A few good announcements mixed in with a whole lot of WTF.
E3 2017 officially starts today, June 13th. For many of us E3 actually started this past Saturday June 10 at noon Pacific time. If you didn’t get to see the show, or you’re looking for a refresher, we’ve got you covered. We’re taking a retrospective look at the EA Games Live @ EA Play E3 2017 press conference.
EA led off the show with a drum line wearing Tom Brady jerseys to introduce Madden Football 18. That’s American football for all of you out in Europe, not that Mutant League Football up in Canada. Speaking of real football(everywhere else in the world), Madden will be adding a new ‘story mode’ similar to the Alex Hunter story featured in FIFA 17 last year. Side note, do you think Tom Brady has to wash his hands 10 times a game to scrub the stench of David Andrews butt hole from his hands? So, murican football, yes Madden 18 looks pretty damn good, and this story mode is intriuging. The story mode alone makes me want to buy Madden, even though I suck harder at Madden than a 5 year old on a speed run to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
Next up, Battlefield 1 DLC. Andrew Gulotta, a producer on Battlefield 1, introduces us to a montage of Battlefield 1 highlights from various Twitch streamers. By the time the montage ends I’m already bored. After about 3 minutes of ‘why the hell did I watch that’ we finally get to the meat of this announcement. D.I.C.E. is adding a pair of maps playable at night with Nivelle Nights and Prise De Tahure. Andrew then announces that the new DLC will be called In the Name of the Tsar that will be fought on the eastern front, will include 6 new maps and the Russian Army. New additions in the Russian Army are the “Hussar Cavalry, new vehicles and weapons to expand your arsenal, and the iconic Womens Battalion of Death.” Check the DLC trailer below.
Following a fairly decent trailer for In the Name of the Tsar, EA turns their attention towards E-Sports. “We believe in making stars of all our players.” Seems like a bunch of fan service to get people interested in their own e-sports league, starting with a FIFA 18 tournament in the fall. Crowd is apparently so stunned they forget to clap, even when Patrick Soderlund pauses looking for a response. You could hear a fly fart right now. No more than 10 people clap following a trailer for this e-sports league.
Naturally FIFA 18 is next up. Makes sense since we’re talking about competitive FIFA and the FIFA tournament EA is investing in, but this concept doesn’t last long. EA invites a couple guys referring to themselves as Men In Blazers to the stage. These are apparently the hosts of the ‘third most popular football show’ on television and they are here to make the game of soccer even less appealing. To their credit, this is still a better display than when EA invited Pele on stage. A trailer promoting FIFA 18’s story mode following Alex Hunter follows.
EA then attempts to shift our attention over to the newest Need for Speed game but misses a gear. As if the two British blokes introducing FIFA 18 weren’t awkward enough, EA left popular YouTube personality Jesse Wellens(@Jessewelle) hanging when the teleprompter broke during the Need for Speed: Payback intro. It’s almost painful to watch this guy appear to choke, thankfully he finally says ‘fuck it’ and ditches the script. Now it’s time to talk about the game. Jesse brings executive producer Marcus Nilsson while another YouTuber is playing around with the car customizer in the background. Continuing the awkwardness of the show, Nilsson points to this new feature while the vehicle on screen has almost nothing done to it. I was somewhat interested to see how this would work but apparently EA forgot to show what the final car could look like, instead jumping into the official gameplay trailer and never looking back.
When the teaser trailer for Need for Speed: Payback came out just a few days ago I was hyped at the new direction Ghost Games appeared to take with the Need for Speed franchise. Sure, it’s a ripoff of The Fast & the Furious, but apparently they didn’t stop there. Need for Speed: Payback also rips off the Barn Finds concept popular in the Forza Horizon Series, +10 points for originality guys! Unfortunately this doesn’t get any better. The gameplay demo did more to sell me on the idea of waiting for this game to hit the bargain bin than anything else. Graphics were phenomenal, but gameplay seemed lacking while the aesthetic of the crashes made no sense and were exaggerated. The game basically had no soul, all style and no substance. It’s not even a cheap knock off like 2Fast 2Furious, more like Tokyo Drift had a lovechild with Vin Diesel’s The Wheelman.
But wait, there’s more! More awkwardness that is. Remember last year when EA announced their new initiative to publish indie games and the director for Unravel nearly had a breakdown on stage? Yeah, poor guy, poor Yarny. This year was almost the same, but opposite reactions to the same emotion. Patrick Soderlund once again took the stage to emphasize their commitment to indie game developers and show off their newest indie title, A Way Out. Much like last year, this indie game will probably steal the show. A Way out is a co-op pseudo-stealth game about a prison break and includes both couch co-op and online. Soderlund then invited the games director and writer, Josef Fares out. Although Josef didn’t have a break down on stage, he did screw up his own name and had loads of trouble containing his excitement. It was like watching a teenager describe seeing a vagina for the very first time. It even reminds me a lot of Hello Games after their second No Mans Sky reveal. Still, I have a feeling this game will turn out a lot better than NMS did. At this point A Way Out is sure to win some Best Of awards.
In an attempt to balance this emotional roller coaster, Patrick Soderlund comes out and sings the praises of Project Scorpio without showing any emotion at all. Evidence that Soderlund is a Microsoft controlled cyborg now confirmed. Soderlund introduces us to a teaser for BioWare’s newest game Anthem, made by their Edmonton team(i.e. not the guys who fucked up Andromeda) and promises you’ll see more of this title on Microsofts stage the following day. Aaaand I need a clean pair of shorts! You’ll see what I’m talking about below.
Now, in an attempt to squash any erections building in the crowd, EA brings out some nerd by the name of Sean O’Brien to talk about NBA Live 18. As if anyone wanted another NBA Live game. O’Brien says he doesn’t want to talk about the game, he just wants to show you the game. He proceeds to talk about the game for 2 minutes. Doesn’t look any better than before, adds obligatory career mode with story of street baller goes pro similar to Fifa and Madden. Don’t worry guys, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!
Up next, EA starts stroking their own dick after announcing that they have donated shitloads of money to charity. I mean this as a metaphor, no one actually whipped their dick out. Josef Fares may have come close, but I’m pretty sure he kept his pants on until he got behind the curtains. EA continued to gush over how great they are while announcing that they were giving away free games through a week of free EA Access, Origin Access, and game trials on Playstation 4. By the time EA has finished everyone in the front row either needs a shower or a cigarette.
Closing out the press conference by turning E3 into a fashion show is either a stroke of genius, or just more bizarre EA being bizarre. Janina Gavankar, aka Commander Iden Versio, came to the stage wearing the latest in fashion trends from the Empire and immediately got harassed by a sexually repressed white male in the back row. From one sexually repressed white male to another, I agree. Sorry Janina, art doesn’t usually walk out on stage to announce more art.
Unfortunately Janina is not here to give us any more details about Battlefront II’s single player campaign. EA acknowledges several times over that not having a campaign in Battlefront 1 was a mistake, they don’t seem to have learned from that mistake. Yes there will be a single player campaign. EA spent nearly 10 minutes reminding us of this fact, but to the disappointment of all, failed to show any of it. Stop telling us how much you fucked up the first game by offering $30 worth of content for $60. I don’t want to hear “we actually listened to you, this year we’ll give you a full game for your $60.” Just show me something new I can get excited about because I’m burnt out on Battlefront’s MP modes.
Alas, it was for not. What followed was a live demonstration of a horde of YouTube streamers playing Battlefront II’s online mode paired with really bad live commentary for the final 20 minutes. The commentators tried a bit too hard to sell me on being genuinely excited to see this game. Worse, someone handed the controls to the video truck to some intern who kept constantly switching between players at the exact moment the commentators began to talk about the on screen action. “OMG It’s Han So… *camera switches to some random storm trooper shooting at a doorway*… lo…… Really just a terribly out of sync crew trying to keep up with the monkey controlling the video feed.
You can watch the entire press conference in the video below. Fast forward to the 47 minute mark to see the Battlefront II footage over the final 30 minutes of the show.
Don’t forget to check out our other E3 press conference recaps and share your thoughts in the comments below.
- EA Games Starts Off E3 With a Whimper.
- Xbox Shows Off the Power of X.
- Bethesdaland A.K.A. Lamesville. Population: Todd Howard.
- Ubisoft Found Guilty of Grand Theft Mario.
- Greatness No Longer Awaits.
- Nintendo Drops the Pokeball.
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