lectronic Arts have kicked off their 2019 EA Play event with a special series of livestreams showcasing some of their upcoming releases. Taking place in Los Angeles, the presentations focused on six franchises and what players can expect to see.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
First up was the gameplay reveal for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Taking place after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the focus of the story is on the Jedi Cal Kestis, who has managed to survive the Jedi massacre triggered by Order 66. With his companion droid, BD-1, in tow, Cal must now navigate a galaxy of new dangers while keeping his true identity a secret.
Following the gameplay reveal, it was confirmed by the game’s director Stig Asmussen that the game is considered canon in the Star Wars universe and that players will not be given the option to choose which side of the Force Cal will side within his fight.
Apex Legends fans were treated to a host of new details about the game. Launching on July 2, Season 2 will be titled Battle Charged and include the latest addition to the roster – Wattson.
Wattson – whose real name is Natalie Paquette – comes to the world of Apex Legends as a tactical engineer, with her speciality being the creation and deployment of electric fields designed to slow down any enemies that come her way. Her unique ties to the game were also revealed during her unveiling.
During their presentation, DICE announced more details about what fans can expect from Chapter 4.
New multiplayer maps Marita and Al Sundan were among those shown to fans at the event. Set in Greece and Northern Africa respectively, each map will allow the player to have a different focus in their gameplay as each will offer new challenges and play styles to the game flowing developer analysis of the community. Marita will be launching in July, with Al Sundan being part of the Day One content for Chapter 4 on June 27.
DICE have also confirmed details about an upcoming update to the game, which will see player caps raised from 50 to 500 and special unlockable rewards and emblems for levelling up to certain milestones. The update will also include the ability for players to set up servers for private games, in order to allow the community more freedom to play as they choose, and a look at Operation Underground – a special map due to launch in October.
The presentation concluded with a sneak peek of Chapter 5. Set for launch later in the year, this will shift the focus to the Pacific front and the battles between American and Japanese forces. Among the first locations announced for this chapter was Iwo Jima, one of the most iconic locations during the Pacific campaigns.
Following from the teaser trailer, fans got a look at one of the new gameplay modes coming to FIFA 20 in September. Taking inspiration from street football, VOLTA will see players having the chance to play football away from the stadiums and go around the world. Players will be able to show off their skills in close quarters matches, with fully customisable male and female players.
Following the VOLTA reveal, host Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez was joined by lead Producer Sam Rivera to discuss some of the gameplay changes coming to FIFA 20. These new mechanics have been focusing on four different aspects of play – Strafe Dribbling will allow for more agility in attacking, Controller Tacking will use the Active Touch System to allow greater control and cleaner tacking during matches, Set Piece Refresh will bring more control and detail to both free and penalty kicks and Composed Finishing will make shooting more accurate and more in line with real-life gameplay.
Madden NFL 20
Madden NFL 20 will feature a whole host of new gameplay features to allow for an even more realistic and immersive experience. Along with the Face of the Franchise: QB1 career mode – taking players from humble college football all the way to the Draft and Super Bowl, this year’s instalment will see the brand new RPO (Run-Pass-Option) system, with over 200 plays along including plays from iconic moments, such as the Philadelphia Eagles winning Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots.
Also unveiled were the new X-Factor Abilities. These new abilities will give certain players the edge over their opponents, with each special ability inspired by the real-life counterparts and their skillset – such as cover athlete Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs ability, Bazooka, increasing his maximum throwing distance by over 15 yards once four 30+ yard passes have been completed. At the end of the presentation, it was also announced that there would be a Closed Beta from June 14-16, with codes being given out on Madden social channels, by Madden developers MUTHEAD and via the Madden Ultimate Team Reddit.
The Sims 4
Rounding out the presentations was the latest updates for The Sims 4. Kicking off the announcements was the official unveiling of the new Island Living Expansion Pack, which will be launching June 21 on PC & Mac, followed by a console release on July 16. This new pack will introduce the island of Sulani, a tropical paradise for Sims to rest and relax. New Create-a-Sim and Build Mode items will be included along with new Conservationist and Lifeguard careers and a whole host of island delights.
Along with the new expansion, there was also news of some Stuff Packs that will be coming in the new few months. A special stuff pack from the fashion house Moschino will be launching in the summer with a new freelance career – Fashion Photographer – included while a pack scheduled for a fall release, Realm of Magic, was also teased. But first, June will see the release of a Pride pack in partnership with the It Gets Better initiative, featuring various clothing items and a gender-neutral bathroom option for The Sims Freeplay. The pack will be first launched on The Sims 4 on PC and Mac on June 14, with other Sims games following over the rest of the month.
Information about EA Play and all the titles mentioned can be found on the official website. Watch the full presentation stream below.
Words by Megan Roxburgh