So we stayed up late (or woke up early – whichever of the two that sounds more appealing) today to catch the first of many E3 2018 press conferences, the one by Electronic Arts. Yes. The folks in desperate need of a 180-degree turnaround considering how their reputation nosedived in 2017. How was it? Well, read on. We will summarize it for you.

Uphill Task For Everyone

What’s Good Games co-founder Andrea Rene was the host for the night and although she tried her best to work up the crowd, they seem dead; probably the dead-est of E3 crowd I’ve ever seen. Everyone’s definitely not hyped up, probably still seething from EA’s conduct in 2017 and she’s got a huge task at hand.

Opening Gambit

The hype reel focused mainly on Battlefield V and Anthem, which included an augmented reality gambit. Pretty impressive but gimmicky more than anything else. Also, the monster reminded us so much of the Goliath from Turtle Rock’s failed 4v1 monster hunt game Evolve.

BattleRoyaleField V

They jumped straight into the meat of things with Battlefield V. Since the game was unveiled a few weeks back, not much new news was revealed, except for the expected Battle Royale mode which was greeted with faint “yays” in the crowd. Everyone’s gonna be a paratrooper and scrounge from the battlefield. Not novel, but if we were Bluehole (PUBG) and Epic Games (Fortnite), we’d be quaking in our pants. Hardly any gameplay shown as well so that’s a bummer.

FIFA Secures A Huge License 

Next up is probably the toilet-break session for many – FIFA talk. In short, EA Sports pulled a huge move over Konami by snagging up the UEFA Champions League license for FIFA 19. Not much gameplay – again – save for cinematics and hype reels and we know that the game is set to hit Sept 28th 2018. The devs also announced that FIFA 18 which features a special, free World Cup mode will be available for free for a limited time.

EA Remembers PC

EA announced Origin Access Premiere, a subscription service where PC players can enjoy new titles at launch for a monthly price. They also revealed that Madden NFL 19 is returning to the PC after a decade’s absence.

Respawn’s Star Wars Project

After the most excruciating ten minutes or so filled with sales and marketing drivel for EA Sports’ yearly sports franchise, Andrea shifted the focus to Respawn Entertainment founder, Vince Zampella in the crowd, who in the lowest-key of announcements, revealed that his studio is working on a Star Wars game called Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order which takes place between Episode III and Episode IV – after the Jedi purge.

Vince seemed to be winging it and even looked high throughout the conversation. Partied early, Vince? This one got us mildly excited although we wished he’d announce Titanfall 3 instead. NEXT!

Still flogging the dead horse called Star Wars, they gave details on upcoming content for Battlefront II based on Solo: A Star Wars Story which will be free. An apologetic EA and Dice representative acknowledged the game’s less-than-spectacular state yet assured that bright days are coming. In an attempt to satiate the Star Wars fans and win back some brownie points, EA is taking the game to the Clone Wars era, with new playable heroes and villains including General Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi. But where’s my Ahsoka Tano?!

And come on – although we know the game is set to come out next year; not even a peep? No trailer? Title typeface? Teaser image? No?

EA’s Highlight of the Night

Funnily enough, in spite of all the huge franchises being displayed, the two most captivating games were Unravel Two and Sea of Solitude. Unravel Two brings a new twist to the highly engaging game, and is available right now while Sea of Solitude explores mental health and self-discovery; both games delivered by nervous yet genuine developers who just by looking at them, you know that they gave their heart and soul in the creation of their respective games.

The brief gameplay demo of Unravel Two was underwhelming, to say the least – something we felt best saved for closed-door sessions.

EA Resumes Normal Programming

NBA Live. Yawn. Madden 19. Yawn. Next.

A New Low

What’s worse than having two shoutcasters for mobile games narrate a Clash Royale-like mobile game to a hall filled with a disinterested crowd? Announcing that the beloved franchise Command and Conquer is going mobile, that’s what. In contention with the WWE-style title belt lugging Madden champion slot for the worst segment of the show, Command and Conquer: Rivals was a waste of time for some, and an unwanted announcement for almost everyone.

We are withholding our verdict of the game until we actually try it – but we felt that they could have unveiled it in a different stage and used the allocated time for other worthy projects.

Anthem … Ahem

EA closed the show with their biggest title at this E3, DestEAnEA a.k.a Anthem. Different, unique classes? Check. Customizable armor, skill and weapons? Check. An open-world for you to explore alone or with friends? Check.

Everything unveiled about Anthem spells ‘Destiny clone’ and while we aren’t shooting it down before it even takes off, felt that EA missed a huge opportunity to justify that their game is unique from the likes of Destiny, Warframe and even Borderlands.

Show us some gameplay man! Instead, we were dished with poorly edited gameplay footage which shows nothing as of how the final game is to be played. If you edit out all the labels and symbols and show it to a Destiny 2 player and tell them that this is the new DLC, we are certain that they would immediately believe you.

Final Verdict

EA’s E32018 Conference was a dud. They had so many opportunities to redeem themselves yet they took the opposite direction every time; save for Unravel Two and Sea of Solitude. Take those two out, the only other newsworthy stuff coming out would be Respawn’s new Star Wars game and Anthem.

Neither sent our excitement levels past the 60% mark. You dropped the ball, EA.

Score: 3/10. Abysmal

 

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