EA Play, the publisher’s new conference, just wrapped up a few hours ago. Titanfall was there, so was Battlefront, and Mass Effect: Andromeda, at least glimpses of it. Plus there was a behind-the-scenes teaser EA’s Star Wars games.
Some cringe-worthy interviews aside, I’d consider the conference a success. EA and Bioware are still beating around the bush when it comes to Mass Effect: Andromeda; they’ve yet to really show much of anything of the game, but it’s still got about another nine months left in the oven, so it’s not too egregious. There were some shots of the game in the trailer, mixed with lots of behind-the-scenes-footage, and the game seems to look great, especially the facial animations now that it’s transitioned from Unreal 3 to Frostbite.
Other than that Titanfall and Battelfield trailers were abound, and so were three matches of Battlefield 1 multiplayer. That was easily the highlight.
That’s just the trailer, but if you there should be some videos from the multiplayer matches surfaces fairly soon. It all looks really stellar, and Battlefield 1 seems to ratchet up the destruction. There was a moment in one of the matches where one team shot down the zeppelin of the enemy team, and when it crashed, it took out much of whatever happened to be caught beneath it, and left the wreckage as a permanent fixture on the map. It seemed like a more dynamic form of the levoltuion found in Battlefield 4.
Automatic weapons were also plentiful. So for anyone worried that Battlefield 1 would feature primarily bolt-action rifles can know that doesn’t appear to be the case. The game seems to be taking plenty of liberties in the interest of fun.
I left the multiplayer stream quite optimistic for the final game, too.
EA and Respawn also showed off a fair bit of Titanfall 2, in trailer form, for multiplayer and single player, both of which seem promising, and the multiplayer seems to build quite a bit upon the foundation its predecessor. The mobility seems as great as ever, and the addition of a freaking grappling hook will allow you to do some really insane maneuvers.
Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn, did confirm that there would be game modes in which AI-controlled enemies would – in fact – be absent. I thought they added plenty of life to the battles in the first Titanfall, but I empathize with those who prefer to play without them.
There will also be six separate Titan models, each with their own unique appearance and abilities.
Then there’s the single player.
We’ve known that’s been coming for a while now, but it’s nice to finally see it in action. I was one of those people who was perfectly fine without single player in the first Titanfall, but I’m also happy to see it in Titanfall 2. The trailer doesn’t really go into too many details about the campaign, but it does seem to imply that the relationship between a specific Titan and its pilot will be the backbone on which the entire story is told, which seems really really cool. Just you and your Titan, and when the end of the game comes, and the Titan sacrifices itself in order to save you, and goes as far as to refer to itself as a super-man, I’ll probably shed a tear.
Moving on from Titanfall, EA also reveal EA Originals, their new indie-publishing program. The first of which will be an indie game by the Swedish studio, Zoink, Fe.
The trailer does a good job of setting the tone and general feel for the game, but not much else. The graphics are super-styled (in a great way) and it seems like a 3D puzzle-platformer.
They also showed off Fifa 17, but as is the case with most sports games, I all but tuned out for that. I would like to write more about the Star Wars games EA is working on, but they didn’t show much more than a brief behind-the-scenes teaser.
At least we have a time-table. 2017 will see a new installment of Battlefront. Despite its shortcomings, the first Battlefront built a solid foundation for the franchise. No Star Wars game – or any game for that matter – looks or sounds as good as it does. There’s a fair chance Battlefront 2 will be the game everyone wished Battlefront 1 was.
Visceral’s Star Wars game will come in 2018, and there was some behind the scenes footage of that, including a brief glimpse of it in-engine. We probably won’t see that game again till next year at the earlier, though. So it’s best if you just forget that game exists for the time being.
Overall, EA didn’t really have a whole lot to show, but what they did show, notably Titanfall 2 and Battlefront 1, they brought the goods.
It’s just unfortunate that both of those games come out at about the same time. Can you say online shooter overload?