No surprises, some cool multiplayer trailers, and nothing to report on titles we’ve been dying to hear about.
EA’s 2016 E3 Press Conference was underwhelming in most aspects and overall, disappointing, setting a tone that would unfortunately be pretty consistent with most of this year’s offerings from other developers and companies. It should be noted that EA technically was not apart of E3 this year, as they held their own conference before the festivities began.
Maybe they should have skipped all together.
Now I generally believe EA gets an overly bad rap. CEO Andrew Wilson has done a fine job in reversing course and creating a better tomorrow for EA in terms of public relations. That being said, this year’s conference didn’t show us much of anything and held no real surprises.
The conference started off with nice momentum, showing us a little bit of Titanfall 2’s campaign mode and a fascinating look at new abilities and weapons in multiplayer (the release date and campaign trailer had leaked just hours before the conference, spoiling EA’s big surprise for the day). It certainly had us giddy in the war room. The conference then jumped to Madden NFL 17, which immediately zapped the electricity right out of the air. FIFA 17 was shown shortly after. Though FIFA is popular worldwide, it just didn’t have the E3 flavor and vibe that gamers traditionally want to see – the one that builds hype and gets us amped for the Fall. Despite a few new features like the Frostbite engine and an impressive new story mode a la NBA 2K, the conference began to crawl.
If you don’t have anything to show, it’s better not to say anything at all.
We were shown a brief segment on Mass Effect: Andromeda next, much like the one we saw 2 years ago for Andromeda and Star Wars: Battlefront. This is the third E3 for Andreomda and this year, we learned nothing more other than we will supposedly hear details about the game this Fall. It had been rumored for a Spring ’17 release, but that remains to be seen, as we have yet to witness a true game trailer of any sort.
Fans were dying to hear of any news on EA’s upcoming Star Wars titles, with 3 in development: A Battlefront sequel, Visceral’s game (Dead Space, Battlefield: Hardline), and Respawn Entertainment’s game (Titanfall series). Again, we received another disappointing “behind-the-scenes” look at the developers telling us how much Star Wars means to them. It was pretty sweet to see Amy Hennig, however. EA mentioned a few things of note, some which we already knew. Battlefront’s sequel is coming next year and will be focused on the newer Star Wars films’ era. Visceral’s game will take us to a place in Star Wars history that we’ve never witnessed before. Respawn’s game will take us to a place we have already seen. Lucasarts had 2 Star Wars games cancelled just before Disney’s purchase of the company – “1313,” a game focused around Boba Fett in the underworld slums of Courscant, and a game centered around the nefarious Darth Maul. Here’s to hoping one or both of those are resurrected. We did witness a screen shot of in-game footage, but where that belongs remains to be seen.
One cool thing that EA announced is “EA Originals,” which is essentially an initiative by EA to take on smaller indie projects and put their weight behind them. For example, this year’s game Unravel. The new game announced by EA is entitled “Fe,” which looks very much inspired by Ori & The Blind Forest. This goes back to Wilson’s change of culture at EA. Sure, we’ll always get our juggernaut franchises and our annual sports games, but this adds a little spice to the mix for the company and will benefit gamers and those who make games.
We saw a good chunk of time with Battlefield 1 (which looks very good, by the way), but it wasn’t an exciting reveal.
EA needs to do better. If a project isn’t ready to be discussed, then lets wait. Fans are expecting better, and non-trailer teases won’t cut it these days.
+ EA Originals
+ Titanfall 2 Gameplay & Trailer
– Titanfall 2 release date & Trailer leak prior to conference
– Screen time given to Madden NFL 17
– Poor “tease” of Mass Effect: Andromeda & Star Wars titles
Josiah LeRoy is The Geekiverse’s Managing Editor. He just played through Batman: Arkham Origins for the second time and is impatiently awaiting Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.