E3: EA – Our Impressions

EA Play has been taking E3 by storm this year, by releasing a whole host of announcements, including more information on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to Madden NFL 2020 to Sims 4 and much much more. EA Have started E3 with a promising bundle of content one can only speculate about playing. With a lot of new information being brought onto the table, let’s get right into it!

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

A title we haven’t heard much about, but we did see quite an amount of gameplay and from what I’ve seen it actually looks pretty decent. The game is being worked on by Respawn who, if you don’t know who they are, are the folks that did Titanfall, and you can see some of Titanfalls influences within the game. We know that Fallen Order will be a singleplayer only game and from the gameplay, it looks like a damn good one.

Taking on a third person perspective, the game is set between Episodes 3 and 4, set during or around Rogue One. This is reinforced when see a cameo made by Forest Whittaker, or Saw Gerrera. Fallen Order follows the life of a young Jedi by the name of Kal, accompanied by his robot accomplice, BD-1.

The gameplay of Fallen Order looked very much like that of an Assassin’s Creed game. We got to see wall climbing and different amounts of wall strafing, much like that of Titanfall. There was a lot going on with the gameplay but the coolest thing on display was definitely the combat mechanics and force abilities. You get your usual force abilities, push, pull etc. but with Fallen Order it seems they’ve gone a step further. You can now radically slow down time, making even laser rifle blasts seem to pause in mid air. In the demo, they pulled a Dishonoured and with the slow time ability, made one of the stormtroopers shoot themselves with their own energy projectile.

The world looks visually beautiful and we had the chance to see many different types of enemies. There were a number of different stormtroopers ranging from scout troopers to flame troopers, we even saw a battle with what looked like an inquisitor. Other enemies in the small bit of gameplay we saw were many different bugs including spider looking creatures to little flying bugs and at the end even an appearance of a K – X robot.

There was a lot going on with this trailer and we’re very excited about it to say the least. Fallen Order will release on the 15th November 2019, which is just over a month away from the release of Star Wars Rise of Skywalker. Very exciting times for you Star Wars lovers out there.

Apex Legends

A lot of hype for Apex Legends this year, and it’s easy to see why. There’s been a smothering of news announced around the current Season and what’s in store for Season 2. Players had the chance to experience a Double XP weekend from June 7 – 9, following the EA Play weekend. It seems they’re going all out with Apex Legends this year, releasing a whole bunch of different skins for various weapons and the arrival of a 10th Legend.

The team kicked off Season 2 with the arrival of a new Legend: Wattson. An electro physicist, taught by her father the ways of science, she has the ability to place fence posts down on the battlefield. You can place up to 12 nodes, which link together forming a fence. These fence posts ping movement when the enemy passes over them and alerts the player as well as the squad, of where enemies are. This can create for some very tense moments indeed and by the gameplay provided to us, it seems they are very much versatile. What will this mean for the dynamics of the game? We are very excited to find out.

The next season for Apex Legends launches July 2nd.

Battlefield V

Those Battlefield veterans out there should be getting excited as EA have released a whole host of information regarding what’s coming to Battlefield 5. It’s fair to say, for those who haven’t picked up a copy of this game, then the time to do so is fast approaching. This comes, following news of the return of the Pacific Theatre for the game’s 5th Chapter.

Older players of the series will instantly recognize this is a throwback to the original, Battlefield 1942. This is jaw droppingly exciting and it means that there’s a whole host of things to come. The Japenese Imperial Army will soon be playable in BF5, as well as new tanks, aircraft and weapons. A remastered map of Iwo Jima has been confirmed as coming back, with another few maps, yet to be announced, coming to the game. Could these maps be either Wake Island or Guadal Canal or perhaps both?

Another map was showcased was a small village in Greece near the Albanian border, and what we saw was beautiful. A majestic castle overlooks the small village, a pathway leading up to the old castle with small tight quarters combat. A big focus on the team this year, is the inclusion of more close quarters maps, emphasizing and utilizing the use of infantry.

Another announced map was that of a map set in the North African desert. The footage showed of a bomber taking off and flying overhead, utilizing the use of large conquest gameplay. This map looked huge, with airstrips and radar towers, and heavy tank combat, it surely looked like there was a lot of potential with this one.

The last map they announced was some port village map, looked perhaps set in a Scandanavian country. But again, close quarters. The emphasis with this year in Battlefield 5 is amphibious and close quarters combat, which is a welcomed addition. Will these new changes bring back some of the old players back?

The max rank has now been moved from 50 to 500, which is an insane rank. All those try hards out there, I will imagine, will be trying to race to that rank however the rest of us will be trying the new private game system. Yes, you heard me, private games are returning to Battlefield. Not sure whether these servers will be priced, just like in BF4 and 3, where you could rent a server, but custom games will be on the way.

A new return to Battlefield will be Operation Underground – an earlier version of the BF3 map Operation Metro. A lot of excitement for this one, however I’m holding out. I remember playing Metro back in the day and it was an utter sh*tstorm with tight corners and spawn camping. Whether they’ve improved these issues, time will tell, but the graphics and aesthetics of a 40s underground definitely has us excited for what’s new in store.

Release dates, The Pacific Theatre is coming in Fall and the private games are coming in September. The 3 new maps they’re adding, will be coming to the game as soon as August, so it’s definitely the right time to pick this game up if you haven’t already.

One great addition to the Pacific Theatre also, is the return of the M1 Garand. The legendary ping returns to the game.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2

Yes, the folks at Battlefront 2 made an appearance, granted it was small but they shed some light for what players can come to expect in the next few months for the game. This month, they’re releasing the Capital Supremacy on Naboo and they’ll be adding two new reinforcements to the game. Those reinforcements will include the dreaded Droidekas. If anyone remembers these O.P units from the original Battlefront games then you’ll know that these mischievous machines will stop at nothing at trying to kill you. Who knows what sorts of carnage these things will cause to the battlefield, but we’re very excited to see these little buggers return.

The planet Felucia is being added, which is the plant-filled planet where those massive creatures where present in the original Battlefront 2. Whether these creatures will be making a return, we’re unsure, but we do know that they’ll be adding the TX-130 tank. This tank, originally used by the Republic was also used by the empire, during the first and second original Battlefront games. It’s good to see this tank return, and we’re very excited to see how these game changes will enhance the experience. On top of this, there are some new skins being added to the game and it seems like the team are really working hard to make this game just as good, if not better, than the original.

Fifa 20

Fifa players should be excited as there is a wealth of content that’s been shown regarding the new Fifa. It’s fair to say that even players who don’t play Fifa, should also be excited about this as there are some groundbreaking features in this one.

We saw a new trailer and an emphasis on a new style of gameplay, “Volta Football”. A new feel to the entire game. We saw an interview with Rio Ferdinand alongside Chelcee Grimes and Jeff Antwi about football’s roots. The interview was a heartfelt insight into where Rio Ferdinand first started playing football and the five-a-side matches he used to play early on in his career. The interview is conducted next to a mugga, where a group of players are playing football. Producer, Jeff Antwi emphasizes the customization options and the diversity seen in the games such as these and the freedom this lets gamers have over the control of their players. Because Volta football has no real regulations, this means gamers can expect to clothe their players in whatever outfits they seem fit, whether it’s ragged jeans, trainers, and all sorts of different features that wouldn’t usually be seen on a professional pitch.

A lot of new features are expected to make an appearance, regarding the physics of the ball and the way the ball moves down to different mechanics that follow the conventions of Volta Football.

With Volta football comes a whole host of different mechanics Fifa players can now come to expect. The walls surrounding these arenas can be used, much like they would in real life, to gain the tactical advantage over your opponent.  Also expect the size of the teams to vary, 3 v 3s, 4 v 4s and 5 v 5s. You can now have the option to play without goalkeepers, and the maps vary intensely. They didn’t shed too much light on this, but they did say that there is a map on a rooftop in Tokyo, which sounds kick ass. Cage football is also a thing not to mention that male players can now go head to head against female players and it all just sounds very much inclusive and diverse, which is a big win on EA’s part. The amount of self representation the game is presenting itself has having has us very excited indeed.

You can tell the EA has done their homework, they’ve engaged with their community quite heavily surrounding the release of Fifa 20. Apparently talking to nearly 3,000 football players, young, old, at the beginning of their careers and at the end, all to get a picture of how this street football, this Volta Football, really feels.

There’s a lot of focus on the way the game feels and they’ve implemented different mechanics and physics to make the game feel as authentic as possible. They’ve fixed shooting inconsistencies and have meddled around with the A.I. They’ve made more of an emphasis on player control this time round, and have made improvements to the defence of the A.I. Space is a big feature they’ve improved apparently, better techniques and manoeuvres and more space for the player to really experiment with what tactics work best.

All of this makes us very hyped about Fifa 20 and it has been announced that the game will drop September 27th and for EA Access owners, the 19th September. EA Access will now, also be coming to PS4.

EA HELP

This looked promising – with a substantial rise in young gamers this generation, EA have taken measures to ensure they’re well being is of paramount importance. This service provides advice regarding bullying and is a platform for children or anyone who is being subject to harassment. They’ve raised a considerable amount of money and have worked with other 10,000 children. It’s good to see some sort of minor protection service in place, this is EA’s attempt to make their games a safer platform for everyone and it’s fair to say props to them.

ANTHEM

Yes…they’re still alive, only just. Not much news on this, but the team have been listening to a lot of gamer feedback and they’re implementing improvements over the next few weeks. There’s a public test server going up on the P.C. So for those few players out there still hanging on to Anthem, there may be a little shine through the door, so keep hope.

MADDEN NFL 20

EA have released a whole host of news regarding Madden NFL 20 and there team have done very well with this title, by the sheer amount of stuff they’ve shared.

A lot of new features for the game, especially in the form of the new “Zone Abilities”. Zone abilities are extra enhancements you can earn during the game, in order to get said zone abilities you must be “in the zone”. Being in the zone requires the completion of a task, individual to each player. If you are knocked down or tackled, you break from this zone, meaning you’ll have to complete the task again to maintain the zone abilities.

The top players have their Superstar Abilities, these go hand in hand with zone abilities, meaning if you do get in the zone with a superstar, expect to be o.p as hell.

Follow the story of Patirck Holmes throughout his career and relive the experiences he lived, now on the big screen. This story mode is also accompanied with a new addition returning to the game – pro ball is back. Players now have the opportunity to replay this game mode, with up to date graphics. Some players in the game include Erin Donald and legendary JuJu Smith, who made an appearance to help promote the game. A lot of news on the new X Factor abilities in the game and the signature animations each player has. They were mentioning about the unique animations some of the superstars have, right down to the little fidgets some of the players tend to do. Very impressive stuff here and we’re very excited about playing this.

SIMS 4

EA are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Sims and they’re doing it in a spectacular style. Coming June 16th for Console and June 21st for P.C is the Island Living DLC. Ever wanted to live on a Hawaiin style island? Well now you can! This pack comes with a bunch of things to do, including new jobs, a new map, and many different items, objects and clothes to experiment with.

As this expansion pack is polynesian themed, there is a heavy emphasis on the environment and the connection between it and simanity. How you treat the island will determine the overall beauty of how the island will look. Pollution will build up on the beach and you have the ability to clear this pollution up. This can range to anything from a plastic build up to general rubbish being tipped on the beach. There’s even a career that involves you picking up pollution, maintaining the ecosystem.

This maintenance of the ecosystem will land you in good respect with the spirits found on the island. If you do not keep up this maintenance they will likely be angered with you and may resort to some mischievous punishments.

You also have the ability to live close to an active volcano, yes…an active volcano. For those riskier players out there and do decide to live near the volcano, your property will be subject to frequent meteor showers of molten lava. Live life to the edge…literally.

MERMAIDS!

Yes, they’re here and they’re here to stay. Finally fulfill your dreams and become Ariel the Mermaid. Dolphins are also in the game, as well as many different tropical fish. Form relationships with dolphins and teach them to do tricks as well as being able to feed them treats. All of this gets us very much excited about what’s in store for Sims 4, and by the way things are headed, it seems a lot more.

Sims have partnered up with It’s Get Better and are now providing an LGBTQ+ pack, with many different items and accessories, including the use of a gender neutral toilet. This pack releases during pride, this month, with a release date set at June 18th for Sims 4 and Sims Mobile.

A new stuff pack has also been announced: the Moschina career stuff pack, which lets you take on the reigns of a freelance fashion photographer. We weren’t given too much information on this pack, but we are very hyped for its release.

We were also given some information about the next DLC, that being the mysterious “Realm of Magic”. No additional information was given regarding this expansion, other than it’ll be coming out later this year, in fall. So keep your eyes open.

Overall, it’s fair to say that EA have really shown themselves up this year and we are very intrigued to see what’s around the corner. They’ve really hit the nail on the head this year, which is a welcoming attitude.

 

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