E3 2019: EA Play Recap (Day 1 – Saturday)

It is everyone’s favorite time of year: E3 baby. Rumor has it, this is the first year that absolutely no one will be disappointed and the hype will be at the exact correct level.

I am your friendly neighborhood gamer girl, dedicating my weekend to catalog all the updates thrown our way. Today, the 8th of June, we begin with EA, who decided to own all of Saturday with multiple mini-conferences, each covering a separate game and jumping between locations. But before the weekend even had a chance to kick off, multiple games were leaked in the days leading up to it.

  • Elden Ring is a new game from the people who gave us Dark Souls, in collaboration with the one and only George R.R. Martin. We anticipate it will be available for PS4, Xbox, and PC.
  • There will be a remastered version of Ni no Kuni, and maybe even a port of the non-remastered version to the Switch.
  • Also, Tales of Arise (a new game in the JRPG series) exists, and will be available for PS4, Xbox, and PC.

There were many other, smaller leaks that are at best too small to worry about, and at worst unsubstantiated that you can read about here, here, and here. Chances are these won’t matter much as most of them revolve around information that Microsoft will reveal tomorrow, but they are leaked nonetheless.

Legitimately received info is what we are here for though, and we have lots of it. First up, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. What a great start to the weekend! The platforming makes it seem like it will be if Uncharted took place in the Star Wars universe, which I am absolutely not mad about. You have a little droid friend who provides health packs, helps you get through the environment, etc, and the music was awesome. Overall, it made this ambivalent Star Wars fan actually excited to play it, so I would consider the presentation successful.
Favorite moment: The stormtrooper shooting himself after being force pulled into his own bullet.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order will be released on November 19, 2019 for Xbox, PC, and PlayStation 4. You can watch the full presentation here.

Next on our list: Apex Legends. When I saw I had to watch this presentation, my first reaction was “gosh it is gonna be so hard to pretend I care about this” but the game actually looks really cool! Not my personal thing, but I’m excited for all you legends out there. The developers spoke a little bit about the Legendary Hunt event which is going on now, but most of the time was spent on announcements for Season 2.

First things first: Legendary Hunt goes until June 18th, where you can access new weapon and character skins, and if you place in the top 5 during any of your matches, you gain access to an elite queue where you will face off with the best of the best. Better jump in now, because all weekend long you will get double XP (through June 9th).

Most importantly though, Season 2 “Battle Charge” announcements:

  • There will be a new weapon called “L Star” which is a gold level plasma EMG. It is exclusive to care packages so you’ll only get to use the ammo you find it with, but it is able to shoot open doors as well as wreck your opponents.
  • The leveling system will get shaken up, switching to being challenge-based rather than time-based. Plus, your daily and weekly challenges will stack, so if you want to hop in every once in a while to clear a bunch of them out at once, you can level up quickly.
  • There’s an incoming ranked mode. Level up through the rankings and get rewarded at the end of the season for however far you got.
  • You can look forward to new skins, rebalancing of weapons, new map events, and being able to craft your own legendary (whatever that means).
  • Most importantly, there’s a new legend named Wattson, who is a cute girl with a nice dad. They spent some time on how this will affect the meta and the lore, which I didn’t quite understand, but I did get that she can make electric fences which provide a multitude of uses for your team, and she can play in any capacity you wish her to (aggressive, defensive, or support). The only thing holding you back is your own creativity.

Favorite moment: When a developer giggled after saying the words “pull out.”
Apex Legends Season 2 will arrive on July 2nd, 2019. You can watch the full presentation here.

Third, we have updates for Battlefield V. Watching this conference was a fun game of “guess what these updates mean” because I so, totally, completely don’t care about this game. But, I live to serve, so I will try my best. The updates mostly focus on new maps with significantly less emphasis on new modes, with maps for Chapter 4 beginning to hit at the end of June, and releasing throughout the rest of the summer.

  • The Grecian map/mode will have an emphasis on vehicle combat, and will come out in July.
  • The North African map seems pretty standard both looks-wise and gameplay wise, and will be hitting day 1 with Chapter 4 on June 27th.
  • There’s another new map which is ideal for smaller modes that will hit in August.
  • The ranking cap will increase from 50 to 500.
  • The option to build private games will hit in September.
  • Something completely inscrutable to me titled “Operation Underground” will release in October, so, cool I guess.
  • Finally, they teased Chapter 5, announcing that it will be themed around WWII’s Pacific Theater, and will really let you get that full feeling of invading the islands of innocent indigenous populations

Favorite moment: When the host described Chapter 5 as “getting to see beautiful locations that you destroy beyond recognition” and my intense feeling of fear that the wrong types of people will learn the wrong lessons from that.

Battlefield V updates will start hitting players on June 27, 2019. You can watch the full presentation here.

The fourth block of the presentation focused on FIFA 20. Look, guys, it’s FIFA. You get to play virtual soccer. There isn’t too much to report on here, but I’ll walk you through some of the changes that are being made.

  • A greater focus will be on one-on-ones, which will rely heavily on player skill to accomplish effectively.
  • Smarter AI will allow your teammates to be more helpful to you.
  • The aiming mechanics of penalty kicks and free kicks have changed. Now, you can choose the spin and trajectory of the ball, essentially “game-ifying” it.
  • The ball physics system has changed, creating more realistic responses to player input and more variety overall.
  • The physical attributes of each avatar (such as speed and strength) will become more important.
  • Probably most importantly, Volta Football is a new game/career mode that will take FIFA back to the streets.
  • Also, Trevor Noah was there for some reason.

Favorite moment: How passionate the developer guy was about his game. He almost made describing all the new footwork changes sound interesting.
You can buy FIFA 20 on September 27th, 2019 for Xbox, PS4, and PC. For members of EA Access, you can get it early on September 19th (calling all PS4 owners out there!) Watch the full presentation here.

Our penultimate presentation is comprised of sneak peeks into Madden 20. Man, if you thought FIFA was always the same, gotta give a big yikes for Madden. This was a bad, boring presentation but here’s the limited information I gleaned from it.

  • You get to play through the NFL draft now! Also, the Pro Bowl.
  • There is no a Scenario Engine that allows you to boost the career of your franchise character when you accomplish specific goals in games.
  • “X-Factor abilities” are special attributes that each in-game player has (you heard it here folks, Madden is an RPG now).
  • They will be updating playbooks throughout the season to stay up-to-date with what the NFL is doing.
  • There will be a closed beta on June 14th through June 16th.

This was the presentation where I asked myself: why do I not care about this? Is it because they are going in depth on button commands for each different trick and play, or is it because I just don’t care about football? I’m not sure. Either way, you kind of get what you pay for with Madden, and this year feels no different than any other.
Favorite moment: Juju Smith Schuster getting complimented endlessly on stage and then responding with “that’s definitely something I see myself doing.”
Madden 20 will be available on August 2, 2019 for Xbox, PS4, and PC. You can watch the full presentation here.

It’s been a long journey folks, but we finally made it to our last presentation: The Sims 4. This one was a doozy, so strap in.

  • The newest expansion is called Island Living. There are obviously new outfits and hair options, but there is also a new playable character: a mermaid! Sims can now walk into open water, make friends with dolphins, ride an “aqua zip” (read: jet ski), become a conservationist, and live under an active volcano. The most questionable part of this is the “cultural sensitivity” EA is employing by having friendly natives help you around the island, allowing your Sims to join in traditional events and cook traditional dishes, and let you TALK to SPIRITS around the island. Yeah. We got native populations who believe in ghosts. Never been done before.
  • They will be releasing Pride/It Gets Better clothing and items through all Sims products starting on June 18th. There will even be a gender neutral bathroom option in Sims 4.
  • A Moschino Stuff pack will be hitting later this summer, with new clothes included and a new job as a part time fashion photographer.
  • The next game pack will be “Realm of Magic,” with more information to come later this year. The only thing we know for sure is that it will hit shelves later this fall.

Favorite moment: My sheer horror when I realized that EA didn’t even fly anybody out to Polynesia to learn how to be culturally sensitive, rather just asked those who worked in the company what their experiences were. Mermaids, though. Awesome.
Island Living will be available for consoles on June 16, 2019 and on PC/Mac on June 21st. You can watch the full presentation here.

Whew! We made it folks. What were your favorite reveals at Day 1 of E3? What are you hoping to find out from other companies over the next few days? Leave a comment down below and we can talk about it!

See y’all tomorrow!

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