We’re less than twenty-four hours away from the official start of E3 2019, but let’s be real, it feels like it started a week ago. Moving away from the traditional press conference approach, EA has kicked off their EA Play event which included a number of presentations on their slate of games, revealing all the new content coming to the likes of Apex Legends, Battlefield V and The Sims 4, as well as new reveals of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Madden 20 and FIFA 20.
Fallen Order looks to play exactly like we hoped it would. It’s third-person, over-the-should action adventure with plenty of melee combat. The 14-minute gameplay clip shows off some devastating lightsaber attacks, force powers and an impressive enemy variety, including alien creatures. The Stormtroopers go down in a single hit, as you would expect them too, but some of the tougher enemies look like they pose more of a challenge. There are climbing and alternate pathways in a fashion reminiscent of the Uncharted franchise of games. It’s very impressive visually and flows well, with smooth transitions between ‘cutscenes’ and gameplay.
FIFA returns in 2019, unsurprisingly. Besides the usual lick of paint and refreshed rosters, the game is introducing a new mode, called ‘Volta’ (which means ‘the return’ in Portuguese, FYI), that promises to take “football back to the streets with the authentic culture, creativity and style of the small-sided game.”
Apex has been criticised for its lack of regular content drop and updates. Of course, it has been Respawn’s plan all along to stagger new content to ensure more substantial changes with each update, without rushing things and risking balancing issues. But that looks about to change.
In a 20-minute feature on the content coming to Apex, the team revealed a new playable character, or legend, called Wattson. She’s a defensive/support character that can drop ‘fences’ that weaken and ping enemies and their squads, with an Ultimate that repels airstrikes and grenades whilst regenerating shields. They committed to building out the lore of the game too, showing an animated clip detailing her backstory and her involvement in the construction of the arena with her father.
Respawn also announced changes to the Battle Pass in Season 2, adopting challenges as a form of progression and ensuring it will be able to be completed faster. They’ve also removed badges and trackers in favour of three new content rewards. A new gold gun from supply drops is being introduced, a sub-machine gun with enough power to blow open doors, as well as a suite of news skins for existing characters and guns.
DICE’s tentpole multiplayer first-person shooter had its new Tides of War Chapter 4 content revealed, called Defying the Odds, featuring new maps starting with the map ‘Marita’ coming out in July. The Greek mountainside setting focuses on close-quarters combat with light vehicles. A new desert map, ‘Al Sundan’, and one inspired by the classic Battlefield 3 map ‘Operation Metro’ is coming, now named ‘Operation Underground’. Two others, ‘Loften Islands’ and ‘Provence’ were also mentioned, so there seems to be no shortage of new maps on the horizon.
It was also revealed Battlefield V is headed to the Pacific with Chapter 5, invoking serious Battlefield 1942 vibes. It’s really starting to look like every Battlefield game rolled into one.
Furthermore, DICE also promised regular content updates to their own battle royale, ‘Firestorm’, and that the game will be added to the Vault, granting access to those who subscribe to EA Access or Origin Access.
The Sims 4
Everyone’s favourite life sim is getting a new expansion pass, called ‘Living Island’, coming to PC June 21 and to consoles on July 16. As the name suggests, it features picturesque island settings, coral reefs, boats, beachside bars and maybe even… mermaids?
Madden also returns this year, with a new career campaign and improved gameplay features, including new additions such as Superstar X-Factors and Zone Abilities. The campaign, titled ‘Face of the Franchise: QB1 follows the rise of your own player-created quarterback from college football to the NFL. A trailer featuring the new cover athlete, Patrick Mahomes, was also released.