I look forward to E3 all year and happily watch every press conference. That being said, EA has always struggled to grab my attention. Part of it might be that I don’t care about sports games, which are a huge part of EA’s business. But it’s also the caliber of the announcements that they bring. They just don’t hit the way other conferences do. This year, EA distanced itself from the other shows by being the only press conference of the day. With all eyes on them, did they manage to pull off a better presentation?
Honestly, yes. That’s not to say that this was an amazing show. I mean, you read my headline, right? But it was a much tighter show. We didn’t linger on Pelé babbling about the actual sport of Soccer at a video game event or anything like that. Instead, there was a greater focus on just telling us what we needed to know about the games in question and then showing us some footage.
If there’s one thing to really criticize though, it was the constant use of YouTubers and other “influencers” doing the presenting for them. A couple times, in particular during the segment on Need For Speed: Payback, it was pretty clear that they weren’t used to talking to a live audience, at least not in a professional setting. I don’t know if the teleprompter was screwing up or the guy just couldn’t perform under pressure, but it was kind of hard to watch. I can’t really blame him, however, I certainly would struggle in the same position, but it’s a huge contrast from the more business first conferences that we usually get.
Speaking of Need For Speed: Payback, that game looks really pretty. I’m not really into driving games, outside of Mario Kart of course, but this game looked pretty impressive. I’m hardly the first to make this comparison, but they’re pretty obviously chasing after The Fast And The Furious here. Instead of just racing, you have specific objectives you need to complete. In the case of the demo they showed, you had to catch up to a semi truck to your partner could board it. I probably won’t play it, but it did look pretty neat.
Most of the rest of what was shown was pretty much what you’d expect. There’s an expansion coming to Battlefield 1, which I’m pretty sure we already knew about, and it looks like more Battlefield 1. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it’s not surprising. Similarly, Star Wars Battlefront II looks great, with a lot more options that were missing from the original game and free DLC. But it’s still Star Wars Battlefront, it’s not changing the way you think of online competitive shooters. I’ll probably play it though, the first game was fun enough for what it was.
There was one game at this show that blew me away, and that was A Way Out. This game is a co-op only action game that tasks you and one other person with breaking out of prison. Based on the trailer, there looks to be a lot more going on after you get out as well. The fact that the game is co-op only really makes it stand out. They demonstrated sections of the game that had multiple solutions, such as beating up a guard, stealing his clothes, and then smuggling the other player out of the room in a cart. I’m typically a single player kind of guy, but I can’t wait to play this with a friend.
And those were my general thoughts on this press conference. Obviously, there were other games shown, but I just wanted to talk about what stood out to me. Also, I need to update you on how my E3 Predictions are going. As of right now, I have one out of three correct, only getting the “sure thing” bet of live Battlefront II gameplay correct. No Visceral Star Wars game or Dead Space 3, unfortunately. Make sure to check back in tomorrow to see my thoughts on Microsoft and Bethesda, as well as continued updates on my predictions.