E3: EA Rating: 2/5

I will never understand why they don’t hire actors to present these things, how many developers do they have to drag on stage before they realise that it is not the way to present your product as it just undermines the work done by the developers when there is a shit scared man tripping over his words addressing the fans. This, should be my only pet peeve with the EA presentation at E3, unfortunately it is not because as it happens the shoddy transitions provide a distraction from the pitiful offerings from EA this season. The whole conference seemed to focus on the wrong things and let potentially great things go to the wayside.
The conference started with somewhat of a fanfare for Madden with the CEO proclaiming that it was ‘Madden like you’ve never seen it’ , and it genuinely looked that way, they showed an awesome trailer and announced a developed story mode but then the drums faded away and with it, the hope that EA had truly changed their ways. Madden was quickly swept under the carpet to allow for the obligatory dick swinging that is DLC, the cornerstone for EA.
The Battlefield 1 segment started with a very heartfelt , I’m sure, segment from a variety of youtubers explaining just how much they loved the game, the community and the spirit. Then, of course came the real reason we were all watching, the beloved DLC and this came in the form of ‘In The Name of the Tsar’ where the sky will be ‘hard crimson’. It comes with Eight new maps, a few new quests but ultimately the footage shown was brief and underwhelming.
After yet another bad transition we are thrust back into the realm of sport for a little while, we got to see the community aspect of EA again, something that they fundamentally have to fall back on, otherwise who else will buy the same games reskinned every year, there has to be a bone thrown every now and then, and the community tournaments do just that. Fifa 18 looked exactly like everyone expected Fifa 18 to look, the only surprise being perhaps that there was no mention of the Switch development of Fifa. They did however seem to want to again push the story mode that they had started the previous year as they are starting to do with Madden, ultimately it was just okay and having the 3rd slot of the presentation felt appropriate.
Then came Need for Speed Payback… the poor youtuber froze , the developer tried to save it and then the gameplay itself just looked dull. The Need for Speed games are selling right now because of nostalgia, and they seem to know this because they seemed to apply little to no effort into this game. The character voices sounded bland and bored in what was meant to be a high speed chase, the focus of the conversation seemed to be around the fact that you can customise your car. Something that is in no way unique to this game. The graphics did however look pretty, well, as pretty as a desert can be.
Next however came the stand out moment of the whole conference. A Way Out. A game by a film director turned game developer. It is a totally split screen co-op game and the presenter was so pumped to be there and as such I was pumped for the game also. The narrative focused co-op has a definite Uncharted feeling but with the ability to choose your own destiny. This game honestly saved the entire conference from being a complete fucking disaster.
However, as my mood improved and my excitement built as they started the build up for the highly teased BioWear game, it then came and took my excitement with it. Anthem looked exactly like everything the games market didn’t need right now. A SciFi based shooter. I could walk into any shop in my local town that sells games and pick up 10 different games on a variety of platforms that hit that genre. It’s oversubscribed and no matter how stunning the trailer made the environment look, I can’t get excited for something that I’ve seen many times in many forms.
The penultimate exhibition was NBA Live, They seemed to again flirt with the idea of a story mode, but in a much more reputation based way opposed to an actual story, but it was still a welcomed addition and I’m happy that the sports game genre is moving towards having a more fleshed out story component as I think it will open the genre up to a bigger base of gamers, it’s just a shame that they’ve held back with NBA Live when they’ve gone for it so strongly with Madden, and to a certain extent Fifa.
The conference ended with the hotly anticipated Battlefront 2. They confirmed that the story was cannon and that they will be releasing season based free content but the most important announcement arguably was that there was to be a single player campaign mode something that was met with tangible excitement in the room. They ended the conference on Battlefront game play, a massive co-op game to be exact. They spent a good five minutes explaining how they’ve listened to the fans and then spent 15 minutes showing very busy co-op game footage.
Ultimately EA was bland and predictable and gave me nothing to be excited about. It gets a 2/5 because it was messy, unorganised and out of the eight segments there was one game that truly got me excited. A weak start to E3 and I hope there is better to come.


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