EA Play: New Experiences, New Stories & Breathtaking visuals

EA Play kicked off E3 like no other with two separate conferences streaming from both London and Los Angeles and demonstrated a lot of interactivity between the two via satellite feed. We were treated to a lot of predictability, but also a lot of new insights into the world of EA (Electronic Arts). EA really stole the show with some promising titles coming up this year, so what happened?

The introduction provided watchers with the phrase ‘It’s time to play’ which really relates to the amount of games that are already here and coming our way. They want people to play and want people to join the 2.6 billion gamers out there.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, said 60 minutes is just not enough to showcase everything they wanted to and so was the real influence for hosting their own event.

First up was Titanfall 2 with Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella. The series will be coming to PS4 and the trailer showed there will be plenty of first-person shooter content, lots of stealth, plenty of melee including grappling hooks and also moments that looked like anti-gravity was used.

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Your Titan compadre ‘BT’ in the single-player mode

What is new to the series is six new titans all with their own traits and abilities. There will be more customisation but the real show stealer was that this game will have offline single-player gameplay. Players will be able to delve deeper into the world of Titanfall and learn about the connection between humans and titans and how it developed. The game will release on October 28th on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Next up was sports with Madden NFL 17. The focus was on eSports and competition. Coinciding with EA Play comes three new tournaments. The first is ‘Challenger’ which is where players can create their own tournaments. Secondly, there is Premier which is large scale live events and finally EA Major Events which will be huge events up for grabs on a global stage. In all competitions there will be up to $1 million prize money.

Fifa 17 will be run through the Frostbite engine which is a reoccurring name in the next couple of titles. The game will have a strong single player mode called ‘The Journey’ which takes the life of upcoming footballer ‘Alex Hunter’ and places them in real world football. Football managers will also play a role from the sidelines and upon this mention there came the ‘special one’ José Mourinho who had a bit of banter with Peter Moore in London about the lack of managers in the game.

EA also mentioned that they will be hosting charity events for five charities: Special Effect, Code 2040, Code.org, He for She and Women Information. In games such as Battlefront, Battlefield: Hardline and Fifa 16 players will be able to compete in missions and give donations to charities.

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An Asari was shown in the trailer, how many new alien species will we see?

Mass Effect: Andromeda which is being made through the Frostbite engine showcased spectacular visuals of space, creatures of all sizes (some huge) and ships. Andromeda is a whole new adventure in an aim to find a new home for the humans. CEO of BioWare Aaryn Flynn said this game would let imaginations run wild. Players will be treated to a whole new cast and plenty of freedom with the trailer depicting a women waking up from deep sleep in a spaceship and saying: “we made it.” We did not get to see too much from the trailer or be told much in general and for a game releasing in a few months it is a little disappointing to say the least.

One of the most popular games from last year’s E3 was Unravel which showcased one of the most beautiful graphical side-scrollers to date. Patrick Soderlund of EA informed us of how the company is working with indie developers to support, fund and provide security. He said that all profit made will go back into the hands of the developers.

The first title to come out of this programme is ‘Fe‘ by Swedish company ‘Zoink.’ For me personally, this title takes home the biscuit and shows that we haven’t done everything in video games. The idea of the game is that you wake up as a cub and the idea behind it is to develop a relationship with nature due to our longing aim to be one with the world. The most interesting part of this game is that there is no dialogue and the game is not going to spoonfeed you the answers. You have no idea of who you are or how you got here. Every creature you find is connected by their own language and this is where sound is incorporated and is used as the mainframe of the game.

Throughout the game you can learn about this communication and use it for its purpose with those species. In the end the character will learn the secrets of its  own kind, but not without learning about and defeating the enemy: ‘the silence’. The game has an ambient soundtrack, mixtures of dark colours and tons of creatures you can ride on, but you can even fly yourself. A must to check out in my books.

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Behind the scenes development on a new Star Wars game.

One of my favourite franchises, Star Wars, has a ton of video games and the train keeps rolling because it was revealed by EA that multiple companies including Respawn, Dice and Bioware are working on titles. One example is that we have a new Battlefront in the works. I was said by Jane Raymond that EA is listening to the fans, adding what the fans want and this includes content from the new films.

Visceral will be creating an original narrative with new characters and Respawn are looking at a different Star Wars era to create a third-person action adventure title. All of these companies are working with Lucasfilms and are aiming to do what hasn’t been done before to create a authentic Star Wars story. The trailer also showed the use of the Playstation VR which leaves endless questions for the potential of these games.

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Actual Battlefield 1 gameplay with striking early 20th century architecture getting a real feel for the time.

Finally, it’s the one game that we’re all waiting for Battlefield 1. This and Titanfall 2 could cause the end of Call of Duty.

Battlefield is a series with 60 million players and the company knew they could not make an ordinary game. In one late night in Stockholm it was decided that a World War I concept would be their next main series title.

Patrick Bach of Dice said that no battle will be the same as there will be dynamic weather which will be unpredictable causing players to have to adjust their gameplay to the conditions, more intricate destruction and more natural gameplay. To show off the game, viewers of the Twitch stream were treated to the new online deathmatch campaign which has a total of 64 players in a 32 v 32 team at any point. The teams included famous YouTube gamers such as Achievement Hunter’s Gavin Free along with popular music icons such as Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa.

There was a look at vehicles including the new behemoths like blimps which when brought down, can fall anywhere and cause plenty of destruction. The carcass of the blimp does not de-spawn and so players have another obstacle in the vast surroundings. There are plenty of gun classes, weapons to use against tanks such as special grenades and airplane battles. Basically, there is a ton of stuff going on in this game – no two games are alike. There are rocket guns for assault, signal flares for snipers and syringes for medics. The game has plenty of content.

The main message in the trailer sates: “We’re gonna change the world” and in terms of gameplay, Battlefield might do just that.

EA look to have a lot of promising ideas and titles in the mix for the rest of this year and have set themselves as a strong contender for the rest of E3. Their EA Play has proved a fun idea and it wouldn’t be surprising if during E3 next year we see more personal conferences by other companies.

EA Play: What to expect & What to know

An interesting breakaway from E3 tradition and perhaps the beginning of the end for E3-type conferences, EA (Electronic Arts) is the first to kick off their conference at their ‘EA Play’ events in London and Los Angeles which will be hosted by CEO Andrew Wilson and Chief Competition Officer, Peter Moore.

The games I am expecting to see include Battlefield 1, Fifa 17, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall 2.

Battlefield 1 is the first World War I title in the Battlefield series and the first in the main series since 2013. This game is said to give players more choice and variety in terms of paths and completing along with more open land. battlefield

What is already known about Battlefield 1 is that it will release on October 21st this year and there will be six different gun classes. These include shotguns, SMG (sub-machine gun), LMG (light machine gun), semi-automatics, sidearms and sniper rifles. Along with frag grenades, there will be incendiary and smoke (mustard) grenades and for melee weapons you can attach a bayonet to a gun. DICE who EA have been working with also introduced shovels, sabres and trench clubs as melee weapons. There are a various amount of vehicles which players can take control of including: armoured vehicles, tanks, biplanes and battleships.

There have been rumours that multi-player will be shown off and will be titled: ‘Battlefield Squads’ which is said to have a 64 man deathmatch… which is unheard of. If shown this will be the first look at gameplay from the game and reveal how the game differs itself from ‘Hardline’ and ‘4‘ and potentially how similar it is.

Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare said the company were wanting to give players more freedom, an unprecedented level in fact. ‘Andromeda’ is the new galaxy that the game is heading and has left behind the Milky Way. This means the game will have new enemies, new worlds and new allies. I’m expecting to see a great storyline with some great third-person shooter action displaying the motives of the game and the difficulty of the gameplay and enemies.

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The Frostbite engine will surely give us striking images.

What I am hoping to see from EA Play is plenty of visuals so we get to see how Andromeda diversifies itself from the original series. The game has been developed through the Frostbite engine and I want to see the breathtaking imagery of space that Frostbite does all so well. What we’ve seen so far includes grasslands, dust worlds and swamps. We’re sure EA will explore these vast worlds come the conference.

For me personally, Titanfall 2 was a very exciting concept when it started. I am a big fan of mecha-type themes and the multi-player gameplay seemed extraordinary where you could player in or out of titans in a traditional online campaign. After a month on the shelves, everything about Titanfall and the hype before its release started to then disappear and lose its popularity like Watchdogs.

The game was very successful nonetheless and incorporated large multiplayer battles and fun space themes. What can be expected is a further influence of these ideas and made for a better competitive aspect. I feel there needs to be more gameplay features and longer gameplay modes. What everyone loves with robots is weapons and that is a definite desire in the follow-up. I guess what I’m trying to say is taking what the first game did but expanding it in every direction should be what is shown at EA Play. This will make Titanfall 2 very favourable in my books.

With two potentially great shooters coming our way, is this the end of Call of Duty?

Stay tuned for my piece on EA Play later on tonight.

 

Introduction

Greetings,

I have decided to set up a post-university blog to try and find my place on the internet. I aim to incorporate my journalism skills that I have learned and use them to talk about all the things I have a buzz around. I will try to include as much multimedia in my posts as well.

This blog constitutes mainly of pop culture areas such as video games, anime, movies, music and whatever else I find entertainment (or not) in and feel it should be written about.

Want to know a little about me? 

1. I am Travis Ward, 21 and from Sheffield.

2. I am a video game collector and currently collect for PS1, GameCube and Nintendo 64.

3. I am a musician and play guitar and bass. I try to dabble with other instruments, but the best I’ve gotten at is with ukulele. I might post any relevant music work I have on YouTube on this page.

4. I have just finished my three year degree in BA Journalism Studies at Russell Group: University of Sheffield.

5. I am currently unemployed and are still pursuing work in journalism (It’s bloody hard in South Yorkshire). Because of this I have set up my blog to continue my journalism.

6. I love music and listen to a vast mixture from classical to emo to indie to experimental rock.

7. I am a big video game fanatic and hope to be a professional video game journalist.

8. I try to read as much as I can and have almost finished reading – ‘Ready Player One’. I recommend this to anyone interested in gaming and 80’s culture.

9. My current favourites:
Anime – Attack on Titan
Music – Holy Ghost by Modern Baseball
Movie – Wayne’s World
Video Game – Splatoon

10. I hope you enjoy my work.