Another year of E3 kicked off with EA’s parallel event, EA Play. What it lacked in bombshells, it more than made up for in juicy gameplay footage and some pleasant surprises.
- Madden NFL 18 Story Mode
EA’s Frostbite engine brings NFL dreams to life this year with a brand-new campaign mode called ‘Longshot’.
This follows the success of ‘The Journey’, FIFA 17’s story mode announced at E3 2016 which told the story of Alex Hunter through a combination of single player FIFA matches, interview dialogue choices and cinematic cut scenes.
Much like the Journey, Madden’s Longshot follows the rise of a young American Football player, Devin Wade, to NFL fame through a scripted story campaign. Moonlight Oscar winner Mahershali Ali, who has also starred in House of Cards and Marvel’s Luke Cage, plays Devin’s father – a relationship that drives the narrative and influences the young footballer’s choices.
- Alex Hunter’s Story Continues in FIFA 18
Far from just updated features and team data, last year’s FIFA introduced a brand new story mode that made the game stand out from previous versions, and from its Konami rival PES. EA’s press conference confirmed that story will continue this year with The Journey: Alex Hunter Returns.
The teaser trailer reveals a few choice clips from the new story, but is predominantly framed with clips from real life pundits and sports personalities weighing in on Hunter’s fictional career.
- FIFA 18 comes to Nintendo Switch (kind of)
If you’ve ever taken a spare controller to a mate’s house for a round of FIFA, you’ll appreciate the idea of taking the game anywhere for instant local multiplayer. Just snap the two controllers off and player together in the car, on your commute, on the toilet – you’ve probably seen the commercial.
Even if annualised sports games aren’t exactly your thing, Switch owners have to recognise what a triumph it is to see the latest version of one of EA’s biggest franchises make its way to the new hybrid console.
Like previous generations however, Nintendo isn’t quite getting the same deal as other consoles.
FIFA 18 on Switch won’t be utilising EA’s frostbite engine, which powers FIFA 17 & 18 elsewhere, and so certain features are dialled back somewhat. Most notably, FIFA’s story mode ‘The Journey’ first introduced last year won’t be available on Nintendo’s console.
Still, Switch owners will have Career Mode, skills games and the usual multiplayer matches, plus online features like FIFA Ultimate Team and online tournaments. You’ll also be able to play local seasons between two Switch consoles.
The good news for Nintendo fans is the game officially launches 29th September on ALL consoles, meaning Switch fans won’t have to wait as we might have expected.
There will however be opportunities for early access on other consoles with the purchase of special pre-order editions starting at £79.99, available to play from 26th September, or through signing up to EA or Origin Access (starting from £3.99 a month) to access a trial from 21st September on PC or Xbox One.
- Battlefield 1: In the Name of the Tsar DLC Announced
EA announced a huge DLC pack for their WW1 shooter, including six new maps, a new gameplay mode, 11 new weapons and new vehicles to choose from.
For the very first time in the series, the game features a playable female character, focusing on the Women’s Battalion of Death – which let’s face it is one of the most bad-ass things you’re likely to hear today.
- A Way Out Trailer Drops
One unexpected announcement from EA came via Brothers: A Tale of Two Son’s creator Josef Fares, with a new game from his studio Hazelight.
After announcing they were working together way back in 2014, their project was finally revealed as prison-escape adventure ‘A Way Out’ – another innovative and original couch co-op.
A Way Out follows the story of Vincent and Leo in their escape from prison and will only be playable in split-screen. The trailer and gameplay preview showed off action, puzzle and exploration features, as well as a glimpse at the story itself. Unusually, the game is designed so that both character’s stories will unfold simultaneously. So for instance whilst you experience a cut scene, your partner can continue controlling their character.
The game is set for a 2018 release.
- BioWare’s Anthem Teaser Trailer
A short trailer dropped for BioWare’s latest project, Anthem, a completely new IP that the studio has been working on since 2014.
The trailer gives very little away, but fans won’t have to wait long with more details on the way at tomorrow’s Microsoft E3 press conference.
- Star Wars Battlefront 2 Details Released
The most exciting takeaway from EA’s conference (depending who you ask, I suppose), was the series of Battlefront 2 revelations.
First unveiled at Star Wars Celebration back in April, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is set to build on the success of its 2015 predecessor with a much more fleshed out multiplayer and a brand new single-player campaign.
The best news? Contrary to everything you thought you knew about EA, major downloadable content packs will be available free of charge through post-release seasons. The first of these will release in December, featuring Last Jedi content that will include Finn and Captain Phasma heroes and new maps.
That’s a pretty generous pricing model, and one that might just be competitive enough to keep the game’s player-base stronger for longer.
The game is available for digital pre-order, which also grants early Beta access.