Electronic Arts have opened their annual EA Play event with a press conference, showcasing their upcoming projects.
Following from the reveal of the game last month, players got another preview of what will be on the way in Battlefield V. Taking to the stage, DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson and Senior Producer Lars Gustarsson presented a first look at Nordlys Wars Story, a new single-player story shifting the focus away from the front lines to this struggle for freedom in Norway.
During the presentation, Gustarsson and Gabrielson also announced that Battlefield V would feature a Battle Royale mode, with more information due to be released later this year.
Up next was FIFA 19, with the announcement that EA would be partnering with UEFA to bring players the full scope of Champions League football to the game.
In FIFA 19, players will be able to chase after one of the most coveted prizes in club football with the Champions League, Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup being represented in Tournament and Career modes, as well as being a part of Alex Hunter’s ongoing story in The Journey.
Executive Producer Aaron McHardy and Senior Producer Lina Ingvarsdottir also announced during the presentation that there would be Champions League content coming to FIFA Ultimate Team as well, with full details to be announced during the summer. The presentation concluded with another look at the upcoming World Cup content for FIFA 18, celebrating the upcoming tournament in Russia.
Origin Gets an Upgrade
EA’s PC subscription service, Origin Access, will be receiving a new tier later in the year. Set to launch in the summer, Origin Access Premier will be a new, top-tier service for PC gamers.
Announcing the program, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that it would give players on Premier would receive all the benefits currently available to Origin subscribers – such as access to the Origin Vault, which contains over 100 games for free, and a discount on all new games and DLC – but would also allow players early access to some of the most anticipated titles that EA will be releasing in the coming months – including Battlefield V and Anthem.
The Force is Strong
There were two big announcements for fans of Star Wars during the presentation. First was the confirmation that Respawn are currently working on a new title, with CEO Vince Zampella speaking to host Andrea Rene about the studio working on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Set between the films Revenge of The Sith and A New Hope, the title is currently slated for a Holiday 2019 release.
Taking to the stage for Star Wars Battlefront II was Design Director Dennis Brannvall. After taking some time to acknowledge the issues that were present in the title at launch – and what DICE have been working on to rectify this – Brannvall discussed the upcoming seasons of content coming to the game.
First up is the next batch of content based on the recently released Solo: A Star Wars Story. Launching on June 12, the second part of the season will feature the return of Extraction mode, a map set of the planet Kessel, the Millennium Falcon and new customisation items.
Finally, there was confirmation about the theme and some of the content that will be coming in the next season. Set to launch later this year, the next season will put players in the midst of the action in one of the most turbulent times in the whole saga – the Clone Wars. Featuring what Brannvall described as “the largest level ever created”, players will be able to explore Geonosis, fight in epic battles and see the Star Wars Battlefront debuts of General Grievous, Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi.
A Sequel and Solitude
The presentation continued with the next segment devoted to the EA Originals initiative.
First up was Martin Sahlin making his return to EA Play to officially announce Unravel Two. For this second outing, Yarny is joined by a blue companion, a second Yarny, and the two instantly connect to try and revive the red Yarny’s lost spark. With a live gameplay demo, Unravel Two showcased one of the game’s new locations as the two creatures worked in tandem to escape the claws of a grouse.
There was another surprise in store for players with EA’s Patrick Soderlund taking to the stage to announce that Unravel Two is available to play now. Soderlund also spoke about the work of the Originals initiative, with focus on the recent success of last year’s showcased title – A Way Out – which launched in March.
Following on from Unravel Two was Cornelia Geppert from Jo-Mei Games in Germany with a new title scheduled for release in early 2019. Entitled Sea of Solitude, this new story follows Kay, a young woman who has become so lonely and isolated from the world that she has turned into a literal monster. It will be up to players to learn about how this has happened, how it has changed everyone around her and what can be done, if anything, to bring her back to humanity.
It’s in the Game
EA Sports gave fans a glimpse of the latest editions of two beloved franchises with teaser trailers for NBA Live 19 and Madden NFL.
Madden NFL was showcased alongside a vignette featuring Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen, the Madden championship holder, who was then joined on stage by JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Command & Conquer goes mobile
In a change of pace for the event, the next pair to take to the stage were shoutcaster Nathanius and Michael Martinez from Redwood Studios, who were joined by iNcontroL and nickatnyte for a live gameplay demo of Redwood’s latest game.
Set to launch later in the year on iOs and Android devices, Command & Conquer: Rivals will offer players the real time strategy gameplay of the iconic series on mobile, with a vast array of unit types, battle situations and PVP combat all in real time.
This is Anthem
After a short augmented reality teaser opened the show, the presentation was concluded with an extended look at Anthem, the new IP from Bioware. Host Andrea Rene returned to the stage with a special panel consisting of General Manager Casey Hudson, Executive Producer Mark Darrah and Lead Writer Cathleen Rootsaert to discuss the game.
Set on the world of Tarsus, Anthem puts players in the middle of an ongoing conflict against the Dominion. These ancient foes are seeking to harness the power of the Anthem – an ancient tool left behind by the gods of Tarsus before vanishing. Responsible for the ever-changing landscape, the power of the Anthem could tip the balance of power and peace on this new world.
Players also got a more in-depth look at the four types of Javelin exosuits they will be able to utilise in the game – Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor and Storm. Each with their own power sets, functions and advantages, players will be able to choose which suit to use ahead of each mission out into the world based on their own preference, the requirements of the mission or even their choices of their friends in co-op mode.
The presentation concluded with a look at one of the game’s missions, entitled “Scars & Villains”, which showcased the four exosuits, as well as the game’s visuals, score and settings as a team of freelancers, went in search of a rogue faction who were about to launch a chemical attack. At the conclusion of the demo, Casey Hudson and Andrea Rene returned to the stage with the announcement that Anthem would launch worldwide on February 22, 2019.
Full information about all of the games featured can be found at https://www.ea.com/eaplay2018
Watch the presentation live stream in full below.
Words by Megan Roxburgh