*deep sigh* EA has managed to fabricate a professional press conference experience once again with their E3 2018 show (even EA’s 2017 E3 show tops their E3 2018 show), but this time it was done with every single negative point that EA has earned over the course of the year. So naturally, that meant that a usual E3 wasn’t ever going to cut it for EA (let’s be honest here, it would take a whole lot to make up for everything that’s been going down with EA for the last 12-months).
“EA games. Challenge Everything”. To me, that was the EA I remember fondly before they became a company known for milking their franchises and for killing off beloved game studios. Anyways, let’s get back on track shall we? So, as I was saying. EAPLAY this year was incredibly unexciting (EA Play 2018), with most of the titles announced already expected by the world at large.
You see, the usual suspects appeared again for EA at this year’s edition of E3 : “Battlefield”, “FIFA”, “NBA LIVE”, “MADDEN “and “Anthem,” with minimal hype (come on, they teased/previewed it already before) in spite of new video/trailers being shown. So it wasn’t exactly all that much to be excited, thrilled or hyped up about. As a matter of fact, for most part, you slept your way through most of EA’s E3 announcements (you pretty much knew on before hand what would be shown, and when those games were finally shown, you just yawned).
Furthermore, we were already very much cautious about EA’s stuff largely thanks to their lootbox debacle for “Battlefront 2” last year – renaming them airlifts for “Battlefield 5” also did nothing to fool us, but nice try EA. So you could say that EA just added further salt to the already wide open wound in the Gaming community (the dislike ratio on their E3 videos speaks volumes…). In other words, EA hasn’t learned anything from their past mistakes (color me surprised. The greed is real!).
Speaking of which, why throw in that sneaky tip about the new Star Wars game? (“Jedi Fallen Order”) Less than excitement, all it did was confirm that EA still had their grubby hands on the franchise….So, yeah, Advocates 0, EA 1. I don’t know about you, but I just felt like the whole announcement segment for “Jedi Fallen Order” was cringe worthy to the max (what was up with also those lame jokes and claps on command?).
Thankfully enough for you and me, it’s not all hopelessness and repetition. Simply put, there’s a glimmer of hope for EA in the form of their indies. Yes, I’m of course talking about “Sea of Solitude” and “Unravel Two“. Although “Unravel” is a returning title, it’s not really a franchise title. Well, not yet anyway. So if you’ve played “Unravel” before, you know what you’re coming back for – except now there’s a huge “Brothers: A tale of two sons” vibe, and in my book, that’s a very good thing.
Nevertheless, let’s talk about what we (marginally, at least) were the most excited about: “Sea of Solitude” (which is an pretty darn impressive adventure game that is in the making by the German indie studio Jo-Mei Games). Especially so since we got a very sincere overview of what the game is designed around thanks to Cornelia Geppert (she’s the Creative Director of the game).
Although her presentation was rather bland – almost like a Ted Talk, actually, – it was insightful in how she communicated the mindset that designed the game. Her speech had many parallels to the subthemes (psychology, otherness, duality) of Detroit: Become Human, and, given the multiple camera angles and limited UI, we felt that Sea of Solitude is more than likely going to emphasize narrative over gameplay.
Hopefully, “Sea of Solitude” will prove us wrong and have some amazingly in-depth gameplay, but we’re not getting our hopes up just yet. For “Anthem”, Casey Hudson made an appearance as the GM (General Manager) of Bioware – he’s basically Bioware’s Steve Jobs at this point.
Make no mistake though, because Casey probably has limited control over the game direction of “Anthem” (that even though it was his brainchild), and why is that so you might wonder? It’s because the current game director is Jonathan Warner, who was credited as senior producer for the “Mass Effect” Trilogy up to the Citidel DLC. So for now, I’m giving him a vote of confidence until proven wrong.
So let’s wait and see if Casey can turn it around and drive Bioware fans into whaling themselves out ala Apple, or simply crash and burn due to having an inferior game (just as many have cursed them to since “Mass Effect Andromeda“). Well, I think you get the idea. So we at TGG hope that Bioware is up to the challenge! Truth be told though, their ending gameplay trailer reminded us of “Evolve”, though (and we all know how that game end up *cough cough*).
Entertainment value: 2/5
Verdict 2/5 (D-)
EA didn’t quite come to PLAY with their E3 press conference this year (thus all the dislikes on their Youtube videos speaks for itself…). So sadly enough, I can’t give them a good grade score, because their 2018 press conference lacked pretty much everything that makes a E3 press conference great.
Robin Ek – Editor and co-writer.
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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