal did not go well. Maybe upon playing I could be wrong, but this game was revealed in all the wrong ways. Die-hard fans of the RTS Genre may enjoy this game, but the average gamer will probably be turned off by this.
EA closed the day with its biggest game coming out in the next year. Anthem, and in all honesty. They did a pretty good job of making it stand out. When I first saw the logo it even felt like a vauge rip-off of what destiny does, but when the developers got to talking about the game it started to become clear what this game is doing differently. It takes the open world of destiny but creates a closed enough world to create a single-player story campaign filled with the classic Bioware tricks. They have built this game from the ground up to merge multiplayer and singleplayer perfectly and it looks like this game is coming about as close as possible to creating an amazing hybrid. The best part is we don’t have much longer to have to see it. As it officially releases February 22nd, 2019.
Overall EA this year had some hit and miss announcements. Making for an alright year if you can look past the cringe-fest that is every second of their presentation that isn’t a trailer. The games looked varied and many of the most important games got the time that they needed to make a statement for this conference. There were other things announced as well, Origins is getting a subscription service, the new star wars game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, (even though it was announced in the least fulfilling way ever.) Ea Appears to be genuinely trying after the horrible year they had last year. What they promised wasn’t spectacular, but it seemed more sound and sure than previous years.