The Highs and Lows of EA’s Press Conference | E3 2018

EA's press conference

EA’s press conference marks the official start of E3 2018 and with it we got a slew of new trailers featuring a little something for everyone, but that doesn’t make it entertaining. Honestly, the best thing I can say about this conference is that Andrea Rene killed it as host. The rest felt slow, antiquated, and at times, unnecessary.

Battlefield V

I’m super into the display of destruction they showed off as well as the story vignettes focusing on the unsung heroes of WWII. And there’s a battle royale mode coming to the game also (surprise!). This interests me because PUBG and Fortnite (to a lesser extent) still feel a bit janky but Battlefield is anything but. I’m eagerly awaiting what they have to show at Microsoft’s conference tomorrow.

More Star Wars

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is coming from Respawn Entertainment in late 2019. So happy they just talked to a dude for several minutes and literally showed nothing else, not even a logo. I’m hopeful, but 0 seconds of gameplay isn’t exactly a confidence booster.

Then there was an apology of sorts for Star Wars Battlefront II, a game I personally enjoyed quite a bit, even with its slow progression system. They mentioned a new mode coming this year with ‘the largest Battlefront maps ever’ and that sounds like much larger ground and flight conflicts. I’m in.

Indie Corner

EA has been doing a great job of cultivating indie games in recent years and I have nothing but respect for that. Sea of Solitude and Unravel Two look great but I’m not sure we needed 5 minutes devoted to each plus a trailer though. Unravel Two is available now, and while I appreciate that kind of stunt, I think that’s a sure way for most people to forget about it. I know I’ll be distracted by something from Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda, or Nintendo in just a few days.

All Talk, No Show

This mobile version of a popular long-running franchise was one of two games that were actually played live on stage. Let that sink in for a second. Remember a few years back when all EA showed at its conference were a bunch of tech demos because they didn’t have much to show and everyone made fun of them? This year they also didn’t have much to show and decided to fill time with talking instead. Almost every single game featured someone talking about the game, with no gameplay, for several minutes. This isn’t my first E3, I skimmed right through much of this because it was clearly nonsense time-filler.

Anthem Gameplay Reveal

After a year of waiting, we finally got real gameplay for Anthem. And, not surprisingly, it’s a much slower Iron Man simulator than previously shown. However, I’m much more confident in BioWare this time around. Anthem is set to launch Feb 22, 2019, a full 8 months after this gameplay reveal, and I’ll put money down on a further delay. Compare that to Mass Effect: Andromeda’s release 4 months after its gameplay reveal and you see what I mean. That said, what we saw, while awesome, did feature a lot of pop-in and cuts in the footage. Oh, and there sure was a lot of concept art shown on screen… suddenly I’m not so confident. Regardless, I want to pilot my own mechsuit and I think Anthem will fulfill that dream nicely.

EA showed a fair amount of games and was able to give every fan a little something, but they really need to modernize their conference going forward if they don’t want to be the butt of everyone’s Twitter jokes (again and again). Seriously, they talked about Star Wars for 10 minutes and didn’t show any gameplay. I’m speechless.

To catch all the trailers showed off during the conference check out our ongoing E3 trailer post.

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