E3 2017 officially starts on June 13th, but EA has started the festivities early this year by hosting their own press conference at EA Play. There, they’ve showcased some of their biggest games of the year, as well as upcoming games for 2018.
The first big reveal of the day was Battlefield 1’s newest DLC pack, In the Name of the Tsar. In it, players will fight in the Russian army against the Austrian-Hungarian army and will even get to play as a female character, a member of the Women’s Battalion of Death. The DLC will contain new vehicles, six new maps, and 11 new weapons. The demo they had on offer didn’t feature the female characters, but did showcase some new weapons and one of the new maps, the snowy Kupkow Pass, which features changing weather and an armored train with big cannons running through the map.
There will also be two new maps launching this summer: Nivelle Nights and Prise de Tahure, both of which will feature alternate night modes.
There was also some gameplay revealed for the new Need for Speed: Payback, which was reminiscent of Hot Pursuit with some Burnout-style takedowns thrown in too. Players will jump from cut scene to gameplay–and vice versa–in the blink of an eye, and sometimes from character to character. According to the trailer, Payback will feature a Fast and Furious inspired story, terrific visual and performance customization, and the ability for gamers to restore old cars they find on the road.
There were a couple previously unannounced titles reveal at EA Play as well. The first was A Way Out, a co-op action-adventure game developed by Josef Fares, the man behind the 2013 indie adventure game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Probably the most unconventional game EA had to show today, as it can only be played in split-screen co-op. Still, the reveal trailer made it look very intriguing and worthwhile to play.
The other unexpected title was a brand new IP from BioWare called Anthem. Unfortunately, not much is known about the game other than it takes place in a sci-fi setting, in which players fight giant monsters in power suits. The brief teaser promised a full reveal at Xbox’s E3 briefing, so stay tuned for that.
Of course, EA had to feature their newest installments of sports titles. FIFA 18 will feature new “Atmospheres,” stadiums to play in based on iconic real world locations. They will also be continuing FIFA 17’s narrative mode “The Journey,” which told the story of Alex Hunter, a kid who tries to make into a Premier League team. FIFA 18 will showcase his continuing struggle through fame and fortune in “The Journey: Hunter Returns.”
Madden 18 appears to be doing a similar thing as well, revealing a trailer for a cinematic single-player campaign titled “Longshot,” which looks worthy enough to stand up to any Hollywood sports drama.
The reveal of NBA Live 18 showed off a new mode called The One, in which gamers play in both the NBA League and on famous Street courts (such as Venice Beach) for quick pick-up games.
Of course, the biggest game of all was Star Wars Battlefront II, and EA saved the best for last. EA fixed some of the biggest issues people had with the first Battlefront, namely the lack of a single-player campaign. The new Battlefront will feature a full-fledged, offline and original single-player campaign in which players assume the role of Iden Versio, the leader of an Imperial commando unit called the Inferno Squadron.
There’s also quite a bit that has been changed with the multiplayer. There are now different playable classes with varying weapons, health, etc. There is also the addition of “battle points,” which can be earned by killing enemies and completing objectives. These points will allow players to use vehicles, special equipment such as a jetpack, and even unlock heroes. New heroes for the game include Darth Maul, Rey, Yoda and Kylo Ren, with Boba Fett and Han Solo being confirmed to return.
The multiplayer demo they had on offer showcased the Assault on Theed, in which the Clone army defends a palace against a Droid invasion. The different classes felt varied and unique, and the new heroes were a very welcome addition, with Darth Maul’s lightsaber throw being a real room clearer.
Best and most surprising of all, though, is the announcement that all post-launch DLC–including heroes, maps, and vehicles–will be free.
EA Play continues on the June 11 and 12. E3 2017 starts June 13th and ends the 15th.