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Doublejump’s E3 2018 Digest: Day One

Here’s everything EA had to share with us at EA Play!

The first day of E3 2018’s press conferences has come and gone, with EA taking the spotlight all for itself. Despite there only being the single conference on Day One, there’s still plenty of news to get through, so without further ado…

Major news from EA Play:

Origin Access Premier announced:

EA’s Aussie CEO Andrew Wilson took to the stage to announce the company’s take on Xbox’s Game Pass, which will let PC users play its latest games as part of an upgraded subscription. Anthem, Battlefield V, Madden NFL 19, and FIFA 19 will be among the first games to be released as part of Origin Access Premier when it is launched later this year. The company did not announce a similar premium tier for its similar EA Access service on Xbox One.

DICE confirms Battlefield V’s battle royale mode, shows off multiplayer:

The veteran studio confirmed that the gaming world’s most popular game world is coming to the Battlefield franchise. While it stopped short of revealing much more about what it has planned for players, it did ensure them that it will incorporate Battlefield V’s “the core pillars of destruction, team play, and vehicles”.

Oh, and DICE also released the first piece of “multiplayer” gameplay in a brief trailer:

Respawn finally unveils its Star Wars project; DICE reveals future Star Wars Battlefront II plans:

Event host Andrea Rene made her way into the crowd after the Origin Access Premier announcement, where she had oh-so-conveniently found Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella. Zampella didn’t have too much at all to say about Respawn’s Star Wars project, but he did share three key pieces of information:

  • It’s called Star Wars: Jedi Fall Order;
  • Its story takes place somewhere between Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope; and
  • It’s set to be released in the Holiday period next year.

The show moved back to the stage, where Star Wars Battlefront II design director Dennis Brännvall was ready to detail some upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story-themed additions to the game in the form of a squad system, a “Star Fighter” mode in which players can dogfight with their Hero ships and a new large-scale sandbox experience.

Brännvall then revealed that there’s a new era coming to Star Wars Battlefront II: the Clone Wars. Set on the planet Geonosis, the gameplay additions will include the game’s largest map ever and a swath of new heroes to play with: Jedi fans will be excited to see Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, added to the game, while those of a darker persuasion will be able to play as the Droid Army’s Supreme Commander General Grievous and Sith Lord Count Dooku.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much in terms of gameplay from either Star Wars title; DICE played us a little slideshow, but that was about it.

Jo-Mei Games’ Sea of Solitude is the latest EA Original:

Newly-promoted Chief Design Officer Patrick Söderlund announced that EA is working with Berlin-based Jo-Mei Games as part of its EA Original initiative before welcoming Creative Director Cornelia Geppert to the stage. Geppert recounted EA’s enthusiasm for her small studio’s upcoming game before introducing a beautiful trailer that showcase Sea of Solitude’s bright, hand-drawn art style that calls to mind a Supergiant game. Jo-Mei’s latest title is slated for a 2019 release.

We finally got some more information about Anthem:

BioWare closed out the conference by revealing more details about its upcoming Destiny-like multiplayer action title with a brief panel discussion featuring Casey Hudson (General Manager), Mark Darrah (Executive Producer), and Cathleen Rootsaert (Lead Writer). The trio explained how the studio has incorporated its extensive storytelling history to create a “dynamic and living world” in which humanity fights for survival on a planet “left unfinished by the Gods”.

Players — as mercenary soldiers known as “Freelancers” — will don powered “Javelin” exosuits that represent each of the game’s four classes: Ranger (the all-rounder), Colossus (the tank), Interceptor (the agile assassin), and Storm (the mage). The studio representatives confirmed that the game will feature microtransactions but stressed that they will strictly be for cosmetic-only items.

If the Muse-starring trailer has gotten you hooked, expect to see Anthem hit PC, PS4, and Xbox One on February 22, 2019.

In other news:

  • After a decade without Europe’s premier club competition, the UEFA Champions League will permeate throughout EA SPORTS FIFA 19, with players able to chase European glory with Alex Hunter in The Journey and with their own favourite clubs in Career Mode. EA also teased that the Champions League would have a significant presence within FIFA 19 Ultimate Team, although details were rather scarce.
  • FIFA 19’s UEFA Champions League license was briefly detailed, but the title will be fully announced later in the winter.
  • We saw a brief reveal trailer for NBA Live 19, which is set to be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 7. The trailer featured the well-received The One career mode, in which players will travel the world to build a squad of teammates, and we saw that EA Tiburon is bringing EA Sports’ Real Player Motion technology into the game. Allen Iverson also made an appearance, which could be fun.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and 2018 Madden Bowl winner Shay “Young Kiv” took to the stage to introduce Madden NFL 19, which is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and — for the first time in over a decade — Windows PC on August 10.
  • Unravel Two is available right now! It features two Yarnies whether you’re playing alone or in co-op, and it looks heartwarming.
  • Redwood Studios’ Michael Martinez and renowned StarCraft II shoutcaster Nathanias provided commentary for a game of Command & Conquer: Rivals between StarCraft II player Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson and YouTube star Nickatnyte. Rivals is Command & Conquer’s first step into the mobile arena, where players deploy their units to fight over points on the (very small) map and aim to destroy the opposing base.
  • Andrew Wilson revealed that gamers spent millions of hours on nine In-Game Events to raise a total of $1 million as part of the Play to Give program. The donation was split between three charities — United Nations HeForShe, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and Ditch the Label — all focused on equality and inclusion in society.