E3 is a special time of year for me. It combines my two greatest passions: video games and press conferences. As a recovering journalism major, I’ve attended more of these things than I can count, but I’m still fascinated every time. Whether it’s a traditional sports Q&A session, or something more akin to a briefing, I enjoy siting through these hour to 90-minute events.
Starting things off this year was Electronic Arts. Shifting from their normal mid-afternoon slot on Monday to the late-afternoon on Sunday, EA was the first company to formally present anything at E3. Even though there were some highlights, the press conference was pretty dull. Mostly because the low lights were entire segments instead of moments.
FIFA Story Mode
As a person who purchases EA’s soccer title annually, I was excited to see them add something new and interesting this year that was more than a tweak to the gameplay. 2k’s NBA games have set the standard for story modes in sports games — last year’s edition being an exception — so it will be interesting to see how EA delivers this mode without it feeling like a complete waste of time.
World War I is an untapped era in video game mostly because it was the most unusual war that was ever fought. Trench warfare doesn’t exactly allow for action movie, set piece moments that are a staple in first-person shooter. Mostly because it is about listening to commands and being patient — something most gamers lack. After watching the trailer for Battlefield 1, I’m still not sure they will be able to capture what The Great War was about but I believe it combines enough of realism and fun to make it an enjoyable experience that is different than shooters before it.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I tend to lean more toward shorter, more narrative-heavy games. While I’m not sure if Fe will be either of these things, I feel that I’m more likely to give it a chance than I would have 10 years ago. Fe is a visually striking game being created by a 20-person studio in Sweden, and appears to be in the vein of Ori and the Blind Forest and Journey. It will be interesting to see if the game will have the impact that those two did, and if it will influence even more games of its ilk to be released.
Star Wars Segment
After teasing it for most of the broadcast, the segment was a huge disappointment and didn’t really give us any new information. While it did confirm some of the rumors about Star Wars games in production, it didn’t show me anything that made it worthy of the hype or even the amount of time it was given during the press conference. Maybe I was just dying for more than a quick glimpse of Amy Hennig and Visceral’s game, which has been one of my most anticipated since 2014.
Lack of Mass Effect
The disappointment here stems from EA announcing this game way too soon. Maybe I was looking for too much, but I was anticipating a little more detail on the game rather than the things I’ve heard for almost a year. Hopefully they are just holding off until TGS (Tokyo Game Show) or Gamescom later this summer, but I’m worried that the game will be a spring 2018 release instead of the announced March 2017 release date.
Moment of the press conference:
“Weed” (Giant Bomb coverage)
During the epilogue of the press conference, EA held a “red carpet” event where celebrities and athletes were interviewed before going to play a 64-man Battlefield multiplayer game. Everything was going fine — albeit a little awkward — until the final three interviews led to the glorious moment gif’d above. First up was Snoop Dogg, then Wiz Khalifa and finally Jamie Foxx and Zac Efron, all four looked to be in different states of inebriation, which lead to the most spontaneous bit that I’ve seen.
Check out the video starting about 1 hour, 49 minutes in for better context.