EA kicked off our pre-show conferences. EA’s Star Wars Battlefront nearly stole last year’s show but if anyone would be kind enough to indulge the memory of Pele’s agonising speech, also played with people’s ability to refrain from insomnia. This year was an entirely more adroit affair and they brought their A-game with another bevy of Star Wars titles, this time presented beautifully with a short video showcasing their various studio’s work to bring the universe to our screens and into our hands. Seeing Amy Hennig at work is always a joy and I cannot wait to see what she brings to a beloved franchise.
Franchises are what EA are all about however and this is where they made real strides. Titanfall 2 ramped up what was an incredible E3, and year by the way, for the FPS genre. Their campaign trailer brought exactly what was missing from the first entry. I never felt any connection to why I was fighting in that world and I hope that a campaign can fix that this time around. Heavy focus was put on the Titans and their role in the world and that is something that excites me. I have heard reports from the floor, where a playable version was available, that traversal is even better this year. In this, the year of the grappling hook, they have apparently added a new dimension of verticality and it looks smooth, simplistic and stunning once again. October 28th is the release date.
To break from the big guns for a moment, Fe looks beautiful. I am a huge fan of Journey, Hyper Light Drifter and the upcoming Abzu (watch this space) and Fe continues the recent tradition of gorgeous, affecting Indie gaming. I’m eager to see more from EA Original’s indie support following this year’s Unravel. They seem to root out innovative studios who have a connection to nature and the world around us and I commend them on that.
Back to the big guns. Literally. Battlefield One is a ballsy move for a studio who had begun to stagnate and rest on their laurels. Their announce trailer was one of the best in years and to see the follow-up at E3 evoked a passion for this series I have not felt for a long time. Their stupendous set-pieces look bigger than ever. That zeppelin take-down – oof. I reserve judgement for now purely because I think, as has been said by better people than I, to handle a war with such casualties and world-affecting outcomes is a very tough ask. Do they go deep into the set-piece territory they are so good at or tell smaller stories about a war that had such far-reaching consequences that people don’t know a lot about? It’s a conundrum but one I feel they can rise to. We’ll know soon enough anyway. A week before Titanfall 2 in fact, October 21st for this one.
Sports! Sports happened and having learnt from last year’s diabolical announcement it was much tighter. There’s not much to say apart from 1. They’re taking a leaf out of the Spike Lee Joint in last year’s NBA 2K16 and 2. You’ll buy them anyway won’t you?
My highlight though was the obvious one. Goosebumps rose all over me as we saw our first real footage of Mass Effect Andromeda. I am a gigantic fan of Bioware’s trilogy (yes, even the ending) and seeing our new hero, appropriately named after the first woman in space just as Shepard was named for the first man, was nothing short of astounding. The vehicles! The Krogan! Everything! We’re a while off yet but this is extremely high on my hit-list. I need it. I thought they played it perfectly with a mix of cinematic and what appeared to be gameplay and no doubt Gamescom, TGS and everything in between will bring more footage. The Mass Effect Hype Train has left the building with me on it hanging my head out the window like an ecstatic dog.
Watch all EA’s E3 2016 trailers here:
Full Press Conference (Courtesy of IGN):
Words by Eoin Monaghan