While EA has always been one for large, spectacular events with global reach, this year’s EA Play event seemed to fall rather flat. Riding high on the momentum of Battlefield 1’s incredible trailer, EA seemed to be heading into E3 with a strong showing. Sadly, they didn’t capitalize on the forward momentum that had been built prior to the show. The reveals were short and didn’t come often enough. It even seemed that they put in some filler content into the already tight hour long show. Now, I’ll be breaking down each reveal and bullet point at the EA Press Conference.

The Opening:

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The intro to the conference was flashy and bombastic, befitting for a corporation such as EA. When the almighty T-1000 walked on stage, I knew that I was in for a treat. Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, delivered a rousing speech discussing the importance of “… players, influencers, media, and partners”.  The speech wasn’t really anything of note; it was a standard affair and something that we’ve been hearing for many years, from many different voices, and different companies. What did irk me the most about his speech was a bit about content creators and how they “…are the ones who can tell you what they see, what they feel, what they like…” It feels as if they don’t even trust their own consumers enough to reliably make their own opinions on their products. It’s sad, and shows how little EA believes in its consumers. During this we also get the line that left me chuckling from how weird and stilled it was delivered: Trenches and Shovels, the perfect unison. I’m pretty sure his teleprompter clicked off.

Titanfall 2

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Most people have a troubled history with Titanfall, if not most people than at least me. It was such an incredible game to play but it was shallow. There was no depth, customization, or progression that felt satisfying. It looks like Titanfall 2 is looking to learn from the mistakes of its predecessor. In addition to a whole slew of new features, Titans, customization options, and progression, we also have the most important new aspect for me, single-player. I know that a lot of people don’t really care about single player in shooters (mostly because they’re usually not great) but that was a big thing that pushed me away from the game. I like having the option to get engrossed into a world and invested in characters and the struggle. Titanfall didn’t establish a struggle well; the struggle came from the literal game that you were playing, not some overarching war. As I watched the multiplayer trailer and the single player trailer (which can be seen here), I could feel my excitement levels rising. The game looked faster and opened a whole new range of mobility. The grappling seems like the new hot thing to put in games but it definitely works for me. Seeing how I can grapple onto just about anything, including Titans and Humans looked really fun and refreshing and definitely seemed to keep the same fast paced action established in Titanfall and amp it up to 11. I’m really excited to hear more from Titanfall 2 in the near future and I can’t wait to pick it up on October 28, 2016.

eSports

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This entire event was dumb and just a waste of time. I would’ve skipped over it if I wasn’t watching a livestream. I can’t even talk about it that much because it seems like such garbage. Even though it doesn’t sound to interesting to me, I can’t deny that EA is pumping a lot of money and support into its eSports catalogue. EA will be hosting different tiers of events for different games with cash prizes as the reward.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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This is what I’d been waiting for. While we didn’t get a lot of information of the game, we did get a look at some gameplay and cinematics. I’m so excited for whatever this game turns out to be. I am a big fan of the Mass Effect series, gorging myself in lore and information on the universe. I’ve played through the three games in the series about four times, the phone game twice, and I’ve read both Revelation and Ascension, and I’ve watched the animated film. Any opportunity to jump back into one of the most compelling video game universes ever created is perfectly fine by me. While I wish we had some more gameplay and understanding of what this game is, I’m just happy that we had some type of showing at EA Play.

FIFA 17 THE JOURNEY

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The addition of a story mode into a sports game is pretty amazing. A story mode is a really interesting idea, especially when it’s not just a created character, but a character that has a history and a place. The fact that Alex Hunter is not just a blank slate is great. I’ve never been one for the FIFA games but this addition may have converted me. Even if I won’t be playing after the story mode, it’ll keep me hooked for the ride along. The E3 showing of this feature was cringe worthy. Alex Hunter bolted out on stage and delivered a monologue so thick with cheese, that it had me squinting until the trailer was shown. Still, I’m excited to see what happens with FIFA 17, which is something that I never expected myself to say.

Battlefield 1

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Battlefield 1 looks incredible. I just can’t stress the “Wow” that I had when I saw the gameplay trailer for Battlefield 1. When it was revealed that Battlefield would be ceasing the trend of modern shooters and jumping back to World War I, I knew that we were all in for a treat. The game looks absolutely stunning. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for the past few years, and World War 1 isn’t territory that is often treaded towards. World War II is where most games lean towards due to its more fast paced action, the fact that there was a clear enemy, and the slew of new technology that was introduced. I’m excited to see what DICE is able to accomplish with Battlefield 1. They’ve already got me excited to see what comes next. While the game isn’t an instant buy for me (because no matter how good a game looks, you should always be on the lookout for further information and gameplay) I will definitely be keeping my eye out for it.

Fe

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There’s not really a lot to talk about this game. It looks fascinating, and just a bit quirky. I want some more information on the gameplay and such, but as of right now I’m curious to see what lies ahead for that game. I’ll definitely give it a try.

Star Wars

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All Star Wars, all the time. I love Star Wars, but sadly that’s not an opinion that’s all that crazy since just about everyone is a self-imposed Star Wars fan. There was a lot of announcements but not a lot of gameplay. I’m excited to see what comes out of Visceral Games and Respawn Entertainment but other than that there wasn’t a lot of new information shown.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, this was an average show. It was flashy and bombastic but there really wasn’t anything of substance at the event. I know just as much about Mass Effect: Andromeda as I did the day before, Titanfall 2 looked fantastic, Battlefield 1 was an amazing display, FIFA 17 was possibly the most interesting game shown at the conference. Easily, my game of show for the EA Conference was Titanfall 2, the addition of a story mode and further depth, plus the gameplay that I absolutely loved from the original makes for a fantastic looking game. The show was packed towards the beginning with some great content but it seemed to drag on after some time. The one hour time slot, which is a pretty tight slot, still managed to be jammed with filler content to extend the show. This was a standard affair, filled with cringe and awful humor. The few games that they did show looked spectacular, I just wish there had been more games to show.

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