EA Play 2016 News Roundup

Well the very first EA Play “press conference” is over and what have we learned?

Not much, really. It was very slickly produced and a lot tighter on time than past E3 pressers from EA. Some big names came out, with Jose Mourinho probably the most surprising appearance. But in terms of games there was only one proper reveal and it’s not coming from EA itself.

First cab off the rank was Titanfall 2. Vince Zampella came out on stage, stating he’s glad to be back “near” E3. Titanfall 2 will be coming to Playstation4 this time around. Yay?

Gameplay footage showed off a bunch of new features for the sequel, including a gosh dang grappling hook! Grapple up buildings, grapple to titans, grapple enemy players and kick them in the face! That’s a day one  purchase from me.

Other weapons and some new titans were shown off but the only real announcement – that was leaked beforehand – was the addition of a proper singleplayer campaign. Promised it would be “offline playable”, but we’ll see on that front.

Titanfall 2 is scheduled to release October 28th, 2016. Was that known? It is now.

And then, inevitable sportsball! Madden first.

It looks like Madden. Madden is a thing a lot of people play. Absolutely nothing about the new version of the game was revealed so I don’t know.

What was new was the announcement that EA will be supporting esports in a much more active capacity going forward. Better support for community run events with the Challenger system as well EA Majors, with big prize money on offer for the more organised competitions. There’s also Premier which was… a thing? All these things were hurried through without any real details given. Stay tuned, we’ll get more details to you when we know them.

Instead of detailing this stuff we got a fluff piece on the two best Madden esports guys, Eric Wright and Zack Lane. They’re going to compete at an EA Major with a bunch of other esports guys, who we don’t get to meet. We do find out Zack Lane has a broken collarbone after chasing a friend.

Esports athletes are not real athletes.

EA’s planning on putting up $1 million in prizes this year, which is pretty impressive on the face of it. Some of the MOBA competitions are running a lot more than that, but it’s a solid commitment from EA.

After that, the reason I got up at 6am today – Mass Effect Andromeda! As we already knew the new game will be set in an entirely new region of space, the Andromeda galaxy. That means new threats, new aliens, new technologies. Really shiny new graphics engine thanks to the Frostbite engine.

New ship? You bet! Looks like the new ship’s name is Tempest.

It’s a long trip to Andromeda. But when you wake up, you might be a lady. They managed to work that into the trailer this time, instead of having everyone think BroShep is the only way to play.

Again, very light on details. A recurring theme.

Next, “Play To Give”. Play EA games, EA will give money to charity. $1,000,000 to a select group of charities, including the UN’s HeForShe charity most famously championed by actress Emma Watson. EA’s taking pains to point out they’re big supporters of equality, which we already knew but it’s good to see them up on stage drawing attention to it.

And then, more sportsball! FIFA 17. They’re using the Frostbite engine, too. The characters in-game look wonderful, truly. But the big news here is that FIFA 17 will have a storyline to play through.

No, really! Play as up and coming footballer Alex Hunter, rise through the ranks of the minor leagues all the way to playing for England. There’s other characters, though it’s unclear how much interaction you get to have. It might just be cutscenes.

Still. A storyline in a sportsball title? Intriguing!

Also revealed for FIFA 17 is the addition of team managers like Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho. Twenty in total, though the full roster was not revealed on stage. If you’re really into those bloviating sideshows this is probably very exciting.

No word whatsoever on whether the women’s competition will be represented again. But you can awkwardly hug your manager after scoring.

Patrick Søderlund comes out on stage next, reminding us that last year we saw Yarny for the first time. EA was very pleased with how well that partnership went, so now they’re setting up EA Originals. They want to support some of the small independent developers with all the profits going right back to the indies.

Seems good?

The first game to officially be part of this program is Fe, pronounced “Fee”, from Zoink in Sweden. It looks… weird. Definitely a unique experience, the sort of thing you’d expect from an indie dev but not from EA, typically.

In Fe you play as some kind of little fox critter. The fox critter can communicate with other creatures and lifeforms in the world via unique songs, not unlike Loom.

Anyone remember Loom? No? Okay.

Fe is an open world experience, the game doesn’t tell you where to go or what to do as such. The main push is to avoid/overcome the Silent Ones, weird creatures trying to silence the songs of the world. One example given was the fox thing singing to a large plant monster. Large plant monster grabs a silent one and beats it to death on the ground, much like Hulk ragdolled Loki at the end of the Avengers movie.

Fe is basically the only really new thing revealed during the entire presentation and it’s not even from EA…

Next up… JADE RAYMOND! Hiiiiiiiii. We missed you. I hope people aren’t horrible this time.

Again, light on details, but she’s there to introduce all the Star Wars things.

New installment of Battlefront coming next year. Absolutely no details on that. New DLC still coming for the current Battlefront game, including Cloud City on Bespin and, it seems, playable Lando Calrissian?

Amy Hennig’s making a Star Wars game with Visceral Games. There are no details about this, beyond a Star Wars-looking piece of concept art and a quick shot of a man walking out a door, seemingly on Tatooine, with Imperial flags flying in the breeze and a Star Destroyer in orbit.

Respawn Entertainment – the Titanfall 2 people – are also making a Star Wars game. It will be a third person action adventure game. That is all we know.

I love Star Wars, but the details on show were so sparse it’s hard to care about any of it.

And rounding out the show, Battlefield 1. There’ll be the 64 player livestream following the main presentation. But first, did you know 60 million people play Battlefield? Now you do.

Weather effects will make a difference to gameplay. Zeppelins, trains and ships will all be pilotable by players. How much control they get is unclear. Details, details…

Battlefield Insiders, aka people subscribed to their mailing list, will get access to an open beta later in “Summer”. It’s really cold here.

And that’s it. I know that’s a hell of a lot of words that don’t really reveal anything exciting and that about sums up EA Play. While the brevity is appreciated a few more details would have gone a long way.

Overall it’s clear that EA has a solid stable of games on the way, even if the specifics remain a little fuzzy.

Check back regularly with Player Attack throughout E3 for more details on all the above games and more.

And sound off in the comments. What did you like about EA Play?

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