Welp, that was…something I guess? EA Play was not a very good kickoff to E3 weekend. It was very lopsided, and overall mediocre. Not sure how many of you guys tuned in, so let me break the whole thing down for you the best way I know how:
Winner: Jedi: Fallen Order Gameplay
You’re gonna want to take the time to watch that. This was the highlight of the whole conference. Many of us were worried about how Jedi: Fallen Order would play considering Respawn primarily has made “free flow” shooters like Titanfall and Apex Legends. Would it be this wall-running, aerobatic, fucking ballet dancing with a lightsaber type game that most Star Wars games have been in the past? Well, it ain’t this time boys. It looks a lot like they took a true action RPG approach to combat (think Dark Souls or Breath of the Wild), but put their own Star Wars flair on it with the force moves and light saber art. I’m really excited for this game now. Everything Cameron Monaghan touches turns to gold, and he’s gonna be an awesome Jedi to play as this fall. This was the biggest win of EA Play’s whole conference.
Winner: Apex Legends New Content
Ok I have to admit that I was not as enthusiastic about this during the conference, but looking back, it really was pretty good. The new legend will hopefully add a completely new dimension to the game, because I’m really getting sick of being 3rd/4th/5th party’d. But I’m extremely skeptical about it, because many times these type of abilities do not work effectively in a game. The battle pass seems to be fixed, with more skins added, the removal of useless rewards like stat trackers, and the addition of crafting materials (which should have been there day 1). The biggest reveal though is what you see above. There’s gonna be a huge map change with some giant creatures added at the start of Season 2. It will be enough to make me jump back into King’s Canyon for a week or two.
Loser: Horrible HORRIBLE Pacing
This conference held no momentum whatsoever. I actually stopped watching halfway into the Madden portion because every segment was 90% talking and 10% actual reveal. It was so fucking bad. I understand that you want to talk about your games and I really didn’t mind the hosts for each segment, but dear god why would you not spend most of your conference showcasing the actual games? It didn’t make sense. Also the whole time-slot thing was a major blunder. If you’re not gonna use 30 minutes to talk about each game, don’t restrict it to time-slots! Keep the conference rolling! Nothing kills momentum more than waiting 5-10 minutes in between each game.
Loser: FIFA 2020
This was a huge fucking letdown, and if you’re a FIFA fan, you deserved better. It started with the reveal of this new street football mode called Volta. It looks like the old school Nike cage commercial and while it could be awesome, they showed zero gameplay. All they did was have Rio Ferdinand walk around with a developer and a girl named Chelcee in a croptop while they talked about street football. I lol’d hard when Rio asked her where the craziest place he’d played football was and she said “LA”. Los Angles. That’s the craziest spot you’ve played? In all of the world? Then the rest of the presentation was the host talking to the developer about the new changes to the game, while cinematic trailers of the moves were playing in the background. Very little actual gameplay. It was a massive disappointment and on top of it all, the presentations only took about 18 minutes total. 18 minutes. For what is one of the biggest EA Sports franchises of the last decade. You fucking lost this one EA.
Loser: EA for thinking Battlefield V is still alive
This entire 25 minutes was absolute garbage. First, you had this host that literally couldn’t stop laughing at every single thing the producer said. Then she’d cut him off and ask some question like “WHEN ARE WE GONNA BE ABLE TO PLAY IT” or “LETS MOVE ON TO THIS NEW THING”. I don’t really care if she had to stick to a strict time schedule, she fucked it up, and it’s another reason that time-slots should have never been used for this presentation. Second, why in the fucking hell is this game getting 25 minutes of discussion? It’s dead EA. No one plays it. I played it for like a month and a half when it came out and have uninstalled it since. I’ll give you credit, the Pacific map looks really cool. It’s just too little too late.
The Rest of the Show
It really is a perfect representation of EA as a whole. They have one studio that knows what it’s doing: Respawn Entertainment. Everyone else is lost in the weeds of a horrible gaming company. The time-slots were a huge mistake, there was no momentum kept through the entirety of the show, and most of the time was spent talking about the games instead of showing actual content. Madden and The Sims portions of the conference were exactly the same as what I just mentioned. While each had features that seemed interesting, they weren’t highlighted enough by actual gameplay. To wrap up, let’s look at my predictions a few weeks ago and see what the results were:
Apex Legends Season 2 announcement: Correct, but known from the conference call
Jedi: Fallen Order Gameplay: Correct, but known ahead of time
EA Sports game highlights: Correct, but known ahead of time
Anthem DLC Announcement: Wrong, and I’m shocked
Battlefield V New Content: Correct
Dragon Age 4: Wrong
Need For Speed trailer: Wrong, and very odd because it was hinted during the conference call
Indies, New IP: Wrong Wrong Wrong
I’m fine with being wrong about many of these things, because I know if I was right about them all, EA would have had a good conference, but with the huge misses, horrible pacing, and lack of big announcements, I think this conference is an overall loss for Electronic Arts.