EA kicked off the E3 festivities with its own EA Play press conference where the publisher revealed more details on Bioware’s highly anticipated shared-world shooter, Anthem, announced a Battle Royale mode for Battlefield V, showed off some surprise EA Original indie titles, and had Respawn describe—while sitting in a seat in the audience—what its upcoming Star Wars game will be like.
EA closed out its press conference with a gameplay demo of Anthem, a mock panel interview with Bioware discussing more details on the game, and a release date announcement for February 22, 2019.
During the on-stage interview, Bioware revealed that Anthem will be a shared-world game with a single-player-style story told in between cooperative missions. Players will go out into the shared world, complete missions, procure loot, then return back to their respective home bases to continue the game’s narrative.
Bioware also stated that the game was designed with the intent to “add stories for years to come,” backing up statements that claimed Anthem would be geared towards a GaaS (Games as a Service) model rather than iterative editions or sequels. The developers also mentioned that the game will feature no lootboxes, cosmetic-only microtransactions, and no PvP.
The gameplay demo showed footage of a mission called Scars and Villainy, wherein players infiltrated a cave of monsters and other enemies, resplendent in the Javelin exo-suits seen in last year’s reveal trailer. The four suit classes—Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor, and Storm—each have distinct abilities and roles, and every player can have one of each suit class, meaning you will not be locked into one role permanently.
Anthem launches worldwide on February 22, 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Battlefield V gameplay — Battle Royale mode announced
EA kicked off its conference with more details and gameplay for Battlefield V, including gameplay, destructive environments, a better look into the Ground Operations mode, and the announcement of “Royale,” Battlefield‘s new battle royale mode.
Details were scant on the new BR game mode, though it will feature the “pillars of Battlefield—distraction, team play, [and] vehicles.” Additional details on Royale will be revealed later this summer.
Additional gameplay was also revealed, showcasing some tanks tearing through abandoned houses and other destructible edifices, footage of the Ground Operations game mode, and more explosive encounters in DICE’s portrayal of the Second World War.
DICE also confirmed that Battlefield V will launch with no loot boxes and no premium pass, a promise made several times throughout the conference. More Battlefield V is expected to show up at Microsoft’s press conference tomorrow.
Respawn’s Star Wars game is called Jedi: Fallen Order
In spectacularly awkward style, Respawn’s Vince Zampella announced that its mysterious Star Wars game is called Jedi: Fallen Order and is expected to be released Fall 2019.
In lieu of a gameplay demo, cinematic, or any other tangible evidence of the project’s existence, EA Play host Andrea Renae sat next to Zampella (seated in the audience) to ask him about more details on the expected Star Wars title. Zampella confirmed that the game will take place in a “dark age” of Star Wars history, canonically set between Episodes III and IV.
Renae was also able to get some further, shocking details out of Zampella.
Renae: So you’ll play as a Jedi.
Renae: Does that mean you’ll be able to hold a lightsaber?
Unravel Two is out now!
Developer ColdWood Interactive took to the EA Play stage to announce Unravel 2, a sequel to the quaint EA Original 2D platformer from 2016. The game is out now(!) and sees the return of Yarny alongside a second playable yarn doll. The game can be played single-player (you control both Yarnys) or with a friend (one Yarny for you, one for a friend). Both Yarnys are attached by a thread, allowing for creative problem-solving techniques like one Yarny climbing to a high place and swinging the other by their attached string.
The reveal by ColdWood’s creative director Martin Sahlin was complete with a similar atmosphere of endearing nervousness and candor, complete with a game crash proceeding the gameplay demo and a heartfelt message from Sahlin to his team of creators.
Unravel 2 is available right now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC for $19.99. The beginning of Unravel 2 is available to EA Access and Origin Access members at no extra charge.
Sea of Solitude is the next EA Original game
Sea of Solitude is a game about loneliness from German studio Jo-Mei Games. The game was revealed by creative director Cornelia Geppert, who spoke briefly about writing, creative design, and the struggles of loneliness and depression, before showing some gameplay of what looks to be an explorative 3D platformer with a fantastical environment and surrealist imagery.
Battlefront II’s next content drop goes to the Clone Wars
After briefly acknowledging the Battlefront II debacle of last fall, DICE announced that the next content drop for the Star Wars shooter will focus on the Clone Wars. The next map will be set on Planet Geonosis, and will be the “largest level…ever built for Battlefront.” New playable characters will include General Obi-Wan Kenobi, Pre-Vader Anakin Skywalker, Count Dooku, and General Grievous.
EA announces Origin Access: Premier
Origin Access: Premier seems to be EA’s answer to Microsoft’s Xbox Games Pass—a subscription service offering access to a large library of games from EA and other publishers, including launch-day access to games like Anthem, Battlefield V, Fifa 19, and Madden NFL 19.
Origin Access: Premier is expected to launch later this summer.
Command & Conquer returns as a mobile game
Command & Conquer: Rivals is a competitive mobile RTS coming to iOS and Android later this year. The preview showed a familiar looking (albeit flashier and updated) isometric perspective with multiple units on-screen engaging in combat. The trailer finished with a brief appearance by the original game’s goateed antagonist, Kane. The pre-alpha for Command & Conquer Rivals’ will be available to iPhone users today and Android users sometime in the future.
Madden 19 and NBA Live 19 announced for later this year, expected to drop during their respective annual release windows.
FIFA 19 will launch on September 28 and will feature a “Champions League” tournament mode. FIFA 18 will receive a new World Cup mode alongside the actual, real-life World Cup. The update will come to PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
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