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E3 2017 Day 1: EA Play Recap

We recap what happened at EA’s press conference, share reactions from SmashPad staff, and include the trailers to save you some time.

Coming into E3, we expected EA to have the most predictable show because they announced their entire playable lineup ahead of time and the other two games were announced in concept at previous shows. They didn’t disappoint on that front, but as an E3 show where surprises are expected and this was one of the only E3 press conferences where there were no surprises to be had. For the games we did expect to see, there still was a surprising lack of new information presented with some of the sports games just getting a CG trailer highlighting their story modes, which should tell you how weird this whole show was to witness. That we had to wait for impressions of Madden NFL 18 to find out that moving to Frostbite means it controls and plays very differently than in years past, which is such an odd thing for E3. That’s an impressive feat to accomplish at E3, though we’ll at least get further glimpses of two games at Microsoft and Sony’s shows. Despite the weirdness, it was still a solid show with games that looked good for what was presented.

That said, let’s move on to the recap below, Smashpad staff reactions below that, and trailers at the very bottom:

  • Night maps are coming to Battlefield 1 over this summer.
  • Battlefield 1 has an upcoming expansion called “In The Name Of The Tsar” that will feature eight new Russian maps from the Eastern Front that will be out in September.
  • There will be a new competitive Battlefield experience coming later this year, though they’re going to reveal it at Gamescom.
  • Last year’s FIFA story mode hero Alex Hunter returns for FIFA 18 with his second season filled with more drama during his sophomore campaign.
  • Need for Speed Payback’s campaign features three main characters that you’ll switch between during missions. The gameplay shown also features a similar Takedown camera as Burnout.
  • Hazelight, a studio founded by the director of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, announced A Way Out as a part of the EA Originals indie publishing label. It’s a local/online co-op game where you control two prisoners that want to escape and get back to their old life. There is no single-player option, as far as we’ve seen. It should be out in early 2018.
  • EA revealed a new R&D division called Seed, which stands for Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division. The one project they’re working on right now is developing 4K games for Scorpio.
  • We got our first teaser trailer for Bioware’s new IP called “Anthem” that had little to show here. It’ll return at Microsoft’s press conference on Sunday.
  • NBA Live 18 made its return to the public. The “gameplay demo” that was shown was clearly a replay. They also revealed “The One,” which is a new mode that seems to be similar to the created player modes in NBA 2K where you can play as that player in street games, Pro-Am games, and the normal career mode.
  • EA Access and Origin Access are free to use for this week on Xbox One and PC. On PS4, they’ll have a variety of trials for recent games up on PSN this week.
  • Star Wars Battlefront II’s multiplayer features a new class system with customizable abilities to let you further fine tune how you play. Instead of picking up tokens to control vehicles or one of the featured characters, you’ll earn points during battle that you can spend to spawn in those special roles.
  • The big thing this year for Star Wars Battlefront II is that the maps, characters, weapons, and vehicles will be free this year in waves of free content additions, which includes both Finn and Phasma from The Force Awakens in the first season of free content. Pre-orders get early access to the beta and Yoda’s lightsaber card.

Staff Reactions

“EA did what EA does. Almost everything I expected to see made an appearance. I might not be the audience EA is after anymore, but I can respect the work they’re doing.” – Filippo Dinolfo

“Battlefront 2 seems like the game the first should have been. A Way Out looks like a worthy successor to Brothers, which is one of my favorite games of all time. I wasn’t expecting much out of EA, but what they showed looked great.” – Jordan Elek

“Anthem caught my interest, but Bioware needs to make an effort to show it isn’t just a Destiny clone.” – Brandon Perkins

“I thought the EA conference was… interesting. Pointless drum line only the first three rows could here. Two guys making bald jokes. Hyping up Star Wars Battlefront 2 then panning to people at a computer playing it live looking brain dead. I also can’t forget the teleprompter mishap. The hiccups in the conference match the excitement for NBA live. It’s time to fix things. I’m sure Battlefront 2 will be awesome as they listened to the players, but I still wish they would make a Sims for the Switch.” – Jamie Rae

“EA didn’t do anything to surprise anyone since you knew what games were expected. Need for speed looks decent. I hope they can pull a Fast and Furious license tie in like Forza since the game looks similar to those movies and Burnout series. They have the Burnout series vets working on Need for Speed, but it makes me wonder why it took so long to make something like Payback. Honestly if EA wanted to wow people with Need for Speed, they would just make a new underground.” – Joe Rosa

“I never expect much from EA’s Press Conferences, because they’re largely always the same. So it would be a safe bet to say I was pleasantly surprised with some of the stuff shown. Madden’s story mode looks interesting, NBA Live doesn’t look like a heaping pile of trash, and there’s even some love for what looks like a promising indie title in A Way Out–which, to me, stole the show. Anthem looks like an interesting title, so the future looks pretty bright for EA.” – Danreb Victorio

 

Trailers

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