E3 Third Party Previews

E3 2016 Conference Impressions – EA

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At the EA Play event, the excitement came in ebbs between the big stuff like Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, various Star Wars titles, Mass Effect Andromeda, and the sports games like Madden 17 and FIFA 17.

I’m going to start this off by talking about the new EA Originals title, Fe. Fe has a look and feel much like Ori and the Blind Forest. The game sports a unique gameplay and world exploration element of using sounds or “songs” to learn about your environment and use it to combat enemies. The creatures in the game have a cute and original design and the world they inhabit is beautiful yet simple. There is abundant innovation coming from indie studios, so I look forward to seeing more of Fe and am encouraged that EA has a program like EA Originals to foster indie development.


While I was very impressed what I saw with both Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, Mass Effect Andromeda didn’t get nearly as much attention or stage time that it should have. All we got was about 20 seconds of gameplay interspersed in the montage of videos about the game development. Now I am a huge fan of Mass Effect so I was definitely disappointed in the lack of info about that game.

While Mass Effect Andromeda didn’t get that much time on the EA Play stage, the little bits shown definitely makes me want to see more and get hands on with that game. The short bits showing the Mako planet landing, the VERY brief gameplay showing the protagonist battling a charging, enemy alien, and a super brief face shot of a smiling Asari. This was my big disappointment of EA Play this year as I hoped to see much more of Mass Effect Andromeda and was hoping they would announce a release date.


In contrast, FIFA 17 got a large amount of stage time and video clips. EA is making a big push to have their games running on the Frostbite Engine developed by Dice, and FIFA 17 is using the Frostbite engine and looks impressive. FIFA also adds a story mode to the game called The Journey, where you can follow fictional Premier league rookie Alex Hunter through his new career. Overall I felt that the London EA event audience enjoyed this way more than the Los Angeles EA Play viewers. There wasn’t much substance shown with FIFA, just lots of CG clips and developer talks so we’ll have to wait and see what FIFA 17 actually brings to the table on September 27th (September 29th worldwide).


Titanfall 2 had an interesting video showing some various multiplayer combat and mech battles. Overall the combat looked fast paced with some beefy sound effects and nice acrobatic combat. The big reveal for Titanfall 2 was a single player campaign dealing with a lone mech AI that loses its original pilot and bonds to another rookie pilot. It was an interesting plot device, but more interesting was the mech AI voice sounded like the voice of Optimus Prime from the original Transformers TV series from the 1980’s. I’m not sure if it was, but the voice sounded very close and growing up in the 80’s with Optimus Prime voice by Peter Cullen, that works so well to have a mech with the same voice. While I didn’t play the first Titanfall, some hands-on with the new multiplayer in Titanfall 2 impressed me. I look forward to trying more on October 28th.


Battlefield 1 was the big gun of the EA Play event. The game looks impressive and the setting is unique for wartime first person shooters. The game takes place towards the tail end of World War 1, with the inclusion of air combat and working tanks. This puts Battlefield at a distance from the competition of Call of Duty, which has set their new game, Infinite Warfare, in a fictional future full of space combat and ships. Battlefield 1 brings unique vehicles like bi-planes, tanks, airships, motorcycles, and horses for war combat. Interest is this game is super high if the views and likes on the Youtube trailer are any indication, so it will be very interesting to see the final results in October 21st, 2016.


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