Gamers everywhere, rejoice!
E3 2017 has finally begun, with Electronic Arts kicking things off today from the Hollywood Palladium. While EA’s conference would be typically seen as less important compared to the juggernauts that are Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, that doesn’t mean we weren’t treated to some great games. If you weren’t able to catch any of the announcements live, fret not, for we have compiled them all here in this easy-to-read listicle!
- Madden 18
The first game we got a look at, was the latest instalment of the ever-present Madden series, surprisingly titled Madden 18. From an outsider’s perspective, the only major change to this year’s iteration is the inclusion of an all-new story mode. Madden 18: Longshot has the player follow an aspiring football player, known only as Wade, try to make it in the big leagues of the NFL. His chances aren’t looking good, hence the title, and so he’s enlisted the help of an unknown character, played by Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, House of Cards) to help him make it there. Longshot looks incredibly similar to FIFA 17’s ‘The Journey’ mode, which we’ll get onto later.
- Battlefield 1
Next up came DICE’s Battlefield 1, which focused massively on the community it’s built since its release in October 2016. After a montage highlighting the huge array of streamers and Youtubers who are integral to this thriving community, came the announcements that Battlefield 1 will be getting two new night maps, Nivelle and Prise de Tahure, in June and July respectively. Not only that, but a new expansion was also announced. In the Name of the Tsar is coming in September, and brings the fight to the Eastern Front in 6 new maps. As well as that, comes the inclusion of the famed ‘1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death’, a band of female enlistees who outshone their male comrades with their staunch bravery in the face of adversary. One of the new maps, ‘Lupkow Pass’ will be available for the next three days at E3, so non-attendees can expect to see some gameplay footage cropping up on the Internet soon.
- FIFA 18
Much like Madden, the FIFA franchise is an ever-present inclusion to EA’s E3 plans, and this year was no different. FIFA 18 is said to be mechanically different to other iterations, possibly due to the fact that it’s “fuelled by Ronaldo.” No, seriously. This new addition allows for more fluidity in running and changing directions, and also lends itself to enhance the idiosyncrasies of respective players, such as Raheem Sterling’s distinctive run. It wasn’t all about Cristiano, however. Fans of the series were also treated to the news that Alex Hunter, star of FIFA 2017’s ‘The Journey’, would return in ‘The Journey: Hunter Returns’. Inspiring stuff.
- Need for Speed: Payback
The once-renowned franchise looks to make a promising return to the world of gaming, as fans were treated to a gorgeous demo. The latest instalment looks to be a ‘Burnout-GTA’ hybrid, with the demo focusing on running other cars off the road in order to pull off a heist. Players will take control of three main characters, Tyler, Jesse and Mac, who work together to collect and refurbish various “Relics”, taking them from scrap-worthy buckets ‘o rust to awesome supercars. Even though I’m usually not a huge fan of driving games, I’m still excited about this title. It looks gorgeous, and also seems to handle really well. One to watch.
- A Way Out
From the team that made Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, comes A Way Out, where Uncharted meets the Shawshank Redemption. If the game’s hugely enthusiastic director, Josef Fares, is to believed, then this title will revitalise the couch co-op genre. Optimised for split-screen playthroughs, you and a friend take control of Vincent and Leo, two convicts looking to escape from prison. Depending on which character you choose, different tactics will be employed to help you come closer to your goals; from what we’ve seen, Vincent seems to be more of a smooth-talker, whereas Leo looks to let his actions speak for him. Set for a release in early 2018, this is another promising title to watch out for.
Very little is known about this title, apart from that it’s a new IP coming from famed developers Bioware. Running on the Frostbite engine, the very short cinematic trailer we were treated to looks gorgeous, and from being told that more details would be shared at Xbox’s E3 briefing, we can only imagine that this game will be exclusive to Xbox One.
- NBA Live 18
You might start to see a common thread between EA’s recent sports titles, as more of their franchises seem to include a story mode lately. Granted, NBA 2K16 was one of the pioneers in this area, but that doesn’t stop the feeling that these inclusions might be a little forced. NBA Live 18’s ‘The One’ dictates that earning respect on the street, is just as important as building hype on the court. Whether you choose to be ‘The Street One’, or ‘The League One’, just remember that to make it as a baller, you need a healthy balance of both.
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
The pièce de résistance of EA’s conference, and the game that everyone was most looking forward to, came in the shape of the much-anticipated Battlefront II. And it certainly didn’t disappoint. Arriving on stage in the midst of a slew of various Stormtroopers was Janina Gavandkar, who plays Iden Versio, commander of the elite Inferno Squadron, and protagonist of Battlefront II’s single-player campaign. Janina informed us that Battlefront II would be “much bigger” than its 2015 predecessor, with three times the content, including more heroes, vehicles, and content across all eras. As well as that, we were introduced to ‘Battlepoints’; a type of currency earned in-game, which allows the player to take control of a Hero character, or a vehicle mid-battle. We got to see a short campaign trailer, which “bridges the gap” between Episode VI and VII, and gave us a look at the resurgence of a certain Dark Lord (It’s Darth Sidious, projected onto what looks to be an android. Oh boy).
And that’s not all! Moving away from the single-player campaign, we found, through an appearance from John Boyega, who plays Finn, that his character and the mysterious Captain Phasma will also arrive to Battlefront II at a later date, as free updates. Janina took this opportunity to mention that all post-launch content will be free of charge, in the same vein as Blizzard’s Overwatch. If that announcement wasn’t massive enough (there was furore regarding the first Battlefront’s Season Pass). All pre-orders before the game’s release in November come with access to the beta.
From there, an in-depth, three-staged battle demonstration was shown, which you can find more details about here.
And that wraps up Day 1 of E3 2017! What did you guys think? Did any of these games impress you? Let us know what you’re excited for! Keep checking back to Sick Critic for more E3 2017 updates, and round-ups!