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E3 2016: EA Press Conference Impressions

EA started off the E3 2016 festivities with a press conference held on their own terms at EA Play. Two of my most anticipated games for E3 were Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. In that regard EA delivered!

The conference started off with a great showing from Titanfall 2. As a huge fan of the first, it was great to see the smooth, fast-paced action hasn't gone anywhere. Instead Respawn has built upon the great foundation that already exists. Take the grappling hook for example. In a game that already includes wall running, double jumping, and fast moving pilots, adding a grappling hooks is just insane. The trailer shows a pilot grappling over an enemy Titan as well as up to rooftops. If you couldn't keep up with the pace of the first, good luck on the sequel.

But let's not forget the Campaign. I'm not one who thinks Titanfall needs a Campaign, but I surely don't mind it either. The story seems to be based around a bond between a Pilot and Titan. I always wondered how a Campaign mode would work with a game like Titanfall, and it looks like you'll be switching from Pilot-only gameplay to Titan-assisted action.

Fast forward to the end of the conference and EA showed off their other October 2016 FPS: Battlefield 1. While the Campaign definitely sounds interesting, multiplayer is where the action is at with Battlefield. DICE debuted the multiplayer with a 64-player match filled with star studded teams. Rappers Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, and Wiz Khalifa joined athletes Demarcus Cousins, Richard Sherman, and much more in what seemed like a huge group of people that rarely play video games.

But that didn't prevent the game from looking amazing. One thing I always loved about Battlefield was the huge, open, classic maps. There's just something more authentic about running through a war-torn village with trenches and hills dotted about rather than just a plain old city ala Hardline or Battlefield 4. Battlefield 1 looks like it's bringing back that classic war feel of old.

So that's the beginning and end of the EA Play conference. It both started and ended with a bang. But everything in between was.... forgettable. EA looked ahead with their Star Wars titles in the works, but nothing was close enough to be shown off. With what seemed like every developer under the EA brand working on a different game for the license, you would think one of them would be close enough to have a decent reveal.

In a similar fashion Mass Effect: Andromeda got the "look at this developer drawing" treatment that EA has become notorious for. With a release date of "early 2017" and the fact that it's one of EA's largest franchises, I expected a huge blowout for Mass Effect.

Other than that EA announced a new initiative called EA Originals. A new program where EA will focus on smaller titles thanks to the success of Unravel. The first game for this program is Fe, a narrative based title from Swedish developer Zoink. The game looked decent enough, but I was surprised they only showed one new game for this new initiative. Surely they could have found other indie developers that would take a publishing opportunity with EA?

Finally there was a huge emphasis on FIFA. Now I'm not a fan of Soccer, but the same thing can be said for Hockey and to a lesser degree Football yet I can tolerate their showings by EA. There's just something about how much attention EA gives FIFA that just makes it the most dull thing ever. When "Alex Hunter" walked out on to the stage talking about his dreams of kicking a futbol and how they were being imagined in a new career mode in FIFA 17.... Cringeworthy is the only way to describe it.

That's EA's press conference and the first to kick off E3 2016. Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 has great showings and I can't wait to play them both... in October (why?!?). What are your thoughts on the conference? Let us know in the comments below.
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