E3 2019: EA Play

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The press conference craziness of E3 is about to commence, with a whopping ten press conferences happening over 28 hours. That craziness is coming soon, but for now EA just had their event, EA Play. I’m going to be talking about my thoughts on the matter before the show started, ranking the games and talking about other announcements, and finishing off with concluding thoughts. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

EA doesn’t have a great stage presence. They have this strange concoction of bad press around their games, not a lot of games to show despite the size of the company, and awkward moments galore. As a result, last year’s EA Play was a nightmare, Vince Zampella in the crowd and all. Because of issues throughout the year, EA decided to make this year’s presence low-key. They say that this year’s show isn’t a press conference like normal, but instead a live stream. To show just how low-key this whole thing is, they released a schedule of their “press conference” bit, which listed a whopping six games, each with a thirty minute time slot. Three of those games are already out, two of those games are yearly-released sports titles, which leaves the last release to Jedi: Fallen Order.

Personally, I am not a fan of these EA Plays because I am not a fan of EA’s lineup. I don’t care about the sports titles, Battlefield/Battlefront is only mildly interesting to me, and I want to see new games more than I want to see updates. This pretty much leaves my interest to “everything else,” which that is usually mixed because that field is broad. Last year was a disaster and rather lackluster on content, so I expected nothing more for this year. Unfortunately, my prediction turned out true with the release of the schedule, but for what it’s worth I don’t hold this lackluster list against them. Tides are changing at EA, and I can tell they want to focus more on sticking with titles. So, despite the underwhelming list of games, I am more sympathetic towards this lackluster show. Let’s get into what they talked about.

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Games

5. FIFA 20/Madden NFL 20

I’m not going to lie: I skipped over these two games entirely. I honestly couldn’t care less about yearly-released sports titles, so it should come as no surprise that these two are mashed together and at the bottom of the list. I don’t know what is new with these two games, and I am not against those who plays these games, but these games mean nothing to me.

4. Sims 4

Of all of the EA titles to get a thirty minute time slot to talk about updates, I didn’t think Sims 4 would be one of them. I still haven’t gotten around to playing a Sims game yet, but I think what was discussed should make fans happy. Sims announcements include an island expansion pack, It Gets Better Pride content, a Moschino pack, and a Realm of Magic Pack. I don’t think any of this sold me on Sims, but it still looks like fun nonetheless.

Getting sun tans and petting dolphins. What else do you need?

Getting sun tans and petting dolphins. What else do you need?

3. Battlefield 5

Despite the controversies of Battlefield 5, EA is still sticking with the game, and this year’s EA Play shows. During their time, they talked about a few new maps as well as a new chapter taking place in the Pacific Theater. I can’t remember the last time I played a World War 2 game in the Pacific Theater, and I can’t think a modern WW2 game that is out there, so this “new” location is intriguing.

2. Apex Legends

Taking the top two spots are Respawn Entertainment games, because they make good games. Coming in at the number two spot is their breakout hit Apex Legends. With their time, developers talked about some new modes for high-ranking players, season two of the battle pass, a new legend who can put down an electric wall and a shield regenerator, a new weapon, and finished it off with a large eyeball. Even though I don’t play as much anymore, Apex Legend is a great battle royale game, and the new hero abilities are right up my alley.

New cosmetics will be rolling out, of course.

New cosmetics will be rolling out, of course.

1. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Any new game would’ve made it to the top, but I am especially interested in a new Respawn game. During their time, they showed a 15 minute demo of Jedi: Fallen Order, showing off various aspects like the platforming and various combat abilities. While some of the combat abilities look cool, I am a bit underwhelmed with the demo shown because the levels were extremely linear, and the gameplay looked like Tomb Raider but with light sabers. Still, I think the gameplay looks fun, and I will be looking forward to its November release.

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In Conclusion

It’s hard to write a before and after in this case because they said what was going to be shown before the show started, but I think this year’s EA Play was a very low-risk show. I am glad that they shifted away from doing a press conference this year and I am understanding of a lack of new content. I did leave less excited for Fallen Order, but I still think a new singleplayer game from EA is exciting. If a lack of content was shown this year to save up for next year, then I can’t wait to see what EA has to show in the future.