Gaming News: EA Press Conference at EA Play 2017

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This event marks the second year that EA have hosted an event outside of E3, with fans getting first looks at some favourites along with a look to the future.

Electronic Arts have kicked off their second EA Play event in Los Angeles with a live-streamed press conference. Taking to the stage at the Hollywood Palladium were key figures from the company, including Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund and CEO Andrew Wilson.


A New Revolution (and Locations) for Battlefield 1

Fans of Battlefield 1 will be able to play in a whole new way with the new DLC expansion – In The Name of The Tsar– which will be launching in September.

The expansion will feature six new maps, new vehicles, a new Supply Drop mode and new weapons based on Russian armaments. Players will be able to command the various battalions of the Russian Army – including the Women’s Battalion of Death. The inclusion of this elite unit will also mark the first time in the Battlefield franchise that women will be playable characters.

Battlefield producer Andrew Gulotta also announced some of the content which will be available to players before the In The Name of The Tsar release. Premium Pass holders will receive two new maps – Nivelle Nights in June and Prise de Tahure in July – as part of They Shall Not Pass, which will both feature night maps.

Battlefield 1 is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Watch the In The Name of The Tsar trailer below.


Sports Spotlight

There’s plenty for sports fans to be excited about with the announcements made by EA Sports.

First up was Madden NFL 18, which unveiled the first look at the new campaign mode – Longshot. In this new mode, players will rise through the ranks of the NFL as Devon Wade, a young up and coming player trying to make his mark on the sport. Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali heads up the cast, which also includes JR Lemon (The Night Shift) and Scott Porter, most well known for his role on Friday Night Lights – the series which inspired the story of Longshot.

Madden NFL 18 will be available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 from August 25. Watch the Longshot reveal below.

Up next was FIFA 18, and fans got another look at the game’s cover star, Cristiano Ronaldo in action with a look behind the scenes as his motion capture sessions.

Players also got their first look at the next chapter of the game’s story mode – The Journey. In the new preview trailer, hosted by Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennet and Nigel Davies, various figures from all around the footballing world are speculating about the next steps for Alex Hunter. EA also announced details for the Nintendo Switch port of the game. The Switch version will include Ultimate Team, Career Mode and Women’s tournaments available for online and offline challenges.

FIFA 18 will be available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC from September 29. Watch the trailer for The Journey: Hunter Returns below.

Rounding out the sports announcements was the unveiling of NBA Live 18 and its campaign mode – The One. This new mode will give players the choice of playing in either The Streets, which sees players in 5-on-5 matches on real world inspired courts, or in The League, where players will have the chance to play in the NBA alongside current team rosters.

Executive Producer Sean O’Brien also announced that a demo of NBA Live 18 will be available to download in August and that players will be able to transfer their progress to the main game at launch.

NBA Live 18 is scheduled to be released later in 2017. Watch the reveal trailer below.


Need for Speed

Following on from the official unveiling earlier this month, Need for Speed fans were treated the first gameplay demo from the upcoming Need for Speed Payback. Set in Fortune Valley, players will take on the role of three different characters – Tyler, Mac and Jess – as they try and take on The House – a criminal cartel that rules over the city.

In the Highway Heist mission, players have to pursue a truck along the highways in order to obtain it’s contents – a Koenigsegg Regera. During the mission, players got a look at how to take done pursuers, track a target and a look at the landscape surrounding the vast cityscape. The demo also showed how the game will switch between characters as the mission requires and how the missions evolve with each new challenge from The House and their forces.

Need for Speed: Payback is scheduled to be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on November 10. Watch the Highway Heist demo below.


Looking for A Way Out

One of the newest titles to come from EA Originals was unveiled during the presentation. A Way Out is the new title from Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons creator Josef Fares.

In this adventure game, developed by Fares and Hazelight Studios, players will have to work together to succeed. The game centres around two inmates, Leo and Vincent, as they attempt to break out of prison and return to the outside world. For this title, players will have to work in pairs – though either online or local co-op – on a split screen playing as either Leo or Vincent.

Speaking at the presentation, Josef Fares explained how the prison break is only one part of what promises to be a more emotionally driven adventure, with players being able to connect with their chosen characters and with each other.

A Way Out is scheduled for a 2018 release. Watch the reveal trailer below.


Battlefront Bonanza

Finally, the conference ended with a feature-length look at Star Wars Battlefront 2. Hosted by Janina Gavankar – who plays Iden Versio in the upcoming title – the special segment covered a wide range of content from the game.

Fans were treated to an in-depth look at the game’s multiplayer with a live demo of the Assualt on Theed map. The three stage event featured 40 players battling in the streets of the Naboo capital before moving into the halls of the Palace, with the final battles taking place in and around the Throne Room. EA have also announced details of a multiplayer beta which will take place in the Autumn, confirming that those who pre-order will gain early access.

Along with Gavankar, there was also a video message from John Boyega who announced that the first season of DLC for Battlefront 2 will feature Finn and Captain Phasma as playable characters along with content from the upcoming film The Last Jedi – including a look at the new planet of Crait and a space map set above D’Qar. EA have confirmed that all DLC will now be launched in themed seasons at various points after launch and that they will be available for free to all those with the game.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from November 17. Watch the gameplay trailer below.


For more information on these announcements watch the conference in full below.

Words by Megan Roxburgh

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